“What Mr.Vegan?! I couldn’t Dair-y Give up cheese!” Said the Vegetarian
As much as I hate to say it, Its been a busy week in the Life of Ri so I apologise for the delay in any form of posts. Despite my busy schedule lately - I've found it's Important to make time for the important things. Like me, Now I don't mean I've reverted and became a Hermit Crab - more the complete opposite to be honest. I've been out exploring and finding new things to try which brings me to the Subject of this Blog post today. 'Sheese.'
No that wasn't a spelling error it was intentional, In my travels this week, I found a lovely shop in the heart of Canterbury filled with Vegetarian and Vegan foods. Canterbury Wholefoods is a lovely shop with extremely helpful staff. After walking around the shop with a gleam in my eye at all the fantastic and unique items they have suitable for vegans ranging from Tofu dogs, hummus Crips and even marshmallows I found the refrigerated section. Within there, you had a huge section of Soy cheeses and I just had to try one so I brought the 'Sheese Garlic and Herb spreadable' and ran home to try it.
My first attempt was just on toast, it was nice but I felt for me personally it had all the taste it needed but I wasn't keen on the texture. So I decided it was time to try it in recipes
Sheese, Tomatoes, Pesto, Spinach
and mushrooms wrapped in filo pastry.
THESE WERE DELICIOUS! Hot they were everything I needed right they, the Sheese melted into a creamy warm sauce which mopped up rather nicely with the watercress salad and leftover crumbs of pastry.
These are really simple to make. I mixed up all the ingredients in a bowl and lined a cupcake tray with filo pastry and placed a tablespoon of the mixture inside and folded the filo pastry over, then using melted Vitolite (another great discovery) over the top before cooking the wraps for about 10 minutes.
The Lentil lasagne was an amazing and hopefully not a one-off creation. The perfect dish for those cold evenings, hot evenings, mild ones. summer ones. winter... spring... summer, Who am I kidding when is Lasagne ever bad? With this recipe. Never!
This recipe was a fun but you'd have to give yourself a good chunk of the day to make it every time you'd want it to be. I started by soaking the lentils in vegetable stock, a garlic clove and a dash of Worcestershire sauce (Tiger Tiger do an amazing free from) I allow that to soak for a while - The longer the better. After you've reached a level you're happy to work with add to boiling stock and begin to add vegetables. I used red onion, aubergine, mushrooms and mixed peppers and allowed them to satay in the broth, added the passata and allowed to cook for roughly 30 minutes. I used gluten free and egg free lasagne sheets and began to create the layers - I filled the small round dish and then decided Lasagne NEEDS that cheesy sauce to compliment the dish and to really complete it.
To make this, I started with a Roux - Melt butter (Vitolite) in a saucepan. Stir in an equal amount of flour and cook the mixture for just under a minute and Stir in Soya milk, a little at a time, making sure to stir well so that no lumps form. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly, so that the mixture thickens and becomes glossy. I then added the Sheese - off the heat and stirred until smooth and added an extra garlic clove and some spinach. Turning it into a gratin and pouring over the top before cooking for a further 10 minutes.
This was my favourite discovery of the week and they had so much on display, I just wanted to buy it all, However, I bit the bullet and have made some amazing stuff with just one tub! I even made a grilled cheese Sandwich with it and it was awesome but a little too much fake cheese isn't always healthy nor is it nice in copious amounts I've found. A little definitely goes a long way.
TIP: VitoLite also do cheese - it's perfect for sandwiches but do not try to melt it. it doesn't work and in my opinion isn't great but makes a great sandwich filler
By No means am I telling or shame-ing any vegetarian in this post, But in recent conversations with Vegetarians, it seems cheese is a common factor in terms of not making the full switch. These are just a couple Ideas I thought I'd share with you to show people we just don't eat salads and amusingly... Grass.
Until Next Time.