30 Second Cheese

I know you don’t have any time to mess about reading a blog post. You. Need. Cheese.

Don’t soak your cashews, no one has time for that sh*t.

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INGREDIENTS

2 cups cashews
1 cup water
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of lime juice
2 tablespoons of ‘nooch’ (nutritional yeast)

INSTRUCTIONS

Blend. Serve.

Mine blends so well in a Nutribullet using the short blade. It blends into a perfect thick, creamy sauce in 10 seconds.

CHEEEEEESE on spuds, cheese on cauli and broc, cheese on pizza, cheese in your sammies, cheese on everything.

I’m not a fan of too much nutritional yeast and I feel the ratios here are perfect. Add garlic or pepper if you want. I keep mine simple.

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(Raw) Sour Cream

Ohhh yum. My 3 year old is really fussy about anything saucy or creamy but he loves this and so do I! Here he is enjoying some sour cream dip and veggies after an afternoon building a garden box.

Enjoy this sour cream with carrots, cucumber or celery, on tacos (raw or cooked) or dip crackers in it. Some people like to add garlic or chives to turn it into an delicious aioli. It also makes a great dressing for salad.

❤ It’s so tasty!

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INGREDIENTS

1 & 1/2 cup cashews (soaked for at least 1 hour in hot water or overnight in cold)
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
The juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Blend all ingredients until it takes on a whipped consistency. Add a dash more water if needed to get things moving, and a wee pinch more salt (if you like) to taste.

MASTER TIP/SOAKING ALTERNATIVE: to make a really creamy dressing what you should do is first turn the cashews into a fine flour by blending them dry first. Then add all other ingredients and blend. This results in a smoother, faster cream.

The Ultimate Most Perfect, Inexpensive, Quick Vegan Ice Cream Base Recipe; Scoops From The Freezer Like A Dream. Life Will Never Be The Same! Aah!

What a time to be alive.

This is my gift to the people. It feels like the pinnacle of my contribution to veganism. I take full credit for the modification of other vegan ice cream recipes into an incredibly simple, quick, cheap recipe – with no fancy ingredients – that scoops directly from the freezer with the perfect softness.

Right now I only recommend this one particular brand of coconut cream, but it’s the ubiquitous Woolworths Homebrand Coconut Cream found in Countdown supermarkets for $1.20 per tin.

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INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup sugar (I prefer coconut sugar)
1/4 cup maple syrup (I use the inexpensive imitation stuff)
2 tins Woolworths Homebrand Coconut Cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

Ensure your ice cream maker bowl has been frozen for at least 24 hours.

Put all ingredients into a pan and stir over a low head until sugar has dissolved – no need to boil. Place mixture in freezer or fridge until very cold.

Once cold assemble ice cream maker and pour mixture into bowl. Churn until very thick. Return churned ice cream to freezer and freeze. You should be able to eat this as ice cream after it’s been frozen for around 1 and a half hours.

Makes 850ish mLs.

This is absolutely as delicious as the fancy brands that are around $8 for 400mLs.

This is the vanilla recipe and it operates as a base, flavour this any way you damn well please.

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NOTE:  If you are a rebel and a troublemaker with no regard for potential waste you can trial other cheaper brands of coconut cream. You’re a braver kind than me. Let me know how you go. One of the most important thing to avoid is the formation of oil on top of your mixture. If oil forms it will destroy your batch. Watch out for that with other brands. If oil forms, remove as much as you can. You may also use coconut sugar and agave to make it low GI. Experiment with Stevia and Erythritol; the world is yours.

LSA-Lemon-Berry Cake with Coconut Cream (Low Sugar)

This is so lovely. This is my first layer cake. ♥ Pretty proud of it actually. Plus; low sugar, low oil.

I’m currently experimenting with cakes to see just how low the sugar and oil can go and just how much healthy can be jammed into them without losing the cakey texture and flavour that we love. This cake – for example – is one people will enjoy and not realise there’s less sugar than usual. In the past I’ve made some fruit-sweetened cakes but have not liked the texture and flavour as much.  I believe I could still lower amounts more so stay tuned for later experiments! I am also getting closer to creating vegan sponge…

Note the use of vegan whipped cream and the addition of healthy LSA! This is good celebration food.

