Sunday, November 27, 2011

Vegan parmesan

24 November, 2011
Cindy has been semi-regularly rejigging our monthly calendar recipes into gluten-free and vegan versions (e.g. here, here and here). I assumed that the wheaty, buttery, cheesiness of our November pasta would prove a bridge too far but, under Cindy's instructions, it turned out to be relatively simple. All it took were three fairly simple substitutions: 1) the pasta (courtesy of the fresh pasta stall at the Queen Vic Markets), 2) the butter (Nuttelex of course), and 3) the parmesan.

The parmesan seemed trickiest to me, but Wanting Kneading had the answer. It's a very simple recipe that takes all of 90 seconds to throw together. You don't end up with a particularly parmesan-y flavour, but a half a cup stirred through our pasta added a garlicky cheesiness that was not at all out of place. Our vegan gf version of this pasta was a very passable imitation of the basic recipe - the pasta wasn't quite as nice (and wasn't particularly cheap), but otherwise everything hit the spot.

Vegan parmesan cheese
(slightly modified version of wanting kneading's recipe)

1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/3 cup raw cashews
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine all your ingredients in a food processor (we used the little spice-grinding attachment on ours) and whizz them together.


  1. okay, well, now i really want this.

  2. I have seen so many variations on vegan parmesan, and all of them seem to be lacking something.. I honestly think you can't beat Bryanna Clark Grogan's original from Nonna's Italian Kitchen, which I think is basically almonds, miso, nutritional yeast and maybe some salt? Lately I've been making stuff that's got walnuts and panko, etc... and I just don't think it's any better! Have you tried many?

  3. I've wanted to try this recipe but never quite made it - though I have tried some similar ones - glad that you two continue to make make deglutenising and veganising food quite simple

  4. Ooh this actually looks quite simple- and sounds yum! I've never bought nutritional yeast flakes but I'm eager to try them, might give this a go :) xo

  5. Steph, how are your nooch supplies? Let me know when you need some more. :-)

    Mattheworbit - no, beside the ready-made Parmazano I think this is our first! Some of those other ingredients sound great (I love miso!)... I'll probably stay loyal to something that uses only stuff from my pantry.

    Ayden - ha! Thanks.

    Thanks Johanna. It's taken far too long for us to try this recipe too. :-)

    Hannah - I've really acquired a taste for those yeast flakes! If you're unsure about them I'd recommend a creamy sauce first maybe, like the one on this lasagne.

  6. I'm quite intrigued by this and am going to give it a go. The idea of a non-dairy alternative to parmesan really appeals.

    Do you ever have problems getting nutritional yeast flakes though? I've been trying to get some for a few weeks now, but can't seem to find. I always thought all health food shops stocked them, but not so far. Bah, humbug.

  7. Kathryn - yes, supplies of nutritional yeast appear to fluctuate dramatically! We've had a 'drought' or two this year where it's been absent from all the usual shops for a month or more at a time. Maybe Sydney's currently having a yeast flake drought...?

    When you find it, be sure to stock up!

    P.S. Just did a quick search of the Cruelty Free Shop website and they appear to have it in their pantry section.