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Summer Zucchini “Pasta” Recipe

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It’s zucchini season! Here’s a delicious recipe that utilizes a ton of zucchini and it’s very easy too. We used spring chanterelles picked in coastal Pacific Northwest, but other mushrooms can be substituted with no problems-easy to access crimini or Portobello or shitake are delicious as well.

Ingredients

One giant zucchini (or four medium or 8 small)

¼ teaspoon salt

8 oz sliced mushrooms

2 cloves of garlic

1-2 cups spaghetti sauce

½ c chopped fresh basil

kalamata olives for garnish

Avellana Creamery hazelnut Parmesan

Directions

  1. Slice or spiralize your zucchini into long thin strips. I left the skins on.
  2. Toss the noodles with salt and put them in a colander to drain for thirty minutes or so. If you don’t have time to drain the zucchini you can strain out the extra water after you’ve cooked it and its fine, though your noodles might be a little less crunchy. You may actually need to drain them anyway, depending.
  3. Put the spaghetti sauce on low heat to warm up.
  4. Next heat a large skillet. If you’re using chanterelles you’ll need to dry sauté them, sauté them with no oil, to cook out the water they hold. If you’re using crimini you should add a tablespoon of oil and start with the mushrooms.
  5. I peeled and sliced the garlic and put it in next, then the zucchini noodles. I cooked everything until the noodles were al dente, which was around 3-4 minutes on high heat, stirring regularly then removed from heat. (Here’s where you may need to strain any extra water that’s cooked out of the zucchini.)
  6. Plate up your noodles, making sure to place the mushrooms throughout, put spaghetti sauce on top (to taste), and garnish with chopped basil, kalamata olives, and Avellana Parmesan.
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New Product! Avellana Fiesta No-Bean Mix

IMG_4805Avellana handcrafted Fiesta No-Bean Mix has many different possibilities for spicing up your meals. It can be used as: a dip for chips or crackers, a delicious sandwich spread, in place of refried beans in tacos or enchiladas and as a base for soups. Because it’s a dry mix, Avellana Fiesta No-Bean Mix is perfect for camping and back-packing, tiny houses, traveling, lunches, potlucks or a quick snack. Low in carbohydrates, high in protein and fiber, this hazelnut dip is healthy, affordable and convenient as well as delicious.

You can find our No-Bean Mix here at

Veganessentials.com

It is also available at Vegan Haven in Seattle and more stores soon to come!

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New Formulation!

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We have an exciting announcement!! Avellana Signature Cheeses have a new name and a new ingredient: Avellana Hemp and Hazelnut Signature Vegan Cheese! We’re super excited about the shift because it makes our cheeses SO MUCH MORE AWESOME. The body of our cheese is now firmer, less oily, and more beautiful while maintaining our usual unique Avellana flavor. Using fresh milk made from organic hemp seeds together with fresh hazelnut milk makes for a creamy, slightly nutty and ridiculously delicious vegan cheese.

Hemp seeds are a well-balanced and easy to digest vegan protein source that includes all of the essential amino acids. Hemp has many other benefits including antioxidants and minerals, abundant fiber, chlorophyll, vitamins and omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids. Hemp seeds are arguably the most nutritious seed in the world making them a hearty and healthy addition to our Signature cheeses. Best of all, hemp seed is incredibly eco-friendly, requiring less water, fertilizers, and land than other plants used for similar purposes.

We’re counting the days until we can use Oregon organic hempseeds, but in the meantime our organic hemp hearts are still grown in the Pacific Northwest Canadian province of British Columbia. Give it a try and let us know what you think! Saving animals and protecting our environment has never been so delicious.

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Pasta Primavera with Creamy Avellana Cheese Sauce

IMG_4041There are many uses for Avellana cheese aside from putting it on crackers and bread. This evening I used a block of Italian herb to make a delicious, rich and creamy sauce for pasta primavera. Here’s how I did it.Italian Herb fb

What you need:

• One block of Italian herb Avellana cheese (available for purchase at VeganEssentials.com)

• a few cloves of garlic

• vegetables good for roasting (I used cauliflower, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, and yellow squash)

• salt

• 1.5 C Eden soy milk or another high quality non-dairy milk. (You can use less for a thicker sauce.)

