the taste space

Raw Vegan Parmesan (Almonzano)

Posted in Favourites, Salads by janet @ the taste space on July 19, 2012

Thank you, guys, for your positive responses to yesterday’s less than photogenic (but tasty) dish. This falls under the same category… but I had to share it!

I often get asked what I miss most now that I am vegan.

Not much, to be honest.

Going vegan was easy for me because I don’t really like cheese and eggs. I used to drink tons of milk, though: 4L in a week. After I gave up breakfast cereal, I don’t even drink much nondairy milk. Going whole foods-only was easier because I don’t really like white rice and bread.

I look at it more as eating what I love all of the time!! No need to make any compromises! ;)

As a child, though, I adored Parmesan cheese.  I’d eat it straight from the freezer. Can I have some smelly cheese, please? My Mom would buy the I-have-no-clue-if-it-is-really-food Parmesan cheese from Kraft.  It wasn’t until university that I discovered the marvel of freshly grated Parmesan. It put the Kraft container to shame.

I recently made this vegan Parmesan sprinkle and thought it deserved its own post since it was so good. Not freshly grated melty Parmesan good, but more in the other Parmesan camp.

It got me thinking what I used to love about Parmesan: the crunchy bits, the salty tang, the hard cheesiness.

Like all vegan cheeses, this isn’t exactly like cheese but it is the closest imitation to anything cheese-like I’ve made thus far. While it isn’t a dead-ringer for Parmesan, it comes pretty darn close!  There are many versions of vegan Parmesan (basically ground nuts/seeds with nutritional yeast +/- flavours), and I chose Bryanna’s version which Zoa uses routinely.

You start by grinding some almonds with nutritional yeast and salt. Miso is the magical ingredient (ok, when is it not?). It brings it all together with some moisture, some saltiness and its wonderful umami.

I decided to sprinkle it on a simple veggie salad for lunch, inspired by Gena (white beans, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, baby greens and this almond parmesan), but feel free to add it wherever you typically use Parmesan. I am already imagining how I will use it for a risotto. It would have been lovely with my High-Protein Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Alfredo Pasta, too.

Other vegan Parmesan cheeses:

3-Ingredient Vegan Parmesan Sprinkle from Radiant Health, Inner Wealth
Hempesan
from Choosing Raw
Parmesan Cheese with Almonds and Sesame Seeds from Veggie-licious
Walnut Parmesan Cheese from VegNews
Flavoured Almond Miso Parmesan from SAS Does
Mustard-Cashew Parmesan from Affairs of Living
Cashew-Hemp Parmesan from Nava Atlas

This is being submitted to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Cleare, to this week’s Raw Food Thursdays, and to this week’s Wellness Weekend.

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