Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Blueberry cheese, please

Whether it's raw or not, I'm always looking for inspiration on T.V., the Internet, in magazines, the grocery store, a fond memory, or perhaps at a restaurant or gathering. For instance, I noticed some blueberry cheese on my last trip to the grocery store. I was intrigued by its berry delicious looking swirls.

At home, I caught another episode of Barefoot Contessa, which focused on cheese dishes. Usually, I'd make a raw version minus the cheese, but this time, I opted to rawify a particular salad, including a cashew cheesy version of its star ingredient.

The Roasted Pears with Blue Cheese reminded me of the blueberry cheese I saw at the store. I thought, "why not make a raw mock feta and give it a pop of color with some blueberries?" The berries would also pair nicely with the pears and cranberries in the original recipe.

So, that's what I did. I soaked some macadamia nuts and cashews (I like the combination of the two), and blended them with lemon juice and sea salt (you can also add some nutritional yeast, but I was out of it at the moment) until combined, yet somewhat chunky. Then, I mixed in a handful of thawed frozen blueberries (that's what I had on hand) and dehydrated dollops of the mixture until it resembled its cheesy predecessor.

When it was time to eat, I constructed my salad out of romaine and spinach (I didn't have any arugula, so I opted to substitute rather than running out to the store again), two peeled, very ripe pear halves stuffed with a combination of the blueberry cheese, walnuts and dried cranberries (I would've dehydrated it for a "cooked" texture, but I was craving something a little fresher), all topped off with a drizzle of dressing made with pureed apple, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Now that's good stuff.

I hope this gets you inspired. What might you make?