janet @ the taste space

Raw Vegan Parmesan (Almonzano)

In Favourites, Salads on July 19, 2012 at 6:36 AM

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
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.

Raw Almond Parmesan (Almonzano)
From Bryanna Clark Grogan, via The Airy Way

1 cup raw almonds
4 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
2 tsp white miso
1/2 tsp salt

1. In a food processor, pulse all ingredients together until a fine powder.

2. Store in the refrigerator for a couple of months.

Makes 1 cup. Can easily be doubled, tripled and stored in the refrigerator or freezer.

  1. Love the addition of the miso paste! It really is the secret ingredient to everything eh?

  2. I miss cheese too! I’m not vegan, but my trainer doesn’t like us to eat cheese because it’s processed and high in sodium/fat. *sigh*

    This looks really good though! I’m a sucker for anything with miso! Will have to try this on my spaghetti pasta.

  3. I’ve made a similar recipe from a vegan cookbook but it was a lot more complicated – next time I am going simple!

    • Some of the recipes I linked to are even more simple but I don’t think one can skimp on the miso or nooch… pick your favourite hard nut, though. 😉 it is great because you can whip up as much or as little as you want. 🙂

  4. have made this sort of thing without the miso – must try it with the miso as I have found vegan parmesan a bit dry and I think this might lift it – plus I love white miso

  5. I’d love to try this. I did not know nutritional yeast would taste like cheese. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Oh Janet, I can’t wait to make this! I love ALL cheeses, which is the only reason I’ve gone back and forth on becoming completely vegan. I can go a few months, and then a gluten-free pizza calls my name. Maybe the more vegan cheese recipes I collect the more of a chance I can be 100% vegan! Thank you!

    And we called the green canister of parm “puke cheese”…but for some reason we liked it sprinkled on our spaghetti!

  7. ooh, I’d love to try this out! I have to get some nutritional yeast flakes, I always come across great-sounding recipes that use this.

  8. And that is probably precisely why I couldn’t ever go vegan…I LOVE cheese! Passionately. But the reason you state for going vegan being easy for you is pretty much the same reason I tell people going veg was easy for me. I LOVE veggies…and never really loved meat all that much.

  9. I’ve been making this one, 1/2 c toasted sesame seed, 2 T nutritional yeast, 1/4 t salt, it’s good.

  10. […] overtop at the end of the braise but I went without for a vegan option. I had considered sprinkling almond parmesan overtop but ran out of time. The beans are definitely more than a sum of its parts. The leeks cook […]

  11. […] with some spices. It passed the sniff test. Not entirely sure what it is, I have two options: almonzano (unlikely because it doesn’t taste similar) or dukkah. Or something I just don’t […]

  12. […] 4 medium zucchini, about 2 pounds, divided (or 1.25 lbs zucchini plus pasta) 1/2 tsp salt 1 hot green chili, seeded and minced 2 large onions, peeled and very finely minced (3 tbsp finely minced onion reserved) 1.5 tsp peeled and very finely grated ginger 1 tsp dried parsley flakes 1/3 cup chickpea flour 1 tbsp olive oil 1/4 tsp ground turmeric 1/4 tsp Aleppo chile flakes 1 tsp ground cumin 2 tsp ground coriander 14 oz can of whole tomatoes, drained and chopped 1 cup almond milk (or your choice of nondairy milk) 1/2 tsp garam masala 1/2 tsp ground cumin salt, to taste 1/4 cup almond Parmesan (recipe here) […]

  13. […] is such a fun play on the traditional spaghetti and meatball dish. The cheese that Janet uses is Raw Vegan Parmesan which is made from almonds, yeast flakes, miso, and salt. I’m so fascinated by this! And with […]

  14. Reblogged this on Vegan Coyote.

  15. […] 3 tbsp olive oil, divided 4 cups (1/2-inch diced) stale bread 2.5 lbs summer ripe tomatoes, chopped in 1/2 inch cubes 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed 1 tsp sea salt 1/2 cup julienned basil leaves, lightly packed 2/3 cup vegan Parmesan cheese (example: Almanzano) […]

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