During my time as an omnivore I loved cheese. I would eat cheese every day, sometimes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I couldn’t get enough. The thing is, once I became a vegetarian I found all the cheese I was eating didn’t quite work for me anymore. That’s why I love this Veggie Cheese Spread so much. I can have all the yumminess of cheese without any of the discomfort.
I was first introduced to a version of this cheese by my good friend Mandy. Mandy is creative, intelligent, and a real free spirit. She also happens to be vegan. Mandy’s husband Andrew has a really interesting story too. You can read about it here.
So anyway, I was at Mandy’s for a get-together and I was like,
“Dude, why are you boiling 2 random carrots and a potato?”
To which Mandy replied, “It’s for the cheese. Just you wait, you’re going to love it.”
I went home that night with the recipe etched onto my brain.
The very next day I made some of this delicious, golden, moreish spread. I had spent the whole night before thinking about how I could adjust the cheese to make it extra tasty. With a few tweaks I came up with my own version.
For me, it was important to incorporate some protein into the spread, so I added raw cashews. Another little change was that instead of boiling the garlic along with the carrot and potato I roasted it in the oven. By roasting the garlic cloves you create a lovely smokey, sweet and mellow flavour that takes this cheese spread to another level. It’s not unusual for me to use butter in place of the olive oil (for flavour and consistency) but if you want to keep this dip completely plant based then stick to the olive oil.
My Veggie Cheese Spread can be eaten as a dip (think corn chips and veggie sticks) or spread onto some toasted sour dough or wholegrain crackers. What’s more, you don’t have to be a vegan or vegetarian to enjoy it. Everyone I have ever served it to loves it. I just know you will too.
The Best Veggie Cheese Spread
Makes around 1 200g Jar
1 medium size carrot (diced)
1 small/medium size potato (diced)
2 cloves of roasted garlic
1/4 cup raw cashews
a tablespoon of olive oil
1 teasoon of onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
- Start by soaking the cashews in a small bowl of water from a freshly boiled kettle. Set the soaking cashews to one side for later.
- Next, roast your garlic. Turn your oven on to 200C (fan forced). Grab two cloves of garlic, leave the skin on. Put the garlic cloves into a small square of Aluminum Foil and drizzle the garlic with a tiny bit of olive oil. Now close the foil around the garlic, twisting the end off like a sweet. Pop your little garlic parcel in the oven for about 15 minutes. The garlic is ready when the skin looks slightly golden and the garlic inside is soft and mushy.
- Put your diced carrot and potato into a pot of water and bring it to the boil. Cook them until they are really soft. This normally takes around 15 minutes.
- Drain the carrot, potato and the cashews of all their water in a colander in the sink. Put them into a small food processor with all the other ingredients (make sure you discard the garlic skin) and blend on high until you have a rich, smooth, creamy consistency. Your Veggie Cheese Spread will last for around 4-5 days if you store it in a clean glass jar in the fridge.