Monday, July 15, 2013

Vegan Alfredo and (Successful?) Vegan Cheese

Friday I was still incredibly sore in my right elbow from all those pushups at my first crossfit class ...  I pretty much spent the whole day moping and complaining.  I still got down to the workout room, but all I did was use the exercise bike while reading.  Not exactly the most challenging of workouts.  Fortunately, Fran didn't leave me any worse for wear than if I hadn't done anything at all, so I'm glad I sucked it up and actually went to crossfit on Thursday. 
Fortunately, I had all sorts of delicious new vegan foods purchased from Pangea Vegan Products that I was eager to dig into, and I finally took the opportunity on Friday to try two of them.  First, Josh and I tried the Victoria Vegan roasted pepper alfredo sauce for dinner. 
I boiled some pasta and mixed it with the pasta sauce and some chopped fresh basil.  Easy peasy ... And really delicious.  The sauce had a great, creamy consistency, and really tasted like alfredo!  The only problem was that the roasted pepper flavor was a little bland.  But it was promising enough that I definitely want to try one of their other alfredo flavors soon! 
After dinner we were both still a little hungry, so we decided to sample a second Pangea purchase, aged cashew nut cheese from Dr. Cow.  Fake cheese has been one of the trickier aspects of becoming vegan, because most of it is just soooo horrible.  Most of the time I'd rather go without anything that eat vegan cheese.  But lots of reviews online have said the trick is to go with vegan cheese that has actually been aged, just like real cheese.  So we decided to give this brand a try.  We paired it with some simple cracked pepper water crackers so that we could really taste the flavor of the vegan cheese. 
As soon as we unwrapped the cashew cheese it was clear that this wasn't really cheese.  But then again, we knew that it wasn't supposed to be.  The color was off.  The consistency was a little soft and crumbly.  When we started to eat some, we both tried to keep in mind that this wasn't cheese ... it was aged cashew goop.  And it had to be evaluated that way. 
And as far as aged cashew goop is concerned, it was pretty good!  It doesn't quite taste like cheese, but it definitely has more of a cheesy flavor than anything else I've tried so far.  It also has a bit of a nutty taste, but not in a bad way.  And the consistency proved to be something a little shy of cheddar, but close.  It still sliced well to put on crackers. 
Realistically, if I hadn't known what it was and someone had told me it was Wildebeest cheese or something like that, I probably would have believed them.  It wasn't so far from cheese that I couldn't believe it was the real thing. 

After dinner (and our post-dinner snack), I still wanted a little something sweet, so I snacked on some black pepper and sea salt dark chocolate.  Very unique, but very tasty.  Of course Josh won't touch it because he hates sweet and salty together ... but that just means more for me!  

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