We’ve been living in Buenos Aires for few weeks since mid-September and making our own meals with local ingredients such as spices, grains, beans and fresh produces, primarily onions, potatoes and green plantains. We hardly have junk or processed foods around in the kitchen, e.g., Oreo cookies or chips, and besides most of them aren’t even vegan. It is fun to prepare meals and eat better whilst traveling. We have a month left here, we will manage and ah, expect tons of recipe posts later this month…
about violife vegan cheese
Before our arrival in Buenos Aires, we made several casual comfort foods in Spain, with Violife Vegan Cheese. They were all easy and quick to make without using many ingredients.
We contacted a Greek vegan cheese company, “Violife” that summer to sample their cheese products after learning about it through few friends and that they weren’t available in Spain. Violife Vegan Cheese is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, palm oil-free and GMO-free, and comes in bricks (2.5 kg), blocks (200g) shreds (200g), slices (200g) and creamy spreads (200g).
The vegan cheese blocks and bricks can be shredded using a cheese grater or sliced or randomly cut. They melt better when shredded, but the slices are perfect for burgers and sandwiches or on its own. They are available in the UK and throughtout Europe (check their Facebook page for more updates).
There are different flavors available: Original, Tomato & Basil, Herbs, Peppers, Hot Peppers, Cheddar, Mushrooms, Olives, Olive Oil, Pizza Flavor, and Cucumber & Dill. We didn’t try the Peppers, Cheddar, Olives, Olive Oil or the Pizza Flavor, although I’m not a huge fan of olives.
For the cheese slices, we’ve tried Original, Tomato & Basil, Herbs, Hot Peppers, Mushrooms including the one for Pizza.
For the creamy spreads, we’ve tried Original, Tomato & Basil, Herbs, Hot Peppers, and Cucumber & Dill.
Here are some casual comfort foods we’ve made in Spain in alphabetical order:
Cheesy & Broiled Quesadilla with Onions & Bell Peppers
This was a crappy photo because we were too eager to finish them. These quesadillas are our favorite daily snack, and easy and quick to make. We shredded and melted the Violife Hot Pepper Cheese slices (view product) using a cheese grater. The melting shreds are perfect for fajitas, quesadillas, empanadas, calzones or burritos, or even on lasagna or cheesy pasta dishes. The Hot Peppers cheese reminds me of pepperjack with a bit of red and green peppers, but not very spicy though. It’s Doni’s favorite.
For the quesadilla, we sauteed some onions (until slightly caramelized) & bell peppers with a bit of light soy sauce in the end. Heat the broiler with the oven rack about 4 inches from the top, place the tortillas on a pan, add some cheese shreds and the sauteed vegetables. Add the tortilla on the top like a tortilla sandwich. Broil until the tops of the tortillas are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Use a metal spatula to flip them over and broil the second side 1 to 2 minutes until golden brown.
Let the quesadilla sit for a minute, then slice each tortilla “sandwich” into 4-6 wedges and serve with guacamole or pico de gallo (view the recipes here).
Creamy Spinach Tagliatelle & Mushrooms
We used Violife Mushroom Cheese slices & Original Creamy Spread in this dish. Thanks to Violife cheese and creamy spread, this Creamy Spinach Tagliatelle dish was one of our favorite main courses – so creamy and rich just like a Fettuccine Alfredo dish.
The recipe is similiar to my other cheesy pasta dish Vegan Tiburón & Cheese (or Mac n Cheese). The Violife Mushroom Cheese has dried mushrooms and truffle oil flavor, which was pretty tasty. The Violife Original Creamy Spread is a bit different than “cream cheese”, but a cheesy spread.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions or until al dente; drain.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the mushrooms, add 1 tsp. minced garlic, cook and stir until softened, for about 5 minutes and set aside.
Melt margarine in a medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for about 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly and not let it burn. Turn to the lowest heat, add cream cheese, stirring with wire whisk until smooth. it is normal to see them curdle in the beginning, but just whisk them until smooth, it will be more smooth.
Add creamer gradually, whisking quickly and constantly until each addition is incorporated fully into the sauce. Add the cheese, let them soften up for about 2-3 minutes without touching, then mix it in with the sauce completely (whisking). Add 1-2 pinches of pepper/salt until the cheeze is melted and the sauce is the desired consistency.
Add peas and sautéed mushrooms in the end. Add the creamy sauce to the drained pasta in a pot, mix it in. Garnish with basil leaves and dried chili flakes or ground cayenne peppers and serve immediately before the sauce thickens up.
Toasted Spelt Croissant with Mushroom Cheese
My personal favorite savory snack – a vegan spelt croissant from a Spanish artisan bakery (El Horno de Leña), with a Violife Vegan Mushroom Cheese slice or would you rather call it a croissant grilled cheese sandwich?
I’m not a huge fan of these vegan spelt croissants (a bit dry for me), but they pair with the Violife cheese really well. We found them at El Corte Inglés in Valencia, Spain at €4.20 (four pieces). If you really want some nearly authentic vegan sweet croissants & pastries, I highly recommend this awesome Austrian bakery: Bernds’ Welt.
