Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Vegan Blue Cheese Recipe


If you're looking for my Vegan Blue Cheese recipe, read on:
Since my Melomeals blog was hacked recently, I have thought long and hard about what I want to do with my content.

Over the years, I have freely given away several cookbooks worth of recipes; which was great, because I love creating flavorful plant-based food and sharing it with people.  

Most of my content is backed up, but that doesn’t mean it’s simple to access. Some recipes are on disk, many have been salvaged from several computers that crashed and now live on The Boyfriend’s external server. 
I was notoriously not very organized with my files, so recipes and pictures are all over the place. I recently had to reinstall my OS (after the situation with my blog) and have created a strict system for myself so I can organize my files in a more logical sense. 

Every single day, I get numerous requests for recipes. I have spent a lot of time digging for recipes and copying them for people, but I realized that it is taking too much of my time to respond to every request.

I have decided I will start offering customized E-Books. I am going to spend the next several weeks creating a recipe directory so people can pick and choose:
·       5 recipes for $10
·       10 recipes for $15
·       20 recipes for $30. 

I will also offer customized recipes. The price for this service will be determined by the recipe.

I know I have played around with E-book ideas for a while, and I have actually written the content, but I just can’t justify selling them for the small amount of money that people are charging for E-books.

I value my time and creativity too much to do that. 

I think that we are doing each other a disservice by giving away content for free or nearly free because everyone else is and it has become expected.
I want to enjoy blogging again, because I do love creating amazing food. I love talking about it, writing about it and photographing it! 

I haven’t felt enjoyment for a long time, and I will touch more on that in future writings as I reclaim this blog for myself. 

There seems to have been a slow descent into insanity online, and every post, no matter what I content I put forward was subject to judgment, scrutiny and more importantly, I have noticed a very disturbing trend towards Orthorexia within the online food blogging community. This concerns me greatly and I do not want to be associated with any of that.
So, from this day forward, this blog is going to be my home.  I have never really felt comfortable expressing my opinions and writing authentically because of the backlash, but that stops today. 

I may write about the meal I lovingly prepared for my boyfriend which contains meat. I do it as an act of service because I love him dearly and it makes me so happy to take care of him. (I don’t eat meat and never will.)
I will probably talk more about the methods I use to create food and the food itself instead of writing recipes. I don’t cook that way. I just create, so stopping to write recipes constantly takes the joy out of it for me. It makes it feel like a job, and if I’m going to “work”, then I’m going to get paid.

This doesn’t mean I won’t ever post recipes, but I certainly am not going to post recipes for everything I want to talk about! 

I am also going to write quite a bit about my opinions on food and health related matters, because they have been a very important factor in my life and I have had to come to terms with a lot of brainwashing regarding food and health. 

I realize this will alienate many of you, but I’m OK with that. There are thousands of blogs out there to choose from.


You are welcome in my home, but DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE!

If I sound like I have a chip on my shoulder, I do!

When my blog was hacked recently, I completely broke down. YEARS of my work were gone. 

HOURS. UPON HOURS. UPON HOURS. 

Do you have idea how much time, money and creative passion went into Melomeals? Probably not, especially if you are just stopping by for a recipe you pinned. 

To have it just taken away like that made me feel like the last 8 YEARS of my creative and frankly, my PROFESSIONAL life (It was really the best online resume to showcase my cooking style!) was stolen from me.
It almost broke me. It didn’t help that it was just after my second foot surgery in a year. The last 2 years of my life has been extremely difficult, and everything I loved doing both socially and professionally has been compromised and diminished due to health problems.  

I am now, finally, on the road to recovery. The last foot surgery I had, has fixed my foot, but I still have months of recovery to go before I can hopefully work on my feet again full time. 

I now see things in a new light. This is a turning point for me and it has made me very clear on my feelings. For those of you still with me, 
WELCOME!





28 comments:

  1. The comment system is broken and I have lost all of the comments on the blog... I'm sorry for the delay in answering the question about the Fermented Bean Curd.. you can use either the spicy or regular fermented bean curd.

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    Replies
    1. Where do you get fermented bean curd? I've never seen it before.

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  2. Anonymous4:31 PM

    this looks awesome! where would one procure acidophillius culture and/or fermented tofu? i have a guess about the tofu, but am flummoxed by the acidophillius culture .....
    thanks!

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  3. Anonymous6:47 PM

    where did you obtain the non dairy acidophillius culture?

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  4. I love this recipe. I am going to try it this weekend. I plan on putting on top of coleslaw and stuffing it into dates which I am going to wrap in my smoked chipotle eggplant "bacon". Thank you for your great ideas.

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  5. Hi, Melody. I prepared this three days ago as directed, and left the two separate mixtures out to ripen a few days (lightly covered with a quality cheesecloth).

    Thought you would be interested to know that the BLUE mixture (with the chlorella) developed spots of white mold all over the surface. I tasted the mold and it was innocuous, but I scraped it off. In my house, that mold is probably aspergillus oryzae (as in koji), floating around since I made soy sauce two years ago.

    I've combined the two mixtures, and have frozen the bulk of it for later. The fresh balance will make it into a blue cheese type dressing, just as soon as I get the extra water out of my (home-made) tofu, to crumble and mix with your blue "cheese", and some lemon juice, vinegar, and herbs.

    Great-tasting recipe!

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    Replies
    1. Hey, I have a question for you since you seem to know more about the mold--I got mold, too, except I had greyish mold on most surface parts. I threw those away...it was like a spiderwebby mold. The conditions were that I put it in a bowl, lightly covered with a paper towel, lots of air, but in a little cabinet type thing on the counter that was 70% closed. And I did not use the tofu; I used tempeh (which forced me to guess about the liquid I needed). I took off all the mold I think, but...will eating this make us sick? I REALLY did get all (visible?) mold off. And if you (or anyone) knows...what did I do wrong in this recipe? Everything else was to the letter.

