Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tasty Snack Tuesday - Vegan "Cheese" Dip and French Bread

If you've looked at my blog more than a few times, you know that occasionally a vegan recipe catches my eye and I deem it worth trying (vegan brownies, anyone?).  Nothing against a vegan lifestyle, but there are just some things that I will not be giving up in my pursuit of a healthy lifestyle.

Cheese is one of those items.  Brie, feta, gorgonzola, GOUDA, oh the gouda!  Could a vegan version ever be as tasty?  Sorry, but I think not.

This statement comes with a BUT.

Once in a while, a good friend such as Kristin, who is not vegan, but enjoys many of the health benefits of the lifestyle, enlightens me to something I might enjoy.  She and her husband introduced me to The Sexy Vegan Cookbook: Extraordinary Food from an Ordinary Dude by Brian Patton. There are actually some really tasty-sounding recipes in there, and some that have been tested out by Kristin and her family.

The recipe I want you to consider checking out is a faux cheese sauce, primarily composed of cashews (who doesn't love cashews?) and... you'll never guess..... silken tofu.  Add in some spices, nutritional yeast, and you've got a really tasty dip, or even pizza or pasta sauce!  Its really good, I promise!  By the time I finish this post, I'll probably have gotten up to have a little taste of the leftovers more than once.

This past Sunday we had our second prelaunch meeting of UrbanChurch, so I made this dip to go with a French bread recipe that I made.  I'll share the bread recipe with you, but I'm just going to give you the link for the "cheese" dip.  The blogger who shared the recipe had special permission, and since I'm a newbie blogger with limited knowledge on the rules that go with such things, I'll just tell you to check out the link I gave you.  I made the dip as directed but skipped the boiling of the cashews, did not add miso powder (didn't have it), and did not add extra water.  I didn't feel it was necessary, but you could if you want a thinner "cheese."

Anyway, the bread.  I love a good French bread.  The recipe I used on Sunday was perfect.  I ended up with 2 PERFECT, huge, lovely baguettes.  I was all kinds of giddy over my beautiful bread.  Here's the recipe:

Quick Baguettes

3 cups warm water, divided
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoon (1 package) active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (my new love in bread products)
1 teaspoon salt

Combine 1 cup of warm water with the sugar and yeast in a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer, which is what I did).  Allow to proof and become foamy.  Next, add all of the flour and 1 cup of warm water.  Knead, either with your dough hook, or your hands, for 5-7 minutes.  Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes.  Then sprinkle the teaspoon of salt evenly over the dough and knead for another minute or two.  Place the bowl in a warm place to rise for an hour.  After the dough has doubled in size, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and place a broiler pan in the bottom of the oven.  Divide the dough in half and either stretch or roll it into a loose rectangle.  From the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough tightly, jelly-roll style, and repeat with the other half of dough.  Place the baguettes on a baking pan that has been covered in parchment paper and gently use a knife to create the slits of the French bread.  Allow the dough to rest from this point for about 20 minutes.  It will rise a bit more.  About 5 minutes before you are ready to put the loaves into the oven, carefully pour your remaining cup of water into the broiler pan.  Finally, bake your bread for about 15 minutes, or until nicely golden!  Let the bread cool before slicing.... if you can wait that long!

If you like this bread, you will probably also like this bread that I blogged a few months ago, its from the same source.

Vegan "cheese" from Tabi Happy

Quick Baguettes from The Cooking Actress