My first attempt at veganism left me living on chips. This time, Zoe Williams explores a whole new world of culinary possibilities, from vegan cheese to falafel koftes
I’m going to describe the process of making vegan cheese. Later, I’ll tell you how popular veganism is, how it’s the dietary habit of the age, how all its staples and hangouts have changed and how to cook a vegan dinner for omnivores in a way that won’t leave them feeling shortchanged on deliciousness or still hungry. But first I have to talk about the cheese, because I found it quite traumatic.
You grind cashews in a food processor, then add garlic powder, salt, onion powder and deactivated nutritional yeast. The latter ingredient won’t make anything rise; it brings nothing to the party except its distinctive flavour, which vegans call “cheesy”, but is more accurately “yeasty”. That done, you heat soya milk with oil and several flakes of agar-agar – a tasteless vegan alternative to gelatine – which dissolve into the liquid over 10 minutes, except they don’t, not really.
The courgette meatballs were stupidly good – a beautiful, luxurious texture, a sauce you could live off on its own
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