Cashew Cream Tomato Penne Pasta

This is a super quick and easy weeknight dinner that is so healthy and satisfying. It’s creamy and rich thanks to the nutritious cashew sauce yet tart and sweet. Cherry tomatoes burst in the oven alongside roasted garlic and mingle with fresh basil and miso for a sumptuous sauce that smothers hot, penne pasta.

Produce On Parade - Cashew Cream Tomato Penne Pasta - This is a super quick and easy weeknight dinner that is so healthy and satisfying. It’s creamy and rich thanks to the nutritious cashew sauce yet tart and sweet. Cherry tomatoes burst in the oven alongside roasted garlic and mingle with fresh basil and miso for a sumptuous sauce that smothers hot, penne pasta.

Apparently I'm on a pasta kick?? #sorrynotsorry

This is life with a one year old... as a full-time working mom... who as of a couple of weeks ago was still pumping five times a day. Whew! Dinner must be quick and it must be easy. Quick enough that I'm not on my poor, tired feet for too long and easy enough to give that stay-at-home poppa a much needed break, while I can still keep my eye on said one year old. For some reason pasta seems to be just the ticket. Dinner has to be delicious and it better be filling: this family needs their energy.

Speaking of energy, Oliver's got a ton of it. We're loving getting outside every weekend for nordic skiing (praise be to the snow gods), where we pull the little one in the Chariot behind us. I'm thrilled that it's now light until about eight o'clock and we can get out after work for a family hike on the trails through the woods behind our house or go sledding down our ungodly long driveway (I knew it would show it's virtues eventually). 

How are you spending our weekends? Do you have tips for outdoorsing with littles? 

Produce On Parade - Cashew Cream Tomato Penne Pasta - This is a super quick and easy weeknight dinner that is so healthy and satisfying. It’s creamy and rich thanks to the nutritious cashew sauce yet tart and sweet. Cherry tomatoes burst in the oven alongside roasted garlic and mingle with fresh basil and miso for a sumptuous sauce that smothers hot, penne pasta.

Cashew Cream Tomato Penne Pasta

Recipe by Kathleen @ Produce On Parade

This is a super quick and easy weeknight dinner that is so healthy and satisfying. It’s creamy and rich thanks to the nutritious cashew sauce yet tart and sweet. Cherry tomatoes burst in the oven alongside roasted garlic and mingle with fresh basil and miso for a sumptuous sauce that smothers hot, penne pasta.

Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 10 oz container of fresh cherry tomatoes, yellow or red (I used yellow)
  • 3 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 lb penne pasta (we use whole wheat)
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ¼ cup fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp miso (we use red)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper, to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450° F and arrange the cherry tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet along with the garlic cloves, still in their skin. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the tomatoes burst and the garlic is roasted. Once cooled, remove the skin from the garlic.
  2. While the cherry roast, bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta and cook according to package. Reserve about 1 ½ cups of the water, then drain and return to the pot.
  3. Add the garlic and tomatoes to a blender along with the remaining ingredients except of course the pasta. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. Stir well into drained pasta, adding additional water as needed to thin the sauce to your liking.
  4. Serve hot and topped with vegan parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes, if you like. If reheating leftovers stir a little water in for a creamier sauce.
Produce On Parade - Cashew Cream Tomato Penne Pasta - This is a super quick and easy weeknight dinner that is so healthy and satisfying. It’s creamy and rich thanks to the nutritious cashew sauce yet tart and sweet. Cherry tomatoes burst in the oven alongside roasted garlic and mingle with fresh basil and miso for a sumptuous sauce that smothers hot, penne pasta.

Strawberry Vanilla Cashew Milk + Alaskan Ski Train Photos

Okay, so I know you're all wondering how The Ski Train that Todd and I went on this weekend was. I'll give synopsis.  It’s was an all-day train party ride (like a legit, real life train) that went over 130 miles one way from Anchorage (we boarded in Wasilla), past Talkeetna to Curry where it stopped and let a bunch of cool cats like myself out to ski to our hearts content, which coincidentally was about four hours. On the way up we played Apples to Apples and ate a questionably large amount of Twizzlers and Pringles. We skied and played about, took a break to eat homemade vegan breakfast burritos, then piled back on, ate a bunch of food, drank a few adult beverages (some people more than others), and enjoyed the scenery on the way back home.

Check Produce On Parade's FacebookTwitter, and/or Instagram to see some of the trip photos and a video of some Alaskan scenery. Also, there might be a video of Todd doing shotski

Here's a taste...

Highlights of the trip were:

  • The lady in the seat across from us dislocated her shoulder and exited the train in Talkeetna to seek medical care.
  • One of my coworkers was one of two people who were "confirmed missing". If you aren't on board at the appropriate time your ass gets left behind. Fo' real. A couple rescue team members stay behind with a tent and some food. Then, you pay one hefty fine for the train to come get you the next day. We were told the fee starts at $500...with an unknown limit. Yikes
  • Someone was lifeflighted. Seriously. A helicopter came and hovered right over the train all Black Hawk Down style, then landed beside the train and someone on a stretcher was boarded. Rumor has it this person broke their femur. Strongest bone in your body. I would know. Radiology and all. Bones are kinda my thing. And breasts. I can say that because I'm a Mammographer. 
  • There was a police car there too! In the middle of nowhere, because of the lifeflight thing I'm assuming. Apparently they can drive on the railroad tracks with this adjustment rail thing...omg, I had no idea. Did you know that?!

