I asked you all on Twitter recently what kinds of recipes you wanted to see this month and many of you requested room-temperature meals that didn’t require much heat and were portable for picnics, BBQs, and dinner parties.
I like the way you think! And I have a solution. Let’s do this!
The star of this (30-minute) vegan crudité is my 5-minute Macadamia Nut Cheese! Yes, 5 minutes.
Unlike most other nuts, macadamia nuts don’t require soaking because they’re already so tender and soft. They blend up beautifully with just the help of a little water.
Inspired by my Macadamia Ricotta, the cheesy flavor in this recipe comes from nutritional yeast, which is a vibrant yellow yeast that’s packed with vitamin B12. Delicious and healthy? Yes, please.
Beyond nutritional yeast, you just need a little lemon juice, salt, and garlic powder. Fresh herbs add a hint of color and flavor, but they are not necessary.
Once blended, your macadamia nut “cheese” is ready to enjoy! Yes, vegan cheese in 5 minutes – this is real life. It does, however, benefit from some time in the fridge, where it will stiffen and the flavors will develop.
While that’s happening, prepare the rest of your vegetables. I LOVE the flavor and texture of the nut cheese with roasted vegetables, so I went with beets and carrots, which sweeten and caramelize when roasted. But you can also just stick to raw vegetables if you prefer to keep your oven off.
I hope you all LOVE this nut cheese + crudité! It’s:
This is the perfect meal or appetizer for things like BBQs, picnics, and happy hours. I think it’s a good amount for 4-6 people as a snack. Or two people could easily split this as a meal and be very satisfied.
In addition to the nut cheese, you can also serve this with hummus (I share several recipes below), baba ganoush, crackers, and roasted nuts.
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
5-Minute Macadamia Cheese + Vegan Crudité!
- 4 medium whole carrots (tops removed, cut in thirds, large portions halved // organic when possible)
- 2 medium beets (carefully sliced into 1/4-inch rounds // organic when possible)
- 1 Tbsp avocado oil (or sub water)
- 1 healthy pinch each sea salt + black pepper
- 1 1/4 cup raw macadamia nuts (or cashews // soaked for 1 hour in hot water)
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast, plus more to taste
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley or cilantro (optional)
- 5-7 medium radishes (organic when possible // halved or sliced)
- 1/2 medium cucumber (sliced into thin rounds // organic when possible)
- Sprouted or roasted nuts (optional)
- Hummus (DIY or store-bought) or baba ganoush (DIYor store-bought) (optional)
- Gluten-free crackers (I also like Mary’s Gone Crackers brand)
- If roasting vegetables, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or use more baking sheets if making a larger batch.
- Once preheated, add carrots and beets to the baking sheet and drizzle with oil (or water), salt, and pepper. Toss to combine, and arrange in a single layer. Bake for 17-22 minutes or until slightly golden brown and tender.
- In the meantime, make your "cheese." Add macadamia nuts to a food processor or a high-speed blender along with lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, sea salt, and lesser amount of water (1/4 cup or 60 ml as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Mix/blend, scraping down sides as needed. Then add more water 1 Tbsp (15 ml) at a time until a thick paste forms. I find I get the best texture results with a food processor, but in a pinch, a blender can work too. It just generally requires more scraping and more liquid.
- Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more nutritional yeast for cheesy flavor, salt for saltiness, lemon juice for acidity/brightness, or garlic powder for garlic flavor. Blend again to combine. If adding herbs, add at this time.
- At this point, the “cheese” is ready to eat! But it’s better after chilling. Transfer “cheese” to cheesecloth (or a thin, clean towel) and rest over a fine mesh strainer set over a mixing bowl. Twist the top of the cheesecloth so it forms a loose ball. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, up to 24-36 hours. The longer it chills, the firmer the “cheese” will become.
- Once vegetables are roasted, assemble crudité platter with macadamia “cheese,” vegetables, hummus (optional), and any other desired sides. I personally loved the roasted vegetables with a drizzle of tahini and maple syrup then dipped in the nut cheese – swoon!
- Best when fresh. Store leftover nut “cheese” in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Serves 2 as an entrée, 4-6 as an appetizer.
*More hummus recipes: Golden Goddess Turmeric Hummus, Roasted Jalapeno Hummus, and Garam Masala Hummus.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with radishes, cucumbers, beets, and carrots (it does not include hummus, nuts, or crackers).
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