Cheese. I must get asked almost daily if I miss cheese. And well I guess the answer is yes and no. I was a serious cheese fiend. If there was cheese in my house- I would find it, and I would eat it. It was a relationship built on addiction and excess. My love of cheese actually stopped me becoming vegan for years. As I have discussed in my blog ‘How I Grew Into A Vegan’ it was a gradual process for me and cheese was the last thing I ‘gave up’.
So initially I didn’t look for any vegan cheese alternatives, I was satisfied discovering all the other amazing foods out there. But people are addicted to cheese for a reason, it’s creamy and delicious. It elevates dishes and it is comforting, and some dishes need that.
So I quickly discovered Nutritional Yeast is amazing in many ways, but perhaps my favourite is its mimicking of hard cheese so it is perfect on pasta and salads. I also discovered VioLife coconut cheese slices, which were great at mimicking cheddar so it is perfect in sandwiches or on toast etc.
But I guess there was still something missing… and every cheese that tried to ‘mimic’ cheese just missed the mark for me. Then at Norwich’s Vegan Fair at The Forum I discovered Absurd Cheese.
I love Absurd Cheese for many reasons, but perhaps the biggest reason is because they are not trying to mimic cheese, they are just creating delicious vegan food that just happens to fill that ‘cheesey’ gap in a lot of ways. The genius behind Absurd Cheese is the sheer amount of flavour packed into each mouthful, and the creamy, inviting, tasty ‘cheese’ they have created.
Absurd Nutrition were generous enough to gift me a selection of all their vegan cheeses recently and I have been busy experimenting and cooking with them over the last couple of weeks. I cannot wait to share with you all how versatile and tasty this vegan cheese is!
I was gifted five different flavours:
Onion & Chive
What I love about this cheese is that it stands alone as its own robust and powerful flavour. It is perfect simply on toast, crackers or a jacket potato but I wanted to see what else it could do… and I wasn’t disappointed.
Marinated Tofu with Tangy Absurd Cheese
Extra Firm Tofu
Tangy Absurd Cheese
Salt & Pepper
- Soften the absurd cheese in a pan with a little Olive Oil.
- Gently mix with some Tofu chunks.
- Cover and chill in the fridge for an hour or so.
- Lightly fry on a low heat with bit of salt and pepper
- Enjoy hot or cold!
Onion & Chive Absurd Cheese Puff Pastry Rolls
This was such a simple recipe but so delicious. Perfect for parties- (thinking Christmas!).
Jus Rol Puff Pastry Sheet
Onion & Chive Absurd Cheese
Rapeseed Oil (spray)
- Spread your pastry sheet flat and slice in half, spray the top lightly with oil (I used rapeseed).
- In a bowl, soften the cheese with a spoon.
- Spread a generous layer of cheese directly onto the pastry, leaving a small border around the outside.
- Roll the pastry from the smaller side so you have two rolls. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Slice into wheels.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until starting to brown.
Original Absurd Cheese Pasta Bake
This is my favourite pasta bake recipe, using a great selection of vegetables, with an amazing three cheese topping… nutritional yeast, VioLife grated cheese and the star of the show- most delicious nuggets of Absurd Cheese.
I used Original and have used Garlic too, but honestly any flavour would work well in this recipe.
Pasta (I used fusilli but you can use whatever you have in the cupboard!)
Simple Tomato Pasta Sauce (make your own, or shop bought, no judgement here!)
1 Red Onion
2 Large Cloves of Garlic
1 Red Pepper
A handful of Cherry Tomatoes
Nutritional Yeast (for the topping)
VioLife Grated Cheese (for topping)
Absurd Cheese (Original or any to taste)
Rapeseed Oil Spray
Salt & Pepper
- Chop the onion, courgette and pepper into chunky pieces, mince 2 cloves of garlic and place everything, with a handful of whole cherry tomatoes onto a baking tray- spray with rapeseed oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile boil your pasta. Once your pasta is ready, I prefer al dente especially as it will continue to cook in in the pasta bake- mix with your sauce.
- Add chopped fresh spinach to the pasta and stir.
- Empty into a baking dish.
- Sprinkle some nutritional yeast and grated VioLife on top and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
- Pull the pasta bake out of the oven- tear chunks of Absurd Cheese (whatever flavour you like) and sprinkle on top, put the bake back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
Vegetable Stuffed Peppers with Mixed Grains and Firecracker Absurd Cheese
I love stuffed peppers! My bell peppers are stuffed with mixed grains and vegetables with Absurd Firecracker Cheese for some extra heat! I used Sainbury’s microwavable pouch of mixed mediterranean style grains for ease. Stuffed Peppers are so delicious and incredibly healthy so make for the perfect go-to easy week-night dinner. Any leftover mix or stuffed peppers reheat well, so you can pack them for lunch the next day! Win-win!
250g of mixed grains (I used Sainsbury’s Mediterranean Style Grains; Pearl Barley, Pinto Beans and Quinoa)
Uncooked 4 medium bell peppers, any colour (red, yellow, or green)
Firecracker Absurd Cheese
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 small onions (diced)
1 cup of mushrooms
2 small carrots (sliced)
1 small courgette (sliced)
Tomato purée (to taste… be generous!)
2 tablespoons of Sundried Tomato Paste
Salt & ground black pepper to taste
A pinch of chilli
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
- Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and set aside. Scoop out the inside and discard the seeds. Wash the peppers carefully and set aside.
- In a large pan heat olive oil, add onion and fry for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the mushrooms and fry for a further 5-8 minutes. Add carrots and courgette- simmer and stir occasionally for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the cooked grains, tomato purée and sundried tomato paste, stir until well combined. Season to taste with salt, pepper and a pinch of chilli.
- Shape the Absurd’s Firecracker cheese into small balls with your hands, and gently combine with the vegetable mix.
- Divide the mixture between the peppers and place the “lids” on top.
- Place the stuffed peppers in a greased baking tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until slightly brown on the edges.
Garlic Absurd Cheese Mushrooms
250g of Chestnut Mushrooms (or your favourite!)
Garlic Absurd Cheese
1 small white onion (finely diced)
Parsley or Mixed Herbs (optional)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
- Wash the mushrooms.
- Slice length-ways and add to a pan with olive oil on medium heat, frying for about 5-6 minutes.
- Chop the onion and add to the pan. Fry for another 5 minutes or so, until soft.
- Add the Garlic Absurd Cheese bit by bit, salt and pepper, and parsley/ or mixed herbs, and reduce the heat.
- Simmer for another 5 minutes. Enjoy!
These are just five ways you can enjoy Absurd Cheese, but there are so many more. All the flavours are so versatile and yummy, I love it simply on toast and crackers, but it is also a cheese you can experiment with and I am sure the possibilities are endless!
Remember any of these recipes can be made with any of the flavours.
So if you are searching for a delicious cheese that will become part of your vegan diet in the best way… TRY ABSURD CHEESE, you won’t be dissapointed.
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