The quest to replace cheese can be the biggest challenge for folks who seek to switch to a vegan diet. For Italians, cheese is a staple indeed. The Examiner prepared vegan Ricotta cheese and found it to be a satisfying substitute for a staple this reporter enjoyed eating with pasta while growing up. The chosen recipe comes from a cook book called “Veganize This!” by Jenn Shagrin, herself an Italian American who grew up in Ohio in a neighborhood where her heritage had strong influence over the area’s cuisine.
This recipe has ingredients that are easy to find at any grocery store in Denver, and the first-timer can expect success as the recipe is quite easy to prepare.
An ordinary blender will do the job for preparing the vegan egg substitute that is a component of the main recipe. A counter-top mixture is an advantage for mixing everything together, but one can success with a large mixing bowl and a hand-held potato masher if an electric mixer is not handy.
The egg substitute should be made first. One simply puts all the ingredients into the blender and blends at a medium-fast speed.
VEGAN EGG SUBSTITUTE
1/3 cup raw walnuts
1/3 cup of raw cashews
3 tbs. raw sunflower seeds (without hulls)
1/4 cup roasted sesame seeds (you can substitute ¼ cup of sesame oil)
¼ cup of nutrition yeast
2 or 3 tablespoons of kosher salt (sea salt also works)
Pinch of turmeric
Pinch of yellow mustard powder
12 oz. extra-firm tofu
½ tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. dried oregano
2 tbs. lemon juice
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. of salt
1/8 cup of vegan egg mix
These ingredients can simply be put together and blended until the mixed together in a fluffy texture that mimics dairy ricotta. Try on spaghetti the first time or two in order to master the recipe.