Dairy, like coffee, is one of my vices that I have an on-again, off-again relationship with. I’m closer than ever to weaning myself and have been very pleased to see what the new wave of dairy-free substitutes have come up with.
Parma is a vegan parmesan cheese substitute. They graciously sent me several samples to try and I have been quite enjoying them! They totally hit a nostalgia factor that has been missing since I eschewed old school Kraft parmesan some time in the 90’s. My suspicions of Kraft were not unwarranted; it appears their “100%” Parmesan cheese has been cut with cellulose, commonly derived from wood pulp.
Like the ‘parmesan’ of my youth, Parma has a fine, granulated texture that makes it perfect for sprinkling atop any kind of Italian dish you can think of. Unlike the cellulose-laced ‘cheese’ of my youth, Parma’s ingredients are as follows: Nutritional Yeast, Organic Sunflower
Seeds, Walnuts, Himalayan Crystal Salt, Organic Hemp Seeds (original flavor). So instead of a dose of inflammatory milk proteins, I’m shaking out some lovely omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins onto my plate. I’m digging it. Also, it creeped me out that Kraft cheese could sit on the counter for 3 years and never taste off. Why is that?!?! Parma must be kept in the fridge. That’s a sign it’s real food, people.
So you can bet I busted open the Original flavor to try on some gluten-free pasta with marinara once my samples arrived! I did a side-by-side comparison of the original and the garlicky-green Parma and must say the flavor bump of the garlicky green won me over! I think I could put that on just about anything!
Soon after I was hit with a craving for a creamy dressing so I made what ultimately ended up being a zesty, creamy dip that I’m loving paired with artichokes (truly life-changing) and other veg. It’s added a nice shift in typical flavors I work with and I’m really excited to bring Parma into my repertoire to keep things interesting as I (again) pursue dairy-free living. Parma is in most urban health food stores (even in Anchorage, Alaska!) and is also available on Amazon (here)*
Try this dip the next time you get your hands on a steamed artichoke or any time you want a zesty, cheesy dip or sauce!
Creamy Parmesan Dip (vegan/gluten-free)
First, make an Egg-Free Mayo
(recipe adapted from the New York Times)
- 1/4 cup liquid from a can or pot of cooked chickpeas (this is known as aquafaba)
- 1/4 tsp ground mustard
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 3/4-1 cup avocado oil or other neutral oil
Add aquafaba, mustard, salt, vinegar, and honey into a blender. Whirl on high, and slowly drizzle in the oil until the liquid emulsifies into a mayonnaise.
Next, make dip:
- 1 cup aquafaba mayonnaise
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 2/3 cup Parma Vegan parmesan
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- salt to taste
Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Store in the refrigerator; keeps for about 2 weeks or longer. Can be mixed in with pasta, roasted vegetables, or used as a dip for cucumbers, artichoke (this is the best!) and other veggies.
DISCLOSURE: Product samples were gifted to me, but all opinions expressed are my own. Affiliate links allow Amazon to send me a small commission as a thank you for the referral. The price on any item is the same for you whether it is an affiliate link or not, and using affiliate links contributes to supporting VIBRANCE, a small, female-owned business.
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