I love cheese, I really do. But you know me and my resolve to eat as little animal as possible, so I’m always looking for new ways to cut down. I know, cheese seems harmless. It’s just milk right… not so much. Two major flaws to cheese are the rennet and the milk.
Rennet is used to curdle the milk. Unfortunately rennet is extracted from the stomachs of mammals, mostly veal’s, which means more animals die. The good news is, that there are rennet alternatives which are used to make vegetarian cheese, but that just leads us to point two: the milk.
The milk is an issue because cows don’t give milk of their own accord. They only do so when pregnant or with calf and we all know they don’t magically get pregnant. So think artificial insemination plus the knowledge that they max out their milk production in about 2-5 years, thus drinking/using milk furthers industrial farming which means more animals get eaten or killed.
I know it’s a sad story and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go 100% veg, but there’s no harm in doing some damage control whilst trying new things. Which leads me to this lovely vegan parmesan recipe. I’m not gonna lie, it’s not cheese. It won’t melt in the oven and it has a distinct nutty flavor however it does (vaguely) resemble dry grated parmesan. But most importantly it’s delicious!
The secret ingredient is nutritional yeast (edelgistvlokken). On it’s own it tastes a bit like salted crackers and it’s chock full of umami. I bought mine at S.E.M. in Utrecht but they sell it at EkoPlaza as well. Blended together with cashew nuts and a pinch of salt it’s a great topping for pasta, popcorn, salad or bread. The sky is the limit! Nice little bonus is the nutritional value as it contains vitamin B, folic acid and Zinc. So here come beautiful skin, nails and hair hihi.
75 g raw cashew nuts
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
pinch of salt
Place all ingredients in your food-processor and pulse until you get a finely chopped blend.
Place in an airtight container and store in a clean, dry place.
How about using almonds or another type of nut or maybe adding some garlic or chili powder for a bit of spice. Just do it!
If you liked this recipe, be sure to check out my other recipes here.