Saturday, February 13, 2010



In the words of my girl Mini Money/Ms. Lucas, "uh Yum!". So I have been working at this cheese recipe forever. Trying to figure out how to make vegan nacho cheese. See, I have a cheese recipe already, but it tastes more like an alfredo. Dont get me wrong I love it. I put it on all my recipes that call for cheese. But somehow it needed an adjustment for nachos and also change is necessary every now and then. So nacho has become the favorite recipe of the family as of late. So what did I do????? I will never tell all. You'd have to just come and get some. But I will share the basic cheese recipe at the bottom.

I would be wrong if I did not shout out Sister Janelle. So, Sister Janelle is running things in Miami, serving up vegan pizzas (check her at The sistren is doing big things and I've heard from a good source that she is good at what she does. So if in the M.I.A, please, please, please link up with the sis. Ok, back to my story. So Sister Janelle and me were building about our respective businesses and we got on recipes, namely cheese recipes. I shared with her my cheese recipe and my dilemma in trying to figure out how to come up with a cheddar cheese equivalent. So we swapped ideas and found out we use very, very similar cheese recipes..catch is Sister Janelle shared with me the beautiful idea of using raw cashews as a thickener. So me being the being that I am, decided that the next weekend would be pizza weekend for the family. I went to the store, gathered all the usual suspects and just to get my kicks, added a bag of cashews. Project Pizza underway. I did everything like I always do, prepared the crust, made the marinara (with some adjustments I have added since posting the recipe), some pesto, diced up some veggies (peppers, olives, mushrooms, artichoke, onion) and then began the cheese process. I decided since my cheese recipe was still dope I would keep it, and then also do Janelle's adjustment. Hey it just meant more pizza for us. So I did things as usual. A lil garlic here, some almond milk there, a lil aqua, a lil nutritional yeast and then....dun dun dun!!!! CASHEWS!!!! Oh my goodness!!! If Janelle was nearby I would have thrown her a party. A pizza party. The cashew was a perfect addition. It thickened the cheese so when it baked it wasnt too runny. The flavor was great. YUM!!! Thank you Janelle for adding to the YUM!! repertoire. I tried the pizza out on the youth, they loved it. So Atlanta, looking for vegan pizza delivery. Soon come. And if and while you are in Miami, check Sister Janelle. Love.

Continuing with the Yum and hailing up my girl Mini Money. Coconut. I use every single part of the coconut. I love coconut. I shout Somini, because all I have to do for her is add coconut to the recipe and I got a winner. If you dont know Coconut is great for so many things. I remember reading an article about the uses of coconut. The water is good for electrolytes (pregnant mommmies this is good during birth), when Kaba had a fever I used it to cool him and keep him hydrated. We use it in smoothies along with the meat of the coconut. I use the oil for my skin and hair. Its a nice fat in recipes, like cookies (*damn there goes my secret), greens..whatever. I make coconut chili (big hit when vending), coconut rice and peas, coconut curry...its great for anything. So, imagine how my heart dropped when I was told that my son possibly has a coconut allergy. I saw the world of Thai food coming to a complete halt and together we mourned, the lost of coconut in my life. Well at least until Kaba is two and no longer breastfeeding. So for me. Go out there, find you a coconut and binge until the heavens cry out. Love


My mother use to say that food tastes better the next day. Why? Because "the flavors" (lol) soak in. There is alot of truth to the theory. If it was good once, it will most likely be good the second time around. My only issue with that is that, one of the best parts of cooking for me is going out and picking the ingredients. So, sometimes recreating with leftovers is like trying to create a new painting, using the same paint from the previous day on the same canvas. Its possible to create a masterpiece, but there is the potential that you end up feeling like, been here and done that. Which is why I have so much respect for people who can create something out of leftover ingredients or creating something from nothing. *Insert shout out to my cooking Gurus Akilah and Eugene right here**

I have witnessed my husband Eugene, go into the kitchen, when I thought there was nothing and create a meal, that I find myself waiting to get down to the bare essentials to duplicate. Genius (its part of his name). Last week he made this Sushi bowl. I think by accident but it was great. Absolutely great snack. Full of minerals and vitamins, good fat and flavor. Being a visual artist, his sense of color and presentation is off the chain. And when it comes to flavor. He never, ever fails. Ever. His art is the art of simplicity. Simple ingredients, simple meals. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Akilah. So for anyone who thinks I am a great cook. This woman is my cooking Guru. Who I look up to. My dear, dear sister Akilah. She is the only person who comes to visit our house and I make her cook, instead of preparing a meal for her. You think its wrong? You have not had her food. I can recall every single meal Akilah has made for me. Like in Brooklyn when she made white bean soup with jalapeno cornbread (YUM!!!) or the time, 5years ago, she made Cornmeal battered Seitan, Steamed okra and Sesame Udon noodles (I have pictures). Its like she takes nothing, absolutely nothing and makes something. The last time she cooked for me, I was pregnant she made BBQ Seitan and Spicy Kale Salad with Couscous. I still think about that meal. I mean there are so many stories. Like the time we made chinese food together and we didnt have sweet and sour sauce. She went in the kitchen took out white vinegar, maple syrup, cayenne and soy sauce and voila!!!, Sweet and Sour Sauce a la negro (lol). My sis Neff still swears by that sauce recipe. Or in college when we all lived together and were starving and she made home made ramen with spaghetti noodles, green onions and seasonings. I love this woman. My cooking guru Agoo goo/Akilah. Love.

Cheese Recipe
  • about 1 1/2 cups of Nut. Yeast
  • Garlic
  • Water
  • fresh almond milk
  • oil
  • salt
Blend all ingredients together and add to pasta..whatever. Add cashews to thicken.

Rice and Peas Recipe
  • 2 cups rice
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 16 ounces of red beans (cooked)
  • salt to taste
  • thyme to taste
  • 1 onion diced
First add a bit of oil to the pan. Saute onion until almost translucent. Add rice, thyme and salt. Stir in beans. After stirring for a bit add in coconut water and water to make about 4 cups of liquid. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until water is absorbed. About 25minutes.

Leftovers/Sushi Bowl

  • Leftover Brown Rice
  • Nori sheets
  • Avocado
  • Garlic Dressing (I make it homemade but you can use Soy Sauce to replace)
  • Cashews
Just cut the avocado into chunks, tear the nori sheets and then throw everything into a bowl. YUM!!! Instant sushi without the rolling.

BBQ Seitan

  • Seitan (precooked or buy gluten flour and spend the next 2 hours making up your own/my preference)***look at bottom for additional instructions
  • Favorite BBQ sauce
  • Seasoned Cornmeal
  • Oil
** I typically like to make my own seitan. So I buy the gluten flour, add water, knead until my hands fall off. Slice the seitan into chunks and drop the raw dough into a boiling pan of hot water with garlic, ginger and onion. Let it boil for about an hour until the texture is nice and chewy. Proceed.

Cut the seitan into thick strips. Place slices in a wet batter and then seasoned cornmeal. Fry the strips in oil until nice and crispy. Toss in BBQ sauce. Injoy!!!

I dont use this too much. Wheat can be an allergen. So whereas this recipe is great. Eat occasionally. Love

My Kitchen sounds like: "Umi Says" by Mos Def, "How Many Mics" by The Fugees, "Who Colt The Game" by Bob Marley and "Shug's Song" by Shug Avery.

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