Not only is this cookbook gorgeous, it’s full of healthy cooking methods, ingredients and innovative ways to eat more veggies – how Inspiralized, eh? I’m excited to share a recipe from the book and giveaway a copy!
I’m a big fan of Food52 – their imagery, their writing, their mission, I always find inspiration there.
So, I decided to Inspiralize one of the recipes in the book and share it with all of you! In this “French Lentil and Arugula Salad with Herbed Cashew Cheese,” there are cucumbers and radishes, so I simply spiralized them with the Inspiralizer!
Not only are these spiralized veggies easier to prepare, they add more heartiness to this salad and make it fluffier, prettier and more fun to eat.
And let’s talk about this herbed cashew cheese for a moment.
Wow. What I love about vegan cooking is that it forces you to be creative, since your ingredient list is restricted (ie no cheese.) This herbed cashew cheese really hit the spot – it has a lovely consistency, herbed flavor (an account of the Herbes de Provence) and that buttery, cheesy richness (on account of the nutritional yeast flakes.)
This cashew cheese is something I’ll be making over and over again – it would be great spread over cucumber slices, crackers, with quinoa or farro, whole grain toast, or in a salad, like in this recipe. It was easy to make – the only time-consuming part is pre-soaking the cashews, but all that takes is a little planning!
This is the headnote from the recipe:
This salad is inspired by that traditional combination of Le Puy lentils, walnuts, and goat cheese, with crisp arugula and radishes adding a welcome crunch and a peppery kick. In place of the goat cheese, I use tangy, salty Herbed Cashew Cheese. Making the cashew cheese requires some forethought, so if you don’t have any on hand or time to make it, you can omit it or substitute a chopped avocado.
French Lentil and Arugula Salad with Herbed Cashew Cheese
30 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
1?3 cup olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 1?2 cups cooked lentils, drained well (preferably Le Puy green lentils)
2 cups firmly packed baby arugula leaves
1 cup spiralized radishes (Blade D) – or thinly sliced, if you can’t find large enough radishes to spiralize
1 cup chopped endive
1 cup spiralized cucumber (Blade D)
1?4 cup chopped fresh dill
1?3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
For the Herbed Cashew Cheese - use 1/4 cup (recipe instructions follows below)
1 1?2 cups cashew pieces or a combination of cashews and pine nuts, soaked in water for at least 3 hours and drained
2 tablespoons large-flake nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
1?4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tablespoons water
In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, shallot, salt, lemon juice, vinegar, and mustard until evenly blended.
In a large bowl, stir together the lentils, arugula, radishes, endive, cucumber, and dill. Drizzle evenly with the dressing, then toss or stir until all the ingredients are evenly coated. Stir in the walnuts and season with black pepper to taste. Dot the top of the salad with small bits of the cashew cheese (about 1?2 teaspoon each).
Serve the salad right away, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
The Best Way to Cook Lentils
Good news: lentils are quicker to prepare from scratch than beans and add great texture and nutrition to dishes. To cook them, start with about 1 cup of red, brown, or Le Puy (green) lentils. Pick out any that are discolored or shriveled. Rinse the lentils under running water, then combine them in a saucepan with 2 1?2 cups of water. Bring the water to a rapid simmer, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Add extra water as needed so that the lentils remain barely submerged. Simmer the lentils for 20 to 30 minutes, until they’re tender but retain some chew. (Red lentils take less time to cook because they’ve been split, so they’ll likely be tender in 20 to 25 minutes.) Drain them, then season with salt and pepper to taste. 1 cup of dry red, brown, or Le Puy lentils will make between 2 and 2 1?4 cups of cooked lentils.
Herbed Cashew Cheese
MAKES ABOUT 1 1?4 CUPS
Nut cheese can be made with almonds, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, or pine nuts, but cashews, with their buttery texture and mild taste, are perfectly suited to the task. This cashew cheese, which is soft and spreadable, is infused with herbs for a more complex flavor profile and nutritional yeast for a kick of umami. Spread it on crackers or toast or crumble it over a salad.
Put the cashews in a food processor or blender (preferably a high-speed blender). Add the nutritional yeast, salt, herbes de Provence, pepper, lemon juice, and garlic. Pulse a few times to break the cashews down until they have a wet, coarse, mealy texture.
With the motor running, drizzle in 2 tablespoons of the water. Now it’s time for some kitchen intuition: keep adding water, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the work bowl, until the mixture has a good consistency. It should be similar to thick hummus—a little coarse, but smooth and spreadable. You may not need all of the remaining 2 tablespoons of water. (If using a blender, start on a low speed and gradually increase to high speed as you add the water, using a plunger attachment the entire time to keep the mixture blending.)
Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. Stored in a covered container in the fridge, the cheese will keep for about 5 days.
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Inspiralized started out of a pure passion for eating healthy and helping others. When Ali Maffucci, discovered the spiralizer, she quickly learned how easily it could be used to make creative, delicious and nutritious meals
my 2020 holiday gift guide is finally live on the blog! 🎁 you’ll find my picks For Her (like this cute velvet puffer!), For Him, For Toddlers, and Under $50. but let me leave this disclaimer here: it’s the thought that counts. gift giving is supposed to spread joy - don’t get caught up searching the internet for hours for the “perfect gift.” the perfect gift is simply something thoughtful 💓 and frankly, our good health is the best gift we could all ask for this year 🖤 but if you need some more inspiration, check out my stories for swipe ups or go straight to Inspiralized.com! 😘 #holidaygiftideas #holidaygiftguide...
a festive seasonal snack or dessert idea for you and your little ones 🍎 - these french toast apple slices were inspired by my grandmother and this apple butter, cinnamon, maple syrup toast situation she used to make with her famous applesauce. you can grab this recipe from #inspiralizedandbeyond!
tell me how everyone's doing on their thanksgiving prep - ready? haven't even started yet? I haven't bought a single thing yet! 😇😱🤡...
got in the car and spent the day together. I needed some time alone with my husband. with little cell service and the ocean. 🌊 found it here, and I feel like a new woman. or... just the woman I am and forgot her for a sec 💁🏻♀️...
the holidays are going to be very tough and emotional for many of us this year. we're not going to spend it with the loved ones we typically do to keep one another safe and even worse, some of us will miss family we've lost to the COVID virus. 💔
something that always cheers me up is food. I've come to realize that one of the reasons it has this therapeutic effect on me is because it's a safe space for me to block out everything else and just enjoy the art of cooking. 🥄
and I realize that this will not be helpful to everyone ("oh, ali, I can't just cook it all way!"), but if it does, try to get in the kitchen and cook (or bake!) something that brings you happiness. and if it does not and you're sad right now, that's okay too. it's okay to not feel okay. 🙏🏼 I wish I could help more, but in the meantime, my love, strength, and heart goes out to you. I'm thinking of you.
but, IF food and cooking is cathartic for you too, I encourage you to make something new this year for Thanksgiving (or over whatever holiday you celebrate.) sometimes following steps in a new recipe keeps your brain focused on the task and you're able to let everything else wash away. at least that's how it is for me! I'm flipping through my cookbooks and sharing some of my favorite holiday-friendly recipes over on stories, like this one from #InspiralizedandBeyond! 📚
RICOTTA & FIG GOLDEN BEET CROSTINI with honey 🍯
makes 8-10 crostini
1 large golden beet (about 6 ounces), peeled and sliced into 1/8" thick rounds
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
5 fresh figs, diced
honey, for drizzling
arrange the beet slices on a serving platter and spread about 1 teaspoon of the ricotta on each. top evenly with the chopped figs and drizzle very lightly with honey. serve.