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Disclaimer – This is not mozzarella, it is not cheese, however it is a really tangy cheese-y tasting cheese that can be sliced and if frozen can be grated.
We both love cheese and it is one of the things that being on a plant-based i personally miss. I do not miss the fat, what i miss is the savoury taste and sharp flavour.
I started to research plant-based cheese alternatives. The commercial ones are probably as fat-laden as the original. We bought some and they were “meh”, nothing special and hideously expensive.
I had found a recipe that i liked for a plant-based cheese sauce in one of my books, which i have improved and adapted (will blog that another day). It was making this sauce and reading a book on vegan food alternatives that i had another “ah-ha” moments. What if, i made this yummy cheese sauce thicker and then set it – would i have a set cheese that i could slice?
So i set out to see if it would work and “PRESTO – Plant Based Magic” – it did. I un-moulded my first cheese last night and sliced it! YAY.
The reason that i call it Mozzarella-Like cheese is that it is set with Agar-Agar and becomes a little like the texture of mozzarella. Well it’s better than saying it’s jelly-like! That sounds gross.
This is quite an advanced recipe, but it is worth the effort.
For a “block” of cheese the size of a silicone loaf tin – approx. 8″ by 3′
1/2 oz Agar Agar Flakes
1.5 cups Water
1 x tsp Vegetable Stock Powder
1/2 cup Raw Cashew Nuts
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1 x cup Nutritional Yeast
1/2 tsp Salt
1 x Large Yellow Pepper (washed and de-seeded and chopped)
1.5 x tblsp Tahini
2 x tsp Cornflower
1 x tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 x cup water
Cook the agar agar flakes (use the instructions on the packet), or: Put the water (1.5 cups) into the saucepan and add the stock powder and agar agar.
Do not stir. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 5 mins. Then stir.
Meanwhile in a high-powered blender:
Place all of the remaining ingredients and blend up until you have a nice pale yellow sauce. Place it in a saucepan and heat on a moderate flame until it is thick and creamy and the cornflower has cooked out.
Do not wash up your blender…
Place the thickened sauce and the agar-agar mixture together in the blender and blend thoroughly.
Pour mixture into a silicone loaf tin (ideally) or any silicone mould. You can use other moulds as it should come out relatively easily. Once cooled place in the fridge and chill for 2-3 hours.
You can then unmould it and slice it! YAY. Not sure if it will melt – that’s my next test.
You can put some in a freezer bag and freeze it and it should then enable you to grate it.