You just create a sauce with ingredients like plant-based mayo, turmeric, black and celery salts, and a few other things like green onions and celery. And, although the recipes just calls for some dill pickle BRINE, I go ahead and add several Tablespoons of dill pickle relish! This addition makes it really great!
Then, crumble a big block of firm tofu, mix together, and give it some time for the flavors to meld.
After several hours, or by tomorrow, it’s amazing!
So, I was pretty proud of myself! I’d baked the bread, used my homemade hummus as a spread on my bread, added the homemade egg salad, topped with homemade cheese, and sliced a tomato, and voila! I had an amazing lunch!
Today was a super busy day for making some essentials for the weekend. I knew I wanted some sour cream, hummus, cheese, and mayo. I also wanted fresh bread (one loaf as a gift) and some butter!
So, I started the night before, putting two bowls of raw cashews and water in the refrigerator, one with just a cup of cashews, and another with 1.5 cups.
Then, starting early in the morning, I got busy. I was so busy making, that I didn’t really take photos, unfortunately. But, if you’d like to know about these kind of “staples” that I use, keep reading!
I haven’t tried any other butter recipes, because I’m just so happy with one I got from the “Seven Secrets Cookbook“. This butter is just cornmeal cooked with coconut milk, a bit of water, and salt. Then you blend it all together in a high speed blender and pour it into your butter dish, and it hardens in the fridge! I can’t find a similar recipe online, but maybe sometime I’ll post it. By the way, there are tons of great recipes in the Seven Secrets Cookbook. Grab yourself a copy!
I make this butter about every week and a half or so, and find that a double recipe really works best in my blender. You can freeze it, but it’s not awesome thawed. Otherwise, it’s just like butter for me, and incredible on fresh-baked whole wheat bread, or sourdough.
For the mayo, I used that 1 cup of raw cashews I’d been soaking, and Shannon’s “Yup, It’s Vegan” oil-free mayo recipe. The only thing I change in this recipe that I’ve used several times is to not add that much, or any, sweetener, in this case agave nectar. I just think it makes the mayo too sweet, and that isn’t savory, to me! This recipe will also help you use some of that aquafaba!
Plant-Based Sour Cream:
The other 1.5 cups of soaked raw cashews was for the sour cream. This time I used Angela’s Cashew Sour Cream recipe from OhSheGlows.com. Most of these sour cream recipes are similar, and there is a good one in the Seven Secrets Cookbook, too. But, this one is pretty great. The only thing I change is the apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. I like just a regular white vinegar, because otherwise, the sour cream tastes sweet to me, not sour (especially the longer it sits.) I added a bit more lemon juice too, as I really want my sour cream to be sour!
No-Oil Whole Wheat Bread:
In my No-Oil Whole Wheat Bread recipe adaptation, I’d previously suggested that vital wheat gluten is optional, but I’ve changed my tune. It really gives the bread the ability to bend and not break, and makes less crumbs. So I highly recommend it. The recipe has been updated! (And, I’ve since updated it to 2 Tablespoons of vital wheat gluten!) I baked up two loaves in the evening after work, and they turned out great as usual. I feel very lucky that only my first attempt at bread never did really work!
Hummus (Among Us):
Hummus is already plant-based, so find your favorite recipe and use it! Seven Secrets Cookbook has one, and most all of them are based on the same theme. I tried to triple the recipe, and actually burnt out my blender, at least for a few minutes until the fuse reset. Hummus goes quickly at my house! One recipe I like is Hummus In The Blender from Susan at FatFreeVegan.com. Just leave out that added olive oil, as it’s completely unnecessary, and just added fat. Or, now check out my No-Oil Hummus (Among Us!) recipe that’s just been added!
Plant-based Cheddar Cheese:
This one takes just a little more time, but I again went with the Plant-Based Sharp Cheddar Cheese, and doubled the recipe. As usual, this came out great, and I had 6 tiny loaves of cheese ready to go!
So, now my weekend was ready, and I wouldn’t have to make any of the staples that I’d want!
Jenn, over at Veggie Inspired has a great recipe for a Veggie Cream Cheese Spread, that, the moment I saw it, I knew I had to try it! It contained all kinds of things that sounded great and like they’d work well together. But, nothing screamed “cream cheese” to me, so I figured I’d like what I made, but not think it was cream cheese.
I. Was. So. Wrong!
I’m not sure what is in Jenn’s recipe that gives it the flavor it does, but if I had to guess, it’s that apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice. In fact, the recipe reeks of the ACV all the way through, and, to me, smells rather nasty. But, by the time you add all the veggies at the end, and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator (if you can wait that long), it’s nothing short of amazing, and just what I remember a good garden cream cheese spread should taste like! Combined with some Pretzel Crisps, it makes an incredible summer afternoon snack!
1 ½cupsraw cashewssoaked in water for several hours or overnight, drained and rinsed (Or not. See PBB Notes below.)
1tbspapple cider vinegar
2tbspfresh lemon juice
¼cupdiced bell pepperOrange, red, yellow or green, or all four!
2tbspdiced green onion
2tbspchopped fresh parsley
1tbspchopped fresh dill
Be sure your cashews have soaked for several hours, or ideally, overnight. The longer they soak, the creamier your cream cheese will be. After soaking, drain and rinse the cashews.
To the bowl of a food processor, add the soaked cashews, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, onion powder, paprika, and garlic powder. Start to process to break up the cashews. You'll need to stop the food processor and scrape down the sides frequently to keep the mixture moving. Add the water 1 tbsp at a time until it comes together into a smooth spread. Be patient as this could take 5-10 minutes.
Once it’s smooth, transfer to a mixing bowl and add the carrots, red pepper, green onion, parsley, and dill. Stir to combine.
Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt or a tiny splash of vinegar or lemon juice, if necessary.
Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and store in the fridge. It will set up and thicken slightly as it sits in the fridge and gets cold. You could eat it right away, but it’s better cold.
Don’t let the prep time for this recipe scare you. It’s all hands off, but the cashews must be soaked for SEVERAL hours, ideally overnight, to create a super smooth texture. In fact, your hands on time will only be about 10-15 minutes.Plant-based-Bear.com Notes:If you have a high speed blender, I’ve had success without soaking, but adding a bit more water. Remember that soaking will increase the mass of the cashews, so in my head I tried to figure out how many cashews, and how much water I think they might have absorbed. In my case, I was suddenly doubling a recipe I hadn’t planned on doubling, so added non-soaked cashews and about 4-5 T of extra water to let them absorb it. It worked perfectly.In fact, I heartily recommend the high-speed blender. Jenn’s food processor must be better than mine, as I really couldn’t ever seem to get the right consistency with the food processor alone, even while only using soaked cashews. So, I like my high speed blender to make sure everything gets creamy, but it can still take a few minutes. I’d highly recommend doubling the recipe if using a large high speed blender though, as this should really help you get a creamy spread without near as much “scrape down.” And, this spread is so amazing, you’ll easily eat double before it spoils!I also recommend being quite generous on the last 5 ingredients, the veggies! I haven’t gone wrong with having heaping tablespoons and 1/4 cups!There also hasn’t been any need for me to “adjust” the flavoring at the end, but your taste may vary!My spread has been orange-tinted and soupy when freshly-prepared, but after a sit in the refrigerator overnight, it seems to have a lighter color and tastes incredible!