Think you’re missing out on cheese in your vegan lifestyle? Have no fear! This week we are welcoming John Schlimm to the Vegan Mainstream Cookbook Club to dish about his latest cookbook The Cheesy Vegan.
This week John will be sharing with us his recipe for Cheddar Cheese, and two recipes from his book that use it: Flying Buffalo Dip and Mrs. Cleaver’s Cheddar Muffins. For the dip and muffin recipes, join us on the Vegan Mainstream Cookbook Club, but today let’s start today with the recipe for Cheddar Cheese:
CANOLA OIL, FOR OILING A LOAF PAN
5 TEASPOONS AGAR POWDER, OR 5 TABLESPOONS AGAR FLAKES
1 ½ CUPS FILTERED OR BOTTLED WATER
1⁄2 CUP RAW, UNSALTED CASHEWS
1⁄3 CUP NUTRITIONAL YEAST
1⁄2 CUP SLICED PIMIENTOS
3 TO 4 TABLESPOONS FRESHLY SQUEEZED LEMON JUICE, DEPENDING ON HOW SHARP YOU WANT IT
2 TEASPOONS ONION POWDER
1⁄4 TEASPOON GARLIC POWDER
1⁄2 TEASPOON VEGAN DIJON MUSTARD
PORT WINE (OPTIONAL)
One of the most beloved cheeses in the world since the twelfth century, when King Henry II declared it the best cheese in England, Cheddar gets its name from its birthplace, a small English village called Cheddar in Somerset. Now, we vegans are leaving our own sharp-tasting mark on history with this nondairy-, agar-, pimiento-, and mustard-infused version.
Serve sliced on crackers with a cold beer or use it to make killer nachos, or kick it up a few notches with the horseradish, smoked, and extra-sharp variations.
Lightly oil a loaf pan measuring 3 by 7 or 4 by 8 inches. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the agar and water. Stir often until the mixture comes to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer. Let the mixture bubble away gently for 5 minutes, stirring often to dissolve the agar completely.
Meanwhile, into the container of a standing blender, measure the cashews, nutritional yeast, pimiento, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, and mustard.
When the agar has boiled for 5 minutes, carefully and slowly pour it into the blender container. Return the lid to the blender and blend the mixture on high speed for about 1 minute. Stop the blender, scrape down the sides of the container with a rubber spatula, replace the lid, and blend on high speed again for another minute. The mixture should be very smooth and about the same orange color as standard dairy Cheddar cheese.
Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan, drizzle with the port wine (if using), transfer to the refrigerator, and let it chill until firm, at least 1 hour.
Serve sliced, or grate it to garnish or meld into your favorite dishes.
The cheese will keep tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for at least 1 week.
yields ABOUT 2 CUPS OF CHEESE
Horseradish Cheddar: Before pouring the mixture into the loaf pan, stir in 2 tablespoons of prepared horseradish, or to taste.
Smoked Cheddar: Before pouring the mixture into the loaf pan, add 1⁄2 teaspoon of liquid smoke, or to taste.
Extra-Sharp Cheddar: Before pouring the mixture into the loaf pan, add more lemon juice and mustard, to taste.
From the book The Cheesy Vegan by John Schlimm. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright (c) 2013. www.dacapopresscookbooks.com
John Schlimm has written a number of international award-winning cookbooks, such as The Cheesy Vegan, Grilling Vegan Style and The Tipsy Vegan, that are all about indulging in the things we love – and showing that being vegan is not about being deprived.
John has been named one of the “Vegan Men We Love” by VegNews magazine, and besides being a cookbook author, he is an activist, educator and artist. He has also written Stand Up!: 75 Young Activists Who Rock the World & How You Can, Too! The son of a former butcher/meat-processing business owner, he came out on The Ellen DeGeneres Show as a pro-meatless, pro-vegetable loving kind of foodie, expressing the sentiment that “no living being, human or animal, should ever go through this life unloved” to Ellen’s millions of viewers. Find out more about John on Twitter, Facebook or his website.