One of the goals I have set for myself for the next six months, is to learn to run… really run. I have been finding the absolute importance in setting goals, and ones that are achievable. A 40 day yoga challenge starting next week, learning to run, cutting as much animal product out as possible, just to see…. All lovely goals, for me (I don’t wish to label myself as anything other than conscience, eating less animal products is just that – “less”. No label). So far, I have cleared my fridge of all dairy, and have 3 or 4 eggs to go! It is definitely a challenge… craving cheese.
Saturday marked day one of learning to run, so far it’s going very well! This morning was a bit of a challenge because it’s chilly and fairly icy from yesterdays thaw… but it was good! Today the registration opens for Color Me Rad – a race involving exercise, fun, charity, and color bombs…. made of paint. Sounds pretty rad to me! I am seriously looking forward to it, and it’s in perfect time for me to pace myself in my learning. Hooray!
I am finding that running, or well…. lets go with jogging at this point.. is very mentally therapeutic. It is a time where I may be alone with my thoughts similar to meditation… I am really enjoying that. Being able to see my surroundings, really enjoying the trees, the birds, the beautiful blue skies… everything. Silently. Mindfully. It’s powerful! Beginning a meditation is all about observing your breath, well it is the same for me and running. I need to mentally focus on my breathing so that it doesn’t get erratic. Once the breathing is down, the focus is on the path…. same as meditation. Different kind of path, obviously. Still, a silent yet rhythmic path transporting me and my chatty mind into a new and exciting place. I love it!
Really that’s the key right? Setting goals for yourself.. that you love…. because the more you love it, the more you do it.
Fueling my February goal of restricted animal products, I have taken some time really exploring nut and seed cheeses. One of my favorite so far is a smoky nacho type “cheese” – it is so delicious, and insanely simple! I use the nacho cheese to cover kale chips, spread in a pita in the place of mayonnaise or in addition to hummus, scoop up with seed crackers… all kinds of things!
The kale chips though, those are my favorite… it is such an easy snack to have around! Gives the flavor, the crunch, and is actually healthy! Wonderful!
Smoky Nacho Cashew Cheese
1 Cup of Cashews – soaked for 4 hours
1/3 Cup Distilled Water or Nut Milk
1-2 Cloves of Garlic
1 1/4 Tsp Nutritional Yeast
Smoked Sea Salt
Now this is super super easy… make sure the cashews have soaked and are nice and soft, rinse them and toss them into a blender. Add the nutritional yeast, garlic and smoked sea salt with a splash of distilled water or nut milk. Blend! Continue adding the water/nut milk until the cashews are completely smooth and the consistency is perfect for your use! For the kale chips, I wanted it to be slightly softer than a room temperature cream cheese would be. Soft enough to spread, but not liquid.
Personally, I prefer to make kale chips with Lacinato Kale – as opposed to the curly/Russian varieties. Lacinato holds up perfectly and it’s easier to evenly dress with the cashew cheese.
Preheat the oven to about 270-275, wash and prepare the kale. It’s super easy to stem curly kale – just grab the stem and pull your hand down to collect the green. Lacinato is a bit different, you can try pulling the leaf from the stem or just slice the stem off. Either works! Pop the kale chips into a bowl and cover evenly with your desired amount of cashew cheese. Place the kale chips on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake until they are dry and crispy! I bake mine for about 25-30 minutes, depending on how cheesy they are!