•one package of fettuccine pasta

IMG_3920 First, Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Then, cook the fettuccine al dente and set aside. Do put a dash of salt in the water, it shortens boiling time and makes the noodles more flavorful. IMG_3928 Chop up the vegetables, drizzle olive oil and salt to taste, then roast the vegetables in the oven for about 10 minutes total. I like the cauliflower and garlic to get a little browned so I put it in first for about five minutes and add the squash, asparagus, and tomatoes for the last five minutes. IMG_3935 IMG_3951 While the vegetables are roasting, pour soy milk into a saucepan (use less soy milk for a thicker sauce). Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. I use coconut, but the type isn’t super important. You can also use a different type of milk, but the vinegar is used to curdle the protein, so it will need to be a good, high quality non-dairy milk. Non-dairy milk that has been highly processed and diluted with additives will not thicken. Eden unsweetened is my favorite commercial soy milk. IMG_3959 You can see it thicken up right way as you pour the vinegar in and whisk it. Curdled milk has a MUCH higher flavor range and is creamier than uncurdled milk. I’ve never tried to curdle coconut milk, so I’m not sure how that works. IMG_3967 Add the block of Avellana Signature Italian Herb Cheese and continue to whisk until smooth and creamy. (Tip-You can heat this up a little to speed up the whisking, but heat is not necessary and will reduce the amount of probiotics in the finished product.) IMG_3998 Place your noodles in a bowl, toss some roasted vegetables on top, then pour a little creamy sauce over everything and you’re good to go! You can decorate your final dish with a little smoked paprika or leave it as is. IMG_4016  YUM!IMG_4026

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Introducing Avellana Currant Hazelnut Cheese!

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We have an extra special treat for you today. One of our BEST flavors yet! Avellana Currant Hazelnut Cheese is a true winning combination…The currant may be small, but it’s flavor is mighty and it blends with hazelnut cream like a dream. It’s a little bit tart and a little bit sweet and a whole lot divine…try it on crackers or toast with fresh fruit for a truly etheric experience. Available now online at VeganEssentials.com and in our Eugene and Portland stores.

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Fair Trade is Cruelty Free

One reason that sourcing local products as ingredients for our cheese is so important to us at Avellana is because we believe in fair compensation for work done in fair conditions. When a product is produced in far away countries with minimal laws protecting workers, it is easy for human rights to fall through the cracks. Buying local is often more expensive, mostly because the labor involved in making the product has not been artificially reduced at the cost of quality of life for the the laborer.

Human beings are a members of the animal kingdom and as vegans, we at Avellana support the rights of animals. All living beings deserve to live their lives free from suffering and exploitation. Buying local or fair trade certified products can help ensure these rights are being honored.

We purchase hazelnuts directly from Meridian Hazelnut Orchard in Aurora, Oregon. We’ve visited the orchard and met the family that grows all the hazelnuts we use.

Mary Claire and David, owners of Meridian Hazelnut Orchard in Aurora, Oregon.

We purchase most of our spices from Mountain Rose Herbs, a company that takes great pride in their trade policies. They are certified by the Institute for Marketecology’s Fair for Life program, a program that goes deeper than traditional fair trade programs by requiring and tracking ethical practices from the starting point of the product all the way to the finished salable item. From their website:

WHAT IS GOOD TRADE?

  • Fair Price: Democratically organized farmer groups receive a guaranteed minimum floor price and an additional premium for certified organic products. Farmer organizations are also eligible for pre-harvest credit.
  • Fair Labor Conditions: Workers on Fair Trade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions, and living wages. Forced child labor is strictly prohibited.
  • Direct Trade: With Fair Trade, importers purchase from Fair Trade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
  • Democratic and Transparent Organizations: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers decide democratically how to invest Fair Trade revenues.
  • Community Development: Fair Trade farmers and farm workers invest Fair Trade premiums in social and business development projects like scholarship programs, quality improvement training, and organic certification.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Harmful agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited in favor of environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations.

At Avellana, we believe in treating the inhabitants of our world with kindness and compassion and we strive to ensure that our products reflect that belief.

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Avellana Morel Poppers

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You’re going to need to sit down for this. But you won’t be for very long after your first bite. My first bite got me up and dancing around the living room in ecstatic food bliss. I promise, you will not be disappointed by the results of this combination of flavors, it’s at the very least magnificent.

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Here’s what you need:

Some morel mushrooms- It’s springtime in Oregon, and you know what that means….morel season! We had a great time going out and finding our own, but if you’re not mushroom savvy or don’t have the time, many grocery stores that carry local produce will often have fresh morels for sale. We used about 2 cups worth for this recipe

  • 1 cup Gluten free tempura
  • Faux egg replacer (two eggs worth)
  • Avellana Signature cheese

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Making these poppers is actually quite easy… put about a cup of gluten free tempura flour (I used this one, which is pretty good) in a quart size ziplock bag. Mix up two faux eggs using Ener-G egg replacer (one T egg replacer and five T water).

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Brush or wipe any dirt off the mushrooms and carefully split them down one side. Fill each mushroom with as much creamy Avellana signature cheese as would comfortably fit inside the hollow centers. It was surprising how little of the block it actually took. I used our spicy Berbere, but you could use any flavor you like best.

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Then, dip them in the egg replacer, put them in the bag, and shake it up. I like a thicker breading on my mushrooms, so I repeated the egg replacer dip and the bag shake to get a good coating. You could do it up to three times, but it gets a little messy by the third time.

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Put a good amount of oil into a skillet and fry them for a minute or two on each side, until they get to the right crispy-ness. Here’s an image of the popper cut open showing the delicious layer combination of Avellana Signature Cheese, morel mushroom and crispy tempura.

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Oh My Goodness- too good! I tell ya, too good! Wow! They may look a little funny, but what a beautiful taste!