Without further ado I give you the next in my series of LSA cakes:

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If you don’t want to make two layers, ’cause of resources – I don’t like to waste food on experiments when I’m unsure how they’re gonna turn out! – you can just make one layer then fold one half atop the other as shown.

INGREDIENTS FOR ONE LAYER:

1 and 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup ground LSA
1 and 1/4 cups soy  milk
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
1 tablespoon lemon

INSTRUCTIONS:

Blend, bake until springy, then repeat for the second layer.

 

INGREDIENTS FOR LEMON-WHIPPED CREAM (enough for a full layer cake, half the amounts for a half layer-cake like the one I made):

4 teaspoons lemon (to taste)
4 teaspoons apricot jam (to taste)
whipped with 2 tin of coconut cream

INSTRUCTIONS:

Whip in food processor and apply only when cake is very cool.

 

DECORATION:

Decorate with fruit, brazil nuts and shaved sugar-free chocolate.

Oh-Lord-My-Mouth-is-in-Heaven Eggplant Parmigiana

Glargh.

Of course it was amazing, the recipe came from a hot primary-school teacher I met at a potluck.

The only way it could have tasted better was if she was a librarian.

So here’s the thing, she didn’t give me quantities, so I’ve helped out where I can but you may have to fill in the gaps.

Hers was originally made with polenta.

Use that (if you have it), otherwise bread-crumbs and cornflour worked fine.

Of course hers looked better but mine tasted just as good. 11 years meat-free and I never liked TVP before now.

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INGREDIENTS

100g dry TVP (textured vegetable protein, fine minced texture)
3 tablespoons soy sauce (approx)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 an onion – finely choppped
2 fresh tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tin diced tomatoes (drain off excess juice)
Eggplant
Polenta or cornflour and bread-crumbs
Oil
Vegan parmesan
Chilli (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Soak TVP in boiling water. Flavour the water with soy sauce, so that the soy sauce soaks into the TVP as it expands.

Meanwhile fry garlic, onion, and fresh, chopped tomatoes. Add tomato paste, tinned tomatoes and chilli if you like. Add the fully softened (drained) TVP to this mixture and heat through.

Massage oil into sliced eggplant. Coat in polenta (or a blend of cornflour and bread-crumbs). Shallow fry the eggplant. This can get a bit messy when polenta falls off but don’t panic. You might need a bit of oil – as the eggplant absorbs a bit – but don’t overdo it. The eggplant should have lost it’s white appearance but not have become soggy.

Layer the dish. First lay down the tomato mixture, sprinkle extra bread-crumbs atop, create a layer using eggplant, then repeat. Top off with bread-crumbs and an healthy coating of vegan parmesan. Bake till golden. Get laid.

PLEASE NOTE: You can buy TVP at most health stores or most Asian supermarkets. It’s pretty widely available, some supermarkets even stock it.

A MAR-MIGHTY Discovery…

Sorry if that’s too CHEESY…

You know all that money you’ve been spending on expensive nutritional yeast?

You know how you had to tell your provincial friends you made cheesy sauce out of weird ingredients that they can’t source in their town?

Well not any more.

BECAUSE YOU CAN MAKE CHEESY SAUCE… with Marmite.

Teaser trim

(picture us, dancing)

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons vegan margarine
3 tablespoons cornflour
2 cups soy milk
2 teaspoons mustard
1 teaspoon Marmite
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

Melt margarine on the stove. Stir in cornflour until there are no lumps. Slowly stir in soy milk. Simmer until thickened. Stir in mustard, Marmite, sugar, and salt. Thin to desired consistency with soy milk.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

Great in lasagna, on pizza, nachos, mac ‘n’ cheese, in burgers or on wedges.

Welcome back, Marmite! We missed you!

And no, we ain’t getting paid for this… (please pay us).

Marmite Drought Ends!

 

Cheesy Sauce

This is the cheese.

