Smoked Coconut Gouda (Part Deux) and the #Cheesegate Incident

Cheese

It’s all about the cheese. The most popular posts on my blog are all to do with cheese. Cheese is one of the last things that people who want to go vegan struggle to give up. Often, it’s the food that even die-hard vegans miss the most. Store bought vegan cheese, up until most recently, has mostly been a sad and plasticine substitute.

Until vegan cheese extroadinaires Miyoko Schinner and Skye Michael Conroy entered the cheese scene a couple of years back, most of us didn’t know that vegan cheese could taste any good, or melt, or even pass as not only as an acceptable substitute for dairy cheese, but as an exceptional real vegan cheese that stands up to any dairy counterpart.

Hence, I’ve been developing unique vegan cheese recipes for almost as long as I’ve been blogging.

Smoked Coconut Gouda 2

So, I guess it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me when a friend of mine brought to my attention that an Internationally Published Vegan Magazine recently featured my original Smoked Coconut Gouda recipe in a Special Vegan Cheese feature they are running for the Holidays.

What did surprise me though is that this magazine had printed my recipe without my express permission. Their article claimed the recipe was adapted from my site, but the ingredient list was the exact same and the directions were only very carefully reworded, but with the same end result. That doesn’t even come close to what my understanding of what an adaptation is. Also, if you’ll look to the right hand side of my toolbar, you’ll notice that I’ve always had a copyright statement on my site, which should have given the magazine a pretty good clue that they ought to obtain my permission before publishing my recipe.

In the beginning, I was pretty upset about it, as stealing content from my site is not in any way a form of flattery to me. Also, this magazine made a profit off of using my recipe for one of their headlines for which I never saw a penny. I contacted the company to voice my concerns and they told me they “don’t have the time to contact every blogger with a brief mention in their magazine, and that most people they feature are grateful for the free mass publicity they receive.” To me, these kind of ethics, especially within a vegan company who you would expect to have a stronger moral compass stinks. Almost as much as a smelly ripe cheese. If you want to read more about that incident, it all unfolds on my personal and business facebook pages.

Cheese Toasty 1

Anyway, I hadn’t thought about this particular recipe in quite some time and seeing it again in print made me realize that the original cheese recipe didn’t melt as well as I would have liked, that the steps in the recipe were too complicated and that perhaps I was using too many ingredients to achieve the end result.

In other words, the #cheesegate incident caused me to retool the Smoked Coconut Gouda. Lucky you. This new version has just 8 ingredients (excluding water), and comes together in less than 10 minutes flat for hands on time. Also, you’ll be surprised to find that it doesn’t acutally taste anything like coconut. So, allow me to introduce:

Smoked Coconut Gouda 1

New and Improved Smoked Coconut Gouda

  • 1 (13.66 ounce) can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vegemite, Marmite or my friend Kittee’s Vegan & Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons kappa carrageenan (see note below)
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Method: 

In a medium saucepan, add the coconut milk, water, Vegemite, Marmite or Kittee’s Vegan Worcestershire sauce, nutritional yeast, kappa carrageenan, tapioca starch, liquid smoke and sea salt. Whisk together the ingredients until completely smooth.

Heat the saucepan to medium heat on the stove top and cook while whisking constantly for 5-6 minutes until the mixture has thickened and is glossy. Do not overcook, as the mixture will become oily and separate.

Remove the cheese mixture from the heat and quickly whisk in the apple cider vinegar.

Pour the cheese into a small container that can contain a minimum of 2 cups volume. I like using a round or square glass Tupperware, or my tofu press container.

The cheese will start to set right away. Allow the cheese to set at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then put the cheese in the refrigerator to finish setting for 3 to 4 hours.

Remove the cheese from the mold and use it wherever you would use dairy cheese. This cheese is great for cutting into cubes or slices and snacking with crackers, or grated and melted over a pizza. I especially love it for broiled cheese toasties.

Notes: While this recipe is based on my original Smoked Coconut Gouda and is entirely my own, I plainly confess that I’m standing on the shoulders of vegan cheese giants and have used the cheese making methods that both Miyoko and Skye Micheal (both mentioned above) employ in creating their vegan cheese recipes. For them, I thank them for their vegan cheese genius and for paving a more delicious and melty way for the rest of us.

Kappa carrageenan is a product made from natural seaweed, however, it’s a controversial ingredient for some people. I’ve done my research and have decided that I’m fine using it on occasion. If you do not wish to use this ingredient, you can substitute 2 tablespoons powdered agar agar straight across for the kappa carrageenan and follow the recipe in exactly the same manner. The cheese should still taste equally delicious, as well as still be able to be sliced, shredded and cubed, but it will not melt nearly as well.

