Friday 30 October 2009

The joy of mouldy soy cheese and other quirky notes

Yesterday felt like summer had arrived, albeit a wee bit early. The sun shone brightly and I felt every bit and more of the day’s high of 30 C in the car. I was delighted to find the first peaches of the season in the supermarket. We bought Sylvia baby sun cream and she wore her cupcake parade summer pajamas for the first time. One of the gardens we passed on a walk was even growing dolls. You wouldn't believe me if you didn't see this photo!

While at the supermarket there was yet another sign of Americans colonising our lives. Huge orange Halloween pumpkins, the likes of which I have never seen before in Australia. What really outraged me was that they cost a whopping $24 per pumpkin compared to the large wedges of our own Jap, Kent and Queensland Blue pumpkins that we usually buy for $2 or $3 per kilo. I am curious but not a sucker. I had a good laugh at the price with an old guy and a woman with her daughter. ‘I bet they don’t even taste good’ said the old bloke. Even more exciting shopping was found in the amazing range of Herbies Spices at Two Prickly Pears (253 Lygon Street, Carlton).

Sylvia didn’t like her stewed peach – maybe it wasn’t ripe and sweet enough as she screwed up her face at the taste – and I had made some dry hedgehog when hurrying yesterday. Peach puree, chopped hedgehog, yoghurt and fruit salad were a delicious combination – if I had been posh I would have layered them in parfait glasses but when alone, it is easy to have snacks so messy that photos aren't advisable.

For lunch a few days ago I had taken out the dodgy soy cheese (which had casein) to use it up in a sandwich with coleslaw. It had a big patch of mould on it. Straight into the bin. I looked around and had a bit of tofu so I mixed it with nutritional yeast flakes, mustard, mayo and miso. What a delicious discovery! It made me glad the horrid plastic soy cheese was mouldy.

The cheese spread is not a hard cheese for melting on toast under the grill or for grating but after my attempts to find a decent dairy free cheese, I much prefer this one. I suspect it would be a good vegan/dairy free cheese like ricotta or cream cheese to be used in lasagna, crumbled over pasta or stews, used in a tart or maybe with a bit of pesto it would make a nice dip. (Lucy suggests cashew goat’s cheese and Ricki has an almond feta cheese that looks interesting.)

I have now had it on my sandwiches 3 days in a row because it was so good. Today a friend Jane came over and I made her salad sandwiches and fruit salad. It felt very healthy. A litmus test of how well stocked my fridge is, is whether I can make a good salad sandwich. If you are looking for ideas, I can highly recommend avocado, coleslaw, fried vegie sausages, sliced tomato and this cheese spread. Delicious and easy, it is just the thing if you need energy to deal with a baby who will not sleep.

Vegan Cheesy Sandwich Spread
for about 3 sandwiches

150g firm tofu
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1 tbsp mayonnaise (can be soy mayonnaise)
1½ tsp white miso
1 tsp seeded mustard

Use a fork to mash tofu in a small bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix to combine. Great in a sandwich with tomato and coleslaw.

On the Stereo:
Wonderland Soundtrack: Michael Nyman


  1. Such a fantastic idea! You're so clever to improvise such a gorgeous recipe!

  2. Thanks Astra - I have been loving this spread and made it a few times in as many days. Needs must etc

  3. What an interesting cheese spread! I need to try using nutritional flakes more often.


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