Sometimes I am shocked by my own creative genius.*
When I proposed F is for Flax for this week’s Meatless Mondays A-Z challenge, I didn’t really know what I was going to make, but I knew it would be fun.
So when Heather actually chose my idea, I was happy because
I was picked first for the team would have a chance to experiment.
Although I use flax seed often to thicken my oatmeal, add crunch to my granola or muesli recipes, occasionally flavor a nut butter, or substitute for eggs in baked goods, I wanted to steer away from this seed’s more ‘typical’ traditions.*
I waffled back and forth between recipe ideas. [I never thought to actually makewaffles, though tortillas went through my mind.]
And then, like a strike from the staff of a flaxen-haired goat-herding goddess I knew:*
*Which I would totally want to be, if flaxen meant red and not pale blonde.
Take a hint from the omnipresent ‘vegetarian option’ on most menus (and one of your favorite local business owners) and make baked goat cheese!
I took cues from this recipe* and modified it to what I had on hand, or just felt like changing. (Because that is who I am.)
*Great blog Cara has, by the way!
I added slightly less water for a double recipe, olive oil instead of coconut, a wee bit more ACV, and, when life doesn’t give you lemons, you know that Miss Smart will always have limes!
Taking advantage of the fact that I still had a borrowed fine mesh strainer in my possession, I let any excess water drain out. [A coffee filter would work as well. I've used that to thicken yogurt before.]
Although my roommate–whose response after tasting it straight from the fridge was, “Tangy!” followed by, “You’ve really never made this before?!”^–and I both agreed it was wonderful on its own, but I was about to take things to a whole new place.
Scooped, rolled, pressed, and shaped, I set these beauties on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet…and hoped for the best.
Despite the visions of seasoned cashew cheese and tofu goo running all over the baking sheet dancing through my head–and despite the fact that that sounds delicious—I was pleasantly surprised to discover that baking faux cheese results in a light, almost doughy cloud of flax-encrusted fabulousness.
Fifteen minutes at 375 will give you sturdy enough cakes to pick them up directly off the baking sheet without them falling apart in your hands*–and twenty (to twenty-five) will give you super crispy bottoms. [Not the kind resulting from missing a spot when applying sunscreen.]
You could just eat them straight up. (Did that.) I have an idea that they might make a great sandwich. (Perhaps on flax bread?) Or top off a salad made with greens –that, yes, you went to the store explicitly for so you could compose a pretty picture–roasted beets, yellow bell peppers, and a strawberry balsamic dijon vinaigrette.
Vegan ‘Goat Cheese’
- 1 c. raw cashews, soaked for 3-4 hours and drained
- 1/2 c. water
- 3 oz. firm tofu
- Juice of one lime/lemon (3 Tbsp.)
- 2 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- pinch (or two) of salt
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth.
- Transfer mixture to a fine mesh sieve, and allow excess water to drain for 1-2 hours.
- Chill for at least 2 hours to thicken.
Seasoned Flax + Almond Coating
- 1/2 c. ground flax seed*
- 2 Tbsp. almond meal
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- pinch of black pepper
*I use half golden and half ‘regular’
- Mix together all ingredients in small bowl.
- Use to coat ‘goat cheese,’ or simply use as a seasoning sprinkle.