Driveway sledding and vegan sun-dried tomato and pesto torta

I'm finally thawing out after a cold but fun Thanksgiving weekend. We went with family to Lake Tahoe and holed up in a little cabin for a few days.

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I looked around online for a Turkey Trot in the area for Thanksgiving morning but I wasn't able to find a race close enough. I am, however, thankful for that in retrospect! Thanksgiving morning was COLD!!

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Instead of braving the sub-zero morning, I decided to wait until the sun warmed things up to a balmy 24 degrees to head outside to play with my kids.

We bundled up.

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A lot.

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Then we hit the "slopes" for some driveway sledding!



For the big "feast" (as my 4 year old calls it), I ordered a vegan meal from Whole Foods Market and made a few appetizers (vegan sun-dried tomato and pesto torta), side dishes (sweet potatoes, green beans, and vegan stuffing), and dessert (pumpkin gingerbread with spiced buttercream) to share with everyone. Everything was delicious- especially the sweet potatoes! I used a recipe from OSG and these were the best sweet potatoes I've ever had! Seriously awesome!

Since there were eight of us in a tiny cabin, you can imagine how crowded things were. I didn't take photos of our dinner but I did capture one of the appetizer dip that I invented for the occasion: Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Torta.

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Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato and Pesto Torta
1 prepared recipe of cashew cheese (use 2 cups of cashews and as little water as possible)
1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
  1. Divide cashew cheese into 3 equal parts. Line your container/mold with plastic wrap, letting it hang over the sides of the bowl. Place one part cashew cheese in the container and smooth over.
  2. Place second part of cashew cheese and sun-dried tomatoes (drained) in a food processor and process until smooth and well-blended. Add this mixture to the bowl on top of the plain cashew cheese and smooth over the top.
  3. Place third part of cashew cheese, basil leaves, and pine nuts in the food processor (washed after SD tomato layer), and process until smooth and well-blended. Add this pesto layer to the top of the bowl/mold and smooth over. Gently fold the excess plastic wrap over the top and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  4. To serve, uncover the torta and place a serving plate on top of the bowl. Flip the bowl over and carefully remove the plastic. Garnish with pine nuts and a basil sprig (if you're fancy!) and serve with sliced baguette.
Did you know?... Cashews provide heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, protein, copper, magnesium, iron, manganese, and immune-boosting zinc. The nutritional yeast in the cashew cheese adds B vitamins (including B12) and more protein to this healthy appetizer!

Heading home was a little sketchy. We left a day early, hoping to beat the crowds. The roads were frozen and it was snowing sideways!

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Thanks to 4-wheel drive and window defrosters we made it home safely!

2 comments:

Suzy said...

WOW, thats crazy snow. My parents are heading up to tahoe this weekend and my dad just got chains. Now I know why! Looks like a total blast!

Steph said...

Looks like a wonderful holiday, and glad you made it home safely. I'm going to have to try some of these delicious cashew recipes!