It seems a number of friends are adopting a vegan diet lately. I can’t say I’m surprised with the number of documentaries, books, and blogs published in the past two years alone revealing the dangers of the Standard American Diet and our food system. I don’t even keep up with them much myself, but my favorite sites right now are the SoulVegFolk community (of course!) and Brown Vegan.
Anyhow, the biggest challenge to my transition back into a vegan diet was giving up dairy cheese. I didn’t feel like I was losing out on anything else…but, man, cheese was a major challenge. I have two solid recipes for homemade “cheese” that taste great. They may not replicate the cheese taste, but they taste so good that you won’t mind. Also, they’re all soy free!
I use this one in macaroni and cheese, on pizza and in lasagna. This recipe was shared by a member of SoulVegFolk.
1 cup red potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup orange carrots, cut into big chunks (they provide color)
1/3 cup onion, chopped
2 tbsp shallots (I sometimes omit this ingredient if I don’t have any)
1 cup water
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (I use Soy Free Earth Balance)
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 tsp black (or white) pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp paprika (not really necessary)
2 tsp sea salt
Cover the first 5 ingredients into a pot and boil until the vegetables are just soft – not mushy! Drain the water (or save for stock later) and combine the veggies with the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy.
I got this recipe from Vegweb.com, which is a treasure trove of great vegan recipes if you have the time to sift through the reviews. I use this cheese over steamed vegetables, on pizza and on tacos.
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup quinoa flour (unbleached works just as well, I use quinoa for the added nutrients)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon dried yellow mustard powder
1 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons vegan margarine (again, I use Soy Free Earth Balance)
Combine the dry ingredients into a saucepan and whisk into water until the mixture is clump-free. Heat the pan on medium and add the margarine. Warm until it thickens. It takes 2-4 minutes.
We stopped buying milk about 5 or 6 years ago and make our own. With the Soyabella, it literally takes like 1 minute, flat to make our own. BUT, we were wasting the pulp for years because we didn’t know what to do with it. Now, this recipe is one of the reasons I save it in the fridge. I found this one on Cafe Janae. Use this recipe however you would an alfredo sauce. SJ also loves it on steamed broccoli.
2 cups almond (or other nut) pulp
1 tsp salt
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
a dash of cayenne pepper
Combine all of the ingredients into your blender or food processor and blend until creamy. Add water or milk slowly if necessary to achieve the desired creaminess.
Do you struggle with a love of dairy cheese?