The words “soak” and “cashews” used together in a recipe, until yesterday, were automatically translated in my mind to “this recipe is not for you.” I heeded that internal interpretation until a colleague shared this recipe with me, from the Healthy, Happy Life Blog: http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2013/02/creamy-cashew-veggie-pot-pie-flaky.html
She promised me it was easy, and took less than an hour. That, and the fact that I was already planning a quick trip to Whole Foods, where I could buy bulk raw cashews, convinced me to silence the cashew-soaking-averse voices in my head, and try the recipe.
Suffice it to say that this recipe is incredible. And quite honestly, it strikes me as quasi-miraculous. How can it taste so much like regular pot pie? I don’t understand it, but I won’t be looking for an explanation because I will be too busy eating the leftovers and measuring out more cashews.
It turns out, it’s extremely easy to make the soaked-cashew creation that is so common in the recipes that used to turn me off. All you need to do is soak the cashews in warm water for at least an hour, and then blend them in a food processor with veggie broth and a few other ingredients. You end up with this really wonderfully creamy stuff that is otherwise so hard to achieve in vegan or health-conscious cooking. I am already planning to use it as a filling when I finally make ravioli.
By the way, this would be a good recipe to make for someone who is as prejudiced against vegan or healthy cooking as I used to be about cashew-soaking. Don’t tell the person that this recipe is vegan before you serve it, and see how he or she reacts to the news after it has been tasted and celebrated.