Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hiking and "Cheese"

Yesterday after church we went hiking in Cheeseboro (or Chesebro, as it is on some signs) Canyon. I just called it Cheesy Bread Canyon the whole time. The first part was like strolling through a park, and many people were doing so. Then we made a bend to loop back to the car. Then I almost died.

Actually, I'm fine. But the 600+ feet of elevation gain is done all at once on one little hill. Then the rest of the way home is over the tops of steep little hills completely exposed to the hot sun. It was the first time in our life we've cared about finding shade in January.

But really, I'm recovered now. And I want to go back.

We stopped at Michaels, Trader Joes, and Whole Foods on the way home. (Just you wait till I show you what I've done with a Michaels purchase. Woo, boy.) Among many other things, I got what I needed to make vegan melty "cheese."

Imagine some deliciously crappy cheese product that's seen it all as far as "processed" goes. Then strip away all the grossness. You're left with a melty vegan cheesy dip made from fresh, all-natural ingredients.

I used this recipe, with a few modifications. I didn't have pimentos, so I used fresh red bell pepper instead. Instead of onion powder, I used two white pearl onions. And I didn't have yeast flakes, so I just left them out and used a little less soy milk.

Oh. My. Goodness.

If there were any leftovers, this would be delicious on macaroni, but we used it all on spicy soy and flax tortilla chips. You could take the dipping to a whole new level by adding some ground vegan beef or chorizo.

Making your own vegan cheese out of such magical ingredients sounds like quite the undertaking, but I assure you it is very quick and simple. Even if you're a die-hard carnivore with no inclination toward taking dairy out of your diet, you'll love this cheesy dip for what it is. If you're a cheese fiend with a few pounds to lose, consider this:
Cheese = Nasty fat.
This stuff = light soy milk, vegetables, and raw nuts.

I might have to make this every weekend.

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