By Marcee Murray King
When I became vegan, one of the biggest challenges was having to follow recipes again for so many meals.
Now that I am a few years into this, I am starting to figure some things out and am able to make more and more things up; or read through a few recipes and mix them together, putting my own spin on the recipe using the ingredients in my house.
The day I made this, I needed cream cheese on the fly. I didn’t need it to be just like cream cheese (as I would for cream cheese icing), but just a nice, tasty soft cheese for stuffing jalapenos. I looked at a few recipes on line and then jumbled them up to fit the ingredients I already had on hand. It is a pretty easy one to play with, and with a little imagination, you can make it in so many different ways.
If you can remember, soak the seeds or nuts for a minimum of an hour. I just boil them in water for about 10 or 15 minutes because I never remember. Drain and rinse in cold water (until they are cool if you boiled the seeds).
1/2 cup nuts/seeds (sunflower seeds, cashews or both mixed together are what I usually use)
1 T lemon juice
1 T sweet rice miso
2 T water (more if needed)
salt to taste
Add everything to the food processor except for the water. Blend up, scrape down from the side, and blend up again. Then, slowly, add the water checking for the right consistency for you. When you get it right, grind the hell out of it! Let it go 3-5 minutes.
How to Play With Your Food:
Nuts and Seeds—This recipe could easily be made with a variety of nuts or seeds. Sunflower seeds are cheap and work well and I love the flavor, though sunflower seeds alone are a little gritty. It is also great as a blend of cashews and sunflower seeds. I liked it made of walnuts as well. I would assume you could make this of most nuts. Some sesame seeds would give a more tahini taste.
Substitutions—For the sweet rice miso, I might try a different type of miso or tahini, almond or sunflower butter. For the lemon juice, I might swap umeboshi plum, white wine or cider vinegar or even kraut juice. Purple kraut juice would make it pink, which could be fun.
Additions—A clove of fresh garlic or any other fresh or dried herbs; grated vegetables, such as carrots, green onion, radish or some finely chopped peppers. Olives. Sundried tomatoes. Really, there is no limit to the additions that could be used.
Recently, I took this basic recipe and made it with 1/4 c sunflower seeds and 1/4 c cashews. I had been roasting tomatoes, so to this I added some of the roasted tomato skins, a clove of garlic, fresh cilantro and homemade “bacos.” I stuffed jalapenos with this and baked them in the toaster oven.
Photo: Author’s own
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