Southwest Creamy Cashew Cheese Bowl

IMG_20160526_210018I’d love to practice a vegan diet – I do most of the time, let’s say 60% of the time. Sadly in the land of vegans this is half-ass-try-harder territory. They obviously haven’t savored succulent mozzarella and creamy Ben and Jerry’s lately. No really though – it would be fantastic if I had the will power to make financial and social sacrifices to practice a completely vegan lifestyle. I am wild – like concerningly – in love with anything on four legs. Earlier this evening I perched meticulously on the filth covered streets of Los Angeles to hold the sweet little paws of a chihuahua tied up in front of a swanky Whole Foods.IMG_20160526_210136

Animals have something special about them, a non judgemental and unconditional appreciation for humans. They seem to prefer us no matter how we look, how puffy our eyes might be from an unexpected – but totally needed breakup, how bad our breath is from the cheesy and oh-so-worth-it garlic fries or how long-winded our pointless chatter at the end of a long day is. Not only that but they do it with the most affectionate heart salving love.

To prevent abuse of these God-given creatures in factory farming by lobbying in front of government buildings sounds exhilarating and passion filled. I find that most of us feel this way to a certain extent. I mean we must -why do we become so offended and turned IMG_20160526_210236off when a heart wrenching PETA video is placed in front of our eyes? Why do we shut down the moment slaughter is brought up in conversation? The act itself isn’t completely controversial I’d argue – rather the large-scale and horrid practices that have been implemented since the increase in demand by population.

Despite all of those swirling thoughts in my ever-busy-brain I still eat dairy and eggs and haven’t successfully stayed vegan for more than a year at a time. I do however appreciate vegan recipes – this SouthwesternIMG_20160526_204404 Bowl being one of them!

The crisp and slightly spicy black beans with the creamy cool cashew cheese compliment each other beautifully – covering the palate with dynamic and fresh flavors from the aromatic cilantro to the zesty lemon juice. Enjoy this bowl with a glass of cold white wine and a perfectly placed sunset… and maybe a dog perched by your side.



Modified from Heather Christo’s Recipe!


  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 15 Oz can of jalepeno black beans
  • 1/4 Cup cherry tomatos
  • 1/4 Cup rough chopped cilantro
  • 1/8 Cup rough chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 Clove garlic
  • 3 Cups arugula
  • 2 Sweet potatoes, Roasted

Canned Goods

  • 3 Cups vegetable broth


  • 2 tsp Agave
  • 3 tbsp Lemon juice ( for cashew cheese)
  • 1 tbsp for avocado mash

Pasta & Grains

  • 1 Quinoa
  • 1 cup Quinoa

Baking & Spices

  • 1 Pinch cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp Kosher salt
  • 4 Kosher salt
  • 1/8 Tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 Tsp black pepper

Oils & Vinegars

  • 5 tbsp Olive oil

Nuts & Seeds

  • 1/4 cup Cashews
  • 2 tsp Cumin, ground


  • 1/2 cup Water, hot


1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit.

2.) While oven preheats: wash sweet potatoes and Chop into 1 inch pieces. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet with olive oil and toss with cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt and cinnamon. Roast for 20-30 minutes in oven or until soft to touch with slightly crispy outer.

3.) While sweet potatoes are in the oven: bring vegetable broth and quinoa to a boil- follow directions on quinoa package( Generally a 2:1 ratio of broth to quinoa). Once quinoa comes to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes while covered- fluffing occasionally. Quinoa is done when it is soft and water is absorbed.

4.) While Quinoa is cooking: place cashews in a mug with hot water and let soak for 10-20 minutes. Once the cashews are soft, add into a blender or food processor with lemon juice, cuminm, clove of garlic and 2 tsp of agave.  Blend until smooth- adding water if cashew cheese is too thick.

5.) Wash and chop the parsley, cilantro and tomatoes- set aside for assembly of the bowl.

6.) Open and drain can of black beans- set aside.

7.) Cut avocado into 1 inch pieces and add to bowl with the lemon juice. Smash the mixture with a fork.

8.) Once all ingredients are prepped layer everything into a bowl- the order doesn’t necessarily matter but do it in a way that you find pretty, maybe the black beans on the bottom and the cashew cheese sauce and avocado mash on the very top!

  • I’d love to see how your bowls come together- feel free to share your additions, substitutions and photos on my page!



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