Anyways, it was a lot of fun and my first proper train ride. There were a few party cars (think passed out people in spandex), some quiet cars (I kind of wish we were on one of those) and a few middle-of-the-road cars, which we were in. If you really like being around people and that whole vibe, then I think the ski train would be outta this world amazing. I like most people in this world pretty much out of sight, hence, the blogging (it's kinda how I socialize, cue laughter). So, it was a little overwhelming for an anti-social, awkward, hermit grouch such as myself. I wish I wasn't that way, but I am. I just function better solo, or near solo.  

Honestly, I'd rather bring a picnic and ski out in the woods with just my pups, Todd and a few friends. However, I'm totally glad I did the ski train because it was a pretty incredible experience. See some trip photos at the end of the post! 

On Sunday after Todd and I recouped from our trip, I made him some delicious strawberry vanilla cashew milk. 

Produce On Parade - Strawberry Vanilla Cashew Milk

Creamy and delicious with absolutely no processed ingredients, you'll only find whole foods in this milk. No added sugar either! This beverage is sweetened only with dates and strawberries. What I really like about cashews is that you can just throw 'em in the blender and since they're so creamy, there's no need to strain them as you would with almonds or shredded coconut. I do this a lot for smoothies. I think it's better than using a storebought dairy-free milk and it's so quick and easy!

Produce On Parade - Strawberry Vanilla Cashew Milk

Strawberry Vanilla Cashew Milk

Serves 1 

Note: If you don't have a high speed blender like a Vitamix, I would suggest soaking the cashews for a few hours. 

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries (about 6 large), halved
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 2 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

In a blender combine all ingredients and blend on high until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.

Produce On Parade - Strawberry Vanilla Cashew Milk Produce On Parade - Strawberry Vanilla Cashew Milk

Serve cold.

Produce On Parade - Strawberry Vanilla Cashew Milk Produce On Parade - Strawberry Vanilla Cashew Milk

Listening to Evan McHugh – What Would You Do

"Oh and I'm takin' my time, I'm getting it right oh I try, but I'm into you still summer is over and winter is here I'm movin' so slow day's getting longer and on as we go I'm taking my time, I'm getting it right Lord knows, Lord knows I try"

German Word of The Day: Strawberry --> Erdbeere (pronounced: aired-beareh) I love this word, Erdbeere. 

Good Deed of The Day: Sign this petition to help stop fracking on national forests and wildlife refuges. Petition author is the National Resources Defense Council. 

And now, Ski Train photos! 

Produce On Parade - Ski Train

Produce On Parade - Ski Train

 

This was a totally non-staged photo of us decided which route we should take. Honestly! I told Todd everyone was going to think we were posing!

Produce On Parade - Ski Train

Produce On Parade - Ski Train

Produce On Parade - Ski Train

[yumprint-recipe id='98']

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cashews

Is it wrong to make chocolate treats for dinner instead of...actual dinner? I should think not. My biggest issue with this is not that I eat my weight in chocolate (surprisingly) or deprive myself of nutrients not found in chocolate alone. No, it's that I won't have a lunch for work the following day. For example, today's lunch is corn tortillas and a can of black beans...and I didn't even bring a can opener. Who does that?! Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Cashews It's all in the name of chocolate. And speaking of chocolate...Valentine's Day might be my favorite holiday. You thought I forgot, huh? Alas, I'm not even remotely romantic. I grew up with two brothers, the vast majority of my friends are of the male variety, and I'm more tomboy than prettygirl. But if there's two things I love, it's flowers and unexpectedly receiving chocolate goodies. Arguably the things to recieve on this blessed, blessed holiday. 

I don't care if it's over-commercialized. Seriously, what isn't? No really, I really want to know. A day of celebrating love (let's not forget flowers and chocolate) is a pretty radical day in my book. I'm down for that. Plus, my favorite color might be pink. It's a win, win, win, win!

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Cashews This recipe is a win, too. These little guys are absolutely delectable. I got the idea from a friend who told me her husband buys her a huge bin of those salted chocolate cashew clusters from Costco on Valentine's Day. That's pretty awesome. I decided to add a little date of nature's chewy caramel to them because, let's be real, caramel deserves to include itself in anything and everything. Also, nothing is as good as it could be if it's not salted. It's a fact. Seriously

These are scrumptious little cashews, wrapped in chewy caramel dates and dipped in smooth chocolate, all finished with a sprinkle of flake salt. 

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cashews 

Makes about 50 balls (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 Tbsp. non-dairy creamer or milk (I used hazelnut Silk creamer)
  • 8 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup raw whole cashews (about 50 nuts)
  • flake salt for topping

In a small pot, bring about 1 inch of water to a boil over high heat. Reduce to low and place a small, heat-safe bowl over the pot of water. Add the chocolate and the creamer to the bowl to melt. Stirring occasionally, melt the chocolate then remove from heat but keep the bowl over the pot. 

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Cashews Meanwhile, pit the dates. Cut in half and then cut each half into thirds. There should be six pieces to each date. 

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Cashews Take one cashew and wrap one piece of the date around it, like they're hugging, to make a ball. Continue with the remaining date pieces. 

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Cashews Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Cashews Prepare a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Dip the cashew/date ball in the chocolate to coat and place on the parchment paper. 

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Cashews Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Cashews Sprinkle the top with salt and continue with remaining balls. 

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Cashews Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Cashews Freeze for 15 minutes to harden. Store in airtight container in freezer. 

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Cashews Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Cashews Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Cashews As I was cleaning, I moved the curtain and to my squealing delight I found this guy hiding! I felt so bad because I didn't know he was growing back there and he was so thirsty! Poor little fella. It's a Valentine's Day miracle! 

Produce On Parade - Salted Caramel Chocolate Cashews Can you see me?

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[yumprint-recipe id='77']