RECIPES: Vegan 'cheeses'

Made out of tofu and cashew, full of flavor and without dairy

HOUSTON – Going vegan means eating dairy-free, but it doesn’t mean saying goodbye to cheese-like products, because you can use tofu or cashews to make vegan "cheese" at home.

“Nutritional yeast will provide a cheesy flavor,” said Stephanie Hoban, chef and owner of Verdine, who stopped by our studio to share two of her favorite recipes, which she also serves at her restaurant in the Houston Heights.

“One, it’s nuts-free, the other one has nuts in it, just to show you there is a lot of different options, and they are both pretty simplistic and with both you can do all sorts of alterations to it,” said Hoban, who suggests using these recipes as substitutes for feta cheese and goat cheese style, respectively.

When the vegan "cheeses" are ready to serve, you can give them a sweet or salty flavor and top them with fig compote, fresh herbs, pink peppercorn or even chipotle.

“You can really customize it to your taste; tangy, tick rich, creamy, very satisfying, just like cheese,” she said.

To see the complete interview, watch the video above.


Herb Marinated Tofu Feta

•    1 pound organic extra firm tofu
•    3 tablespoons water
•    1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
•    2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
•    1 tablespoon organic mild white miso paste
•    3/4 teaspoon dried basil
•    3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
•    3/4 teaspoon sea salt
•    1/4 teaspoon red chili flake
•    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Drain and rinse tofu. Dice into 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch cubes and press to remove excess water.
2. While tofu presses, whisk together the remaining ingredients into a smooth marinade.
3. Place the cubed tofu in a storage container, and pour marinade over tofu. Allow to cure 24 hours before enjoying. Keeps well for a week.

Cashew Chèvre

•    1 1/2 cups raw cashew, soaked overnight
•    5 tablespoons water
•    3 tablespoon lemon juice
•    1 1/2 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar
•    3/4 teaspoon organic mild white miso paste
•    3/4 teaspoon nutritional yeast
•    3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1. Drain cashews from soaking liquid and discard.
2. In a high power blender combined soaked cashews with remaining ingredients until completely smooth. Enjoy within two weeks.

Recipe provided by Stephanie Hoban.