Vegan Pepper-Jack Cashew Cheez and Pomona’s Pectin Giveaway!

It’s Tasty Tuesday and many of you all ready know I have an obsession with cashew cheez. A cheddar version and a moxerella version are all ready on this site. I’ve tried a couple of store bought vegan cheeses and didn’t like the flavors OR the ingredient lists. What you may not know is that I originally got a recipe by email for making pepper-jack cashew cheez from my dear friend Annie over at An Unrefined Vegan. She made the cheez and couldn’t wait to share it with me, just like I can’t wait to share it with you. She made an amazing smoky pesto version here. Her recipe used agar agar, which was amazing, but super pricey.  Coincidentally (I believe in fate) I had the agar agar stored in my pantry right next to a box of Pomona’s Pectin. I glanced at the two of them and saw the agar agar could be used for making vegan jello. Then I looked at the box of Pomona’s Pectin (which is half the price of the agar agar), and saw that it could be used to make a vegan jello too. A light went on in my head, surely they could both be used to make cashew cheez!

 Eureka! The cheez wasn’t as firm as Annie’s version. I originally thought that it was like vegan velveeta or er, cheezeeta. But as I let it firm up more in the fridge I saw that although it was still a bit soft, you could grate it and slice it AND it really, really melts. I use it on pizza, like this nearly famous sriracha bbq tofu and moxeralla pizza, in burritos, enchiladas, in quesadillas and grilled cheez sandwiches. It has literally changed my vegan life and I want to share it with you. This pepper-jack version is hand’s down my favorite and has been tested on my carnivore brother and dad with results that said “This tastes like pepper-jack cheese, how did you make it!?!, It’s made of cashews?!?” My vegan friends swoon over it. Yesterday I thought one vegan friend was going to cry when she tasted it. I have to have it in my fridge at all times. It freezes well too…. So without further ado here is the adapted recipe with my modifications. Thanks Annie, love yer guts!

Pepper-Jack Cashew Cheez

1 box Pomona’s Pectin

(DO NOT USE OTHER BRANDS OF PECTIN, IT WON’T WORK)
2.5 C. water, divided
2 C. raw cashews
3 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. olive oil
1/4 C. Nutritional Yeast
2 t. salt
1/2 t. onion powder
2 minced garlic cloves
1/4 C. jarred jalapenos, diced
1/4 C. jarred diced pimiento

optional: for extra heat add 1 t. red chili flakes. Mmmm.

Method: Lightly oil a 9×5 loaf pan, or for portion control (my favorite, idea from Kristy at keepinitkind.com), a cupcake tin with a 12 cupcake capacity. Put pimento and jalapenos on a paper towel to absorb all excess moisture, set aside. Grind cashews into a fine powder in a food processor or with your Estrogen (Blendtec) or Testosterone (Vitamix) Blender. Do not over process and make nut butter. Put ground cashews in blender (if they aren’t all ready in there) add nutritional yeast, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Mix 1/2 C. of the water with the small calcium packet from the pectin package, set aside. Heat the other 2 cups water til boiling. Pour the boiled water into the power blender, ignoring instructions in your blender manual that say not to use boiling water in it. Add pectin, and blend until smooth and creamy. It’s gonna thicken quickly, so immediately add the calcium water and pulse until all combined. QUICKLY stir in pimiento and jalapeno by hand so they don’t get chopped to bits. Pour the whole mess into the prepared pan(s). Refrigerate uncovered for an hour. Turn cashew cheez(es) out onto a plate (upside down) and let set uncovered for another 4-5 hours. If you use the cupcake tins, 1 serving of cashew cheez is half of one mini round. It’s the perfect amount so this recipe should make 24 servings.

In honor of my beloved cashew cheez, today’s giveaway is a box of Pomona’s Pectin for 2 lucky winners. This contest is also open to international readers.

