cashew cheez

Pepper Jack Cashew Cheese

pepper-jack cashew cheez

Warning: This is an incredibly simple recipe, but when making this, work quickly and without interruptions if possible. The cheese sets fast and needs your complete attention!

It shreds and melts!

Updated Pepper Jack Cashew Cheese

  • 1/2 package Pomona’s Pectin (must use this brand! Otherwise it won’t set!)
  • 1 C. water
  • 1 C. raw cashews
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 to 2 t. crushed red pepper flakes (depending on your heat-o-meter)
  • 1 t. agar powder (optional, makes for an even firmer cheese)
  • you can also quickly stir in some added some canned green chilies and pimientos just before putting in containers to set, but doing so will cause the cheese to have a bit of a shorter shelf life.

Nacho Tower with Pepper Jack Cashew Cheez

Method: Lightly oil half (6) of a cupcake tin rounds in a pan with a 12 cupcake capacity (or if you have a 6 cup one, just use that!). Use your blender to combine 1/2 package of the dry pectin (about 4.5 teaspoons) and the agar powder (optional) with the water and lemon juice. Pour water mixture into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium high heat while stirring constantly. Set to low heat and let simmer while you grind cashews, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder and onion powder until very fine in food processor or with your Estrogen (Blendtec) or Testosterone (Vitamix) Blender. Do not over process and make nut butter.

Mix 1/2 C. water (not included in amount above list) with the small calcium packet from the pomona’s pectin package, set asidePour the boiled water mixture over the ground cashew mixture into the power blender, ignoring instructions in your blender manual that say not to use boiling water in it. Blend until smooth and creamy. It’s gonna thicken quickly, so immediately add HALF (1/4 C.) of the calcium water and the crushed red pepper flakes and pulse until all combined. Immediately pour the hot cheese into the prepared cupcake tin(s).

Refrigerate uncovered for an hour. Turn mini cashew cheeses out onto a plate (upside down) and let set uncovered in the fridge for another 4-5 hours. 1 serving of cashew cheese is half of one mini round, which is the perfect amount for 1 grilled cheese sandwich or 1 quesadilla. This recipe makes 12 servings of cheese. Don’t forget to store the rest of your pectin and calcium water for the next batch. Calcium water stores well in the fridge and the pectin will store in your pantry indefinitely. Cashew cheese keeps for about a week in the fridge and freezes well.

In our house we like to watch Nacho Libre while we eat Nachos.

To make nachos, preheat oven to 450 degrees, layer tortilla chips (we like red hot blues), vegan refried beans, sliced olives, jalapenos and a couple of rounds of grated pepper jack cashew cheese on a baking sheet. Heat for 5-10 minutes or until all hot, melty and bubbly. Serve with sriracha and olive salsa fresca.

You can find Pomona’s Pectin at Whole Foods or order it here online, international orders are available.

Black Bean Veggie Burger with Guac on a Pretzel Bun

Now this is the way to kick off the Vegan MOFO! I’ve been on a quest to perfect the veggie burger since I went veg. It needed to be hearty, not crumble everywhere and taste delicious. I loved the Black Bean Veggie Burger at Smashburger, until I found out that neither the burger nor the bun were vegan and the calorie count was 670 stinking calories and 36 fat grams, -without sides! Blast!

Black Bean Veggie Burger

Adapted, veganized and healthified from this awesome recipe. 

  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 C. chopped cilantro
  • 2 t. hot sauce (I like sriracha)
  • 1/2 C. grated pepper-jack cashew cheez or other vegan cheese shreds
  • 1/4 C. finely minced red onion
  • 2 T. vital wheat gluten or 2 T. ground flax seed (binders, gluten works best for a non-crumbly burger, but if you’re gluten free, flax is a decent sub)
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • 1/3 C. masa harina (finely ground corn flour, the kind used for making tamales)
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 minced jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed for less heat if desired
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 t. spike seasoning
  • 2 T. Water

It really needed a vegan makeover….

Method: In a large bowl, mash beans with a potato masher, leaving some beans whole. Add in all other ingredients and mix with your hands until all combined. Refrigerate burger mixture for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove from fridge, divide into 8 portions. Roll each portion into a ball and smash into a thin 3-4 inch round patty with the palm of your hand. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange patties on tray, spray tops of patties lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 20 -25 minutes, turning once.

Serve up with some of these home baked oven fries (1 potato/sweet potato per person, cut into fries, toss all in a large bowl with a small amount of olive or coconut oil, seasonings/salt/pepper to taste bake at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy) and this cucumber salad. Top with guac, lettuce, tomato, pickles, sliced onion, sliced jalapeno (if you like it like that), sliced pepper jack cashew cheez (not pictured, used up the last of it in the burgers), organic ketchup or bbq sauce and of course, dijon mustard. Best served on a whole grain pretzel bun… Recipe for the pretzel bun coming tomorrow!

A Very Vedged Out Lasagna

My friend Heidi at Lightly Crunchy once said to me

“I’m curious about how you’d make vegan lasagna. No cheese?”

(okay, this was really in a comment, since we’ve never really ‘met’. She lives in Canada and I live in Utah, and yes, to answer your next question, I’m vegan and I’m a Mormon, and no I don’t have 10 children or any sister wives despite the size of this lasagna)

THIS is how we do it at Vedged Out.

A Very Big Very Vedged Out Lasagna

1 Package whole wheat lasagna noodles (I like Delallo Organic no-boil flat sheets), you can use gluten-free noodles instead if you like – 1 large diced onion – 2 grated carrots – 2 stalks celery, diced – 5 minced garlic cloves, divided – 1 large diced eggplant – 8 oz. diced mushrooms – 1 head broccoli, chopped – 2 diced zucchini or summer squash – 2 C. chopped baby spinach leaves – 1/2 C. Chopped black olives (or kalamata or green olives depending on your preference) – kernels cut from 1 ear of corn (or 1/2 C. frozen corn) – 1 block sprouted firm tofu – 2 T. nutritional yeast – 1 t. each of dried thyme, basil, parsley and oregano – couple dashes red pepper flakes – 4 oz of this awesome cashew cheez minus the crushed red pepper flakes or other lame vegan cheez – 3 cups unsweetened almond milk – 4 T. whole wheat pastry flour (or 2 T. cornstarch for gluten-free version) – one 28 oz can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Organic Crushed Tomatoes – one 15 oz can Muir Glen Organic Tomato Sauce.

Method: Water sauté onions, celery and carrots until translucent, add all other veg except 2 cloves of the garlic and the spinach. Cook for 5 minutes more until veggies are crisp tender. Add fire roasted crushed tomatoes, spices, salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

Crumble tofu into a bowl, add 1 clove minced garlic, the spinach and the nutritional yeast, stir it all together.

In a small saucepan heat the almond milk and the flour or cornstarch, when it comes to a boil, add in the cashew cheez and the last remaining clove of garlic, salt to taste. This is your cheez sauce.

Assembly time! Using a deep dish lasagna pan, pour 1/2 can of the tomato sauce in the bottom. Level it out with a spoon until the bottom is covered in sauce, place 3 lasagna sheets over the sauce, then layer with half of the veggie mixture. Add 3 more lasagna sheets. Layer the tofu mixture and 1 C. of the cheez sauce over the top. Add 3 more lasagna sheets, your next layer you will do the remaining half of the veggie mixture, the remaining half of the tofu mixture and one more cup of the white sauce.

Add your final layer of pasta sheets, top with the other half of the tomato sauce, then drizzle with the cheez sauce.

Bake uncovered for 60 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool for 20 minute before serving if you don’t want sloppy lasagna. Even better and less sloppy on the second day.

p.s. this dish makes 12 filling servings, you can easily halve the recipe and bake it in a 9×9 square dish. It has zero cholesterol (duh, veggies don’t have cholesterol), is super low in fat and crazy high in fiber. You can really use whatever veg you have on hand, but perhaps not cabbage, or for that matter, brussels sprouts.

Check out Vegan Bloggers Unite today, my first post is live there! Are you a Vegan Blogger? You can post there too.

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