Vegan Mofo 3: Creamy Herby Cheesy Spread (Or, Vegan Cheese for the Non-Vegan)

My Mofo theme was featured in a round-up of Jojo‘s favourite themes over at Vegan Mofo HQ yesterday – woo!  If you’re new here and you’ve come across my blog from Mofo, welcome!  And if you like the theme, please like my page on Facebook to get all my Suitable for Non Vegan recipes!

Vegan cheese.  A word that incites fear into the hearts of many a non-vegan (and many a vegan as well!).  I’ve tried many brands of vegan cheese, some better than others, but none that I would give to a non-vegan as an introductory dish.  In keeping with my Mofo theme, today I’ll be sharing a dish that’s Suitable for Non Vegans (i.e. something that you can share with the non vegans in your life, even if they are tofu-phobic).  And today’s dish is, believe it or not, vegan cheese!  While I haven’t yet found a brand of cheese I’d feed a non-vegan, I’ve created some cashew-based cheeses that I would (and have!) shared with non-vegans.  Artisan Vegan Cheese includes some amazing cheeses – if you are patient in the kitchen!

 
I also created a delicious creamy spread (that’s somewhat cheesy, although I wouldn’t call it cheese, especially if you have a picky non-vegan on your hands!) that you can whip up in a few minutes.  It tastes better after sitting overnight.  I’m sort of cheating because I shared this recipe previously, but I think it’s worth sharing again. :)  Especially since it’s gotten rave reviews from everyone I’ve given it to — from friends at New Year’s Eve, to people at work, to a group at the opera (most of whom I didn’t know)!  Everyone was surprised at how creamy and rich it is, without any dairy.

 

Equipment you’ll need:

 
 
 

 

Creamy Herby Cheesy Spread

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups cashews, soaked overnight
  • 200 g firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp soya milk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder, or 1-2 cloves
  • 5 tbsp nutritional yeast, optional
  • 1 tsp white miso
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried Italian herb mix
  • Handful of fresh herbs (use whatever you fancy; I usually use chives and basil)

Instructions

  1. The night before you plan to make this, put cashews and enough water to cover them in a bowl and leave overnight to soak.
  2. The next day, drain cashews and blend them in a food processor or blender.  Or, if you have a coffee grinder, skip the soaking step and grind them in the coffee grinder, then add the resulting powder to a food processor.  I find this gives better results (with fewer chunks) than just a blender, if you have a cheap model of blender like me.  Add the tofu, soya milk, lemon juice, salt, garlic/garlic powder, nutritional yeast, miso, tahini, vegetable oil and dried herbs and blend until it forms a smooth paste.
  3. Add the fresh herbs and pulse a few times until roughly chopped and mixed.
  4. Refrigerate. Best left overnight so that flavours marry.  Serve the following day.  It will keep for several days in the refrigerator.

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22 thoughts on “Vegan Mofo 3: Creamy Herby Cheesy Spread (Or, Vegan Cheese for the Non-Vegan)

  1. luminousvegans

    I loooove me some cashew cheese. My first MoFo post was on a similar cheese but I love the addition of fresh herbs and Italian herbs. I am totally going to try adding that to mine to see how it goes.

    Reply
    1. Caitlin Post author

      Let me know how it goes! :) it’s also great on a sandwich of sourdough bread, tomato slices, and roasted red pepper.

      Reply
  2. Joey

    Oh yay! You’re back and MoFoing – excellent! Thought you’d gone quiet for a while there and was worried it was permanent!

    You can beat some cheese-less cheese! I’ve only just started making it at home but I’m addicted – it’s so much better than the shop bought gubbins

    Reply
    1. Caitlin Post author

      It’s good to be back! With work so busy I find it hard to keep up but luckily Mofo is here to force me back into the habit now! :)

      Reply
  3. Jojo

    I make a spread like this that I’ve fed to my non-vegan bro many times and I call it herby spread too! Never liken the vegan thing to real cheese!!

    Reply
    1. Caitlin Post author

      Yeah I think it’s a bit less threatening to non vegans sometimes if you don’t call it cheese (and then they don’t have expectations of it tasting exactly like cheese)! And if you don’t mention the tofu, haha.

      Reply
  4. foodchain

    This looks fabulous! I can’t wait to try it and share it with my non-vegan friends. :) I definitely hear you on the cheese thing – my non-vegan friends are always skeptical at first!

    Reply
    1. Caitlin Post author

      Hope everyone enjoys it (both you and your friends!). Yes, that’s why I find it best sometimes to win over the super skeptical people by just calling it a creamy spread — then they are willing to try it, and when they do they normally love it! :)

      Reply
  5. Erin

    This sounds so good! And who could possibly complain about delicious ingredients like cashews and fresh herbs? Not even the most cheese-loving omni, I bet!

    Reply
    1. Caitlin Post author

      Thanks Erin! :) One great thing about making my own cheese is that I know exactly what goes into it, and that none of the ingredients are “scary” – even to most omnis! :)

      Reply
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  10. krysti

    hey! i can’t seem to get my cashews to blend up as anything but gritty- in a processor. for many minutes. help! will coffee grinding help with that? i feel like it won’t.
    ps. love your recipes!

    Reply
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