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Friday, December 30, 2011

Vegan Crock Cheez

I have always loved cheese & crackers.  When giving up cheese that is definitely something I missed.  This really fits the bill.  This is much like those tubs of spreadable pasteurized process cheese food products that you spread on crackers.  The texture is not identical (a bit softer) but the flavor is perfect.  This recipe is from "The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook" by Jo Stepaniak.

1/2 lb (8 oz) firm regular tofu, drained
3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 Tablespoons sesame tahini or raw cashew butter
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Tablespoons light or chickpea miso
1 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

*break tofu in large chunks, place in saucepan & cover with water
*bring to a boil, simmer 5 minutes
*drain well
*chill uncovered in refrigerator until cool enough to handle
*crumble & place in bowl of food processor with remaining ingredients; process into a smooth paste, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary
*chill several hours or overnight before serving to allow flavors to blend

Vegan Nacho Cheez Sauce & Dip

I looove this recipe.  Cheese was hard for me to give up, but having a recipe like this really helps.  I use it for nachos, as a dip with tortilla chips, even spread onto a tortilla to make a quesadilla with.  It's also good in a bean & cheese burrito.  I'm sure there are millions of other uses.  This recipe is from "The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook" by Jo Stepaniak.

Vegan Nacho Cheez Sauce & Dip

1/2 Cup flour (any type)
1/2 Cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 Cups water or non-dairy milk
1/4 Cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard (any kind)
1/2 teaspoon light or chickpea miso
1/4 Cup minced fresh cilantro (optional)

*combine flour, yeast, salt, chili powder, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, & cayenne in a saucepan
*gradually whisk in liquid, oil, & mustard
*cook over medium heat, stirring almost constantly with a wire whisk, until bubbly, thick, & smooth
*remove from heat & whisk in miso
*stir in cilantro (if using) just before serving

Raw food energy bars

While I'm really not into the whole raw food movement, these do qualify as such, so I mention it for those who might be interested in that aspect of this recipe.

I LOOOVE these & could honestly eat them all day, but I limit myself to one per day because the ingredients are all high calorie foods.  This is why they give you energy.  I love to carry one of these in my purse on days when I'm running errands all day & know I will need to raise my blood sugar & get an energy boost.

Raw Food Energy Bars

1 Cup pitted dates
1/4 Cup peanuts
1/4 Cup chocolate chips (I use vegan chocolate chips)
dash of salt

*place dates in bowl of food processor & run (I sometimes have to add a tiny tiny dash of water, but be careful not to add much or else the food bars will end up mushy)
*add peanuts & pulse processor
*add chocolate chips & dash of salt & pulse again until all ingredients are well incorporated (but don't let the nuts turn into peanut butter!!)
*pull dough out of processor & shape into a ball with your hands
*you can place between sheets of parchment paper & roll out with rolling pin into a rectangle or square shape OR you can just shape it with your hands (this is how I usually do it)
*cut into bars, whatever size you want (I use a dough cutter to do this, just a push down movement, rather than a sawing movement, which will destroy the shape of the bars)
*you can store them in the freezer of fridge or even at room temp if they will be eaten quickly