Cashew Cheese Burrata

We've been experimenting with some dairy-free cheese recipes recently, which has been so much fun! This cashew cheese has been our favourite so far - it has the creamy texture of a soft cheese, but with a delicious nutty flavour. It's fermented over a few days, so it's full of healthy bacteria to help digestion and keep our tummies happy.We love incorporating fermented foods into our meals, not only because they are delicious, but they are also so healing for the gut. This cheese uses a probiotic to ferment, so it's a simple process and a great recipe to try if you're new to fermenting. The fermentation does take a few days, but please don't let this put you off...  It really is so simple to make & it's fun hanging the cheese in your kitchen and seeing it change!  

Cashew Cheese Burrata and Raw Crackers
Cashew Cheese Burrata and Raw Crackers

Cashew Cheese Burrata

(Recipe adapted from The Plant Power Way: Italia)
1 1/2 cups of cashews
1 acidophilus probiotic capsule
1 teaspoon of good quality salt
3/4 cup of plant milk (coconut or oat works well)
1 teaspoon of coconut oil

1. Soak the cashews in water overnight. The next day, drain and rinse the nuts.
2. Add the cashews, acidophilus powder, salt, 1/4 cup of milk, coconut oil to a high speed blender. Blend on a high speed until the mixture is smooth. 
3. Fold the mixture into the center of a piece of fine cheesecloth. Gather the edges and tie them into a bundle with string. 
4. Hang the cheese bundle from a hook for 24 -48 hours. A thin rind should set up on the outside of the bundle. Place a small dish underneath it to catch any moisture drips. 
5. In a small bowl, place the remaining 1/2 cup of milk. Add the cheese bundle to the mix bath and place it in the fridge for 1 - 3 days. 
6. Remove the bundle from the milk bath and place it on a cutting board. Unfold the cheesecloth and cut the cheese into slices using a sharp knife. Enjoy! 
7. Consume within 3-4 days. 

Have you ever eaten/made vegan cheese? We'd love to hear your experiences! 

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Kidney Bean and Coconut Curry

I have fond memories of our time in India a few years back, sitting in little huts half way up mountains eating kidney bean curry (rajma). Despite being absolutely delicious, they did come with a slight risk, as Gabriella discovered when she picked a metal screw out of her meal half through eating it. Apparently it had fallen from the ceiling into the big pot. Not so nice! We decided against including screws in our recipe... 

This recipe uses garam masala, and as mentioned before it does taste so much better if your spice mixes are home made and freshly ground. Having said that, we don't always have time for that! So if you're using a shop bought mix that's maybe been in your cupboard a few weeks, just double the quantity.

kidney bean curry.jpg

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

350g dried kidney beans
1 tin of coconut milk (or 350ml home made)
2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
3 large onions thinly sliced
2-3 inches fresh ginger root
1tsp garam masala (2 tsp shop bought)
1tsp sweet paprika
3-4 kashmiri dried chillis (substitute with 1 tsp red chilli flakes)
Large handful fresh coriander
1 lemon or 2 small limes

1. Soak the kidney beans in plenty of water overnight, the next day rinse and drain thoroughly.

2. In a large pot cover the beans by about an inch of water and cook for 1.5-2.5 hours until completely soft and liquid is beginning to thicken. The cooking time will vary depending on your beans and you may need to add a little more water as you go.

3. In another large pan heat the coconut oil and fry the onions on a medium-low heat for around 15-20 minutes, until soft and caramelised.

4. To the onions add the ginger, garam masala and paprika to the onions with a tiny splash of water and cook for about a minute. 

5. Using a slotted spoon transfer the beans into the pan with the onions and enough of the cooking water to just cover the beans. If you add too much you will end up with a more watery curry. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and meanwhile mash the beans with a wooden spoon to thicken the sauce. alternatively you can use an immersion blender and just give it a couple of small whizzes, but you want to leave plenty of whole beans for texture.

6. Add the coconut milk, stir well and turn off the heat.

7. Finish with plenty of chopped fresh coriander and the juice of 1 lemon or 2 small limes.

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Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Having a good selection of sauces and dressings is essential in our kitchen. Especially for those busier times in life, when having tasty sauces on hand helps make the simplest of meals taste great. This roasted red pepper sauce is our current favourite - it's fresh, deliciously tangy and adds a perfect amount of spice to food. We've been loving it on salads, potatoes (as a healthier version of patatas bravas), with veggie burgers and roasted portobello mushrooms. We hope you you enjoy it as much as we do! 

Spicy Red Pepper Sauce
Spicy Red Pepper Sauce

Ingredients (makes a medium jar)
1 cup of roasted red peppers (either from a jar or roast your own)
1/2  cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
Fresh black pepper to taste
dried red chilli to taste (optional, if you like it spicy! We use 4-5 de-seeded Kashmiri chillies) 

1. If roasting your own peppers, you'll need to roast them until blackened. Allow to cool and then remove the skin and seeds. 
2. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. The sauce will keep in the fridge for at least five days. 

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