Hello from renovation city !
The ‘little house’ is almost ready to camp in – just need to finish the bathroom floor, add shower, toilet, basin, tiles, door and we have a bathroom, my main requirement after a kitchen. Also need to finish laying the wooden floor in kitchen, stain and wax/varnish, add cupboards and woodburner…, oh, and put a sink in and we are fine there too. Put bed in and we are sorted, we can then continue from there 🙂
Right now we are back to putting the finishing touches on the main house for our holiday makers and retreaters this year and there are only, well, I stopped counting at 50 things to do so all on target (cue hysterical laughter).
So lets forget it all for a minute and I will give you my Raw Cashew cheese recipe.
Blend until very smooth:
2 cups raw, unsalted, soaked cashews, 1 sachet probiotics, 1/4 cup plus 1 TBS water kefir
Put in a warm place or the dehydrator, wrapped in muslin or a nut milk bag (I use the latter) for about 36 hours, until it smells deliciously tangy.
Mix into it:
1 TBSP nutritional yeast, 1/2 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp Umboshi vinigar (optional), 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp pink salt plus a pinch or two of tumeric for added colour if you want to. Mash it all up with a spatula or wooden spoon then push into two ring moulds set on a sheet of greaseproof paper.
Put them into the freezer for a couple of hours to set so that they are easy to push out of the molds then put the cheeses back into the dehydrater for 24 hours (skip this step if you do not have one) to form the rind.
Remove from dehydrater, leave to adjust to room temperature then wrap and put in the fridge for a few days to a few weeks to mature.
Et voila !
When you keep cheese it is important to check it from time to time to make sure no mould is growing on it. I wrap in greaseproof and then a piece of kitchen paper to absorb moisture and store in an airtight glass box, this works well for me.
Ignore the rind making bit and roll the cheese in herbs or crushed pepper corns or some dehydrated ‘caramelised’ onions or even chopped raisons.
Add some herbs at the flavouring stage instead of the smoked paprika.
Eat straight away ! The one in the photo was just out of the dehydrator after ‘rinding’ because I made two, one to eat then and there and one to mature which is still in the fridge.
Let me know how you get on?
Happy weekend, I am now off to sand a floor 🙂
It has been a bit mad here the last couple of weeks.
I have started my French business, Desri’s Kitchen and been number crunching and trying to make that work on paper (in the French system – that is hard!). I am adding in teaching raw cuisine as well as healthy ways to tweak your cooking (including gluten free, dairy free, grain free etc).
Also we have been running ahead of electricians putting wall frames and ceiling frames in the Little House which means that is really taking shape! Nothing like deadlines to make Robin and I make something happen. Talking of which we also had a photo shoot for Oliver’s Travels which meant we had to strip ourselves out of our house – every room had to be made neutral, which for a hoarder and we who attatch emotion and history to almost everything we have gathered was a tough ask, to say the least.
We did it though and the photographer was a great guy who, it happened had recently, along with his girlfriend started eating a raw vegan diet! We talked for ages as there was lots in common with Robin and me resulting in the shoot running late and giving me an excuse to ask him to stay for lunch. I whipped up creamy noodles, avocado and courgette tartar and a green salad all with crunch seed sprinkles.
It is really important when changing your diet to cover as many tastes and textures as you can. Food doesn’t only nourish us physically but emotionally too. I hear lots of you say to me “But I so want something creamy like Italian cabonara or a creamy spicy curry” or “I need a rich, sticky, sweet and sour Chinese meal”. So have it – make your healthy food taste spicy and creamy, rich, sweet and sticky, crunchy and pungent, salty and sour.
A few easy recipes which can be used as dressings for noodles; you could use spirilized or peeled carrot, courgette or squash noodles or some healthy alternative pasta type noodles like quinoa or, as I did, kelp noodles.
The same recipes could be used as spreads or dips for crudites. If you tolerate and want to eat bread you could dip that in or spread it over.
How to make your healthy food taste delicious:
Create creamy textures
1 avocado whipped up with a 1 TBS of sweet miso (I like sweet miso a lot at the moment but if you don’t have it use 1/2 TBS darker types), 1 TBS chopped onion, 1 TBS nutritional yeast (or more to taste, check at the end), 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp agave/honey/maple syrup (one of them, not of all of them!), 1/4 tsp salt, pepper. Optional some crushed garlic.
Make it sweet ‘n’ spicy
2 TBS olive oil, , 2 TBS lime juice, 1 TBS maple syrup, 1 clove garlic crushed, 1 crumbled dried chilli (the little red ones), salt and pepper to taste. Whisk or shake in a jar with the lid on (I know, its obvious, humour me;).
Use Italian tomatoes
Soak 3 sun dried tomatoes and 1 big or 2 small dates in warm water until soft (this can take an hour or so), chop. Blend with 2 chopped fresh tomatoes, 1TBS chopped onion, 1/2 TBS white wine vinegar (I am liking chardonnay vinegar right now), 1/2 clove garlic (or more, your choice), pinch chilli flakes or 1/2 – 1 small dried chilli crumbled, a good pinch of salt and lots black pepper. Sprinkle whatever you make with it with ripped fresh basil or use 1/2 tsp dried Italian herbs.
Use delicious oils and high-quality seasonings
And lets not forget good old olive oil and balsamic – use the best olive oil, old syrupy balsamic, flakes of fleur de sel or Malvern salt or similar and a few turns of good black pepper. I’d go with about 5-1 oil to balsamic, in a bowl sprinkle the salt and pepper over and use like that or whisk or shake and use as a dressing. Such a treat!Learn More
Do you ever have days when the thing you found so motivating and exciting yesterday is exhausting and overwelming today?
Welcome to my world!
I have been scared of heights for ever; I couldn’t go up the ladder to the first floor of the ‘little house’, the old tumble down house we are now renovating to move into so that the whole of the main house can be used for retreats, holidays and possibly B&B.
On Saturday, after months of attempts and a few days last week of “OK, Robin I am doing this, would you just turn the ladder that way then I will be OK?”….. I wasn’t. Then “OK, Robin would you put the scaffolding up under the hole and I can just climb up, easy!”….. It wasn’t, I didn’t.
So then he put a combination of ladder and scaffolding, then added planks, then stood on it all himself; no go.
So back to Saturday, I just decided and said to myself “I am a person who goes up ladders!” marched over, asked him to stand on the planks next to the ladder and walked straight up, hurrah!!!
Then I had to decide I was also a person who could climb down ladders. I did (eventually and with a few wimpers) and massive progress has been made.
All the bedrooms and bathrooms have been measured out and moved around until they worked. Of course all the windows and beams are not exactly where we thought, so I did a lot of moving around, toilets, basins, baths and showers juggled until there was enough room to get through a door and put a chair, a towel rail, a without going to the loo in full view of the garden etc.
It was fun and exciting.
Now it’s Thursday and Robin is still putting in the windows which don’t all fit (understatement) so have to be cut, filled, wedged and balanced to work inside and out on a crooked wall, a sloped sill, a wobbly lintel and two of us who think different things look best ha!
I have been putting more grass seed down on top of the seed that hasn’t sprouted – again. I am still wire wooling the floor in the main house, the electrician who has been promising to arrive for weeks didn’t turn up again (thats him out, enough is enough) and we are tired.
No amount of green juice, powdered or fresh wheatgrass or chia and aloe filled smoothies will help this mood – thank heavens for chocolate cake and juicy cherries! Raw, grain free, dairy free and energy boosting cake with cherries we picked and froze in the summer.
Sorry for the moan, better go and mow the weeds now while Robin calls the guy building the gate posts to ask where he is…..