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Vegan Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cashew cheese-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

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Vegan Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cashew cheese-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

You love cheese. I know. You could never give up cheese. I've heard it all before hundreds of times. But the sugar-fat-protein ratio in cheese and all other dairy products stimulates sex hormones in a way that tends to stall the metabolism. Organic whole milk can be a useful tool for fertility, but if you aren't trying to get pregnant, you're better off avoiding it. And forget about the low-fat and fat-free versions. These are so high in sugar that they aggressively slow fat metabolism. 

Instead, I want you to try making your own vegan cheese products. It is so simple and so delish, you will forget about missing dairy all-together. Try making your own vegan cheese in this incredible recipe for a comfort-food classic.

Phase 3, Maintenance | Serves 4
Prep time: 20 minutes, overnight | Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients

1 slice sprouted grain bread, torn into pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight, then drained
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 ounces brown rice pasta (or any other pasta made without corn or wheat)
8 portobello mushroom caps
2 cups sliced onions, plus 1 small onion, finely chopped
5 cups baby spinach
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons Cashew Cream Cheese (leave out the chives)

Directions

  1. Note: The night before preparing this recipe, put the cashews in a jar to soak. Drain before serving them.

  2. Put the bread in a blender and pulse until broken down into crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a small bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper, and the garlic powder. Set aside.

  3. In the blender, combine the cashews, water, nutritional yeast, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper and blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

  4. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta. Set aside.

  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  6. Place the mushroom caps stemmed-side down on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven but leave the oven on.

  7. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often until the onions are browned, about 10 minutes. Add the spinach and stir until it wilts completely 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape the contents of hte skillet into a bowl and set aside.

  8. Return the skillet to the heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and the chopped onion. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapenos, and saute for 1 minute more.

  9. Add the cashew sauce and cream cheese to the pan, stirring to combine. Stir in the cooked pasta and the reserved 1/2 cup pasta water. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until thick and creamy. Remove from the heat.

  10. Pour away any mushroom liquid that has collected on the baking sheet and turn the mushroom caps gill-side up. Divide the sauteed spinach mixture evenly among the mushroom caps. Top with the pasta mixture and then the bread crumb topping. Bake for 10 minutes, until warmed through and golden brown. Serve with extra chopped jalapenos alongside, for those who like an extra kick.

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