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Monday, September 23, 2013

Cheese Dip

A friend from work forwarded several vegan recipes when she became aware of my culinary leanings. She included from the 7 Secrets Cookbook by Neva and Jim Brackett, a great recipe for nondairy cheese.  I made the whole recipe in less than five minutes and dipped an organic black bean chip into the hot liquid mixture. It was outstanding.  The warm soft cheese is better than the cold brick. The ingredient's flavors tend to separate in the cooler version. 
 I suggest replacing the pimentos with jalapeƱos or salsa to serve hot with chips. Or grate the cheese and use it on pizza hot.  Really good.
You will absolutely need the agar flakes or powder. It can be found cheaply at the local Asian market or a more pricey option is a health food store or Whole Foods. It’s also known as Chinese gelatin.
Today’s Menu:
Sliceable Cashew Cheese—7 Secrets Cookbook by Neva and Jim Brackett

This recipe doubles for two kinds of cheese-like slices – yellow or white.  They can even be shredded!

2 cups water
3 Tbsp agar flakes (or 3 tsp agar powder)
1 cup raw cashew nuts
2 Tbsp pimentos or ½ bell pepper or jalapeƱos or salsa
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp food yeast flakes
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp garlic powder

1. Boil together the agar and water for 1-2 minutes.  Place in blender with all the remaining ingredients and blend for 1-2 minutes until very smooth.
2. Pour into containers and chill.  Slice when firm.

Hint:  This recipe makes a yellow cheese.  Leave out the pimentos for white cheese.  It may be frozen – shreds best when partially frozen.  Makes a great topping for pizza or lasagna because it melts when heated.  Keep white and yellow cheese (whole and shredded) on hand in the freezer – for quick, nice looking toasted cheese melts.

Makes 2 cups. About 165 calories/12% saturated fat per 1 ounce slice. (Real Cheddar cheese has 116 calories/30% saturated fat.)