Powder Days call for Sustenance…Cashew Cheez



Where I grew up on the East coast, snow meant that my mom would buy a gallon of milk, a carton of eggs, she’d fill the bath tub with water (in case the power went out, which it did), and we’d bundle up and wait out the storm. School was cancelled, the roads were closed, the town quiet.  Where I grew up in New York state, there were no “powder days,” only “snow days”, and my how things have changed…

Here in Truckee, California, a powder day seems to output more energy than every skyscraper in Manhattan. The bars are filled, the happy hours extended, the restaurants bustle, and this sometimes sleepy mountain time comes alive. Powder days mean setting your alarm to 6am so that you can shovel out your car, make a totally hearty awesome breakfast, and head up the hill to grab first chair. Powder days means reconnecting with friends, turning up the music, and getting ready to go out and play. 

Powder days require more fuel than we think, from waking up earlier to staying out later, shoveling your driveway, clearing your car, walking around in boots you haven’t worn in 8 months, being cold, oh, and shredding the pow – these things all require energy. For all my talk about eating lots of vegetables, salads may not be adequate fuel for a powder day.

…so tonight I’m breaking out Xena (the warrior food processor) to make some cashew cheez. 

Cashew Cheez Curry

  • 1.5 cups roasted salted cashews (processed into a cashew butter, this takes roughly 8 minutes)
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 3 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbs red curry paste
  • 1 tbs yellow curry
  • 1.5 cups lite coconut milk
  • 2 cups chopped veggies sauteed in toasted sesame oil (broccoli, carrots, onions, mushrooms)
  • 1 cup diced tofu, or 1 pound chicken breast
  • 2.5 cups of brown rice (cooked) 

Directions: Serves 5 with leftovers, first process the cashews until they become a nut butter like consistency, then add basil, nutritional yeast, curry and tomato paste into the food processor and blend it all well. Put the nut butter mixture into a sauce pan and heat it slowly, adding the coconut milk gradually to form a sauce. If the sauce is too thick you can add tamari or fish sauce for extra salt and moisture. In a separate pot, cook rice (I’ll leave you on your own for that one), and in a separate pan, sauté vegetables in toasted sesame oil or coconut oil. Once everything is hot, bring it all together as per usual in an epic one pot meal. You can also put this sauce on noodles and pretend it’s mac n cheese, if you’re in to that kind of thing. I suggest saving yourself a tupperware’s worth (small thin tupperware, can fit inside ski jacket) so that you can have prepowder day dinner, AND a powder day lunch. Fuel is key.