Monday, January 4, 2010

Great Morning but a Busy Day and Vegan Grated Cheese Topping

I got my 8 hours of sleep and this morning I am back to normal. Good thing, I don’t think my hubby wanted to spend a second day with Debbie Downer. I was anything but Little Miss Sunshine yesterday!

Today I won’t be around as much as normal, but will be back later this evening. I have a few errands to run and have an appointment late this afternoon. Hopefully I will be home in time to make dinner. Otherwise we may have to go out for veggie sushi, darn.

Now, back to the important stuff, the food. Yesterday I decided to try my hand at making nut cheese slices in the dehydrator. The taste was good, but the texture wasn’t quite right. I now know that I need to start with the sauce spread thicker on the teflex and check the dehydrator more frequently. But overall, the experiment was all good, and I learned a lot from the process. As soon as I pick up more raw nuts I will be back to experimenting.

Since the “cheese” ended up more firm than I wanted I decided to dry it more and put it in the food processor. Voila, vegan grated cheese topping (like Parmesan). Don’t you love it when a failure turns into something completely new? Here is how I made it.

Vegan Grated Cheese Topping
Makes ¾ cup


1 cup of raw cashews, soaked for two hours and drained thoroughly
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
¼ cup water
salt, to taste (I used ¼ teaspoon)


Combine everything in your blender and process until completely smooth. Adjust the salt to your taste, remembering that Parmesan is a very salty cheese if that is what you are going for.

Place the “cheese” on a teflex sheet on the dehydrator tray. Spread the cheese as thinly as possible (I used an offset spatula). Dehydrate until completely dry (about 8 hours at 105 degrees).

Crumble the pieces into your food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs.

I am storing mine in the refrigerator so the nut oils won’t go bad. But if you use a lot of this sort of thing it should be stable at room temperatures for months.

Nutritional Information (per teaspoon):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 15.62
Calories From Fat (63%) - 9.89

Total Fat - 1.16g
Saturated Fat - 0.21g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 16.5mg
Potassium - 20.4mg
Total Carbohydrates - 0.97g
Fiber - 0.09g
Sugar - 0.16g
Protein - 0.48g


This recipe was a mistake that turned into something else. I don’t know that I would have thought of this without the problem I had yesterday. But I am glad it worked out the way that it did. One of the things I have missed is a little Parmesan on top of food. Now I have a perfectly acceptable parm substitute without the mystery ingredients and commercial varieties contain. The only change I will make next time is to add more salt.

Unrelated note:

I need to get moving since I have a long list of things to do today. With a little luck I will be back later with a dinner recipe or two.

I hope you are all having a wonderful day. Stay warm!


  1. Oh I am so thankful for your little mistake! Last night's dinner was missing parm so this works out nicely for me! LOL. Is a teflex similar to a silpat sheet? I don't have a dehydrator so I'd have to put in the oven.

  2. Heather,

    I was really thankful for my mistake too! Teflex is used in a dehydrator so things don't fall through the mesh screens. But yes, silpat would be perfect to make this on. If I were using the oven that is exactly what I would do.

    Since you want a parm substitute definitely add more salt.


  3. I love how your failure turned into something yummy! This looks great, I don't use fake cheeses or fake anything else, because they are always full of things I'd rather not consume. Now there is a healthy alternative, thanks to you!

  4. Janet,

    Same here. I refuse to buy food which contains anything I can't pronounce. Since my background is finance that leaves out almost anything except produce, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Fine with me, it is healthier to eat that way anyway.

    I hope you like the grated "cheese" too.


  5. Thanks for the method and the sounds like a great topper for loads of different things.

  6. Dear Alicia, Heard you were having a blah day..something to cheer u up. Grated cheese Topping sounds good. I have nominated you for a Kreativ blogger award as one of my favorite blogs. Please come visit my blog and see how it works and pick up your award. Thank you.

  7. Rose,

    This was definitely a happy accident. I don't think I would have tried it without the initial mistake. Sometimes things just work out. I love it when that happens.


    Aren't you too sweet! Thank you so much!


  8. i have been out all day long and now i cant seem to log into my blogger account, walter neds to re install javascript(thats what it says) lol ?? so i woulkd have written sooner. really glad to here you are feeling better.

    how is the veganizing of that cookbook going? i never really understood exactly what type of book it was, it seemed like it was centered around pork? am i totally off???

    i LOVE when a cooking disaster(or any type of disaster)turns into something even BETTER!lol.

  9. Michelle,

    I am back to my normal self, everything is fine. But I do appreciate your concern.

    Computer stuff isn't my strong point so I have no idea about the javascript other than that message would have be getting the hubby too. ;)

    The cookbook veganizing was on hold during the holidays. Both Sue and I were too busy to get together to cook. However, we were on the phone 30 minutes ago and decided to go through the book over the phone tomorrow and decide what our first menu will be.

    The book is not all about pork, although you would think that from the cover. It does include a lot of meat (but I can always make seitan for that). The book is written by Thomas Keller (of French Laundry fame) and is less involved home cooking type fare. Our plan is to make the food not only vegan but healthy (with little white flour, sweetener and fat). The healthy part may be more difficult than the vegan part of this project. We will see.

    talk to you later,

  10. hey thanks for explaining all that, im back on blogger now. i have no idea what the problem was:) i think i misunderstood the problem.

  11. Michelle,

    Glad you got the problem fixed!



Related Posts with Thumbnails