Farmer's Lunch Feastt

If you make the cheese and love it as much as I do, please respect me and the time I put into creating unique recipes by not sharing the print recipe on your own site, Facebook post or page, but by simply linking back to this post when sharing on social media. For Instagram use the hashtags #VedgedOut and #SmokedCoconutGouda

Love,

Somer & All the Vegan Cheese

All New “Nakd” Snack Bars From Natural Balance Foods! Gluten-Free, Vegan and made from 100% Whole Foods. Plus a Special Sample Offer for Vedged Out Readers.

As a blogger, one of the fun things I get to do is try new products on occasion. While I can’t accept every offer in my inbox, once in a while I get an offer I can’t refuse. These Nakd Snack Bars had me at hello!

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Nakd

Plus, they are rather flattering, don’t you think?!? Talk about a product making you feel special! ;)

Nakd Snack Bars are made by Natural Balance Foods, an exciting British company that recently launched in the U.S. They specialize in snack bars that are made of 100% natural ingredients, and are both vegan and gluten-free. Wins all around!

Natural Balance has a special offer for Vedged Out readers. You can get your own sample case of these bars pictured above for just $9.99 with free shipping. That’s 40% off their regular price of $16.99. So go ahead, click on the link below and nab your own box.

$9.99 Sample Case of Nakd Bars

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I’ve tried to taste as many of the flavors as possible, so far, all have been delicious, with the cocoa orange being so tasty it makes my socks go up and down. Some of these bars have just 2 whole food ingredients and most of the bars have less than 5 ingredients. My children have been fighting over them for lunch box snacks and my husband asked if he could take the whole case to work. Looks like I need to get everyone their own box! Enjoy yours!

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Love,

Somer

Baked Penne with Pumpkin Cream Sauce, Bumbleberry Cobbler and Rustic Bread Pudding from Julie Hasson’s Newest Cookbook, Vegan Casseroles! Plus Review and Giveaway Extravaganza!

Vegan Casseroles

I don’t even know where to begin. A few years ago, I developed a profound hatred of casseroles. Probably because at about that same time I had just gone vegan and shortly after that life changing decision, I attended a recipe swap where nearly every recipe exchanged was a casserole recipe. These casseroles were all oozing with loads of butter, cheese, meat, sour cream, gelatinous cream of something soup from a can and more cheese. The kind of dishes that heart attacks are made of.

Julie Hasson

Then in September, I saw a post Julie Hasson had on Facebook about her new book Vegan Casseroles. My inner Mormon heart leapt with joy. (Mormons are almost as famous for their casseroles as they are for their devout love of green jello). Could I possibly enjoy casseroles again without the compilation of nightmarish ingredients above?!? The answer is a resounding yes, Yes, YES!

Pale Ale Stew 2I made this Pale Ale Stew on page 39. We took it camping in freezing weather. It was absolutely delicious and warmed us through and through!

Julie, like a vegan superhero, has recreated each and every casserole I can imagine with plant-based ingredients that are simple to make, have short ingredient lists, yet don’t skimp on flavor. This book is a comfort food lover’s dream!

(more…)

Nava Atlas’ Plant Power Cookbook. Plus her Guide for 7 Simple Meal-Planning Strategies for the Plant-Based Kitchen, Review, Hummus Wrap Recipe and Giveaway

PlantPower_HC

Nava Atlas‘ latest beautiful book, Plant Power is a heavy and sturdy hardcover. It reads like a compelling and sweet beginner vegan textbook with everything you need to know about going vegan. Recipes range from the best of the vegan basics to delicious and flavorful ethnic cuisines. There’s something for new vegans and seasoned vegans alike on every page. It is as much a tool for plant based education as it is for harnessing the power of plants in your kitchen.

Today Nava is sharing her Guide for 7 Simple Meal-Planning Strategies for the Plant-Based Kitchen below and a Hummus Wrap with Grains and Greens from her book. (more…)

10 Free Vegan Halloween Recipes!

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Hi there! I’ve been buried deep in being a mom, finishing my cookbook and airing out my sweater sweats collection. However, my vegan lady friends, Kathy Hester, Cara Reed, Richa Hingle and Natalie Slater have some fun recipes in this cool ebook that’s available for free right now that I thought you might like. Go nab yourself a copy here. Oh, and add this Spooky Macadamia Nut Brie En Croute to your Halloween Menu too.

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Happy Halloween!

xx,

Somer

Kathy Hester’s Oatrageous Oatmeals! Review, Giveaway and a Recipe for Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Belgian Waffles

Waffles 2

It’s no secret how much I love Kathy Hester. Not only is she a fantastically prolific vegan cookbook author, but if you talk amongst the bloggers that know her, she’s sort of like the mother hen who looks after us all, talks us through our dilemmas and helps us ultimately to succeed. She’s simply a wonderful person and today I’m happy to present to you a review of Kathy’s Book, OATrageous Oatmeals.

