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This vegan queso cotija is crumbly, salty, and tangy. There’s absolutely no dairy in it and it’s delicious. It is perfect for topping sopes, chilaquiles, enchiladas, gorditas, salads, and pastas.

This vegan queso cotija is crumbly, salty, and tangy. There’s absolutely no dairy in it and it’s delicious. It is perfect for topping sopes, chilaquiles, enchiladas, gorditas, salads, and pastas.

If you are new to veganism I just want to let you know that I get it, I miss cheese too. I loved cheese, all kinds of cheese! This is why I detest processed vegan cheese, because it just doesn’t taste like the original. (I haven’t had the privilege of tasting Miyokos vegan cheese, they say it’s a game changer though.) There are exceptions to this, like this vegan cotija cheese which is made from almonds. It of course is not like the original, but let’s just say it evokes the sensation and taste of cotija cheese.

This vegan queso cotija is crumbly, salty, and tangy. There’s absolutely no dairy in it and it’s delicious. It is perfect for topping sopes, chilaquiles, enchiladas, gorditas, salads, and pastas.

This vegan queso cotija is crumbly, salty, and tangy. There’s absolutely no dairy in it and it’s delicious. It is perfect for topping sopes, chilaquiles, enchiladas, gorditas, salads, and pastas.

Cotija is actually a small town in the mountains of the state of Michoacan. The cheese is said to have originated more than 400 years ago. It was made by the local people to keep milk from spoiling by turning it into aged cheese. The cheese is aged for about 3 months and is available in large rounds. I visited Cotija, many years ago, and I remember being blown away by the sight of the huge cheese rounds in the local shops and restaurants.

This vegan queso cotija is crumbly, salty, and tangy. There’s absolutely no dairy in it and it’s delicious. It is perfect for topping sopes, chilaquiles, enchiladas, gorditas, salads, and pastas.

You must be wondering why I’m talking about the actual cheese making. Well, this blog is all about making traditional Mexican food vegan, but also about preserving our Mexican food traditions and food culture as much as possible. So, it’s important to look into the history a little bit. Plus, I’m a total food nerd.

This vegan queso cotija is crumbly, salty, and tangy. There’s absolutely no dairy in it and it’s delicious. It is perfect for topping sopes, chilaquiles, enchiladas, gorditas, salads, and pastas.

The Recipe: Vegan Queso Cotija

I got the idea of using almonds for this cheese from Eddie Garza’s book Salud, Vegan Mexican and from this recipe from Veggies Don’t Bite. I’ve put my own spin on it.

  • Use slivered almonds, do not soak them.
  • You can also use lime juice instead of lemon juice.
This vegan queso cotija is crumbly, salty, and tangy. There’s absolutely no dairy in it and it’s delicious. It is perfect for topping sopes, chilaquiles, enchiladas, gorditas, salads, and pastas.

Vegan Queso Cotija

This vegan queso cotija is crumbly, salty, and tangy. There’s absolutely no dairy in it and it’s delicious. It is perfect for topping sopes, chilaquiles, enchiladas, gorditas, salads, and pastas.
4.2 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cotija, vegan cheese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 23 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 day
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Slivered almonds
  • 2 tsp. Lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Brine from a jar of manzanilla olives
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • Place the almonds. Lemon juice, brine, and salt in a food processor.
  • Process until you get a crumbly mixture resembling cheese, about 4-5 minutes. Be careful not over process or you’ll end up with almond butter.
  • Place mixture in a cheese cloth or nut bag and twist tight to close and squeeze all of the excess liquid out.
  • Place in the refrigerator for 24 hrs.
  • Remove cheese from cloth and crumble.

Video

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Notes

You can also use lime juice. Recipe adapted from Veggies Don’t bite
If you eat nutritional yeast, add 1 tsp. to the recipe before processing.

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There’s nothing quite as effortless as popping a muffin in your purse for breakfast when you’re on the go, and these easy vegan blueberry muffins are the perfect solution. The recipe is from Sam Turnbull’s new book Fuss-Free Vegan: 101 Everyday Comfort Food Favorites, Veganized. Sam is the girl behind the blog It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken.

Fuss-free vegan cookbook

This is the perfect book for the new vegan. I wish it had been around when I started to make changes, but still craved my favorite comfort foods. In the beginning I was so hesitant to try to veganize things like pizza and burgers, because I knew it wouldn’t taste the same. It took me a long time to finally try it. I wish Sam’s book was around back then.

There's nothing quite as effortless as popping a muffin in your purse for breakfast when you're on the go, and these easy vegan blueberry muffins are the perfect solution. They are so good!

The recipes, as the title suggests, are fuss-free. In other words, they are easy and require few ingredients. Some of my favorite recipes from the book, besides these vegan blueberry muffins, are the vegan mozzarella, the mushroom wellington, and the lasagna. Every recipe has a picture, which is very helpful, and it has a very thorough introduction to what you need in a vegan pantry and everyday kitchen tools. I would have liked to see more vegan Mexican recipes, but I guess that’s more my thing.

