Archives For Alternatives to dairy

One of the biggest hurdles that new vegans face is finding a vegan cheese. Most people, including myself were eating almost anything until recently. I have been vegan for only 3 and a half years and I am constantly improving my vegan repertoire of dishes that sharpen the appetite.

For a lot of people who are still “flirting” with going all vegan, the biggest challenge is sometimes how to live without cheese. So for all of you aspiring vegans, I can not recommend Violife highly enough. Try it, cook with it and sleep soundly at night.

vegan cheese violife


I am over the Moon to be working with Violife. By far one of my favorite vegan friendly companies. This year Violife was voted as the best vegan product for 2015. To be honest, I am not surprised at all. Violife delivers in many levels.

  1. You can buy it from most supermarkets, health stores or order it online.
  2. It is reasonably priced.
  3. It offers many variety of flavours and doesn’t compromise in texture.
  4. It is made with good quality ingredients, which agree with most dairy intolerant people.
  5. It offers a fantastic choice for vegans
  6. It tastes great. And it is, in my opinion the best vegan cheese option on the market.


vegan cheese


So as soon as I got the delivery, I got stuck into cooking. I could hardly contain my excitement as I saw all these wonderful varieties, so I tried every one as soon as I got them.

Prior to today, I have only tried the original and the cheddar style variety, so I felt spoiled for choice. The first thing I made was tomato and Violife sandwiches for my boys. My boys are not vegan, but they love Violife and it’s taste and texture.

Here are a few recipes that I loved making and they are now a staple in my kitchen. I get very territorial here when I am cooking and having Violife to cook and prepare food with has taken my cheesy dishes to a new level.


Here is the first recipe that I made. It takes literally 20 minutes to prepare.

Spinach Pasta Dish

(Serves 3-4 people)

  • Ingredients:
  • 500 gr pasta
  • 500 gr of spinach (washed)
  • A handful of fresh parsley (washed and finely chopped)
  • 7-8 spring onions (washed and nicely chopped)
  • 1 clove of garlic (peeled and crushed)
  • A teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

Choose your favourite pasta shape, including spaghetti and cook it as normal. Once cooked, rinse it, season it lightly and leave it on a side.



vegan Parmesan cheese

Spinach pasta with freshly grated Parmesan

In a large pan gently heat up some olive oil and add everything apart from the spinach and the parsley. Let the spring onion soften and change colour, and let the cumin seeds infuse the oil. Then add your spinach and put the lid on for about a minute or so until it becomes small and you can see water in the pan. Then, you add your ready pasta and put the cooker on a low heat. Mix well and let everything cook together for up to 3 minutes or so.

Place on a plate and sprinkle with some parsley. While hot grate some Violife Parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy!

This dish is also an idea for what you can do if you have some leftover pasta. I have made the exact same recipe by replacing the pasta with rice and it works just as good. It is so simple and very delicious.

My next recipe is probably my favourite, as I can make it in advance and cook to ensure freshness. It is also a wonderful idea to bring to a dinner party.

3 Cheese Vegan Pizza  

I use a very simple recipe to make the pizza base. Here it is.

Serves 10-12, Takes 90 minutes plus proving

For the dough 

  • 1/2 kg of strong bread flour.
  • 15 g dried yeast
  • 15 g sugar
  • A tea spoon of salt.
  • Espresso cup of olive oil, plus some for kneading and greasing.

For the tomato sauce

  • 500 ml tomato passata
  • Basil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A pinch of cinnamon.
  • A pinch of ground cloves.
  • Salt and black pepper to taste.


  • 5 chestnut mushrooms (washed and finely chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (washed and chopped into rings)
  • 15 black olives ( stone removed  and cut into halves)
  • Violife Mozzarella (sliced into thin strips) 
  • Violife 3 peppers (sliced into thin strips) 
  • Violife tomato and basil (sliced into thin strips) 

Method to prepare the pizza base

  1. Put the flour in a mixing bowl. In a cup mix the yeast, sugar and 100 ml of warm water. Gently mix with a small whisk or a fork and let it dissolve and bubble for a few minutes until it becomes a foam. Pour the contents of the cup into the flour and make a well in the center.
  2. Add another 150 ml of warm water and a pinch of sea salt. Mix with a spoon and then start kneading with your very oily hands, adding a little bit more oil, so the dough is easy to handle. Keep kneading till you get a elastic, soft and smooth dough. Transfer it into an oiled bowl and cover it with damp cloth to keep the warm moisture. Let it prove for about an hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Meanwhile, you can prepare the tomato sauce and lightly roast the mushrooms and the peppers. To make the tomato base simply put all the ingredients into a small pot. Bring it to boil, and then let it simmer for 20 minutes, until the consistency is thicker and the color has gone darker. In a small tray you can place the mushrooms with the peppers.
  4. Once your dough is ready, cut it into two halves. Grease your chosen baking pan. The ideal size would be 20cmx30cm for 1/2 of the dough, but you can simply work with what you have by just using less dough. The aim is to make sure you have enough space for the dough to rise and bake and also to remain flat. Using your oily fingers, place the dough into the pan and stretch it to fill the edges and the corners of the pan. Make rows of evenly spaced dimples over the surface of the dough. Set the pan aside to prove for further 35-45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  5. Preheat the oven to fan mark 170-180 degrees. Once your dough is ready, simply spread some tomato sauce. Add your mushrooms, peppers and olives, sprinkle your cheeses and bake the pizza for about 25-30 minutes.
vegan cheese

3 Cheese Vegan Pizza

Once it’s ready let it rest for 1 minute. Cut into slices and enjoy. You can serve it with your favorite leafy greens and some more olives on the side. The combination of the three vegan cheeses works very well and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.

