This cheese ball was the absolute star of our Thanksgiving feast this year. A dead ringer for a traditional sharp cheese ball, it seems we solved that problem where vegan cheese substitutes are mysteriously saccharine sweet (Seriously, Daiya manufacturers, have you ever eaten Swiss cheese??). This holiday recipe is unbelievably easy as there is minimal prep, and it uses fairly standard vegan ingredients (the star here is really the seasoning, I swear it). It also happens to be a stunner with perfect ruby-toned cranberries and wonderful pine green pumpkin seeds. You can make it a few days ahead of time, but it needs at least overnight in the fridge to allow the flavours to fully mix and mingle.
225 g (8 oz) non-dairy cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup non-dairy cheese shreds, any mild flavour you like
1/4 cup non-dairy sour cream
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
3 tablespoons dried chives, or 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh
1/2 tablespoon dry mustard powder, such as Colman’s
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds, toasted
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Using a food processor, combine the non-dairy cream cheese, non-dairy cheese shreds, non-dairy sour cream, nutritional yeast, chives, mustard powder, onion and garlic powder, cayenne, lemon juice and salt until smooth. Scoop the mixture out onto a large square of plastic wrap and cover. Shape into a rough ball, cover with a second square of plastic wrap and refrigerate, at least overnight. When ready to serve, mix the pumpkin seeds and cranberries together on a large plate and roll the chilled cheese ball, gently pressing into the seeds and dried fruit, until all of the cheeseball is covered in the mixture. Wrap again to chill until ready to serve. Works well with crudite, crackers, bread or apple slices.