Feta cheese the almond way

This is one of my favorite vegan cheese recipes. Truth is I love a traditional Greek salad – even as a main dish during summer days – so I had to come up with a vegan feta cheese to recreate my favorite salad dish. Depending on the time you bake it, this will be either soft – like cream cheese – or firm – like we want it here. When you are ready to serve it pour a little bit of olive oil and oregano on top to get that extra Greek flavor 🙂

veganfeta1  Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole blanched almonds
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1  tsp oregano

veganfeta2

veganfeta3

Soak and drain the almonds. In a food processor add the almonds, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and ½ cup cold water. Blend for 5 minutes until smooth. Add more water if needed. Place a large strainer over bowl, line with a thick cheesecloth and transfer the almond mixture into the cheesecloth. Twist the edges of the cheesecloth around the almond cheese and squeeze tied to help extract moisture. Refrigerate overnight and discard excess liquid. Preheat oven to 200 C/400 F. Unwrap the almond cheese from he cheesecloth, transfer it to a baking dish and bake doe 15-20 minutes until its top is slightly firm. Let it cool before refrigerating.

veganfeta5

veganfeta6 vegafeta4

falafel salad

falafel salad

My favorite salad this summer. I call this “falafel salad” cause it combines all the falafel flavors in a salad. Soft chickpeas, red onion, diced cucumber and green pepper, cilantro and tahini lemon dressing spiced with cumin ♥

vegan cooking class: mushroom soup, veggie pot pie and glazed green beans

At this week’s vegan cooking class at Nea Guinea we made a holiday mushroom soup, great to serve it on your Xmas table, a veggie pot pie and glazed green beans.

cutting the veggies for the mushroom soup
sauting the veggies for the veggie pot pie
more veggies in the pan 🙂
and the potatoes in the pan 🙂
setting the baking pan for the pot pie
placin the puff pastry phyllo in the baking pan
adding the veggies stuffing in the pot pie
covering the veggie pot pie and sealing the edges
veggie pot pie ready to go into the oven - sprinkled with some smoked paprika
cooking the mushrooms soup
mushrooms soup yumminess
garnished with parsley - set on the table 🙂
veggie pot pie - set on the table
glazed green beens

ready to eat!
tasty vegan food served!

Recipes to come later as I will be serving all these at my Vegan Xmas Eve Dinner Party!

cobb salad gone vegan

During the winter I don’t enjoy eating salads. I eat my daily raw greens blended in my smoothie. And that’s enough. I prefer warm hearty food and soups over salad. I am sure it’s not just me. But this salad is an exception. Cobb salad was a big favorite and I still like enjoying it here and there. And all the sudden today, while I was grilling portobello mushrooms for dinner I craved cobb salad. As salad dressing I used the balsamic sauce I was marinating the portobello mushrooms with, and it was delicious, but of course you can “dress” your salad in whatever sauce you enjoy more.

There are no rules here. Use your favorite ingredients to make your own cobb salad. For example instead of chicken I used the grilled mushrooms. Other times I have used grilled white seitan which also works great in this salad. Instead of bacon I sauteed thin slices of smoked tofu. Other times I have used eggplant and tempeh bacon. Instead of egg I used silken tofu cooked with turmeric powder.

the vegan cobb salad

Ingredients

2-3 cups of spinach or lettuce (for the base of your salad)
1 tomato, cubed
1/2 avocado, cubed and tossed in lemon
1/2 green pepper, cubed
2-3 slices of your preferred vegan bacon
1/3 cup silken firm tofu (sauteed for 2 minutes in 1 tsp of olive oil and 1/2 tsp of turmeric)
2 grilled portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced (or grilled seitan)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup of your preferred vegan cheese (I use almond cheese in my cobb salad but this time I didn’t use cheese at all)

vegan cobb salad

To assemble the salad place the spinach in a salad bowl and then add all ingredients in rows on top.

vegan greek salad

I know it’s weird, but one of the things I mostly miss since I became vegan, is our traditional Greek (horiatiki) salad. It is served pretty much everywhere. Of course I can always get it without the feta cheese but oh well… one of the things that Greeks are most famous for, is the feta cheese. So this salad is not the same without it. I’ve been trying to recreate the taste of the feta cheese in various ways. The most successful vegan feta I made so far is a version of an almond cheese which I will be posting soon. But while marinating some tofu for a totally different use I ended up with this delicious tofu feta like.

vegan Greek salad

Ingredients

for the tofu feta
1 cup tofu, cubed, pressed, drained
1 TS white miso paste
1 cup water
1/4 olive oil
1 TS oregano
1 TS lemon juice

for the salad
1 large tomato (not very ripe)
1 medium cucumber
1 medium red onion
1 green pepper (bell pepper will do)
1/3 cup olives
1 TS capers
3 TS olive oil
pinch of salt
1/2 ts oregano

To make the tofu feta, mix all the ingredients in a bowl and let the tofu marinate in the fridge overnight. To assemble the salad, cut the tomato in moon halfs, slice the cucumber, the onion and the pepper. Place them in a salad bowl, add the tofu feta cubes, the olives and the capers, top with the olive oil and season with salt and oregano.

black beluga lentil salad

A very good friend of mine came up with this simple yet very tasty recipe. I actually had it for breakfast *sigh* yesterday morning. Instead of the usual brown lentil I decided to make this with black beluga lentil. The truth is that lentil is a staple in my kitchen. I make lentil soup at least once a week. But it’s too damned hot these days – the temperature hit 42c/107F on Wednesday and I am definitely not in mood for a soup in this heat. This filled my belly without making me break a sweat.

beluga lentil salad

Ingredients

1 cup black beluga lentil
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 avocado, cubed
juice from 1 lemon
2 TS olive oil
2 TS balsamic vinegar
1 TS agave nectar

Place the vegetable broth in a pot over medium heat. Add the beluga lentil and cook it until tender – about 20 minutes. Place the avocado cubes in a small bowl and splash it with the lemon juice. Mix the olive oil, the balsamic vinegar and agave nectar. Drain the lentils and toss them with the dressing. Serve the lentils topped with avocado cubes. You can also add cilantro, cherry tomatoes or cucumber. Enjoy!

creamy smoked tofu potato salad

This is a delicious mayo free vegan potato salad. You can serve it as a side dish, bring it at a picnic or make a wrap with it. As I am not a big fan of mayonnaise, I used natural soy yogurt for the creamy sauce. I do not remove the skin from the potatoes, unless I am making mashed potatoes,  so I advise you to do the same. A medium potato – with the skin – offers approximately 10 gr of iron when without the skin only 2 gr of iron. So next time you will be about to peel your potatoes, think twice!

Ingredients

12 medium white potatoes (skin on)
1 cup smoked tofu, cubed
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup rucola
1/4 cup capers
3/4 cup soy yogurt
1/4 cup mustard
1 TS apple cider vinegar
freshly ground pepper

creamy smoked tofu potato salad

Cut the pototoes in 4 and boil them until they are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and set aside. Combine soy yogurt, mustard, apple cider vinegar, parsley and pepper in a small bowl and set aside. To assemble the salad place potatoes in a large bowl, add the smoked tofu bites, rucola, red pepper, spring onions and capers. Toss with the creamy dressing and refrigerate for at least an hour.  Enjoy!