Almond feta cheese recipe

almond feta cheese recipe

almond feta cheese

Jack and I have been dairy-free for over a year now, and the thing I miss the most is cheese. I’ve made cashew cheese before, but when I found out about almond feta I was excited to try something different. This cheese ended up really tasting like feta- creamy and with a little lemon zing. I think it would be even better with some fresh chopped herbs added in. I did the lazy version and bought ground almonds from trader joe’s, but you can make it with whole almonds too. If you use blanched almonds the cheese will look nice and white, but my ground almonds were brownish because they had the whole almond and it still tasted good. I followed the recipe below and let the cheese sit in cloth overnight to release extra water, but it barely released any so I think next time I will be even lazier and try skipping that step :)

*Update: I tried adding a bit less liquid and not straining the cheese and it turned out fine! Also I tried not baking it and it’s more the consistency of a dip but still tastes great!

Ingredients:

1.5 cups ground almonds 
1/4 cup lemon juice (this makes it pretty lemony, use less if you want it milder)
1/2 cup water 
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp salt

Directions:

-blend everything in the food processor until it’s very smooth for a few minutes

-then put it in 3 layers of cheese cloth or a layer of a cotton cloth and make it into a ball (you can tie it with a string or rubber band), and leave it over a strainer in the fridge for 12 hours

-the next day take the ball out of the cloth and put it in an oiled dish and bake for 40 minutes at 200 degrees until browned slightly

 

It’s delicious on a salad, with crackers, on a sandwich, and would probably be great on pizza too!

 

Amazing vegan carrot soup

vegan carrot soup

vegan carrot soup

 

I’m usually really bad at making soups- they usually turn out really flavorless or not creamy enough, but this carrot soup turned out so good that even my non vegan husband loved it! It’s pretty easy to make too, and I was able to keep Jack occupied “washing” carrots for me while I chopped some veggies and put things together in the pot.

Ingredients:

1 onion

1 potato

2 pounds of carrots (about 8 large carrots)

2 cloves of garlic

liquid- either vegetable broth, non-dairy milk, or water (I did mostly almond milk plus water because I was out of broth)

salt plus any spices you like (I added a bit of ginger and turmeric)

 

Directions:

Chop up the vegetables and saute them in olive oil in the soup pot until they start to brown

Then add the liquid and spices and cook for 20-30 minutes on low

Lastly puree (I used an immersion blender but any blender type thing should work)

 

It’s really pretty easy and is so amazing that I ate like 3 servings per day for a few days in a row until I ran out!

Vegan cucumber yogurt soup

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My mom used to make a cucumber soup that I really liked growing up, but it was definitely not vegan since it had yogurt and sour cream. I tried a few variations on vegan versions and liked this mixture I came up with.

Ingredients:

4 cucumbers (I didn’t peel them, just tossed them into the blender after cutting them in a few chunks)

about 10 ounces of plain yogurt (I used so delicious cultured coconut yogurt)

1 avocado

2 heads of chopped garlic

a tablespoon of lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste (can also add dill)

water as needed (I like thick soup so I didn’t use any water)

Directions: blend everything together and taste it and adjust the ingredients as needed

 

One thing I love about this cold soup is that you don’t have to microwave it, so you can eat it while your baby is napping and not have to worry about making too much noise in the kitchen :)

Jack also enjoyed helping wash the cucumbers and put them from their bowl into the blender.

Whole wheat vegan microwave cookies

cookie

I love the convenience of making cookie-in-a-mug type things because you can have a nice warm cookie after just microwaving it for a minute. I tweaked some recipes to make a slightly healthier version though, with whole wheat flour and I used cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips, although either would work. This recipe makes about 4 cookies the size of your hand, so you can keep it in the fridge and use some of it each time instead of having to mix the ingredients fresh each time.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup vegan butter

2/3 cup brown sugar

a capful of vanilla extract

a sprinkle of salt

2/3 cup almond milk

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup cacao nibs or chocolate chips

 

Directions:

Put the butter in a glass storage bowl and microwave for about 20 sec to soften it

Mix the rest of the ingredients in and store in the fridge, covered, until you want a cookie

To make a cookie, spread a few spoonfuls of dough on a plate and shape into a circle, and microwave for 1 minute

 

Vegan butternut squash quesadillas

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I made these quesadillas today to try to recreate some sweet potato and caramelized onion tacos from my favorite vegan restaurant, and they turned out pretty good. Jack even enjoyed eating some of the tortilla parts!

I found frozen organic butternut squash cubes at  whole foods, so I used them, but any squash type thing would be good. I also didn’t have the time to caramelize onions because of my high-needs toddler, but if you have the time I bet that would taste great.

Ingredients:

1 package of frozen butternut squash cubes (or sweet potato or other squash)

1 package of organic tortillas

1/2 onion, chopped

a few tablespoons of pine nuts

some vegan shredded cheese or nutritional yeast (although the melted cheese works best)

whatever spices you like- I used paprika, but you can add something spicier

 

Directions:

Sautee the onions until browned (caramelize if you have a spare half hour)

Separately, prepare the squash as per the package (boil it or microwave), using whatever spices you like. Then put in a food processor or immersion blender to puree

Take a tortilla and spread a layer of squash on half, sprinkle some onions on top, sprinkle pine nuts over it, and then add a light layer of vegan cheese

Put some oil in a pan and lightly fry both sides of the quesadilla until a little brown

I bet this would taste great with guacamole, beans, or vegan sour cream!