Rules of Engagement:

1- You must be a follower of this blog, if you don’t know how to do that, there is a “Follow blog via email” button at the top column to the right. This contest is open to all followers, including International Readers.

2- You must like this post (click on the title name of this post, then go to the bottom of the post just above comments and push the like button),

3- You must comment below, telling me what you would make with your cashew cheez!

Winner to be announced Tuesday July 17th, 2012. 

And now for the winner of last Tuesday’s giveaway!

1 bottle of Doterra’s TerraSheild Natural insect repellent: freakenvegan

Winner was selected by using the random.org service. Please email your mailing address to me at goodcleanfoodblog@gmail.com and I will mail you your prize!

See ya on Somer Saturday!

p.s. there is still time to enter my Lululemon giveaway too! Do it!

Thin Crust Sriracha BBQ Tofu and Moxerella Pizza

It’s Somer Saturday and I’m really REALLY obsessed with Annie’s Cashew Cheez. Ever since she emailed me a demo recipe, vegan life has changed as I know it. I thought I was over cheese, and was starting to be a little snobby, even shunning the likes of Daiya, Teese and Sheese since they are all refined and made of ….I don’t know what…. vegan garbage?

 I read through Annie’s ingredient list, no artificial anything, no weird fillers, no hydrogenated oils, no artificial colors or flavors. Then I read her post – oh man, the cheez looked so beautiful.I was pining away after it. I had to make it. I had to eat it.

And now I’m going to share with you the best recipe I have made with it to date.

 Thin Crust Sriracha BBQ Tofu and Moxerella Pizza

1/4 recipe of the Moxeralla Cashew Cheez, grated

1 recipe Whole Wheat Thin Crispy Crust

1 recipe Sriracha BBQ Sauce

1 recipe Sriracha BBQ Tofu

1 recipe Caramelized Onions

2 T. Chopped Cilantro

Recipes Follow….

First do these things the day before: 1- Make the cheez (adaptation below). 2- Drain a block of extra firm tofu, stick it in a ziplock and chuck it in the freezer. Freeze tofu overnight, then defrost on the countertop the next morning.

It’s Business Time

Moxerella Cashew Cheez

adapted from anunrefinedvegan.com

Ingredients: 1 Package Pamona’s Pectin (you can find it at Whole Foods and other Health Food Stores), 2 C. Ground Raw Cashews, 3 C. Water- divided, 3 T. Lemon Juice, 1/4 C. Nutritional Yeast, 2 t. sea salt and 1 clove minced garlic

Method: Lightly oil a loaf pan or small round casserole dish. In a small lidded jar, mix 1/2 C. of the water with the small calcium packet from the pectin package, set aside. Heat the other 2.5 cups water til nearly boiling. Pour water into power blender. Add pectin, and all other ingredients except calcium water. Blend until smooth. QUICKLY add calcium water and pulse til incorporated. Immediately pour into the prepared pan or dish. Let set uncovered for a minimum of an hour. Remove cheez from the mold and place upside down on a plate. Return to fridge uncovered for a minimum of 4 more hours until firm enough to grate.

Next, make Sriracha BBQ Sauce

Sriracha BBQ Sauce

 Combine: 1/2 C. organic ketchup, 2 T. agave nectar, 2 T. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, 1 T. apple cider vinegar, 1 t. molasses, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 t. liquid smoke, 1/2 to 2 t. Sriracha Hot Sauce (to taste) and a few grinds of pepper.

Next make Sriracha BBQ Tofu

Sriracha BBQ Tofu

Half of this recipe never made it to the pizza. It is so good! Method: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drain as much water from defrosted block of tofu as possible with paper towels. Slice into pieces and then drain again with paper towels. Put tofu in a bowl and drizzle with 1/4 C. above sauce. Put some parchment paper on a cookie sheet and arrange tofu on it. Bake for 10 minutes or until it starts to get lovely little crispy bits.

