Working on a blog is hard.
Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging. It comes with sweatpants, eating copious amounts of delicious food and cuddling with my pooch throughout the day.
However, it does mean spending a lot of time alone. A lot. It also means a lot of time doing dishes and a lot of time on social media. Social media can be tricky as I often find that the more I scroll the more I compare myself to other bloggers. So instead, I have found it very useful to reach out, make friends, and collaborate. Making food and creating with friends is so refreshing and enjoyable and fun to see things through a different lens.
One of my good friends, Tisha from The Nourished Mind, has been someone I can reach out to to ask blogging advice, talk about the latest health trends (we are both nutritionists) and now, collaborate together! We made a gluten and dairy free holiday charcuterie with vegan cheese (my recipe is for a Cranberry and Rosemary Cheese Roll) and a Tisha made a beautiful Cranberry Apple and Rosemary Jam.
Want to give your own holiday charcuterie board a go? Read on friend.
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This holiday charcuterie board we put together has
- cured meats.
- fresh fruit like pomegranate, cherries, grapes and clementines.
- gluten free chips and crackers.
- dried fruit like cherries and blueberries.
- dips like this cranberry apple rosemary jam from The Nourished Mind
- some honey for drizzling on the cheese
- Cranberry Rosemary Vegan Cheese Roll (recipe below)
So for those of you who don’t know Tisha from The Nourished Mind, meet Tisha! A professional food stylist, I love to pick her brain about ALL things food styling. We worked together at a restaurant before and helped design some menu items. My favourite part about working together? Sitting down after we took all of the photos and devouring everything while chatting all things food and life. ha!
Now let’s get to this creamy dairy free cranberry rosemary cheese roll. The base is made from cashews so some soaking in advance is needed. It has fresh rosemary and dried cranberries blended in and is coated in a mixture of chopped pistachios, lemon zest, rosemary and more dried cranberries. If you have any of the coating left you can save it and use it for a salad topper.
This roll itself can be tricky to put together but I like the way it looks and comes out. There are two ways to make this.
- The lazy way where you don’t actually roll the cheese. You just put it straight into a bowl and sprinkle the coating on top.
- The harder way which results in a beautiful cheese roll. It requires freezing the cheese for a couple of hours and then rolling it in the coating and freezing it again. Take it out about 30-40 minutes before you want to serve it and put it directly on the serving plate. As it comes to room temperature it will lose its shape a bit but will be soft like cream cheese. Perfectly spreadable and delicious!
Looking for more appetizer ideas? Try these:
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Vegan Cranberry Rosemary Cheese Roll
A creamy dairy free cheese roll with cranberries and rosemary and rolled in chopped pistachios and lemon zest. Vegan and paleo friendly!
For the Cheese
2 cups cashews, soaked for 4 hours
1/2 cup water, plus more to thin
1 tsp light miso
3-4 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
1/4 cup coconut oil (I use one without aroma to avoid the coconut flavour)
For the coating:
1 cup raw pistachios, chopped
1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary
2 tbsp chopped dried cranberries
zest from one lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
- Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.
- Add the cashews, miso, water, lemon juice, coconut oil and salt to a high speed blender. Blend on high until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Add the chopped rosemary and cranberries and blend on low until well mixed.
- Form a bend in a large piece of tinfoil by bringing the two longer sides up (like a U).
- Pour the cashew mixture in and roll it tightly into a ‘log’ form ( I found this easiest to do using one end of a 9×9 pan) and place in the freezer for 2 hours
- Meanwhile, add all of the coating ingredients in a pan and toast over low heat for about 15-20 minutes, stirring often. Allow it to cool.
- Remove the cheese roll from the freezer and pull away the tinfoil. Roll it in the coating mixture and place it back in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
- Take the cheese roll out of the freezer about 45 minutes before you want to serve it and place it on the serving plate so it can defrost.