Since I started attempting to maintain a vegan diet, I’ve stopped eating cheese. It’s been about 6 months now and I have successfully avoided it thus far. That is all but on a few special occasions. Considering I have so much of it at work and I see it everyday, I feel really proud of my self-control.
My favorite kind of cheese is actually the creamy, gooey kind, like gruyere. But I’d eat any kind. Oh, I do miss pairing cheese with wine, and wine with steak, all of which I choose not to eat for health reasons. But I digress…
Back to the topic on hand, I wanted to share the fact that I’ve made a life-changing discovery. I managed to make a fake version of baked cheese using only vegan ingredients. Wait for it, and it actually tastes like the real deal by my standards. Granted I made a bad version of the original recipe, but I find that I like it nonetheless.
The original recipe calls for:
- 1 cup soaked cashews
- 2 TBSP (tablespoon) tapioca starch
- 2 TSP (teaspoons) apple cider vinegar
- 1.5 TBSP nutritional yeast flakes (I got mine from Amazon)
- 2 TSP salt
- 1 clove garlic
- 3/4 cup water
Step 1: Blend the above ingredients until smooth
Step 2: Stir in pan and let it thicken (due to the tapioca starch)
Step 3: Place in a baking container lined with parchment paper (to prevent sticking)
Step 4: Stick several cut slices of garlic and fresh rosemary twigs into the “cheese”, dusk on some black pepper, and drizzle some olive oil on top
Step 5: Bake for 20 minutes in a 365*F oven
If you follow the instructions exactly, you should get a more gooey consistency, like the image up top, than what I made, seen in image below. Over time, I’ll figure out what the right thing to do is and make mine more like the real thing. The good part is, even if you mess up, it still tastes amazingly like real cheese. Those garlic sticks in there are the bomb, I will definitely be adding more of them in there next time.
Taste is king, but I always emphasize nutrition as well. The fact that it’s made from cashews automatically gives this dish a gold star for healthy fats and more (which you can read about here). Nutritional yeast is packed with protein and fiber. You can get a immune system boost from the garlic and much more benefits (read about them here)! But remember to portion out the right amount so you don’t over-indulge, fat is still going to add calories to your daily intake.
For obvious reasons, try to pair it with a vegetable, like carrots and celery, but if you want to indulge, toast some thinly slice baguette and pop open a bottle of wine. At least you have 1 thing that’s good for you.