Next make Caramelized Onions

Caramelized Onions

 Ingredients: 1 jumbo sweet onion, thinly sliced (or 2-3 regular sized onions), 2 t. molasses, 1 t. salt and a few grinds of pepper. Method: Heat a skillet over high heat, add a cup of water and all of the above ingredients, occasionally stir and replenish water if skillet gets dry before the onions are completely translucent. Total cooking time can take 15-20 minutes. This recipe makes about 2.5 to 3 C. caramelized onions.

Next make Whole Wheat Thin Crispy Crust while the onions are caramelizing.

Whole Wheat Thin Crispy Crust

Ingredients: 1.5 C. white whole wheat flour, 3/4 C. warm water, 1 t. active dry yeast, 1 T. vital wheat gluten, 1 t. salt. Method: in your favorite kneading apparatus (perhaps a bowl, and then your hands) combine all the above ingredients. Knead until elastic. Let rest 10 minutes. Roll with a rolling pin into the shape of a baking sheet, crust should be VERY thin. Press crust into lightly oiled baking sheet. Set aside.

Assemble: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Brush remaining sriracha BBQ sauce over the thin crispy crust, layer caramelized onions over the sauce, next arrange pieces of the BBQ tofu over the onions,  sprinkle the moxerella cashew cheez over the whole pizza, sprinkle with the chopped cilantro. Bake on middle rack for 15 minutes or until cheez starts to brown.

Still following me? Phew, I thought I was getting a little long winded.

Oh, you’re still here and you want that salad dressing recipe too?

Miso Cashew Ranch Dressing 

Ingredients: 1/2 C. Raw Cashews, 1 1/4 C. unsweetened almond milk, 1 heaped T. white or yellow miso, 3 t. chia seeds, 1/2 t. sea salt, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/2 t. onion powder, 1 t. dried dill, 2 T. fresh parsley 1/2 t. ground black pepper, dash cayenne. Method: Blend all ingredients except dill and parsley until completely smooth. Add dill and parsley and pulse until just mixed in.

Ode to Cheese (Cashew Cheddar, Mac & Cheese, Chia Pudding)

This week I discovered cashew cheese which makes the best Mac N Cheese ever. I know I said the Daiya recipe was good, but it was really just tolerable. This one, is so good, Andrew has eaten it three meals in a row.

I found a recipe for cashew cheese on anunrefinedvegan.com it looked amazing, I knew I would love it, but Andrew would not–he likes plain cheddar, but it inspired me to try a cheddar version. What I came up with is amazing (with a lot of help from my friends)

Cashew Cheddar (never will another cheese pass my lips)

1 package Pamona’s Pectin (All the recipes I found used agar, but Somer tried this and it makes a creamier cheese–I still can’t believe she thought to use this, so weird, but perfect)
3 cups water
2 cups raw cashews
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/3 C. nutritional yeast
2 tsp. Herbamere (spike or salt of choice)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
½  tsp turmeric (for color)

Update: Somer made this and replaced 1 C. carrot juice for one of the cups of water, and 1/2 t. smoked paprika added in for  a lovely orange color.

Mix 1/2 C. of the water with the small calcium packet from the pectin package, set aside. Heat the other 2.5 cups water til nearly boiling. Pour into power blender. Add pectin, and all other ingredients except calcium water. Blend until smooth. Add calcium water and pulse til incorporated. Pour into bread pan and refrigerate until it sets up—it doesn’t take long.

when I tasted this, I almost cried, I love cheese, every kind of cheese and I missed it so much. I did give this a little kiss and told it I loved it. Andrew asked me to please stop, I was embarrassing.