I briefly baked the whole thing in the oven until lightly toasted. The cheese doesn’t melt completely unless it is shredded. Instead it retained its shape, changed into a slightly darker color and softened as a “cheesy spread.” The flavor is undeniably mouthwatering – imagine having mushrooms & truffle oil in the croissant sandwich, and the Mushrooms is my favorite Violife cheese flavor.
Tomato & Courgette Puff Pastry Pizza
Vegan puff pastry is sold in a number of grocery stores in Spain and is usually available in a round shape and found in the refrigerator section. To make our “pizza” we created a crust by folding over the edges of the puff pastry before crimping it with a fork (see first photo).
We used Violife Tomato & Basil cheese (shredded using a cheese grater), halved raw grape tomatoes and sauteed courgettes on the puff pastry “pizza.” The color of the Tomato & Basil cheese is a beautiful “cheddar”, and it has a slightly sweet, but a robust, savory tomato flavor with a mild basil aftertaste.
The Violife Tomato & Basil cheese melts perfectly on the puff pastry.
Vegan Monster Burger
Have you seen our other burger using Violife cheese – the Vegan Provençal Cheeseburger? For this Vegan Monster Burger, we used Violife Herb Cheese slices and for the patty, we used veggie soy burgers by Sojasun, a French company. We found the vegan burger patties at Carrefour and El Corte Inglés in Valencia, Spain (view our review and addresses for the groceries here). We could taste the basil than other dried herbs in the Violife Herb Cheese slices however they are a great way to add flavor to your dishes or snacks that use “cheese.”
Veggie soy burgers by Sojasun, a French company. It takes 5 minutes to cook in a pan. You can view their ingredients here, in addition they use non-GMO soybeans.
Our Vegan Monster burger has Violife Herb cheese slices, veggie soy patty, arugula, roasted grape tomatoes, Italian sweet peppers, gluten-free garlic mayo by Granovita, and wholegrain mustard (from Carrefour).
Violife Creamy Spreads on Toasts
Aren’t these mini vegan toasts cute? We found them at El Corte Inglés in Valencia, Spain (view our post here) and they were pretty cheap, about €1.50 a loaf and vegan. We tried the Violife’s Original, Tomato & Basil, Herbs, Hot Peppers, and Cucumber & Dill creamy spreads. Our favorites are Cucumber & Dill and Hot Peppers. I hope one day Violife will include Mushrooms (Truffle Oil) flavor in the creamy spreads, which is my favorite.
Violife Creamy Spreads on Toast: (from the left to the right) Cucumber & Dill, Herbs, Hot Peppers, Original and Tomato & Basil.
1. Cucumber & Dill (view ingredients here)
This is our favorite flavor for the creamy spread. They don’t have cheese slices or block in that flavor, only the creamy spread. The creamy spread has a fresh smell from the cucumbers, but the dill flavor is there. Very fresh and tasty! Great as a spread on bread or sandwiches. Pair with something salty. An omnivore (my best friend) claimed that it reminded her of a Greek tzatizki spread, and it is her top favorite among the others she’ve tried. We used the Cucumber & Dill creamy spread in our Vegan Chickpea Mash recipe.
2. Herbs (view ingredients here)
The aroma and taste of the basil is obvious. Spread it on some warm toast to make it even creamier. There are visible dried herbs. What’s interesting about this flavor is the inclusion of mashed potato in the ingredients.
3. Hot Peppers (view ingredients here)
Our second favorite flavor for the creamy spread. Mildly spicy. Looks like a “cream cheese” cheddar block, but the smell is distinctively red peppers. Visible green & red peppers.
4. Original (view ingredients here)
It has a mild, tangy flavor and smooth texture (when warmed up), but serve as a base for most creamy dishes, e.g., Mac & Cheese or even a vegan cheesecake (sadly we didn’t make one). We used the Original creamy spread in both dishes: Creamy Spinach Tagliatelle & Mushrooms and Vegan Tiburón & Cheese (view recipe).
5. Tomato & Basil (view ingredients here)
The fragrance of the basil is more noticeable than its taste. The creamy spread itself is mildly sweet due to the tomatoes. It is not one of our favorites, but we enjoy using the Tomato & Basil creamy spread in sandwiches and pasta dishes – with something savory or spicy otherwise it can be too sweet on its own.
Violife Creamy Spreads on Toast: (from the top to bottom) Tomato & Basil, Original, Hot Peppers, Herbs, and Cucumber & Dill
more casual meals with violife vegan cheese
• Pizza Vegana De Vegetales y Queso Violife (view recipe)
• Vegan Provençal Cheeseburger with Violife Tomato & Basil Cheese Slices (view post)
• Vegan Tiburón & Cheese (view recipe)
• Creamy Chickpea Mash (view recipe)
This item(s) was kindly sent to me to review. All reviews are my own personal opinions, I have not been compensated to provide any feedback positive or otherwise. If I receive a product complimentary of the company, it will be stated so in the post, otherwise, all products are purchased myself for my own personal use.