Sunday, March 10, 2013

Vegan Fazool's School: The First Class

Here's the reason I haven't been blogging since my birthday:

My first class!  

I hosted a demonstration style vegan cooking class/cashew cheese and wine party for some interested friends yesterday and it was so much fun!  
I have been working on it for the last month.

From left to right: my awesome neighbors Lorraine & Pete, my sweet, social worker friend Jeannie, my friend Jane the Guerrilla Gardener of South Philly and Roof Meadow Marketing Master  (standing, she was also my volunteer videographer! Thanks, Jane!), my friend and amazing Philly Realtor Brooke (standing), Jeannie's enthusiastic vegetarian friend Amanda (seated) and Brooke's friend Brook :-) who was inspired to make some vegan cheese with my to-go rejuvelac!

They are the members of my first class in Vegan Fazool's School!  

We started with a wine reception and vegan hors d'oeuvres featuring some amazing handmade vegan cashew cheeses from Artisan Vegan Cheese:
This is a (slight) variant on Miyoko's amazing Goat-Cheese Style Cashew Boursin.  
I used a pound of organic basic cashew cheese, the parsley, 1 T. of nutritional yeast, 2 garlic cloves, 1 T plus 1 tsp minced fresh tarragon, 2 tsps minced fresh thyme, 1 tsp Kosher salt, and 1 tsp fresh marjoram.  It was everyone's favorite!

Here it is in progress, look how gorgeous and creamy the basic cashew cheese looks after culturing:
All fluffy and delicious!

Here were the rest of the vegan hors d'oeuvres:
Fresh grapes, assorted olives (Wegmans olive bar!), Cashew Boursin, Cashew Soft Gruyere (I forgot to line the mold, so that's why it's in it's crock!), and vegan crackers (club crackers, Wegmans vegetable crackers and TJ's flax water crakers).

The Syllabus:

Simple Sautéed ‘Fu, Baked Marinated ‘Fu and Korean Fresh Noodle Salad.  
We also learned both marinades:
The Sweet and Spicy Marinade and Dawn's Easy Asian Dressing 
(for the Korean Fresh Noodle Salad). 

Properly Pressing Tofu (with and without a tofu press)
Using Cast Iron Cookware

And a Vegan Food Tasting: 
Vegan Chocolate Chips!

*Recipes, Techniques and Tasting Posts Coming Soon!* 

And, Jane took a lot of video, which I will try to edit and post soon as well!  Thank you so much, Jane!


Simple Sautéed Tofu

Baked Sweet and Spicy 'Fu

Homestyle Sweet and Spicy Marinade

Korean Fresh Noodles for the Noodle Salad 
(noodles are from the Asian Market in Cherry Hill):

Korean Fresh Noodle Salad with Red peppers, Scallions, Sesame Seeds 
(Cilantro, optional!)
Of course, I forgot to serve the black sesame seeds in class!

Dawn's Easy Asian Dressing:
I mixed this in a measuring cup, then poured it into a re-purposed Wegmans Rice Vinegar bottle (with a shaker top) so it can be used to refresh the noodle salad as needed!

Properly Pressing Tofu (with and without a tofu press)
Using Cast Iron Cookware

Proper Pressing:
Proper Pressing Without a Press: post coming soon!  But, if you don't want to make laundry AND dishes when making your tofu, you'll probably want...

The TofuXpress :-)
I love my TofuXpress!  

Cast Iron Cooking:
Don't be afraid!  

A Vegan Tasting: Vegan Chocolate Chips!
The Contenders: Whole Foods 365 semi-sweet chips, Wegmans semi-sweet chips, Ghirardelli semi-sweet chips, Enjoy Life semi-sweet Mega Chunks and Trader Joe's semi-sweet chips.  The results were surprising! View the blog post and *video* here!

Thanks so much for a great class, everyone!
Thank you for making me a plate, Jeannie :-)

I can't wait to host Class #2! 

I have a ton of ideas...



  1. Wow! That is outstanding! I would love to do something like this! :)

    1. You are welcome here anytime if you are up north, Vic! Would be such fun!

  2. Class was great Dawn. Thank you! Looking forward to the next one.

    1. Thanks, Pete! I'm looking forward to the next one, too!

  3. So great! Congratulations! I'm especially interested in the chocolate chip finds.... :)

    1. Thanks, FF! Choco chip tasting results coming soon!