Zucchini Noodle and Quinoa Bowl with Fresh Rosemary and Raw Herbed Cashew Cheese

When I went vegan the first time back in 2008, my biggest concern was cheese. As someone who once counted twenty three kinds of cheeses in her house at one time, to say I was a little nervous about giving it up would be a vast understatement. At the time, there was a lot of different soy cheeses out there...shreds, slices, etc., but they were all pretty gross. There was one brand of American cheese-style slices that was just...eh, but I got used to it and ate it quite regularly. In the years since, there has been a huge wave of cheese alternatives flooding the market. From those made from soy, to those made from chickpea flour (helloooo, Daiya!) to hand crafted nut cheeses that are absolutely delicious, but also absolutely too expensive to buy on any sort of regular basis. A friend of mine leaked me a super secret recipe, but it turns out it was very similar to one I had recently tried that I had seen online at choosingraw.com. I'm going to share that (slightly modified) one with you, as well as the delicious zucchini noodle bowl recipe you can serve it with, and just know that it's pretty darned close to the super secret one. ;)

Serves 2

First, the "cheese":
2 cups cashews, soaked for four hours or more, ideally overnight
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt
Black pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
Water, as needed

Place cashews, rosemary, thyme, sea salt, pepper, and lemon juice in a high powered food processor or blender (I used my Vitamix). Blend till the mixture is very smooth and creamy. Add the water as needed to facilitate blending, but don’t add too much, as it can get soupy. Set cashew cheese aside.

For the zucchini noodle and quinoa bowl:
4 large zucchinis, spiralized (I use this spiralizer...it is so cool and super fun!) or make into ribbons with a vegetable peeler 
2 cup cooked quinoa
2 tbsp fresh, chopped rosemary
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Transfer to two serving bowls and place dollops of cashew cheese on top, then see what happens. It's a party of textures and flavors in your mouth and the "cheese" is PHENOMENAL! 

Lately, I have started making larger batches of the cheese because it keeps in the fridge for about a week. It also thickens up in there quite a lot so the last time I made it, I balled the last bit if it up and rolled it in crushed raw cashews, dried rosemary, salt and pepper then ate it with some fancy crackers. Mmmmm!

Another option is to water it down to the consistency of salad dressing and put it on your salads. 

IT'S SO GOOD!!! I can't wait to hear what you all think!