Wednesday Cheeseball

IMG_0780So, one of your friends is vegan and you’re having them over, what the hell do you feed them? There’s always the obvious generic frozen veggie burger or obligatory hummus, a go-to in the minds of all omnivores for whatever reason. However, if you really want to impress your vegan guest, make them this cheezeball. It’s a bit of a process but totally worth it.

Vegan Cheezeball

1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup of flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbs soy sauce
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup water
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup pecans

Okay, so, I know what you’re thinking now. Margarine and cream cheese are not inherently vegan, and what in God’s name are nutritional yeast flakes?

Let’s start with the margarine; good news, there are many vegan-friendly margarines! The one I like the best is Earth Balance’s naturally buttery spread, soy free. It says vegan right on the side of the container, so you can’t mess up. Most grocery stores have vegan margarine/butter if you just look around the dairy section.

To get the vegan cream cheese you’re going to have to go to a health food store, like Whole Foods. The cream cheese will be found in the dairy section. I highly recommend on using Tofuttie Better Than Cream Cheese.

Nutritional yeast flakes are essentially vegan crack. We live and die by this stuff. We put it on everything we can, even some things we shouldn’t. The most comparable non-vegan food would be a cross between cheese flakes and cheesy popcorn topping. You can get nutritional yeast flakes at health food stores. Any brand will do. The flakes can come in a box, bag, or tub. Be sure to get nutritional yeast flakes and not brewers yeast, a common mistake. If you end up using brewers yeast everything will be so wrong and inedible, you’ll hate yourself, seriously.

On to the cooking!

Over a low heat, melt the margarine. Once melted, fold in the flour. This will create a gross looking paste. Add the salt, garlic powder, and soy sauce, stir well until the paste is an even consistency. Now fold in the nutritional yeast flakes. Don’t worry, the concoction should look like wet yellowish sawdust, you haven’t messed up yet. At this time, slowly add in your water and stir as you pour it in. Once everything is well blended, set aside. When the paste cools down, use a rubber scraper to put it in Tupperware and let it chill for at least 3 hours.

Once your paste has chilled, stuff it into a food processor along with your tub of cream cheese. It’ll all fit. I believe in you. Mix everything together using the food processor. Start by pulsing the ingredients and then stirring with a spoon, then pulsing, until everything softens up and blends nicely. When you’re done it will have the consistency of frosting. Put the mix into a Tupperware again and let chill for another 3 hours or overnight.

Sprinkle some of the pecans on the bottom of a plate or bowl. Using your hands and while acting like a six year old, roll the mix into a ball shape. Plop it on top of your pecans. Go ahead and wash your hands, then press, sprinkle, and roll the ball into the rest of the pecans. Now put your cheezeball on a serving dish. If it looks like it has lost its ball shape, use a rubber scraper to reform it. Serve with any cracker you’d like. Original Ritz Crackers are vegan so I chose those.

Now watch your vegan guest be perplexed and excited by the cheezeball. They’re not going to believe that you made this.

Post and Photo by Kylie Torres.