There's nothing quite as effortless as popping a muffin in your purse for breakfast when you're on the go, and these easy vegan blueberry muffins are the perfect solution. They are so good!

What I really loved about the book was that it is unmistakably Sam’s. It’s bright and colorful, like I imagine she is, and you can tell she put a lot of hard work into it. She even made her own font!! I really recommend this book, especially if you’re just starting out. You won’t be disappointed.

The Recipe: Easy Vegan Blueberry Muffins

The recipe is pretty straightforward, but I did successfully make these substituting:

  • the sugar with 1/2 cup of maple syrup (for those that are sugar free),
  • the oil for apple sauce (for those that are fat-free)
  • I did 1/2 AP flour and 1/2 whole wheat flour
  • You can substitute the blueberries for raspberries or blackberries if you wish.

Enjoy!

There's nothing quite as effortless as popping a muffin in your purse for breakfast when you're on the go, and these easy vegan blueberry muffins are the perfect solution. They are so good!

There's nothing quite as effortless as popping a muffin in your purse for breakfast when you're on the go, and these easy vegan blueberry muffins are the perfect solution. They are so good!

Easy Vegan Blueberry Muffins

"Excerpted from Fuss Free Vegan: 101 Everyday Comfort Food Favorites, Veganized. Copyright © 2017 Samantha Turnbull. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.”
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12 small muffins
Calories: 200kcal
Author: Sam Turnbull

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups All-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup White sugar
  • 2 tsp. Baking powder
  • ½ tsp. Salt

Wet Ingredients

  • ¾ cup Non-dairy milk (such as soy or almond)
  • ½ cup light oil (such as canola or vegetable oil)
  • 1 tbsp. Fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F. Lightly grease the cups of a muffin pan or fill it with liners.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients except for the blueberries. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the blueberries and lightly fold them in, being careful not to overmix. It’s ok if there are lumps.
  • For large bakery-style muffins, fill 8–9 muffin cups right to the top with batter, then bake for 18–22 minutes until lightly golden on top, and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes
  • out clean. For small muffins, divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups and bake for 15–20 minutes, until lightly golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the pan, then store them on a plate covered with a clean tea towel for 2 to 3 days. This will keep the muffins the best texture, but if you want them to last longer, store them in a large sealable bag in the fridge for up to a week.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 101mg | Potassium: 109mg | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 0.8mg
Nutrition Facts
Easy Vegan Blueberry Muffins
Amount Per Serving (1 muffin)
Calories 200 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Sodium 101mg4%
Potassium 109mg3%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 5IU0%
Vitamin C 1.7mg2%
Calcium 57mg6%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

DisclosureI received a free copy of this book for reviewing purposes, but all opinions and thoughts are my own.

This roasted romanesco with tarragon, olive and lemon is a healthy side dish to any meal. 

Romanesco is the ultimate confused vegetable. Is it broccoli or is it cauliflower? It is known as romanesco cauliflower, broccoli romanesco,  or roman broccoli. It is a variety of cauliflower, not a cross between broccoli and cauliflower, as is often thought. Its taste is very similar to cauliflower, but it is nuttier, sweeter, and with a softer texture when cooked. It is in season from late fall through winter. You can usually find them at your local farmer’s market, which is where I found mine. When selecting them be sure to look for a firm head with no signs of discoloring or yellow buds. To store them, cover in a damp paper towel, wrap loosely in plastic wrap, and place stem side up in the refirgerator. It will keep fresh for about a week. To prepare, wash and cut just as you would a cauliflower.

This roasted romanesco with tarragon, olive and lemon is a healthy side dish to any meal. It is nutty and sweet, similar to cauliflower.

I’m having a crisis, a food crisis. I’ve been avoiding the blog, because I’m having a hard time coming to terms with the truth. The hubby and I have decided to keep practicing the plant based diet after Lent is over. We plan on eating like normal human beings one day a week. One day a week!!! ” What about cheese? No more cheese!”, is all that keeps going through my head.

I have been having some health problems, in the last 3 years, that have caused me a lot of discomfort. Medicine hasn’t helped or any other doctor recommendation, and I have finally reached the point where I would try anything to make it better. Well, just in the first week of cutting out all animal products from my diet, most of my symptoms disappeared, thus our decision to stick to this plant-based “nonsense”. Surprisingly my hubby is on board with this, not only to be supportive towards me, but because he has seen an increase in energy and his day-to-day life, and because frankly he feels good.

This roasted romanesco with tarragon, olive and lemon is a healthy side dish to any meal. It is nutty and sweet, similar to cauliflower.

Don’t worry, I’m not making this a vegan or plant-based blog. I hate labels, what if I start calling this a vegan blog and one month later I change my mind? We’re hoping that by eating animal products one day a week we won’t feel too deprived and be able to keep this going for longer than 40 days. I don’t know, we’ll see how it goes.

The Recipe: Roasted Romanesco Tarragon and Olives

You can eat Romanesco raw, steamed, sautéed, roasted, and boiled. We like it roasted the best, but it is great in pasta, mashed with potatoes, in soups, or raw in salads. Enjoy!