Before I wrap up this post, I want to share one more recipe with you. It’s for:

Vegan sun-dried tomato pesto 

I love roasted walnuts. The ones I am using are from my parent’s garden in Bulgaria. They seem to have captured the sunlight and have the earthy nutty taste that I know I have loved ever since I was a child. Growing up in Bulgaria, surrounded by an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables has made me love every plant even more.

I want to share one of my favourite recipes with you, sun-dried tomato pesto.


  • Small cup of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil.
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic. (peeled and cut into halves)
  • A bunch of fresh basil.
  • A pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
  • 100 gr of roasted and peeled walnuts.
  • 50 gr of Violife Parmesan cheese.

Simply put all of the ingredients into a blender, and blend for about a minute or so, until you reach your desired consistency.

vegan cheese violife

Serving suggestions for your sun dried tomato pesto-lazy pizza

This is the first vegan Parmesan that I have used, it really gives the pesto a true cheese taste and texture. It can be served as a dressing for your favourite salad, and it is also very nice with pasta or hummus.

Hope you have enjoyed my recipe. Feel free to share them with your friends and do get in touch for more tips.

I love cooking and creating recipes using simple ingredients with the help of some fantastic products like Violife cheese selections.

For full list of their amazing cheeses and spreads please hop over to Violife website and Follow them on Facebook for the latest news and information.

Once again, thank you so much Violife for letting me try and enjoy your products. You make every vegan pizza the best pizza! Thank you!

The world of non-dairy and gluten free foods can leave
many people with a tiring battle to find the best tasting
foods. Now introducing “Taste This Foods”, designed
by celebrity TV Chef Joe Ciminera has many people
A walk through Chef Joe’s kitchen in Bellmore was
similar to a tour at Willy Wonka’s Factory. The aromas
of dried rosemary, smoke and something akin to non
dairy cheddar crowd and jostle against one another in
the shiver-cool space, so concentrated that a visitor’s
experience could spark nostalgia to their all time
childhood favorite dishes.

The spare white room is filled with gadgets like I have
never seen before, each tray filled with blenders of
“cultured nut product,” Standing in the center is a chef
who is constantly tasting the quality of the products,
who is describing how it took months to find
commercial cheese cultures that weren’t grown in
cow’s milk. The staff is very big on priding themselves
that they are under a “Vegan” facility.


Chef Joe Ciminera, is no stranger to the
television-cooking world who has a glowing PBS
cooking show, “Taste This TV.” Among vegans, he is the
Godfather figure, an inventor and a statesman. When
Joe Ciminera’s Kitchen released its first products in Jan
2016, Ciminera finally began to capitalize on the artisan
non dairy, gluten free movement he helped start.
According to natural-foods market analyst Spins, natural
groceries saw annual sales of vegan and gluten free
foods rise 33.2 percent in 2014 alone to 36 million.
The new food maker’s collective goal isn’t just to
supplant the rubbery, bland alternatives that have
plagued the gluten free and the dairy free world. In their
rquest to make a vegan diet more appealing, they’re
attempting to answer the question: What makes these
products better than the rubbery ones on the market


Most other companies are still using Carrageenan,
which has some scientist calling this a very dangerous
product causing inflammation.
The vegan products that Chef Joe Ciminera made this
last year has already one awards up and down trade
What to buy
Non-Dairy Ricotta
Non-Dairy Mozzarella
Non-Dairy Cannoli Cream
Non Dairy Mac N Cheese Sauce

For a full product range please visit Taste This Food.

Who doesn’t love chocolate? I am a massive chocoholic and I can’t imagine life without it. I am always very happy to review a vegan chocolate and share it with you.

moo free chocolate eggs

Personally I want everyone to eat a dairy free chocolate egg for Easter and Moo Free is a great option. 


All their products are dairy free, gluten free, wheat free, lactose free and vegan. Including that, every single ingredient is organically certified. 

I am delighted to introduce you to this amazing brand of delicious chocolate treats. The words “moo free” are music to my vegan years. 😉 I am a breastfeeding mama at the moment (our youngest son is only 3 months old) and I want everybody to eat Moo Free Chocolates. 

Moo Free Chocolates have been producing delightful dairy free chocolates since 2010 as a perfect alternative to most chocolate products on the market that contain dairy milk. Their ever growing range contains some popular flavours and sizes, also including buttons and truffles. 

The chocolate is full of flavour, it snaps really well and it also has a creamy texture. I am writing this sentence while a square of the mint chocolate is melting in my mouth. 

The original chocolate bar represented by Hammy Hamster is delicious. It is sweet, yet creamy and somehow it leaves a nice and cool feeling in your mouth. It snaps perfectly well and its perfect eaten with a few salty pretzels.

The mint is so refreshing, yet sweet and you are left with this incredible lightness that only dairy free products have.

The honey comb is lush and rich in flavour with caramel hints and rich crisp chocolate.

The orange is probably one of my favourite chocolates. Before I went vegan I have tried and binged on every kind of orange chocolate there is. Now my new favourite is this Cheeky Orange.   

My boys also love it. There is always a bit of negotiation going on once I receive a chocolate product to review and how to be shared between us. A friend of ours was visiting and he mentioned that recently, every time he has even the smallest bit of dairy his wrists get covered with a small rash. I suggested that it could be the dairy. So he had some of the Moo Free chocolate and as well loving the taste his body took it perfectly well, no reaction whatsoever. 

moo free chocolate review


I know that most of my friends will love the Moo Free chocolates, whether it is Easter or not. Currently you can buy most of the range at Sainsbury’s and for the latest news and give-away follow Moo Free chocolate and Hammy Hamster on Facebook.