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    2. @Chortle and Sigh.. I would not eat it. I would NEVER use tempeh to culture this because it is a much different bacteria than the fermented tofu. The same way you could not get tempeh to culture if you used acidophilus or fermented tofu as the culture, I'm pretty certain that using tempeh to culture cheese would produce a not very good and possibly dangerous end product. Note, I am not a food scientist and I don't have training in molds, so I can't say for sure, but I wouldn't eat it.

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    3. Thanks so much for replying! I will just toss the whole thing, then. My hands were tied and I had to use the tempeh. ''Twas a bummer. Next time I make this recipe, whenever that will be, I will have to INSIST on the correct ingredients.

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  6. I just made this. Didn't know what kind of Miso to use. I have red miso and sweet white miso, So I just used the white Miso. Does it matter??

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  7. I used Acidophilus probiotics and just emptied the capsules. I can't imagine where else you would get Acidophilus from, besides as a supplement. I also used chlorella in pill form and just crushed it with a mortar and pestel. I hope this turns out! Very excited, because I have a "stuffed dates" recipe from "Lust for leaf" cookbook, that I can't wait to make.

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  8. You have to get the fermented tofu from an Asian market. The stuff smells like something you should NOT be eating. LOL but I can see how it makes the blue cheese seem authentic.

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  9. Thanks for the recipe! May I ask why the two mixtures are cultured in separate bowls?

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    Replies
    1. I used separate bowls so I could mix them together so it would look more authentic.

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    2. Oh, I see. Thanks!
      I'm not sure what I did wrong, but I have a big bowl of salty stuff. It's not very blue-cheesy :( Going to try again! How did you get that blue-cheesy texture? Should have not blended the mixtures smooth?

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  10. Also: I blended everything in a food processor--I'm hoping that's what you meant? Did you dehydrate the cheese in the picture? I'd really like to have some crumbly cheese :)

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  11. Have you ever tried using rejuvelac as your culture? It would add some liquid, so maybe you could leave out the liquid from the tofu. Also, I have a vegan yogurt starter that I got at the health food store. It is a powder and contains acidopholus, so I will likely use that, but I might try a batch with the rejuvelac also.

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    Replies
    1. I have used all of the above and it works really well... :)

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    2. I was excited when I saw this recipe yesterday. We drove into San Francisco to Rainbow Market to get the more esoteric ingredients, some of which were available. I wish I had read the recipe more carefully first. I say this for benefit of others who might read this as there are a lot of those ingredients for which there are many options. The acidophilus culture alone offered in excess of a hundred, from capsules to liquids and all very expensive. The green algae was another where there were so many options (again, very expensive) that I was dazed. Then countless varieties of sauerkraut (organic, raw, jarred/pickled, etc.) THEN the fermented tofu which I will have to get at an Asian market. The miso alone, well, again, dozens of choices from mild white to dark, etc. Also, there are so many varieties of pumpkin seeds, including white, large green, roasted/salted. To be honest, while I am a pretty serious vegan cook and, I am going to try this, it's going to end up a very spendy experiment. You might want to just offer a little bit of guidance here. It would be helpful and appreciated. Thanks

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    3. Thanks for the note.. and I totally agree that I should explain this in the recipe. I will try to simplify this recipe a bit.. I actually created it while I was working as a chef in a health food restaurant, so I had access to all sorts of ingredients.. and talked about it on this blog for a while..and people asked me over and over to share the recipe, so I did.

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    4. Well, it's done. I just spooned it into some leftover raw cheese tins I had, lined with parchment. It is really surprisingly good and has not yet been refrigerated.

      I used raw cashews and, as you didn't mention it, did NOT soak, rather used them as they were.

      I got organic raw pumpkin seeds (at Rainbow in SF) that were a dark green and also used them as they were.

      Finally found fermented bean curd....which the lady at the Asian market said was the right thing.

      Used raw, organic sauerkraut (again from Rainbow), very pungent.

      Used a brand of carrot based acidophilus, in capsule form which I just opened.

      Used SUN brand chlorella in a 3gm packet.

      Used Kyoto White miso.

      Used Maldon sea salt to finish.

      I pretty much went by your procedure though improvised with using the nuts raw. I think next time, and there will definitely be a next time, I will double the "light" part and use less of the "green/bleu" part, purely for aesthetics. The taste was really good, tangy, lots of texture and character. The Maldon salt, which doesn't melt like other salt, added an "up front finish" that I like. Going to serve this tomorrow with St. George Terroir G & T's. Thanks for sharing it. Have a great weekend!!!

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  12. Do you cover your jars with cheese cloth or put it all in a sealed container?

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    1. yes... cover with cheesecloth or a put a lid on top of it, but not on it completely

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  13. I´ll love to know what kind of miso are you using? Thank you

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  14. The easiest way to get the acidophilus is to use a few spoons of vegan yogurt from the store. The sauerkraut also has live cultures including lactobacillus if it hasn't been cooked or pasteurized. Ditto for the fermented tofu. With all these ingredients this recipe is brimming with beneficial bacteria.

    The BIG question is whether penicillium mold, which is what makes dairy blue cheese blue, will grow in a non-dairy medium. (The penicillium starter can be bought online through Amazon or cheesemaking supply shops.).

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    Replies
    1. Has anyone tried inoculating vegan cheese with penicillium? Did it work?

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    ReplyDelete