 

 

Easy vegan “sushi” snack

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I’ve been trying to eat more seaweed lately because it’s a vegan source of Omega-3s which are great for your health. Before I had a baby I would buy sheets of nori and roll real sushi with cut up veggies, but that is too time consuming for me to do now since Jack is always running around getting into things. The quick alternative I came up with which tasted great was wrapping some leftover vegetable fried rice in roasted seaweed sheets. It’s really quick and easy to just reheat the rice and put a spoonful in a sheet of seaweed and not have to worry about rolling it perfectly or sealing it closed. They don’t look as nice, but they taste great and are healthy!

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these are the seaweed snack sheets I used

Delicious dairy-free creamy stew (can be vegan!)

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This Brazilian stew has a potato and coconut milk base, so it tastes creamy and amazing! I made it with shrimp since I eat seafood, but you could use mushrooms to make it vegan.

Ingredients:

1 medium potato

2 red bell peppers, chopped

1 bunch of parsley, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 bag of frozen shrimp

1 can of full fat coconut milk

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

Dried basil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons of palm oil, or olive oil

 

Directions:

Cook a medium size potato until very soft. Smash it or blend it in a food processor with a little  coconut milk and salt and set aside. Fry onion and garlic in olive oil. Add parsley and dried basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and red pepper. Add the  shrimp (I put them under water to defrost first). Add palm oil. Let this cook a little and add the coconut milk. Add the soft potato and let everything cook together .

Serve over rice. I used frozen organic rice because it’s so easy to make.

This tastes even better the next day! It’s also flexible- you can add tomatoes (I just didn’t because Jack is allergic), or other vegetables

Even Jack liked it, and he doesn’t like a lot of food!

Easy vegan pasta with cheese sauce

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I love this recipe because you can use almost any vegetable with it, and the sauce is so creamy! It really hits the spot if you’re craving a cheesy taste. You can make a big batch of the sauce and then freeze it so that next time you make the pasta you only have to wash 1 pot! (That is generally my goal when cooking- the least cleanup possible).

For the sauce, combine in a food processor:

2 cups cashews (you can soak them beforehand if you want it extra creamy, but I always forget)

3/4 cup water (or almond milk etc)

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

optional:

1 tablespoon each of lemon juice, mustard, soy sauce, salt, garlic, and/or miso paste. The flavor is best with all of these added in my opinion, but it’s not a big deal either way.

After blending you get a really thick sauce which is good.

Make a half box of pasta

When there is 1-2 minutes left for the pasta to cook, drain 1/2 the water from the pot approximately

Add the sauce to the pasta, and it will turn into a good consistency with the extra water

Also throw in a ton of vegetables (I did 1/4 package of frozen spinach and 1/2 package of frozen bell peppers)

Cook for another 1-2 minutes and stir, and you will have a magical pot of amazing and healthy pasta with minimal kitchen cleanup required!

To serve, I like garnishing with pine nuts

Additions that work well in this dish include: mushrooms, olive slices, fakin bacon, tomato, broccoli, or a bag of mixed frozen veggies

Easy vegan white pizza recipe

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I made this really quick and easy pizza the other day that tasted really good even though it didn’t have dairy or tomatoes (both of which Jack is allergic to). I used a premade frozen organic crust from Trader Joe’s, but you could use anything from a tortilla to crust you make from scratch. It’s obviously not low carb or anything, but at least there is a good serving of spinach!

Directions:

  • Set out your crust
  • Spread a teaspoon of minced garlic on it
  • Add a bunch of frozen spinach (no need to thaw)
  • Sprinkle some pine nuts
  • Top with either grated vegan cheese or I used chunks of Daiya Jack cheese

Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes, less if you use a tortilla.

Jack even enjoyed eating some small pieces of the pizza crust!

Vegan smoothie recipes

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zesty tropical smoothie

 

Now that I have a baby and don’t have as much time to cook, I’ve been making a lot of things using frozen organic fruits and vegetables since they are so easy to use. I like making smoothies because I can get all my servings of fruit in for the day without having to cut or wash fruit, or worry about buying too much and it going bad. Here are some of my favorite combinations:

  • Zesty tropical smoothie: combine a banana, frozen pineapples, and frozen cherries (available at whole foods). Add orange juice and blend. I use an immersion blender and blend it in a pitcher and then drink it out of that with a straw so that I don’t have to do much cleanup! I use these stainless steel straws to avoid plastic and throwing away the plastic ones.
  • Strawberry banana smoothie: combine a banana, frozen strawberries, and almond milk and blend. Optional- add a spoonful of nut butter for an extra filling smoothie, or just a handful of almonds or cashews
  • Pina colada smoothie: combine a banana and some frozen pineapple. Add half a can of coconut milk (may be in the asian section of the grocery), and blend. The coconut milk makes it taste really rich!

Bonus: your baby can eat some of the smoothie too!