I get a few questions about cheese replacements as a vegan. And pizza questions. And general questions. And replacements in general and yada yada. I've said it before, but we don't really do a lot of the mock meat stuff around here. It's not necessarily healthier for you (minus the lack of cholesterol). For milk, we sub almond milk. We do use vegan butter--- sometimes, when a recipe totally needs it. And for cheese, well, we usually skip it... but somethings like pizza, are just better with cheese. Am I right? I'll buy a soy cheese or "veggie" cheese occasionally. We don't go through it super quick so it's something I plan my meals for (like pizza) so we don't waste it.
Another great option, when we have a few more minutes to spare is cashew cheese. It's so good for so many things. And it's really, really easy to make. Next time you have pizza in mind and you've made your dough... try making this too, maybe while the dough rises! :)
1 cup (raw &unsalted) cashews
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic
Small handful of herbs (I picked oregano, thyme, basil, and a pinch of mint from the garden)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
Soak your cashews in a cup or bowl of water for at least one hour, but even over night is a great option.
Drain cashews, but reserve your water for later.
In a food processor or blender, puree all your ingredients. Slowly add one tablespoon of reserved water at a time to give your "cheese" and extra creamy consistency. I ended up using three tablespoons-- but the amount will vary depending on how much water is in your soaked cashews you and machine you use to blend. I use a smaller food processor, it's not especially fancy, and takes a bit longer, but it comes out great! Continue to blend until cashews are smoothly incorporated and mixture is velvety.
Want to use it on pizza? (Yes). Confused on how to get it on your sauce? The best way is to use a frosting piping bag or even just a plastic bag. Fill your bag, cut a small hole and pipe it on! Cook on pizza like you normally would! You know, on the best dough ever, and the oven set as high as you can. The hotter the better.
Trying to eat lighter? Feel free to skip the olive oil. I like to add it for the extra (good) fat to make it feel extra delicious. The nutritional yeast isn't needed to make this super delicious, it's great without it, but better with it. I know it can be hard to find sometimes, but if you can get some, it's great. I put on most of Marlowe's meals. One, because it's packed in b12. But also, because she would probably (definitely) cry if I didn't. She loves it so much. You can also enjoy this cheese on tacos, on nachos, within a quesadilla, on top of a creamy soup, the possibilities are almost endless. "Yum yum yum! This is so good. Can I have more?" -Marlowe.
Nom. Happy pizza eating :)