Friday, May 27, 2011

Vegan Pizza with Homemade Cashew Cheese

This pizza's crust was made with my quinoa bread recipe (see Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day), chunky tomato sauce, shredded cashew cheese, and some sun dried tomatoes. It was the day before shopping and I did not have any fresh vegetables. This pizza was still delicious. Add the cheese during the last 5 minutes or so of baking the pizza.

I'm such a pizza hound. Can't get enough. However, just try and get a decent vegan pizza at a restaurant – you can't. That's why it's so empowering to cook. I have my crust down. I'm happy with my basic tomato sauce. Toppings are not problem. It's the cheese thing. You need something to hold it together. If you like the fake cheeses on the market, that's great. But the one I really liked I discovered that it had casein in the ingredients. Casein is a milk ingredient. People rave wildly about Daiya cheese but really, I just don't care for it. So I've gone back to basics and I'm am going through cookbooks and blogs trying out vegan cheese recipes. I made one a couple of weeks ago that was very promising and I shredded it on my pizza. It was GOOD! I made a quesadilla with it, and it was GOOD! There was nothing fake or weird tasting about it. Didn't taste like nuts either. Now it doesn't melt but it does get soft when heated. So here is the cashew cheese recipe. Expect more cheese recipes in the future. But this one turned out quite nicely.

Cashew Cheese
Ingredients

1/2 oz agar flakes
1-1/2 C water
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1 C raw cashews, finely ground
1-1/2 TB fresh lemon juice
1 TB sesame oil
2 TB nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Directions
Spray a couple of ramekins with oil and set aside.

Place the agar flakes in the water and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring often. Watch to make sure it doesn't boil over.

Mix in processor bowl the cashew powder, lemon juice, oil, nutritional yeast and spices and process until smooth. It's going to be thick.

Scoop this mixture into the pan with water-agar and stir until creamy and smooth. Take off of heat and pour into ramekins, smoothing over top. Let cool, then cover and chill.

Yield: 2 small round disks of cheese suitable for cheese and cracker, pizza, whatever!

Here is the cheese, sliced. It grates very nicely, too. I pulsed some chopped jalapenos in the food processor just before adding to the water-agar mixture.

7 comments:

  1. Now that is some seriously good-looking cashew cheese! It's rare to find any that grates well, as it seems that most renditions are more like spreads than blocks. Love the sound of it with that additional kick of spice!

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  2. Wow! I have got to try making that cashew cheese, it looks so yummy and it grates too! Love that you can add things like jalapenos. :-)

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  3. I made my first Vegan Cheese tonight, but your recipe and photo look really good, and slightly different. Thanks for sharing x

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  4. I hope you enjoyed your cheese. I find the homemade stuff more enjoyable than the store bought vegan cheese (and that includes Daiya). Thanks for your comment!

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  5. I made this for dinner tonight and it was SOOOOO good! Thanks so much for the recipe!

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    Replies
    1. How did u convert the 1/2ounce agar measurement? I don't have a scale.

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