Friday, August 26, 2011

Vegan Brie

I dedicate this post to the beautiful and amazing lady with whom I had a fantastic impromptu hour-long conversation in the pretty darn wee hours of the morning. xoxo



I think it's safe to say one of the most difficult things for someone (at least this someone) to 'give up' when taking on an alternative eating lifestyle is cheese. Oh cheese. Rich and delicious. Beautiful. Enticing. Cracker's soulmate.

Who are we odd eaters to break up such a beautiful and perfect match made in heaven, cheese and crackers.

Except if you think about it, cheese is kind of icky. And it has a tendency to give you an ache in your stomach.

And Cracker? Well Cracker has done a little growing up. A little soul searching. A little maturing. And Cracker thinks now that it should be destined for more than just cheese. Something better.

Cracker has realized that it has options. Lots of options because Cracker is basically awesome. Cracker knows now it shouldn't settle. Cracker knows it doesn't have to settle.

I mean, the options out there are basically endless: Hummus, versatile and ethnic. Black bean dip, spicy and dedicated. Veggie dip, like confetti; surprising. Almond cheese, 'cheese' of a more compatible nature. Brie. Wait. What?

Yes, brie. Vegan brie. Different yet delicious in its own unique way. Also waistline friendly and that is very important.


Cracker is liking its options. So many. No need to settle. Now's the time to sample all the possibilities.

Adapted from a recipe reviewed by Vegalicious ... a-mazing!

Need:
Just a bit of extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoon wheat germ
3 Tablespoons agar agar flakes
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 Tablespoons tahini
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
About 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup chopped raw cashews
1/2 cup silken tofu, crumbled
About 1/4 cup fresh chives, finely chopped (optional)

Do:
Lightly oil two small tart pans or other shallow mold, pie plate, or something of that nature. Dust it with a light sprinkle of wheat germ, ensuring it is as evenly distributed as possible. Set aside.

Combine So Delicious coconut milk and agar agar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until dissolved, about 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

In another small bowl, combine nutritional yeast, lemon, tahini, garlic and salt. Using a fork, whip ingredients together until smooth and lump free. Set aside.


In a food processor, add cashews and pulse/blend until they are almost the consistency of a fine meal.

To your cashews, add tofu, agar agar mixture and nutritional yeast mixture. Pulse/blend until smooth.

Add fresh chopped chives and pulse until just combined. Taste and add salt as needed.

Transfer 'cheese' into prepared containers, pressing mixture down very firmly and into the corners. Let sit about 30 minutes then cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 5-6 hours but overnight is best.

Serve:
Invert each mold onto a large plate or tray.  

Serve with crackers. Ask Cracker if it would also like to invite fresh cucumber and carrot to the party since Cucumber and Carrot are currently examining their options as well.


Enjoy!

17 comments:

  1. Wow! That looks amazing!!! Another job well done, my friend. :)

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  2. I love everything you make - I NEED the book to come out soon!! :)

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  3. Well written. Poetic ode to Cracker. Love it. Proof that words are as fulfilling as food.

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  4. Jamisson... thank you my darling :)

    Teri... you're so sweet, thank you! I'm working on it! :)

    Karen... why thank you very much! Cracker appreciates it too :)

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  5. That looks and sounds amazing! Any thoughts on non-nut, non-soy/tofu subs? Would love to try this but my boy is allergic to nuts and tofu.

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  6. Vegan Brie? Are you kidding me? This is like a dream come true! Oh, the many delicious things you make with So Delicious coconut milk! I simply cannot wait to try this! Thank you!!!!!

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  7. Oh wow, this looks amazing, I will have to try it for sure!
    Just found your blog and am already loving it!!
    Ana

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  8. I can't have too much coconut milk (or at least not too much of the So Delicious kind, anyway; I haven't tried others). Would this work with unsweetened soy or almond milk?

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  9. Is there a sub for wheat germ for those of its who are gluten allergic as well?

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  10. specialiste... do! and let me know what you think :)

    Malea... hmmm, no nuts or tofu. As far as the tofu goes, soy is probably out too, yes? White beans might be a fun alternative to try!

    Vegiegail... yes!! It's different but quite tasty :) and the So Delicious? Well, I just love it!

    Ana... thank you so much! I appreciate that you're here :)

    Anne... me too! Love it so much! Yes though, this recipe would work with any type of alternative milk. And in fact, almond would be a great alternative and offer a bit more of a 'nutty' flavor.

    azgtracyv... you could just omit the wheat germ alltogether. It's there really to keep the 'cheese' from sticking. A very very light dusting of gluten free flour or shaved almonds would do the same thing.

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  11. Wow, this looks really yummy! I've been making almond feta cheese lately, and now I think I need to give this a try!

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  12. Do you think there's any way of doing this without tofu? I'm soy-free :(

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    1. Hmmm... Let me work on that. It would have to be some sort of gluten base perhaps...

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  13. I second Hannah's query- any way to make this sans tofu? Thanks!

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    1. I will think about that and see what I can come up with!

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  14. Can I bake it and serve as melted brie and crackers

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