Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ingredient Elimination: Veggie Cream Cheese

Note: I've cooked a lot of recipes in the past few weeks, and due to a family emergency, I've been unable to post. I'm going to try to catch up over the next week.

This could also be called "Crisper Drawer Cream Cheese" since I basically assessed the contents of my crisper and added the stray bits to this cream cheese. The ingredient to be eliminated in this edition of Ingredient Elimination is soy cream cheese. I'd used 4 oz of soy cream cheese to make creamy tomatillo sauce for vegan fried green tomatoes. I prefer soy cream cheese in dips--its flavor is neutral and it creates a better consistency than conventional cream cheese--but used for its intended purpose, it has a strong soy flavor, a strong tofu flavor, which doesn't work so well with a bagel. Not wanting it to go to waste, and not wanting the stray veggies in the drawer to go to waste, I whipped this up. If I had intended to make this, selecting the ingredients from the market, the veggies would be a lot different. There'd probably be a bit of roasted pepper, perhaps a touch of tomato, and maybe some capers or chives.

Crisper Drawer Veggie Cream Cheese (makes ~6 oz)
  • 4 oz soy cream cheese
  • 1/2 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 green onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 large zucchini, coarsely chopped
  • freshly ground pepper
1. Pulse all above ingredients in a food processor. Don't puree, but mix until the veggies are in fine bits. Allow cream cheese to sit in fridge before serving. Add additional black pepper when serving.

Kitchen Note: Don't omit the pepper. It really enhances the flavor of the veggies.

Verdict? As mentioned above, these aren't my #1 choices for a veggie combo for making cream cheese (it's a bit muted), but it definitely succeeded with regard to: 1) taking the "soy" edge from the soy cream cheese; 2) using up some of the veggies in the fridge. I found this much fresher tasting than conventional veggie cream cheeses, and it's a quick-and-dirty way to increase veggie intake and decreasing the fat content without resorting to (gasp!) low fat cream cheese.

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