By Samantha Turnbull

Oddly enough, one of the first kitchen tools I bought when I went off to grad school was a fondue pot. Why? I’m not really sure. Fondue isn’t something I grew up with, but when I saw that shiny silver pot in the window, I knew I had to have it. I envisioned inviting my new friends to my house after a long study session, and having so much fun dipping bread into the gooey cheese. I would for sure be the most popular host.

I brought it home, got all of the ingredients for fondue (cow’s cheese because it was before I was vegan), and prepared to get my epic fondue on. In the last eight years, I used that pot exactly one time. It turns out I didn’t really like cow’s cheese fondue, and I wasn’t exactly the fondue queen I thought I would be.

You might think that once I became vegan, there was definitely no way I would ever use that fondue pot again. Surprise: I started bringing out the fondue pot more than ever! Who knew it would take me becoming vegan to become the fondue queen I always hoped to be.

Melty Stretchy Gooey Vegan “Mozzarella”, Courtesy of Samantha Turnbull, itdoesnttastelikechicken.com, Toronto, Ont.

Your guests will never believe you’ve made a dairy-less “cheese”!

VeganMozzarella

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 5 min
Makes: 3 serving

Ingredients
¼ cup (50 mL) raw cashews
1 cup (250 mL) hot water
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp (40 mL) tapioca starch (also known as tapioca flour)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) nutritional yeast
1 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
¼ tsp (1 mL) garlic powder

Directions
1. In bowl, cover cashews with water and soak, covered, for four hours or overnight. (Or, boil for 10 minutes, or until soft.) Drain well.
2. In blender, combine drained soaked cashews, hot water, tapioca starch, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt and garlic powder. Blend until smooth. Mixture will be very watery.
3. Pour cashew mixture through fine mesh strainer or colander lined with cheesecloth into small saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens and takes on the texture of melted cheese. Continue to cook and stir for an additional 2 minutes to make sure it has firmed up completely.
4. Transfer to airtight container until ready to use. Scoop up with tortilla chips, dollop onto pizza, make a grilled cheese sandwich, or use in fondue.

Notes
-If you want to return the cold “mozzarella” back to dipping consistency, reheat over medium heat, stirring constantly to ensure it doesn’t burn. Once it is hot and bubbling it might have thickened up too much. Thin it out by stirring in water, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

*This recipe was inspired by Vedged Out.

It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken
Hi! I’m Sam. I write the blog It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken, where I share vegan recipes and other fun tidbits. I like vegan food, and I hope to show you that vegan food should really just be called food. It’s not as weird as it sounds. I promise.