Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Spicy Herb and Tomato Cheez Spread

From The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook by Jo Stepaniak

Makes 1 cup

1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup oat flour
1 cup water
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Pinch of cayenne

Place the nutritional yeast flakes and flour in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the water, taking care to avoid lumps. Whisk in remaining ingredients until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring or whisking constantly until very thick and smooth. Serve hot, warm, or thoroughly chilled. Keeps about 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator.

Nutrition information per 1/4 cup: 110 calories – 10 g protein, 5 g fat, 12 g carbohydrate, 15 mg calcium, 227 mg sodium.

Nutritional Yeast Flakes

A very concentrated source of complete protein. It is also a rich source of vitamin B12 – a tablespoon provides more than 100% of the RDA of B12 and of pantothenic acid. Also rich in thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and folate. It is one of the few non-animal sources of complete protein or B12, so it's a great supplement for vegetarians. Helps to lower cholesterol and its high chromium content has health benefits for diabetics. In clinical trials, was effective in reducing acne.
** Not recommended in doses above 3 tablespoons daily, or for people with gout, kidney disease, or arthritis, due to the high purine content. May contribute to migraines for some people.
(Murray 631-633, Vegetarian Resource Group - vrg.org)


The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook was the only thing my vegan boss asked me to bring back to Ecuador, and I've seen Jen at veganlunchbox use recipes from it too. And then we were given a copy as one of our class textbooks. So even though I'm a real-cheese kind of gal, I thought I'd try a recipe for my class demo. I got 9 thumbs up, even though most of my classmates are far from vegetarian.

It was really cheap, easy to make, and came out a great gooey consistency. It didn't taste like cheese, but it also didn't taste like plastic (or soy, or chickpeas...) It was herby, but not very tomatoey, so I might try adding tomato paste the next time, or even subbing that for the ketchup. You could play around a little with the spices, but the author warns that since there are so few ingredients, a little change makes a huge difference in flavor. I made the second batch with a smaller pinch of cayenne and used smoked paprika, and you could definitely tell the difference - a mellower and smoky flavor. You can put this on anything. Hot it would be great on broccoli, and cold it's a perfect dip.

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