Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Non-Dairy Cheese Class

On Sunday I taught a cooking class on non-dairy cheeses for NW Veg's Veg 101 series. This series is a great introduction to vegan living since every class including an informative talk about an inportant topic and a cooking demonstration. Here is what I taught and shared.


Tofu Ricotta

1 lb. Tofu
1 Tb Olive Oil
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1 Tb Tahini
½ tsp Garlic Granules
½ tsp Basil
½ tsp Oregano
¼ cup Nutritional Yeast
Salt to taste

Crumble tofu in a medium bowl. Place oil, lemon juice, tahini and spices in the tofu and use a fork to blend. Add the nutritional yeast and blend until fully incorporated.

* I used this recipe to make the lasagna pictured above. I simply sauted portobello mushrooms, zucchini and garlic in a little olive oil, and then added a tomato sauce. I placed half this sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 9-inch square pan, stuffed cooked manicotti noodles with the tofu ricotti, then topped them with the remaining sauce. Baked at 350°F for 30 minutes. Yum!

Nutritional Yeast Cheese Sauce

½ cup Nutritional Yeast
½ cup Unbleached White Flour
½ tsp Garlic Granules
2 cups Water
2 Tb Braggs
1 Tb Margarine
2 tsp Mustard

Place nutritional yeast, flour and garlic granules in a medium size cooking pot. Whisk in the water and heat on medium-high heat. Whisk occasionally and when sauce starts to thicken, whisk often. Once thick, remove from heat and add Braggs, margarine and mustard.
* Works well for mac & cheese, on top of pizzas and lasagna, burritos and more. When refrigerated, sauce will solidify and can be used for grilled cheese sandwiches.

Roasted Red Pepper Cashew Spread

½ cup Cashews, unsalted
2 Roasted Red Peppers
1 Tb Lemon Juice or Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Salt
½ cup Nutritional Yeast

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.
* Enjoy on bread, in sandwiches, on top of pizzas and so much more.

Commercially Available Non-Dairy Cheese Products

Daiya Cheese

Follow Your Heart




Galaxy Vegan Cheese

Yumm! Sauce: Found in Fodd Fight!, New Seasons and other local markets.

Sour Cream and Cream Cheese

Tofutti and Follow Your Heart both offer vegan sour cream and cream cheese on the market.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ramblings of Recipes and Looking for Input

Spring is about new things, changes and nicer weather, right? I am thinking of changing some things for my blog, even though it will still have a concentration of vegan food and recipes, but wanted to get input from others. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for improvement or if you would like to see anything specific on the blog. Thanks!

I do not have pictures to share (sorry) but I made some cupcakes for a friend’s birthday recently and the frosting was so yummy I could not stop eating it. I am normally not like that. This frosting used about 3 cups powdered sugar, 1/3 cup non-hydrogenated margarine, 2 Tb cocoa powder and a few tablespoons of coconut milk to get it to the correct consistency. The coconut milk gave the frosting an amazingly rich and smooth texture. I highly recommend trying this at home.

For two recent events, I brought my Amazing Cashew Spread and people talk about it so favorably, I wanted to share it again. Here you go!

Amazing Cashew Spread

2 Roasted Red Peppers, whole
½ - ¾ cup Cashews, unsalted
½ cup Nutritional Yeast
1 Tb Balsamic Vinegar or Lemon Juice
1 tsp Salt

Place all the ingredients in a food process and blend until smooth. I served this with bread and it can be used for sandwiches, pizza, a dip, or a pasta sauce if you add more water.

For a thicker consistency, use more cashews. I buy roasted red peppers in a glass jar from Trader Joes so it is inexpensive and it has the exact quantity for this recipe, so not measuring required, you just need to drain off the excess liquid.