There are 4 recipes that remind me distinctly of my late Grandma Millie; chicken and noodles, custard pie, Swedish tea log (coming soon!) and this cheeseball. I was actually never a fan of the custard pie (too jiggly and weird texture for me), but loved every single one of the other recipes. Her chicken and noodles were a Sunday tradition in our house, since she would send us home with huge tubs full of them already prepared, we could eat on those for ages. The pie, I obviously stayed away from, but the cheeseball
I was always all over come Christmas time. My mom has continued on in making the cheeseball each and every year, since it’s tradition, along with our usual lasagna on Christmas Eve. (Does anyone else eat unique things on Christmas?) My grandmother never actually called it a specific name and I think when I found the recipe card in her recipe box it was just called ‘cheeseball’.So descriptive, right? I think there are probably 5 or 6 recipes in there labeled just ‘Cookies’ so, I’m going to have to think on titles for those when I get to vegan-izing them.
As grandmas do, the measurements for the cheeseball were vague at best, simply because she and my mom probably know the measurements just out of habit rather than from looking at a piece of paper. I knew when I set out to vegan-ize this favorite holiday treat that I needed to keep the main components of it intact. The flavors I remember most about this cheeseball are onion, garlic and pecans, among the cheesy flavors of course. The original recipe actually calls for ‘onion juice’, but since I know most people don’t have that laying around (I certainly didn’t), I opted for using red onion instead. Cashews are always a solid choice for a cheesy base, along with a few spices, garlic and pecans, of course. I hope you enjoy this as much as I always have, I think this version is going to become a regular in my vegan cheese rotation now! Happy last weekend before Christmas!
- 3⅓ cups cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours and drained
- 1 cup nutritional yeast
- Juice from half a lemon
- ¼ red onion, chopped
- ⅓ cup fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup water, more as needed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Black pepper, to taste (I used ¼ teaspoon)
- 2 cups pecans, chopped
- Place all the ingredients except for the pecans in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth, adding water as needed. Scoop out and form into 2 balls and roll in the chopped pecans. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.