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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Raw Vegan Macadamia Cheese + Greetings from Costa Rica!

I am a wimp.
Well, let me rephrase that. I am a wimp when it comes to cold weather. I cannot deal very well.

In other words, I spend all winter super-bundled, wearing two pairs of pants and as many socks as I can manage, still shivering, dreading the moment I must step outside.

And this is in North Carolina- not exactly Arctic conditions.
But it feels pretty bitter cold to me.

Which is why I am writing this post from Costa Rica!
 It is absolutely beautiful...
And full of great culture.

I am here volunteering at an organic farm- spending my days transplanting crops, creating new recipes and tending to adorable animals (plus much more).
Say hello to my favorite of the clan (shhh, don't tell the others).
This is Bambi. She was abandoned by her mother and adopted by the farm.

The work here is tough but I am learning a lot- not to mention that I get to express my food creativity on a daily basis. With the wide variety of fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds grown here, the possibilities are infinite. 
One of my favorite recipes I've made on the finca so far is my raw vegan macadamia nut cheese. It was such a hit that I decided to pass the recipe on to anyone looking to get their non-dairy fix.
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tbs. kefir vinegar (can sub apple cider vinegar)
  • 1.5 tbs. olive oil
  • 1.5 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • Optional- other herbs to your liking (like basil, oregano, rosemary, etc.)

  • Combine macadamias and water in high speed blender
  • Blend on high for about 45 seconds
  • Strain the mixture and set aside liquid for later*
  • Take the "nut pulp" and place in blender along with remaining ingredients
  • Pulse to get things moving and then blend on high speed for about 30 seconds or until smooth
*The remaining liquid is macadamia milk- perfect for lightening coffee, splashing over oatmeal, or blending into shakes!

If you're a traditionalist, try the cheese on pasta or as a spread on toast.
If you would rather venture into slightly more exotic territory, however, I have got some suggestions for you.

I first enjoyed the cheese as a condiment for my cuadrado fritters (called patacones) and veggie patties.
*Cuadrados are like plaintains, but shorter*

Patacones, veggie patties, macadamia cheese, spiced chayote squash, and
salad with papaya dressing.
The next way (and my favorite) to eat the cheese is folded gently into tamales.
Tamale filled with macadamia cheese, sweet chili sauce, sauteed sweet potato leaves and black beans, served with salad topped with mango dressing and homemade sauerkraut.
We've made tamales a few times since I've been at the farm. I'm not sick of them yet!
They are surprisingly easy to prepare.

I don't yet have my own tamale recipe for you at this time, but I hope to perfect one once I'm back in the states. In the meantime, try out this or this recipe if you're interested in making some.

Although I obviously have wi-fi here, I have been trying to maintain minimal internet time while here (which is very easy with so much work to do and places to explore). But I am very glad to hop back on the blog for a quick post.

I look forward to sharing more of my adventures and Latin-inspired recipes with you as soon as possible. 

Wherever you are in the world, try out this awesome cheese and pretend you are sitting under the warm, Costa Rican sun. Talk to you soon!



  1. Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays Party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :) I can't wait to see what you share next time!