Monday, January 03, 2011

Frugan: Nutty Goat Cheese & Easy Burger Recipe


Cheese is something that is really hard to give up for many people, myself included. Fortunately, it is fairly simple to create alternatives out of nuts that will satisfy the craving. I hesitate to actually call my cheese alternatives cheese because I think it can set up an expectation that is hard to live up to. I am calling it cheese on this blog to simplify things.

A note about using substitutions. With my recipes, I attempt to create a satisfying experience with each bite. This will not taste exactly like goat cheese, but when you use it in the the way you would use goat cheese, it is intended to give the same flavor satisfaction. Does that make sense?

Several months ago, one of my favorite customers, Allison came into the health food store. She was excited to tell me that she learned of a method of creating a flavorful nut cheese using sauerkraut as the culture. I was of course intrigued and asked if she had a recipe. She didn't have one off hand, so I started experimenting that day! I'm thrilled to say that it works really well. You can use commercial or raw sauerkraut. I have included miso to give it more depth of flavor.


Goaty Cashew

  1. 1 c cashews or almonds
  2. 1 c sauerkraut
  3. 2 T miso
  4. 2 t Dijon 
  5. 1 t Umeboshi vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  6. Pinch salt (optional)

 Method:

  1. Blend very well in either a high power blender or food processor
  2. If you have a yogurt maker, culture overnight
  3. If you don’t have a yogurt maker, let sit covered for 2 days
I really love using my yogurt maker to culture cheeses and milks, but it is not necessary. The longer this cheese sits, the funkier it gets. In a good way!

Use it to top pizza,  veggies, crumbled in a salad, or anywhere you'd like!

I've also made this omitting the dijon and miso for use in sweets. It makes an out of this word raw cream cheese frosting.

I hope that you try this recipe and enjoy it as much as I do! And a special thanks to Allison! 

On a completely different note, I have perfected the TASTE of my lower fat vegenaise. I'm hoping the texture firms up in the fridge. I know it would with agar, but I want to keep the ingredients as simple as possible, so here's hoping! Regardless, I have the taste down and it's soooooo much like mayonnaise it is almost scary. 

Look for that recipe in the next couple of days along with some more base sauces I've been developing! I have a fat free base sauce in the works that's proving to be quite tasty. I used it to top these Middle Eastern Burgers that I had today for my second Mini Meal. 
I had some leftover rice and hummus so I threw together some burgers.

Middle Eastern Burgers
  • 1 c cooked rice or grain of choice
  • 1/2 c hummus
  • 1/4 c oats
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1 t toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 T gremolata 
Method
  1. Mix everything together
  2. Let mixture sit for an hour
  3. Form into 3 patties
  4. Cook in a cast iron over medium heat for 5 minutes a side
  5. Top with Tahini Garlic Sauce and Veggies
I served the burger on a 60 calorie Pita ( they were on sale for $.99 ) along with some Nappa Cabbage and scallions. 

I am really enjoying going to the store almost daily. It is helping me get more variety into my diet! 

47 comments:

  1. I love the goat cheese recipe! Thanks for sharing this with us:-)

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  2. I looooooooove going to the grocery store, and I wish I had time to shop every day! I fear I would impulse buy too much, though!

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  3. Catherine, I only take the cash I want to spend that day to the store so I can't impulse buy.

    I tend to drive past the store at least once a day, so I've been stopping or on the days I don't drive, I have been walking if the weather is nice.

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  4. Years before I went vegan I took dairy out of my diet, my body loved me for that one, I would have goat cheese once in a while. Goat cheese is the only thing I miss, in salads, on a sandwich, pizza. You are right though, nothing will taste exactly like dairy cheese but when a vegan cheese is is eaten along with something it does it's job. Can't wait to try this one out!

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  5. wow sauerkraut in cheese, great idea! I'll have to try it.

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  6. I love the idea of using sauerkraut for the "cheeze"! Thanks so much for the recipe; i'll be making it very soon, probably today in fact!

    The burger looks fab too!

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  7. I've made cashew cheese with miso and umeboshi, but never with sauerkraut. I can't wait to try this. And I know exactly what you mean by not substituting for the exact taste of cheese, but offering a satisfying parallel taste and texture experience.

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  8. oh sounds amazing- I love me some nut cheese- and this one sounds particularly yummy...glad to see all is going well! Happy New Year!

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  9. I have never had goat cheese, I don't think, but I can't wait to try your recipe--thanks for sharing it!

    Melody, I am super jealous of the deals you find at your grocery store(s)! You always list the most amazing deals...how do you find these things?!?! I shop around, going to more than one grocery store and shopping the weekly sales/ads, but I *never* find the deals you do on produce etc. I *wish* I could shop every day as I love to grocery shop (is that how you do it?!) but I don't have the time. At most, I can go twice a week. Anyway, I am continually impressed by your finds!

    Courtney

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  10. Oh wow that goat cheese sounds so yumm! Such an interesting combo of ingreidents. I want to make something like this in January. Food resolutions include trying to make some nut cheese and start sprout...and some nut milk...very ambitious, eh ;)

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  11. I'm totally inspired and enthralled by your goaty cheese- This is an absolute must-make! I even have homemade sauerkraut on hand... and I do love my fermented foods. Simply brilliant recipe.

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  12. When you say to let it sit covered do you mean in the fridge??

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  13. N,nope, on the counter at room temp.( if you feel more comfortable keeping it in the fridge you can )

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  14. Courtney, I am amazed at the deals I find too. I have been shopping around 3-4 times a week..

