Grilled Asparagus with Cashew “Feta” Cheese

Since our favorite restaurant, Zeal came out with a new Spring menu, we’ve been slightly obsessed. If you ever find yourself in the Boulder, CO area, this is one culinary experience you don’t want to miss. The menu is filled with Conscious Cleanse-friendly options, not to mention just overall good, clean healthy eats.

Grilled Asparagus with Cashew Feta Cheese (1) Today’s recipe was inspired by one of the new recipes on Zeal’s Spring menu – Grilled Asparagus. I had to adjust the recipe slightly to make it a perfect fit for the Conscious Cleanse, but I don’t think you’ll miss a thing.

One of the things we hear quite frequently from our cleansers is how much they miss cheese while they’re on our 2-week cleanse. And it’s no wonder. Cheese is highly addictive! It actually contains protein fragments (read more about casomorphins here) that have a similar effect on the body as opioids!

Yep, you read that right! Opioids – one of the world’s oldest known drugs, which is defined as “any psychoactive chemical that resembles morphine or other opiates in its pharmacological effects.

Isn’t that just crazy? Now at least you know when you’re having massive cheese cravings, there’s a real reason for it. It’s very likely you’re going through withdrawal.

Check out the recipe below. This nut-based cheese would be a great item to have on hand as a healthy addition to any salad anytime. If you love cheese of all kinds, you may also want to check out the variation to the recipe below and make it creamy and spreadable.

I hope you enjoy this delicious veggie-side. This week I served it to my family with our Bunless Bison Burger. Although not completely cleanse-friendly, from a food combining perspective, it made for a delicious meal that everyone enjoyed!

I would love to hear from you! If you were on a deserted island would cheese be the one food you would not want to live without? What do you think of this cashew “feta” cheese alternative? Does it do the trick? Please leave me a comment below.

With love and addiction-free cashew cheese,

Jules_Sig_pink

Grilled Asparagus with Cashew “Feta” Cheese

Yields 2 generous servings, 1 cup of cashew “feta” cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1½ TB. olive oil
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked in 3 cups of water for at least 1 hour, then drained
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice, plus juice of ½ lemon for garnish
  • 1 TB. water (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. Himalayan sea salt, plus another pinch for asparagus
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions for Asparagus:
Preheat grill on medium-high heat.

Place asparagus in a large ziplock bag with olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper, seal tightly and shake the bag to evenly coat asparagus.

Grill asparagus spears for about 5-10 minutes directly on the grill, turning them just once or twice until nicely charred or tender enough to spear with a fork.

Remove from grill. Garnish with a squeeze of lemon juice and a generous amount of cashew “feta” cheese.

Directions for Cashew “Feta” Cheese:
Soak, drain and rinse cashews. In a food processor fitted with an s-blade, place cashews along with lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Pulse for about 1 minute to combine ingredients. If needed, add 1 tablespoon of water to make more creamy and pulse again. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Variation: To make a spreadable cashew cheese, add an additional 1/4 cup of water and process until completely smooth, about 2-4 minutes. Adjust sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

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