Behold my vegan cheese, pâté and cracker feast, not only is it delicious and cruelty free, it’s a whole lot healthier for you than actual cheese and pâté.
Individually these recipes are pretty simple and easy but it is a bit of work making them all. However, I find there’s plenty of time around Christmas to spend a few hours in the kitchen and these recipes will make enough to keep you and your family going over the festive period.
The flax seed crackers recipe makes about 30 crackers, 15 plain and 15 flavoured. I used cavolo nero but you can use any leafy greens or even sun-dried tomatoes, or whatever you fancy to flavour them.
Cashew Nut Cheese
- Place the cashews in a glass bowl and cover with water, leave them to soak for at least 2 hours or leave them overnight.
- Drain the cashews, blend them with 250ml water, the nutritional yeast, salt and lemon juice. If your nutritional yeast flakes are quite large you might want to put them in the blender first to break them down so they are nice and small. Keep blending the mix until you get a nice creamy paste.
- Stir in the onion granules and nutmeg.
- Pour the mixture into a tin or bowl and leave it at room temperature, covered for 12 hours.
- Put the mixture into the fridge and leave to chill for at least 2 hours.
Mushroom and Chestnut Pâté
- Cut a cross in the shell of each chestnut and roast them on a baking tray for 30 minutes at 170C.
- Place your block of tofu on a flat surface between two folded sheets of kitchen paper and place something heavy on top to press out the water.
- Whilst the chestnuts are roasting, sauté the onion and garlic in a large frying pan until soft. Roughly chop the mushrooms and add them to the pan, cooking them for 10-15 minutes until all the liquid has evaporated.
- Stir in the crushed peppercorns, salt, herbs and mushroom ketchup. Cook for another few minutes until the ketchup has reduced down, then set aside to cool.
- Once the chestnuts are roasted, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool before shelling them.
- Put the chestnuts into a blender and blitz until roughly chopped. Add the cooled mushroom mixture, tofu, nutritional yeast and lemon juice. Blend to a fairly smooth paste.
- Spoon the mixture into a springform tin or lined loaf tin and press down firmly. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
Flax Seed Crackers
- Grind half the flax seeds with the sunflower seeds in a blender or spice grinder.
- Mix together the ground seeds with the whole flax seeds, salt and water.
- Put half this mixture into a blender with the cavolo nero.
- Line two baking trays with baking paper and spoon out the two mixtures on the trays and press down firmly with the back of a spoon.
- Score the mixture into small squares and bake at 170C for 30 mins or until the begin to crisp slightly and aren’t too chewy inside. (If you have a dehydrator, even better!)
- Lift the baking paper and crackers out of the trays and place on a wire rack, serve once cooled.