Posted in Food/Wine (and preserving)

3 Addictive Cheeze Sauces (you will not miss the dairy!)

When Doug and I were vegetarian (still eating dairy), folks would us, “So do you eat cheese?”

“Well of course! (What moron would give up cheese?) It doesn’t hurt the animal!” was our automatic response.

We took the children to a sustainability fair downtown at the Convention Center a little over ten years ago. A table that held PETA brochures and sweet looking young people was there. We smiled and said we were vegetarian too! They gave us vegan ice cream and a brochure. No lecturing, no horror stricken faces. In that brochure I saw outlined the horrors that sweet, docile animals endure. Standing chained most of the day. Babies whisked away from them. Babies as veal. Three year old dairy cows becoming meat. We had to rethink our cheese not hurting anyone.

We went vegan for a few years after that. Did you know that cheese has the same chemical reaction in your brain as heroin? That explains a lot, doesn’t it? I could never give up cheese! is such a common phrase. Now we know why.

So we started our own dairy farm. Goats frolicked around the back yard and Doug went out to milk twice a day, our granddaughter by his side. It was all idealistic and wonderful. Until we had to snatch the babies away. They cry for each other a hundred yards away, hidden from each other. The females will become milkers, the males? They go in the freezer. Elsa got mastitis so bad she vaulted me over her back to keep me from milking her. We won’t talk about trying to get them bred! No one can call me a naive vegan.

The health problems from dairy most specifically are respiratory. Asthma, upper respiratory infections, and coughs are caused or worsened by dairy. Brain fog, inflammation, and skin problems are caused by dairy because our body produces mucous and other defenses against milk created for the strength of a new born baby of a different species.

Okay, well that is all well and good and disheartening, but what about my cheese addiction, right? I have three cheeze sauces with variations that are going to make you forget about greasy cheese. These are made from cashews, and with the addition of seasonings, we are going to create three amazing sauces that can be poured over pizza, fries, nachos, baguettes, or used as dip at the Superbowl party.

First, soak 1 cup of cashews in water for 2 hours. Drain and rinse.

Mexican Cheeze Sauce

In a high powered blender combine:

1 cup of soaked cashews

1/4 cup of enchilada sauce

4 Tablespoons of nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon of New Mexican red chile powder (optional: you know me and my New Mexican chile!)

1/2 teaspoon each: sea salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder

1 cup of hot water

Blend until well combined.

Variations: You can put this deliciousness in a fondue pot or mini-crock pot, maybe add some salsa or green chilies for a game day dip with tortilla chips.

Use 1 Tablespoon of sriracha or other hot sauce instead of enchilada sauce for more kick.

Italian Cheeze Sauce

In a high powered blender combine:

1 cup of soaked, drained cashews

2 Tablespoons of nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon each: sea salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder

1 cup of hot water

Blend until smooth. Pour over pizza, potatoes, macaroni, or into soup.

Variations: For something fancier, make truffle cheese by adding truffle salt instead of sea salt and a few drops of good truffle oil.

Change up the seasonings. Add more if you wish. Fresh basil would be amazing in this in the summer. Or dried Italian seasoning.

Pour into a fondue pot and serve with toasted bread and crudites.

Photo from internet.

Smoky Cheddar Cheeze Sauce

In high powered blender combine:

1 cup of soaked, drained cashews

4 Tablespoons of nutritional yeast (located in any well stocked store. A great source of B12)

1/2 teaspoon each: smoked salt, sea salt, pepper, paprika

a few shakes of liquid smoke

1 cup of hot water

Combine well until smooth and creamy and ready to pour over noodles with mushrooms, or toast, or fried potatoes, or dip crackers into it or make it a dip or pour over Barbecued veggie meats! Oh my, I’m starving!

We just don’t need the milk from another creature and I feel strongly that our food comes with its own karma. There is a reason so many illnesses are caused or exasperated by animal products. Save a cow, calf, and have your cheeze too!

Posted in Farming, Food/Wine (and preserving)

How I “Make” Money and a New Chefs Knife

Welcome 2020! You bring with it such promise and excitement for a new year! What are your dreams this year? What are your goals? One of my main goals this year is to up our food production. Not just gardening, though that is a big part of it. We also have a lofty goal of creating all of the processed food items that we typically purchase in our own kitchen.

Homesteaders always have crazy goals like that. This is my living. I am a housewife and I make the bulk of my money by not spending what I typically would if I had a full time job. I “make” money by growing most of our food and I “make” money by preparing and preserving it. I create my own grocery store. And it is lots of fun! I also “make” money because I create all of our own medicines and because we stay healthy eating homegrown and prepared food.

I received a very special Christmas gift from my husband. Jewelry, you might ask? Better. A chef’s knife. It is a beauty. And sharper than a lost sewing pin in the carpet. It will make cooking such a pleasure for me.

I love cooking and I love a challenge, so homesteading is a good job for me. I have an animal sanctuary here and for as long as I can remember, animals have been dearer to me and better friends to me than most humans. I have sworn off consuming them and their by-products. We are always healthier and happier when we are vegan and we save a lot of money. We have begun making our own veggie meats to supplement meals. It is a lot of fun, super easy, and we get more nutrition without the preservatives and unknown ingredients. I am experimenting with different cheeses as well. I was a cheesemaker for many years so I think I might be able to come up with a pretty sly alternative to smoked cheddar! It’s all a part of the fun. Lots of baking will ensue as well; granola bars, cereal, breads, desserts, tortillas.

But my main love is vegetables. I make a very good vegetarian because I crave vegetables more than anything. I will have my biggest garden yet on this new homestead. It will be nearly as big as my entire last homestead! Using roughly a third of our 1.1 acre, I will be able to grow nearly all of our vegetables and get many perennial fruit and nut trees and bushes put in. I am even going to experiment with grains, though I will count grains, some nuts, coffee, black tea, and chocolate as things that I will probably always need to purchase! But within a few years my goal is to growing, preserving, and preparing at least 90% of what we eat and have plenty for my grown family as well. Another way I “make” money is by growing my own farm.

We all have plenty of goals this time of year and mine will certainly be more fun with a chef’s knife! Let’s not forget to live in the moment. One never knows what tomorrow brings. (I do hope tomorrow brings Spring!) Happy New Year to you all.