A nut-based parmesan. You don’t have to be vegan to love it

December 29, 2013 — 2 Comments
Zucchini ribbon salad with almesan shards

Zucchini ribbon salad with Almesan shards

I do miss my vegan days sometimes. Being vegan opened up my world to a heap more variety and dare I say it, culinary creativity…yet closed the door to a whole lot more food than I care to give up (marinated goats feta for example). I much prefer being flexitarian, or ecotarian, or some other label that I haven’t encountered, to describe someone who eats like a vegan, taking advantage of alternatives, and who also eats consciously, mindfully and wisely.

Which lead me to revisit an old favourite cookbook, Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Veganomnicon. Honest, you don’t even have to be vegan to appreciate some well-crafted recipes. So, despite having parmesan in the fridge, I made something different, something more, with a bit more creativity, loads of taste, and some health benefits thrown in. I made Almesan.

Here’s how:

1/2 c. slivered almonds
2 Tblsp toasted sesame seeds (I used black and white)
1/4 c. nutritional yeast flakes*
1/2 tsp salt
Juice from half a lemon, maybe a bit more
2 tsp olive oil

In a food processor, blend all dry ingredients until breadcrumb texture. Add wet ingredients until a kind of paste forms. Spread roughly on a lined tray and bake at 160C for approximately 20 minutes until crisp. Break up into chunks and use to top salads, vegaetables eat as crisps or wherever you need some savoury crunch. I used a mandolin to shave a zucchini into ribbons, very lightly dressed with oil and apple cider vinegar and tossed with the almesan shards. Pretty darn awesome!

*Nutritional yeast flakes – sometimes known as savoury yeast flakes can be found in health food stores. It is deactiveated yeast, so won’t aggravate candida. Not only super tasty addition to spunk up any savoury dish, they’re a source of Vitamin B12, so particularly beneficial for vegans and vegetarians since B12 is found mostly occurring naturally in meat products.

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