Best Mac N Cheese EVER (Andrew approved!) inspired by recipe from Jessica Seinfield’s “Deceptively Delicious

Image

1 lb pasta, cooked and drained

1T olive oil

1 T flour

1 c almond milk

2 T earth spread (you need this because the cashew cheese does make it kind of dry)

1/2 c cauliflower pureed (I also use butternut squash, you can omit this, but it really makes it creamy, and it is how I get Andrew his veg)

1 1/2 c cashew cheese (see recipe above)

1/2 t salt

1/8 t smoked paprika

1/8 t black pepper

5 drops red food coloring

10 drops yellow food coloring (you can omit of course, but it made it look just like mac and cheese and this is important to our tastebuds, if our mind tells us it is, it is a lot easier for our mouth to accept it is—really scientists have done studies about this)

Method: heat olive oil and flour until paste, add milk, bring to soft boil to thicken, add cauliflower, stir in cheese, earth spread and seasoning, stir until melted and creamy, mix in pasta. I add a little hot sauce to mine, but not Andrew’s.

And for the last recipe tonight, this is seriously on of the most delicious things I have ever tasted and it is not just because I am Vegan deprived (I caved and had a bite of Costco red velvet–ok, the whole cupcake, I was so drained after, but I LOVE Costco red velvet). Anyway, this pudding is seriously decadent.

Chia Pudding (OMG!)

Ingredients:

2 cups Water
1 cup Cashews
½ cup Hempseeds
½ cup Coconut Sugar
¼ tsp Sea Salt
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
½ cup  Coconut Oil
2 ½ Tbsp  Chia Seeds

Directions:

1. Soak the cashews in water for 4-6 hours. When finished rinse the cashews with water and strain.

2. If coconut oil is solid place in a pan or double boiler on the lowest temperature possible. Once oil becomes a clear liquid turn the heat off. Coconut oil should melt at 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Place the water, the soaked cashews, the hemp seeds, the coconut sugar, the salt, and the vanilla extract in a high-speed blender. Blend on high until you have a nice creamy consistency.

4. Turn the blender on low and while it is running slowly pour in the melted coconut oil. Place the lid back on and run the blender on high for a few seconds.

5. Turn the blender on low and slowly pour in the chia seeds. You will want to make sure the chia seeds stay whole

6. Place mixture in a sealed container (a quart size mason jar works great) and refrigerate over night. Super Food Chia Pudding is great topped with cacao nibs and hemp seeds or fresh berries. Love light and Yummmm, for every one.

Recipe Credit: Evan Rilling

I don’t know about green eggs and ham, but I do. not. like. millet.

I tried this cozy millet bowl with mushroom gravy recipe on ohsheglows.com I didn’t really like it, as I have decided I don’t really like millet. So that is all I will say about that.

I did make up a chowder recipe that was pretty tasty though. I didn’t mean to make chowder, but that is what it most reminds me of. I was trying to make a tasty version of an Amish potato soup my sister makes. It is sooooo yummy, but requires milk and cheese. My vegan version (tastes nothing like the original). I liked it, but the cauliflower gave it kind of a bitter “bite.” My sister LOVED it and wanted the recipe. As she wolfed it down she wondered if her husband would like it—he never even got a taste. My son did not like it  (but he doesn’t like much) He insisted there was a grain in it (so did my sister) but it is the cauliflower, when it is lightly blended, it has the texture of a grain. I will try this one again, but I think with broccoli next time.

Creamy Vegi Chowder

 Creamy Vegi Chowder

Ingredients:

½ c diced celery

1 c diced carrots

4 diced medium potatoes

1 med head cauliflower

2 cups chopped kale

3 cups vegetable broth

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or crushed red pepper flakes, this gives it a bite, so leave out if you don’t want so spicy)

Low-fat vegan cheeze sauce, divided (see below for recipe)

1/2 tbsp lemon juice (optional)

1 tsp onion powder, to taste

Kosher salt & black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup fresh minced parsley, plus more to garnish

Smoked paprika for garnish

Add everything to large pot, simmer for about 15 mins, until potatoes are tender to fork, but not soft. You can leave in big chunks, but I pulsed mine in the vitamix, a little. (Do it in 2 batches) then mix cheese sauce with blended veggies. Garnish with smoked paprika

Low-Fat Vegan Cheeze Sauce (double batch)

Found this on OhSheGlows. Here is the link.

