I was a complete cheese addict grown up. I started out with cellophane-wrapped American Cheese slices and jars of Cheez Whiz. I remember one long car ride where I had a box of Triscuits and a can of Easy Cheese to keep my attention occupied in the back seat. As I grew older, my tastes became more refined and graduated to blocks of Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp White Cheddar and tubs of creamy Boursin.
I discovered feta late in my cheese-eating days. There was a Wendy’s down the road from where I worked, and they had just introduced new pita sandwiches, two of which were supposedly vegetarian, so I stopped in to give them a try. I immediately became hooked on the “Greek” pita, which was stuffed with vegetables, feta cheese and a creamy dressing. I ate them several times a week until there was a report on the news stating that the dressings used on the pitas contained gelatin, and was therefore not vegetarian. I gave up my beloved pita sandwiches and went vegan shortly afterward.
Giving up cheese was tough, and the first few years of my veganism were relatively cheese-free, except for the old slice of dairy-free Tofutti American, which was pretty much just congealed oil. Then out of the blue the vegan cheese renaissance started and it suddenly seemed like everyone and dog was making different varieties of vegan cheese. I discovered a soy-based feta at my local Whole Foods and I was instantly hooked again, adding it to salads, loading it on sandwiches, and even piling it high on pizzas. Sadly, the cheese was short-lived, and I was suddenly feta-less again. Rather than give up feta for good, I set about making my own. This cheese won’t melt the way dairy cheese does, but it has that familiar tangy feta flavor of my old cheesy friend. This Tofu Feta tastes great on salads, sandwiches and wraps, pizzas, and just about anything that could use a little somethin’ somethin’.
- 1 pound extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon mellow white miso
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Crumble the tofu into large chunks and place in a shallow bowl or baking dish.
- Mix together the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Pour the lemon juice mixture over the tofu. Toss gently to combine.
- Place the dish of tofu in the fridge for several hours or overnight. The longer it sits, the better the flavor.
What’s your favorite way to eat vegan feta?