17 December 2010

Recipes: For the Love of (Vegan) Cheese

I'm intrigued with vegan eating, and lately I'm interested in raw food, but if there's one thing that I missed when I was experimenting with eating vegan full-time, it was cheese. I know it's not the best thing for me to eat, especially in excess, but I love the creamy, dreamy yum of cheese. The imitation cheeses that I've tried have been pretty nasty overall, so I just went without. Until I started reading a cookbook (The Conscious Cook) that included a recipe for cashew cheese, I had to try it, especially since I had all of the "important" ingredients on hand. I had to soak 2 cups of cashews overnight, blend them with a probiotic water mix, sit the mixture in a warm place overnight, and when I woke up, I had cheese. Sorta.

When I first tried the mixture, I thought it was okay, but nothing great. Then I added the seasonings, and wow! Now it's this delicious creamy goodness that I had to force myself to put in the fridge so I didn't keep eating spoonfuls of it. Delicious. For dinner, I'm already planning stuffed shells... if the cheese lasts that long.

Here are some other vegan cheese and related recipes that I want to try:

This looks like it has a creamy texture very similar to my favorite goat cheese. Wheat berries are an ingredient I've never experimented with before, but I know I can get them in the bulk bins at the Whole Foods near me.

This sounds heavenly! This site also details the general process for making cashew cheese as well.

This blog entry includes details on how to make some delicious-looking vegan nachos. This would be a good alternative for anyone who doesn't like nutritional yeast "cheese" sauce or wants to mix it up a bit. Agar flakes can be purchased at a specialty grocery store, like Whole Foods, near the Asian foods.

Nick loves lasagna, so maybe he'd be willing to try the cashew cheese if I layered it in a lasagna? I tried to get him to try to the cashew cheese this morning, but he refused, saying it scared me. No worries. More for me. :)

In this middle of this article, there's a dip recipe that sounds pretty good. I'm already thinking of all the different dips I could make using the cashew cheese as a base. Mmm....

Here are some raw flat bread crackers to go with all that cheese you'll be whipping up after reading this entry. All you need are a few ingredients and a dehydrator. I haven't tried these yet, but I'm sure I will.

A huge list of raw vegan recipes, from cheese to dips to burgers. Sounds good to me!

If you've tried any of these recipes or you have any to share, please let me know!


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