“I’d be vegan, but I couldn’t give up cheese!”
I never said this (though I contemplated it for the couple of months when I was vegetarian prior to making the switch). All of the time, I read and hear from other vegans about the thing they hear the most is, “Where do you get your protein?”
I barely hear that. However, I often hear never being able to give up cheese.
It can be tricky, too. Giving up cheese, we pursue many ways and methods of getting that cheese flavor and texture. Not being a fan of the processed vegan stuff, I turn to other methods of getting my fix. You’ve read (possibly) about one already. Here’s my other.
The book: Artisan Vegan Cheese by Miyoko Schinner
Why do you have it? I relentless pursue cheese-like homemade products that are less processed but taste amazing.
Well, why hadn’t you cooked from it yet? This is a relatively new book. That being said, every recipe also takes forever. Why do I want the things that take time, when I am the most impatient person I know?!
Did you have difficulty deciding on a recipe? Yes, as I wanted to make several but all of them took more time than I was willing to devote this month (due to the blogging, a couple of big trips, and other general business). Since I figured it would take forever, I chose… poorly! :)
What did you make? Cashew Yogurt, as this was requested for making Cashew Cream Cheese.
How did the cook go? The yogurt required two attempts. The first attempt I wound up trashing as I cooked the almond milk too much… or perhaps not enough. In any case, my yogurt did not seem very yogurt-y. I tried a second time, a few mods, being very careful with the cook… The Cashew Cream Cheese was really straight forward but, as will be noted soon enough, I did not use the homemade yogurt to make the cream cheese.
Did you modify? Because we know you can’t help yourself. As stated, I modified my second attempt at the Cashew yogurt by reducing the liquid and increasing the cashew slightly. Other than this, no modifications.
How did the eat go? Let’s start with the yogurt. I didn’t wind up using it for the Cashew Cream Cheese because it didn’t seem yogurt-y. I think most of my experience with Yogurt is with Greek yogurt, so I was dismayed at how liquid-like it seemed. I decided to try to make the Yogurt Cheese… but even that didn’t turn out right. It did wind up making the yogurt a bit thicker… and it actually was quite tasty. I let it live, and use it in certain meals.
The cream cheese I wound up using unsweetened soy yogurt to make. I let it sit out for the full time recommended. I liked the texture, but there was a very strong cashew flavor the first time out. I was already thinking on how to modify it when I tried it from the fridge a day later. After sitting in the fridge a bit, the flavor mellowed a little. There was that tang you get from cream cheese, for sure. It still has some cashew flavor to it (and I used raw cashews, before anyone asks), it wasn’t as pronounced. I’ve been using it steadily, as it does taste good and good enough for me to prefer it over processed cream cheese (between a rock (trans fat) and a hard place (palm oil)).
And The Husband? The yogurt he likes very much, but he often refers to it as sour cream. He wants me to make many spicy curries so that he can drizzle this on them. And as for the cream cheese… well, I knew he would be a hard sell on this, as he often describes himself as a “cream cheese snob.” I’m glad I found a vegan version that he at least eats and enjoys. He was not a fan of the cashew flavor behind the cream cheese nor the texture (he hates “whipped” cream cheeses, and while I wouldn’t go so far as to say that was the texture, for him it was close enough). It’s fine, that just leaves more for me! :)
Will you cook from this book again? Yes. I have decided that good things take time, so I will continue to try recipes from the book. Even ones with oil. Though now that I’ve dipped my toe in I’m already thinking of modifications for the cream cheese… sometimes you gotta dip your toe in before you mod, right?
So, did you find it hard to give up cheese?
Ultimately, no. Like giving up meat, because I was eating so little of it to begin with, cutting off the last of it was not hard for me. Still, I do like making vegan versions of mac and cheese as well as pizza (mmmm, pizza), and fake cheeses (of home made, or I do like a little Teese
now and again) is just fine for me. If I don’t crack the code in my lifetime, then I don’t care. I’d rather not eat cheese if it means less stress on the environment or the poor creature that had to provide for it, and the world is full of tasty alternatives anyway. (Have I revealed yet how addicted to nooch