This roasted romanesco with tarragon, olive and lemon is a healthy side dish to any meal. It is nutty and sweet, similar to cauliflower.

Roasted Romanesco Tarragon and Olives

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 2 heads Romanesco cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Olives, green, manzanilla, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. Tarragon, fresh, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp. Lemon juice, fresh
  • ¼ tsp. Lemon zest

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • In a large bowl combine romanesco, olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss to coat.
  • Place romanesco on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and cover with foil. Roast for 30 min.
  • Uncover and raise oven temperature to 400F. Roast for 15 more minutes.
  • Remove romanesco from oven and combine with fresh tarragon, lemon juice, lemon zest, and olives. Adjust seasoning and serve.

Notes

This recipe will also work with cauliflower.

Here are some other ways to use romanesco:

Romanesco, celery root and Broccoli Soup – pineappleandcoconut.com

Linguine with romanesco and scampi – latartinegourmande.com

Romanesco and sweet potato gratin – cookinginsens.wordpress.com

Curried beluga lentil pebble bean salad combines ginger, garlic, lemon cilantro, red onion, curry powder, lentils for a protein packed salad.

A Whole Foods opened last month in Laguna Niguel. It’s shiny exterior, perfectly lined produce, and very cheerful staff keeps beckoning me from afar. This particular one is humongous. I’ve never seen a Whole Foods(WF) this impressive before!

Curried beluga lentil pebble bean salad combines ginger, garlic, lemon cilantro, red onion, curry powder, lentils for a protein packed salad.

Curried beluga lentil pebble bean salad combines ginger, garlic, lemon cilantro, red onion, curry powder, lentils for a protein packed salad.

Curried beluga lentil pebble bean salad combines ginger, garlic, lemon cilantro, red onion, curry powder, lentils for a protein packed salad.

Unfortunately for those of us penny pinching, the WF is actually pretty cool. I’ve been looking for any excuse to visit and look around or have a smoothie at their juice bar. Yet somehow I always end up buying something I didn’t realize I needed, like freshly ground nut butters or 10 different types of olives!

Among its many features, the store has a large bulk section where you can find recipes to help you delve into the possibilities of using the store’s items. Seizing the opportunity before me I decided to run a bit of an experiment. I chose a recipe from the pack and set out to compare the prices and produce selection to Sprouts. What I came up with was predictable, yet surprising.

Curried beluga lentil pebble bean salad combines ginger, garlic, lemon cilantro, red onion, curry powder, lentils for a protein packed salad.

Curried beluga lentil pebble bean salad combines ginger, garlic, lemon cilantro, red onion, curry powder, lentils for a protein packed salad.

Curried beluga lentil pebble bean salad combines ginger, garlic, lemon cilantro, red onion, curry powder, lentils for a protein packed salad.

As I suspected the prices at Whole Foods were consistently higher than those at Sprouts, but to my disappointment Sprouts did not have the beluga lentils or pebble beans that the recipe called for, thus rendering the experiment impossible.

Curried beluga lentil pebble bean salad combines ginger, garlic, lemon cilantro, red onion, curry powder, lentils for a protein packed salad.

Curried beluga lentil pebble bean salad combines ginger, garlic, lemon cilantro, red onion, curry powder, lentils for a protein packed salad.

I shop at Sprouts often because they have a great produce section with fair prices. In my opinion, after the farmers market, they have the best prices and selection of organic produce in the area, but with the advent of the new WF I might have to rethink my shopping preferences.

Once the novelty of the new WF begins to fade, even if I go crawling back to Sprouts for the prices, I will continue to admire WF’s commitment to supporting local agriculture. They are creating an important connection between the people behind the product and the consumer. I love that they are also making product available to the consumer that before would have only been available through a restaurant purveyor, like the spongy sea urchin tongues you usually see at sushi bars.

The Recipe: Curried Beluga Lentil Pebble Bean Salad

Anyway…..I did end up making the Beluga Lentil & Pebble Bean Salad. The curry and yogurt combination in the salad gives it a refreshing yet intense flavor. It was a hit with the munchkin.

Curried Beluga Lentil Pebble Bean Salad

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Pebble Beans, cooked
  • 1 cup Black Beluga Lentils, cooked
  • ½ Red onion, medium, sliced
  • ¾ cup Celery, chopped
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. Ginger, fresh, grated
  • 2 tbsp. Cilantro, chopped
  • ½ Lemon, juice of
  • 1 tbsp, Yogurt optional, greek style
  • 1/3 cup Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp, Curry powder

Instructions

  • In a large bowl combine the beans, black lentils, red onion, and celery.
  • To make the curry vinaigrette: in a small bowl whisk together the garlic, curry powder, fresh ginger, lemon juice, yogurt, and olive oil. Set aside.
  • Pour half the dressing over the beans and toss to combine.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper and adjust quantity of dressing as desired.
  • Sprinkle cilantro over salad and serve.

Notes

When cooking the beans make sure they are cooked until tender, but not falling apart.
Recipe adapted from Whole Foods Market Cooking