This is what we use all the time around here. It’s simply a white sauce made with vegan ingredients and flavoured to be deliciously cheesy.

It has many applications;

As a lasagne layer, in quiche, as a pizza or nacho topping, in macaroni and cheese, on mousetraps, as pasta sauce, on fried or roasted vegetables, in pasta-bakes, on cauliflower and more.

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INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons margarine
3 tablespoons cornstarch (use tapioca starch for “stringy” cheese)
2 cups soymilk (more if desired) I prefer Soymilky
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup savoury yeast (otherwise known as nutritional yeast)
2 teaspoons mustard

INSTRUCTIONS

Melt margarine over stove, blend in cornstarch. Slowly blend in soy milk over heat and stir to avoid lumps. Add salt, mustard and savoury yeast, and stir over heat until thick. Taste. Add more salt, yeast or mustard if desired. If a thinner sauce is required add more soy milk until you achieve the desired consistency.

Simple Yoghurt Smoothie

Actually this is not a yoghurt smoothie, because it contains no yoghurt.

It just tastes like it does. It’d probably make good ice cream. Try it!

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INGREDIENTS

2 bananas
2 juicy plums
Soy milk (I prefer Soymilky, it has the best flavour)

INSTRUCTIONS

Blend.

Inspired by Craig.

Flawless Tofu Bacon

This is utterly perfect.

I was surprised. The ratios are bang on!

It is perfect on Mac ‘n’ Cheese, and would be great on pancakes with fried banana and maple syrup, or on salad, bagels or in a BLT.

Please make some.

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CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE

Use firm tofu. A good quality tofu will even crisp up like bacon. I skipped the nutritional yeast, not necessary.

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook:Tofu_Bacon_(Vegan)

Cultured Raw Cashew ‘Cheese’ w/ Cracked Pepper, Wild Fennel & Chives

After tasting nut cheese at an event serving raw food (I think it was Little Bird) a few years ago, I got really curious about how to make it. At the time, the lovely young lady who served me a slice told me “it’s actually easy, just Google it”.

There are some great recipes out there (and some not so great ones) but this one seems to be the basic ‘industry standard’ and has worked every time. My personal tip is to go the whole 9-yards and make a cultured cheese like this one – the texture, taste and thrill of creation are much more enjoyable. It takes time (like a proper cheese) but don’t be put off, each step is only 5 minutes and the results are shockingly good!

Apologies for the long instructions I just wanted it to be really clear.

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INGREDIENTS

2 cups cashews, soaked for a minimum of 4 hours (macadamias are another option)
2 cups water (as needed)
1 teaspoon probiotic powder or 1 teaspoon miso will also work (fresh, not the manky stuff at the back of the fridge)
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup fresh, finely chopped wild fennel tufts & chives (you can use any herbs you like of course)
cracked pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Place cashews, 1 cup of the water and the probiotic powder into a high speed blender until it becomes smooth. If the mixture is too thick add more water until it loosens. You want the mix to be smooth but not at all watery.

Transfer the the mix into a cheesecloth, fold over and place into a strainer sitting over a bowl. Place a weight on top of the cheesecloth (such as a plate with a copy of Shantaram on it). Cover everything to keep it protected from debris and any unwanted bacteria and place it in a warm area to culture (room temperature is good). Leave for a minimum of 24 hours – no more than 48. After this time you’ll notice that it has become slightly airy or fluffy which indicates the culturing process has worked a treat.

Now place into a bowl & add in the salt, yeast and lemon juice. At this point I usually add in a few of the chopped herbs and maybe a little cracked pepper. Shape your cheese into a round (or if you want to get fancy you can use a metal ring mold). Gently cover the round in the remaining herbs and place into the fridge to firm up and let the flavours mellow together – at least overnight. If you want to go a litte further and get an even more impressive result you can place your cheese into a dehydrator instead of the fridge. Set at 105°F/40°C for 24 hours. This will form an impressive rind and make your cheese that much more spectacular.

There are endless possibilities for flavours here, so go wild and crazy and get all gourmet on it!