All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016
To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.
All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option. Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out. It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing. The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.
OK – so – I have really been trying to wean myself completely off cheese. Very few of the vegan cheeses available are very good (in my opinion). I am especially not fond of the Daiya products. Daiya has a very distinct flavor that I find distasteful. I prefer Parmela Creamery & Field Roast’s Chao cheeses. I have experimented a bit making vegan cheese myself, the most successful being this mozzarella (seen below).
I recently ordered some vegan cheeses from Soledad Goat Sanctuary. They used to make real goat cheese but they went vegan in the past year or so. I bought the ones you see below.
While they are all pretty tasty – especially the Chevre-styles – they are textured more like a dip – like hummus. The cheddar & American styles are a bit more firm – like a spreadable cheese & the chevres are almost runny – like a creamy dip. I would use the chevre ones in cream sauces. The other two might make good queso or cheese-based dip – but they will not work for baked things – like lasagna – or pizza. They would all make a great spread on a sandwich. The 4 little packages cost $45 with shipping. So – I think I will wait to find them at the farmers market & taste before I buy & not have that shipping expense.
My cheese here is also quite soft – very like a hummus. It has some kick and tastes pretty good but – like the Soledad cheeses – won’t work in any recipe where you need grated or sliced cheese. Still – it is very easy to make. Adding a bit of salsa to it might turn it into a decent vegan queso. It was especially easy to make with my new $30 Magic Bullet blender – which I am in love with. A well-spent $30 at Bed Bath & Beyond.
Vegan Spicy Jalapeno Cilantro Cashew Nut Cheese
1.5 cups cashews (soaked in water for 2-3 hours if you do not have a high speed blender. I did not soak mine.)
3 jalapeno peppers (mix of red & green – if you have access to both) – diced & seeded for less heat
handful of cilantro (& few leaves saved for garnish)
2 TBS lemon
2 TBS nutritional yeast
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup (more or less) water
Course ground pepper – as garnish
Reserve a few bits of the diced jalapenos & a few cilantro leaves.
Puree the rest of the ingredients in a high speed blender until very smooth – only adding as much water as you need to accomplish this.
I used a large ramekin to shape the cheese. Any small-ish bowl will do.
Line the bowl with plastic wrap & spray with cooking spray.
Place the cilantro leaves on the bottom & add the reserved, diced jalapeno & a handful of coarse ground pepper. Spoon the cheese in & fold the wrap over it. Chill until ready to use. Open the wrap, put a serving plate on top of your bowl & flip it. Lift the bowl off & remove the plastic wrap. Serve!