    Jill.. great resolutions!

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  15. That goat cheese recipe sounds so amazing! Sauerkraut? What a fantastic idea! And frugal indeed. Can I hug you?

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  16. If I wanted to bake the burgers how long/what temperature would you recommend?

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  18. Karen, around 10-15 minutes on each side at 350

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  19. Damn! I forgot to buy sauerkraut! :( Thanks for answering my question though, I will be making it soon!

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  20. I can't wait to try this. Will canned sauerkraut work, or should I get the refrigerated stuff?
    Thanks!

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  21. I'm totally going to have to try that. Sounds really interesting.

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  22. Did you pat the sauerkraut dry before using?

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  23. lexayy, I don't.. you don't want it swimming in liquid.. just enough to get the nuts going in the food processor

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  24. Have you ever thought of using raw asafoetida in the goat cheese? Just a teeny weeny bit? Bet it would give it that... you know. Whatever that is. Ha.

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  25. I used your suggestion of omitting the miso and dijon and used it to make a cream cheese frosting for red velvet cupcakes. It was amazing! So much better than cream cheese frosting made from tofutti!

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  26. Stephanie, that is really smart.. I'm going to try that! Shannon, I'm so glad you liked the sweet version. Isn't it funny to think that your frosting has sauerkraut in it!

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  27. Do you know off-hand what you put in that salad in the first picture (besides the goat cheese)? It looks SO GOOD I'm dying to try it!

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  28. Hi Allen, the salad had greens, mandarin oranges, beets, and spicy caramelized walnuts. It was yummo!

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  29. You're amazing! Love the concept of your site - such a great way to promote veganism. Site is looking great too. : )

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  30. I made the 'cheese' last night and Im slightly afraid of the color...its more of a cashew butter color. I only did half a recipe in case I messed up something. Please tell me that waiting for a few days will make the color look more like goat cheese???

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  31. I made this recipe last night and Im afraid of the color...its more of a cashew color than anything. Did I do something wrong or will color change a bit over the sitting while covered???? Please help!!!

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  32. T- the color probably won't change over the next couple of days, but depending on the sauerkaut I use, I notice a wide variety in color.. plus, the photos you see here are adjusted for the colors to pop, and has a white background from the computer light, so they are brighter than the actual food.
    Did you taste it? Try not to get freaked out by the color!

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  33. hello Melody, i have this in my food processor right now:)

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  34. Sounds yummy! Dumb question from an "interested in going vegetarian but not quite there yet" person: when you let the mix sit covered for 2 days, is that IN the refrigerator or at room temp? Also, I'm not a fan of goat cheese; is this really gamey or is it more of a texture thing? It looks a bit like feta, which I DO like...

    Thank you! I'm so glad to have found your blog! :)

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  35. I got to tell you, I have not tasted but it does look good. I am planning to do the recipe. I'll post later.

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  36. I just discovered your site and can't wait to try your recipes! Should the nuts be soaked before making the goaty cheese?

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  37. This goat cheese recipe is a freaking revolution. I am seriously impressed, and I am not often impressed by recipes. Thank you for being awesome!

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  38. I know this recipe is from a while back but with leftover brown rice and an overload of hummus I finally made these this evening. Super yummy thank you. I'll definitely be making these again with other grains and bean spreads!

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  39. I made this and when I left it on the counter the cheese grew mold really quickly. Is it supposed to or did I do something wrong?

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  40. Christine, I'm not sure why that happened... did you use a spoon that you had tasted something with to mix the cheese?

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  41. What kind of miso did you use?

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  42. This recipe, in fact, this whole concept is absolutely BRILLIANT!! I made this about 32 seconds after finding this site. Mine came out very soft cuz I put some of the sauerkraut liquid in it, which was delicious, esp. after I formed logs and rolled them in chopped chives. Served at a dinner party with crackers and sliced cukes. Absolutely delicious. Thanks!!

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  43. Where can I find the miso?

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  44. Just made this to go with the Zesty Lentil soup I plan to serve on Saturday. This cheese substitute, even on its own without culturing tastes AMAZING!! Melody - your recipes help me live a better life. Melodramatic, yes, and yet so true!! Beautiful food, beautiful life.

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    Replies
    1. I'm still eating this batch and I grow more fond of it every time I eat it. I put it in all of my leftovers with home made sauerkraut or ginger carrots.

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  45. Anonymous2:11 PM

    Thanks for some inspirational recipes - trying the 'cheese' tonight - but what measurements are the Ts and ts? Table spoons? Teaspoons? Thanks and Happy Christmas!

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  46. PLEASE WATCH EARTHLINGS HERE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce4DJh-L7Ys AND PLEASE WATCH GARY YOUROFSKY HERE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es6U00LMmC4 and PLEASE go vegan it's better for us it's better for the animals and it's better for the planet that we live on and be careful sugar is not vegan because of the bone char just search online for vegan sugar brands or just call the company or e mail them and ask them if they use bone char and be careful with the products that contain sugar just read the ingredients btw evaporated cane juice is vegan


    “Up until [starting yoga in NY], a hamburger was something stuck between two buns — not a cow, a wing was something you dipped in BBQ sauce — not a chicken, and milk was something you drank as a human, never realizing it was only meant for a calf.” Russell Simmons

    "The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men."
    Leonardo da Vinci, artist and scientist


    "If you want to know where you would have stood on slavery before the civil war, don't look at where you stand on slavery today, look at where you stand on animal rights." - Paul Watson.

    Every animal you eat
    was running for her life

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