Ingredients:

1.5 cup unsweetened, unflavoured almond milk

3/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 tbsp Earth Balance or other non-dairy buttery spread

2 tbsp all purpose flour

1 tbsp + 1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1. In a skillet or pot, melt the Earth Balance over medium heat.

2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour and 1/4 cup milk until all clumps are gone.

3. Whisk in the remaining milk (1.25 cups) as well as the milk and flour mixture into the pot. Now whisk in the nutritional yeast. Reduce heat to low-medium.

4. Add Dijon, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste and whisk frequently over low heat until the sauce thickens up, for 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to burn it. Remove from heat once thick.

Andrew’s favorite because he doesn’t know it is good for him. Even as I make it, he tells me how much he hates spinach, but he loves these:

Peanut Buttercup shake

 Peanut Buttercup Shake

Servings: 2

½ cup chocolate almond milk

¼ cup peanut butter

1 heaping tsp cocoa

2 tsp agave (to taste)

½ c spinach (yup, weird and gives it a weird color, but can’t taste it. Warning: do not let child see this part)

2 cups ice

Blend on high in vitamix. Top with vegan whip cream (optional).

Nutritional info per serving: calories: 250, Fat 15, Carbs 17.5, fiber 2, protein 9

I found several other shakes in Chef AJ’s book that I am going to try this week.

Bread sticks

Image

I used my kamut sour dough bread recipe to make bread sticks. Andrew LOVES these!

In my quest to get nutrition into my vegan son who does not like vegetables, or protein—he just likes carbs really, I am always looking for ways to hide them in the food he likes. I hide them in EVERYTHING. I discovered the trick in “Deceptively Delicious” it is a cookbook by Jessica Seinfield,  it isn’t vegetarian or vegan, but I adapt the recipes. I puree veggies in bulk and put them in ziplock bags in the freezer.

One of his favorite foods is mashed potatoes and ranch. I modified my original concoction to be vegan. He loved them.

Complete Meal Mashed Potatoes created by me approved by my vegan son

Image

1 cup pureed cauliflower (steam it and add a little water to puree)

1 cup navy beans pureed (you will need to add a little water to get these to puree)

4-5 cups mashed potatoes (I leave the peels on if the potatoes are fresh)

4 eggs (optional)

½ cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp Italian seasoning

¼-1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (just depends on how thick you like them)

Salt to taste

1 cup ranch dressing (I used this vegan dressing)

½ cup melted earth balance butter (sometimes I sub with olive oil, but the earth balance does add flavor)

1 cup dayia shredded cheese (optional, for top)

1 bag French fried onions (for topping, this is the piece de resistance for my son, he loves these on top)

Method: mix everything in a big bowl except cheese and French fired onions. Place in 9×13 pan, cover,  bake on 350 for 30-40 mins. Top with cheese and French onions.

Another staple at our house are homemade noodles. Andrew went vegan for moral reasons, so he will eat things I make with our chicken’s unfertilized eggs, and milk from our goats.

Image

Homemade egg noodles (vegetarian—I don’t know how to make egg noodles without eggs)

1 cup white unbleached flour     (these started with 2 cups white flour, but trying to wean him off white flour, so I replace 1 cup with kamut and pastry whole wheat)

½ cup kamut flour

½ cup whole wheat pastry flour

¾ cup semolina flour

1 tsp  salt

4 eggs

2-3 Tbs olive oil

Mix everything in Bosch adding a little hot water until dough forms (1-2 Tbls). Mix for 10 mins. Cover dough and let rest 20 mins. Divide into sections,

Image

roll out (this part is Andrew’s job, I have a pasta maker I got for last years birthday, thanks sisters and mom) but you can do it by hand. Hang to dry. If you want to cook immediately bring broth to boil, cook noodles for 3-4 mins. Once noodles are dry cook 6-7 mins.

Image