We celebrated my dad’s 70th birthday yesterday.
My sister, my brother-in-law, and my dad’s brother arrived from Sydney to join our family and local friends for the festivities.
We enjoyed lots of delicious food, and I indulged in a couple of drinks. My brother-in-law makes a mean Espresso Martini!
We shared tonnes of laughs. As the evening progressed, we put on our dancing shoes. We sung, we reminisced. The evening will always hold a special place in my memory.
On to the food!
We all pitched in to prepare a scrumptious vegan spread. I made Uberdish’s gluten-free savoury crepes. They are delicious smeared with non-dairy cream cheese and other dips. I also enjoy them plain.
Mat made cucumber and nut cheese bites (recipe below).
My mum baked two birthday cakes (both vegan, of course) – Chocolate Cake with Cacao Icing, and Lime Cheesecake (recipe below).
Delicious finger food
Cucumber and Nut Cheese Bites
1/2 continental cucumber (or 1 large Lebanese cucumber)
1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes, quartered
Nut cheese (recipe below)
Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1. Slice cucumber into the desired number of pieces.
2. Smear nut cheese on each piece of cucumber.
3. Top with olives, tomato and sprouts in preferred combinations.
Adapted from: Living on Live Food by Alissa Cohen (Mozarella Cheese).
1 cup raw macadamia nuts (soaked overnight)
1 cup raw cashew nuts (soaked overnight)
1 Tbsp soy sauce/tamari OR 2 tbsp Bragg liquid aminos
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 – 1 Tbsp water (optional)
Cashews and macadamia nuts
1. Add all ingredients, except optional water, to a blender (I use an immersion blender).
2. Blend until all ingredients are smooth. Add additional water if required (I added an additional 1/2 tbsp).
* Use leftover nut cheese on crackers, or as a dip with raw vegies. It complements beautifully this raw pasta dish.
Lime Cheesecake with Soy Whip
My mum is the vegan cheesecake expert in our family. This Lime Cheesecake recipe is the product of two recipes, plus some trial, error and ingenuity.
Incidentally, my mum is well known (in our family at least!) for a delightful dessert known as Upside-Down Cheesecake. The secret method for Upside-Down Cheesecake is to cause the bottom of the springform pan to collapse as you are removing the baked cheesecake from the oven. This takes great skill and timing! Then, salvage the cheesecake that has fallen onto the oven door, and transfer it to a container. Refrigerate. Serve in a bowl, eat with a spoon. Delicious!
For the base (adapted from The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook) –
125g (4 oz) vegan margarine/butter
200g (7 oz) plain, sweet vegan biscuits, finely crushed
2 tbsp brown sugar
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C/350 F, and line a springform tin with baking paper.
2. Melt the margarine in a saucepan, then add the biscuit crumbs. Mix well.
3. Stir in the sugar.
4. Press the biscuit mixture into the base of the springform tin. Smooth the top.
5. Refrigerate the base while you prepare the filling.
For the filling (adapted from this recipe by Michael Greger) –
450g/16 oz non-dairy cream cheese
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp lime zest
2/3 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp cornflour
1. Process the cream cheese in a food processor.
2. Add the caster sugar, lime juice and lime zest. Process again until ingredients are incorporated.
3. In a large mixing bowl, add water and cornflour. Whisk until combined.
4. Add the cream cheese mixture to the mixing bowl, and combine.
5. Remove cake tin from the fridge.
6. Pour filling into cake tin, and smooth the top.
7. Bake for approximately 35 minutes, until a golden brown skin forms on the top.
8. Allow cake to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with homemade non-dairy cream or Soyatoo soy whip.
Each Monday, I feature a delicious vegan recipe (or two!) – one that is enjoyed by my family (and a few friends). I hope your family enjoys it too.