05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thankful for Nuts! (Some aren’t even relatives…)

By Linda Lovely

I’m thankful for…

Given November’s blog theme, I could focus on the truly important reasons I give thanks—a husband who can still make me laugh after almost four decades, warm-hearted and zany family and friends, good health (except for that pesky Achilles tendonitis), a lake view from my back porch, and good books to read by a cozy fire. Instead, I’ve opted for a light-hearted tribute to nuts—the edible kind.

I never appreciated how important nuts were until my husband and I embarked on a vegan diet in early 2013. If we hadn’t been assigned this past January to a new family doctor—a proselytizing vegan—this blog might have been headlined “Thankful for Cheese!” Mom always claimed our family tree included rats given our cheese addiction. She ate every variety and passed along her passion (except for limburger cheese). What’s better than cheese on a pizza? Extra cheese, of course.

So…life sans cheese has been tough. One relative even predicted that no family members would want to visit our home post-diet change. (I do buy non-vegan food items, cheese included, for guests. Don’t think anyone’s crossed us off their lists yet.)

At any rate, this is where nuts come in. Nuts are the saving grace of veganism (if that’s a word). Almost all of my favorite vegan dishes feature nuts—cashews, pecans, walnuts, almonds, peanuts.  Of course, chocolate figures in here, too. Chocolate IS a plant-based food.

Fruit pie with nutty crust

Want a tasty pie crust? Dust off your food processor and mush together 1/3 cup each of walnuts, cashew and almonds with a cup of dates and a teaspoon of vanilla and press into a pie dish for a refrigerator pie crust.

Licking your lips for an old-fashioned pot pie? Here’s a link to an excellent Cashew pot pie! I have to admit I altered this recipe, but I can’t help myself. I modify almost every recipe. I’m certain it would have been just as yummy if I’d followed the directions to the letter.

But who knew you could make CHEESE out of nuts? Mind you it’s not the sharp cheddar of crackerdom fame or the rich, gooey Velveeta that oozes out of a toasted cheese sandwich, but it’s actually quite good and versatile. I’ve used it in a number of dishes, mostly melted or mixed in to the recipe. Here’s a link to an excellent Vegan Cashew Cheese recipe.

So don’t fret if you’re expecting vegetarian and/or vegan guests over the holiday. Experiment. You might actually find some vegan recipes to add to your regular repertoire or a Meatless Monday menu.

Oh, and did I mention the heroine of my Marley Clark Mystery Series will be a reluctant vegan in WITH NEIGHBORS LIKE THESE, my 2014 release? Be sure to read this next mystery to see how Linda (er…Marley) is faring with her new vegan diet.


Ashantay Peters said...

Just read an article yesterday that a recent study has proven eating nuts every day will extend your life span and improve health. Don't know if you want to live longer without sharp Cheddar, but there you have it. Another reason to give thanks for the nuts in your life!

Linda Lovely said...

Yes, Ashantay, sharp cheddar is a BIG hurdle for me to stay on the vegan straight-and-narrow.

Shobhan Bantwal said...

My husband & I have been fans of nuts for many years now and we absolutely love them. And I too read about the longer life span study linked to nuts.

Now if only the nuts in the family (the human kind) were good for one's health, that extended life would be so much more fun . . . LOL.

Linda Lovely said...

I have to say the nuts in my family must be good for my health. After all, laughter's the best medicine, right? Thanks for stopping by Shobhan.

Pam said...

Enjoyed your post, Linda. As a vegan myself, I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has told me they wouldn't have trouble giving up meat, but they could never give up cheese. Looking forward to reading With Neighbors Like These!

Sarah Raplee said...

Great post, Linda! I can't wait to try your recipes. I'm on a dairy-free diet and I find that vegan food is a good way to go.

I love that you're turning Marley into a 'reluctant vegan.'

Judith Ashley said...

I nibble on nuts (almonds, hazelnuts/filberts, pecans, and sometimes I add peanuts and macadamia nuts to the mix). I've found since I either roast my own or purchase dry roasted and unsalted nuts, I see them as tasty and guilt free.

Since I Reeaallyy don't like cashews in any form the cheese-thing is out for me but I may try another recipe you've mentioned. Maybe substitute raisons for dates (another icky food) for the pie crust.

I'm curious to know if after this amount of time how you feel physically.