Tag Archives: veganmofo 2009

Dr. Cow’s Tree Nut Cheeses

Recently I was bumming around my apartment (probably reading vegan food blogs) when I heard a knock at the door.  T’was a delivery man with a mysterious box.  For a moment I was worried that I had gotten drunk and accidentally ordered a half dozen cookbooks or something, but when I opened the package, I was pleased to find instead that my boyfriend had ordered me an array of Dr. Cow’s nut cheeses!  I have been dying to try Dr. Cows for a while but they are a bit of a splurge on my strict budget.  Apparently a co-worker told the bf how much I would enjoy the dairy-free cheeses and said bf decided to surprise me.  Nice!

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It has taken every ounce of willpower I have not to eat the entire spread in one sitting.  My roommate even made a comment about how often I was sneaking to the kitchen to take more nibbles.  How embarassing!  The bottom line is that these cheeses are freakin’ delicious.  Let’s check out the flavors:

My favorite of the bunch is the Cashew Nut Cream Cheese, which, unlike the others, is a very creamy spread.  It sort of tastes like a tangier and more flavorful version of traditional cream cheese.  You are going to be hearing me use “tangy” a lot in this post.  That special cheese tang is missing from a lot of cheese knock-offs, but not these!  I’d like to tell you how I spread this on bagels, veggie wraps, etc. but, instead I must admit that I knocked out the whole container by smothering it on crackers that I ate while standing by the fridge, just like I used to do with little wheels of smoked gouda.  It was a heavenly return to a bad habit.

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The aged cashew nut cheese tastes just like the cream cheese but it’s in wheel form.

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Actually, I found that all the cheeses with cashews as the only nut tasted basically identical to each other.  This isn’t bad news, as they all taste incredible, I just suggest you don’t worry about choosing between all the cashew flavors–one will do you just fine.  Even the Aged Cashew and Crystal Algae Cheese, with it’s blue-green hue, tasted the same as all the other cashew flavors.

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Aged cashew and hemp seeds cheese:

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The Aged Macademia Nut had a more spreadable texture than the other wheels.  Check out how awesomely it spreads on crackers.  Total yumfest.

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My least favorite of the assortment I had was the Aged Cashew and Brazil Nut flavor, my problem with it being that I simply don’t care for Brazil nuts and that’s what it tastes like.  But if brazil nuts are your jam, you will love this.

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I highly recommend Dr. Cow’s cheeses to vegans and non-vegans alike.  They would be an awesome addition to a spread at any sort of holiday party but they also taste great when eaten standing next to the ole ice box.  Dr. Cow’s website asserts that all the cheeses are low in fat, salt, and sodium, which I remain highly skeptical about since their composition is mainly cheese and salt.  The cheeses have few ingredients and they are all totally natural–mostly just nuts and obscure types of salt.  A vegan cheese made of whole foods–sign. me. up!

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Casa de Tree brings tastiness to town

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The fact that I last ate at Casa de Tree back in July goes to show you how behind I am on posting!  Oops!  Anywho…

At my work it’s up to my boss Canada and I to choose where we go to eat for lunch every day, but we have to keep everyone’s restaurant preferences in mind so the masses don’t revolt.  Once in a blue moon, however, there are days when there are very few people in the office for lunch–just me, Canada, and one or two other stragglers.  On these days, I go crazy with power and insist that we eat at either M Cafe or Casa de Tree, my newest favorite restaurant on the west side.

Casa de Tree has a cute sunny storefront on Motor Avenue where they have a pretty expansive buffet.  Our office always orders to-go, but the array of dishes in the buffet is very enticing.  Unfortunately, over half of Casa de Tree’s menu is not offered at lunch.  Many restaurants offer a limited menu at lunch of course, but it always strikes me as odd that you can’t order the vegan tuna salad at lunch, even though it’s out on the lunch buffett.  Why can’t they just scoop it up and put it in a box?  For lunch to-go you are basically limited to the sandwiches and burgers portion of the menu (even though the menu indicates that the pastas are served all day, when I’ve tried to order them at lunch I was told they were dinner only.)

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After hearing so many positive reviews of the restaurant’s curry donut, I always make sure to include some in our order.  The outer crust really reminds me of the greasy dough on fried mozzarella sticks–you know the kind you get at sports bars.  This is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how unhealthy you plan on being on any given day.  The curry filling inside is very good, my only gripe is that the ratio of dough to curry is quite off–they could use a lot more of the filling inside.

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The gyoza dumplings are straight forward but delicious.  They are simply tasty little pockets of steamed veggies with the usual dipping sauce.

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I usually end up ordering the club sandwich.  Again, it’s nothing out of the ordinary.  Its just plain good!  All the sandwiches come with a nice side salad with a really tangy miso dressing.  The dressing may be my one favorite thing from the Casa kitchen.

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Canada liked her “Casa de Tree Tacos.”  The description straight from the menu: 2 pieces of corn taco shell, brown rice, kidney beans, cabbage, avocado, tomato salsa, potato croquette, seitan katsu, tartar sauce, vegan sour cream on the side.  Hey, that’s a lot of good tasting food!  I had a couple bites of these and will probably order them the next time I get to Casa as they were super scrumptious.

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I had been eyeing the cream cheese cinnamon roll bread on the menu for some time, so I eventually caved and added it on to one of our orders.  That turned out to be an excellent decision.  The bread is neither overwhelmingly cinnamon-y or greasy from the cheese. I highly recommend spreading a little Earth Balance on lightly toasted slices from this little loaf for a perfect breakfast.

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Casa de Tree is a great little spot in a pocket of town where the vegan options are not so plentiful.  I’m gonna have to get back there for dinner one of these days to try out the full range of the menu!

Casa de Tree

3741 Motor Ave.

Culver City, CA  90034

310.559.8183

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I am a terrible blogger!  I wanted to post every day for Mofo as soon as I got back from Mexico, but then, as soon as I got back from Mexico, my computer decided to be a total jerk and have a major meltdown.  Agh!!!!  But I have showered her with attention and got her back on track.  So let’s start Mofo-ing all over the place!

The one baking recipe I use far more than any other, is Isa’s Sparkled Ginger Cookies from Vegan with a Vengeance.  These are the best ginger snaps I’ve ever had and by rolling them in turbinado sugar before baking, they are also the prettiest.  I usually associate ginger cookies with Fall and Winter, but I make these bad boys year round.  I usually quadruple (yes, quadruple) the recipe and keep the extra dough in the freezer to bake off whenever.

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Before I left for Mexico, it was so boiling hot in L.A. that if I hadn’t finished my daily run by 8 a.m. I had to quit because it just got too Saharan.  Then I go away for a week and Los Angeles has transformed into an Autumnal paradise with temps cold enough at night that I can pull out my crazy comfy snow socks!  I had to bake up a batch of these beloved snaps right away to really get into this October mood.

If you haven’t made these before, you best get on it!  The holidays will be here before we know it and Christmas without ginger snaps is a CRIME!  Looking forward to this October month of food.  October is my absolute favorite month and this October in particular is going to be action-packed for me so hopefully the festivities will bear some fun posts.  See you tomorrow!

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