WALNUT FIG "CHEESE" SPREAD

Since my family didn't get together this Thanksgiving I found myself reminiscing a bit and was inspired to recreate a dish my sister use to bring to our Thanksgiving dinners when I was in grade school.  

It was one of my favorite things to eat that day as I've always loved finger food and it includes one of my favorite flavor combinations, sweetness with savory.  I also thought this dish if I got it to work, would be a perfect party dish to share for this entertaining season as it serves the rise of picky eaters! It's vegan and gluten free!  There are no added sugars, and it is full of healthy fat and complete protein! 

This pesudo cheese looks like, has the same texture, and tastes like a cheese spread!   In fact I wouldn't even tell non vegans what this really is....tofu!  Yeah non vegans tend to find this word not so sexy, so unless someone has a soy allergy I would kinda keep it on the DL.

I loved it so much I've already created a smoke flavored version which I will be featuring in THE SPICE soon. 

I enjoyed it as my turkey dinner (hey it's brown and full of protein!) along with a red blend and thought fondly of my past family's Thanksgivings.  Actually that's not true, I was watching pigskin. 

THE DESIGN PROCESS

The cheese spread is an adaptation of a recipe I found online by Made by Monson.  There was only one little switch as it pretty much fit all my criteria for a simple dish and clean ingredients. To mimic my sister's cheese ball, I spread on a layer of fig jam I make by blending up softened dehydrated figs.  Dehydrated figs don't contain any added sugars or oils.  They are naturally very sweet which makes them a good candidate for a jam.   I also added a walnut crumble to help seal the fig jam to the cheese spread which also gave the cheese spread more texture.  I did make my own crackers for the photo but they still need some work and just enjoyed with some organic quinoa tortilla chips I found at my dad's pad.

HOW TO STYLE THIS ON YOUR PARTY TABLE

1. Simply place the cheese spread on a platter with the crackers to the side and a bowl of olives.  You could add some other traditional cheese platter foods like grapes.  

2. Assemble some as I have done so in the picture below: cracker, cheese spread, sprinkle of finely chopped parsley to give it brightness and life, and an olive half. