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Meatless Monday: Vegan cashew cheese

Try a vegan substitute for cheese by blending cashews, water, and yeast, and adding different flavors such as fruit or herbs. Spread it on crackers for snack, or serve as a condiment with dinner. 

By Beyond the Peel / April 28, 2013

Drizzle a portobello mushroom with olive oil and bake for a few minutes. Then serve it on toast topped with your cashew cheese.

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Editor's note: Stir It Up! blogger France Morissette is currently living in a remote cabin while she works as a fire lookout in Canada. She's also experimenting with a vegan diet. You can read more about her unusual experience on her blog, BeyondthePeel.net.

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Beyond The Peel

Cookbook author, France Morissette, and her husband Joshua Sprague believe that healthy food should be uncompromising when it comes to flavor. They creatively explore the world of natural, whole foods, leaving no stone unturned in their quest to create mouth watering, flavor packed, whole food meals. Through stories, photos, recipes and their online show Beyond The Peel TV, they're on a mission to help you eat healthy and enjoy every last bite in the process.

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So… I’ve arrived. Day 3 of being at the tower. Good thing they brought in a snow plow to clear the paths to the outhouse, storage sheds, and cabin. It would have been days of shoveling. Day 1 of the fire season and I’m starting with a base of 36 cm of snow!

And guess what? It’s still snowing. I’ve been in a snow cloud now for a solid 24 hours and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. That’s not a bad thing necessarily. It’s giving me lots of time to “settle” in. Unpack boxes and suitcases. Trying to find things, like where do they keep batteries, the broom, and mop? This place has been shut up since last October so there’s a bit of cleaning to do. And I have nothing but time.

Lots and lots of time. Especially since the Internet (using an Aircard), isn’t nearly as good as I had hoped for. It doesn’t look like I’ll get as much use out of it as I had planned, except for the necessities (incredibly long loading times), like blog posts. That makes me a little sad. But I am in the middle of nowhere and should be grateful, after all, to have it in the first place. So, no more complaining from me.

I returned to the same tower I was at 4 and 5 years ago. What are the chances?

There are some good memories here and I keep finding evidence of my story, here and there. Antique salt and pepper shakers I brought with me the first year that I’d forgotten about. Small delicate glass shakers. So out of place in this rugged isolated place. A beautiful scented candle my best friend gave me years ago for my birthday (mostly used up, but with a little life left in it yet). The scent is Mediterranean Fig. An old apple basket I used to keep my onions and garlic in. Oh! And best of all, the tackiest clock you ever did see. Dusty blue in color, with a floral brocade background. Hideous, yet still hanging in the exact same spot. There’s a fondness for that hideous thing, for some reason or another.

This is an old cabin with plenty of character. Probably built in the 1970s, judging by the cupboards, wood paneling and the state of the floor. I better get my nostalgia in while I can. This ol’ cabin is being ripped out next year and being replaced with a newer, “better” version. I say “better” since the new cabins are supposed to have very little storage in the kitchen and the bedroom closet has been replaced with an indoor shower. The shower sounds promising doesn’t it? Don’t get too excited, there’s still no running water, but it does provide a good place for a shower bag and protection from the bugs (priceless!). However, for a girl who loves food, cooking, and clothes, cupboard space and a closet are just as essential. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

As for the whole vegan thing, after three days, I feel a little hungry. I won’t lie.

If you’re wondering about a meat lover going vegan, I go into detail about it in this post. But essentially I’m still a meat eater so if anyone wants to come by with some hunted meat or farm fresh eggs, I’m in. But finding sustainably raised meat around here would be next to impossible unless you were in tight with the locals. So I’m putting my values to the test. Can I do it? Probably, if I can figure the hunger part out.

On Day 1, I just unpacked. On Day 2, I made some soft vegan “cheese” made of soaked cashews. Something I’ve been meaning to try. Wish I had done it earlier. Boy was I missing out. I actually have to refrain myself from eating it by the spoonful. I’ve also made some sprouted spelt and sesame bread and a couple extremely delicious meals.

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