Cover

Leave it to Kathy to tackle a full book on oats and use them in more ways then you ever imagined possible! She has recipes to show you oats in a whole new light. Think Italian Veggie and Oat Sausage, Veggie Oat Tacos and Oat Pizza Crust Topped with vegan sausage crumbles made from Steel-cut oats. But don’t worry she includes new takes on traditional favorites like Banana Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes and Strawberries and Cream Overnight Refrigerator Oats too. From now on it’s Exciting Oats for Every Meal!

GranolaCurry Cashew Savory Granola

Pepita Oatmeal Raisin Cookie BarsKathy asked me to share a recipe for her book! Here it is! My Pepita Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars! The very first recipe I have in a print cookbook!

ChiliSteel-Cut Oat Bean Chili

TacosVeggie Oat Taco Mince

And now for this awesome recipe:

Waffles 1

 Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Belgian Waffles

by Kathy Hester From OATrageous Oatmeals by Kathy Hester printed with permission of Page Street Publishing 

gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free option* I can’t help but add some lemon wherever I have blueberries! If you aren’t fond of the combination, use vanilla or almond extract instead. It’s very important to cook these waffles at least 5 minutes, if not more. If the waffle is not ready, it will make a mess.

Makes 4 waffles

Dry Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (69 g) finely ground rolled oats
  • or oat flour
  • 1/2 cup (48 g) rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup (39.5 g) rice flour
  • 1/4 cup (37.5 g) almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup (148 g) blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 3/4 cup (180 g) nondairy milk
  • 1/2 cup (127.5 g) applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons (14 g) ground flax mixed with 4 tablespoons (59 g) warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract (or 1/4 teaspoon lemon oil)

For Serving: maple syrup, nondairy butter, optional

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined. In a different bowl, combine the wet ingredients and mix well. Then pour the wet into the dry and mix thoroughly. Set the batter aside for 10 minutes to let the rolled oats soften. Please note that this batter is very thick. Preheat your waffle iron at medium-high temperature if you have that option. The waffle iron should be hot once the batter is ready.

I suggest spraying the top and bottom plates with some spray oil, but you can make it oil-free* by just relying on the nonstick coating. If you choose to use no additional oil, make sure the waffle is completely cooked. If any of the outside is not crispy, the waffle will tear, stick and generally make a mess.

Place about 1⁄3 cup (80 ml) of batter in the middle of the waffle iron and spread into a circle with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula. When you place the top down, the batter will spread. If your mixture gets too thick to spread, add a little nondairy milk to loosen it up.

Cook according to your waffle iron instructions, about 5 to 8 minutes. With my waffle iron, the first waffle takes 8 minutes. As you make additional waffles, the process gets a little faster until it takes 5 minutes for each waffle.

Per waffle: Calories 259.2, protein 6.9 g, total fat 7.8 g, carbohydrates 42.5 g, sodium 90.4 mg, fiber 6.1 g

Don’t have a waffle iron? Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup (60 to 120 ml) of extra nondairy milk and make pancakes instead!

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Visit Kathy Hester at her site, Healthy Slow Cooking, here.

Purchase Kathy Hester’s new book, OATrageous Oatmeals here.

Or for a chance to win a copy of OATrageous Oatmeals, Click on the link below to enter! This contest is open to entrants in the USA only! You must also follow this blog by email or RSS feed to qualify. You have until Tuesday the 21st of October to enter. I will notify the winner by email by Thursday October 23rd! GO!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kachava, The Tribal Superfood and Whole Body Meal, Review and Giveaway. Chocolate Banana Milkshake and Chocolate Peanut Butter Snack Bar recipes.

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I admit when I was approached by Simon Malone, the owner of Ka’chava, to sample and review his product that I was a little reluctant. Meal replacement shakes typically just aren’t my thing. Plus the stats on the Ka’chava website seemed just a little too good to be true.

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When the product arrived, I tried it a few different ways, just chocolate, just vanilla, mixed with water, and then mixed with almond milk. Then chocolate and vanilla mixed together as Simon suggested. All of the above were good, bordering on delicious.

Nutrients

Typically I find vegan protein or meal replacement shakes to be chalky, overly flavored with stevia or just generally unpalatable. Somehow Ka’chava has managed to undo all my previous hesitations while adding tons of nutrients and superfoods that you normally don’t find in a regular vegan protein shake.

shake

It’s super easy to blend in a shaker cup and literally tastes great plain, but I’ve found a couple of ways to jazz it up that I think you’ll like too. (more…)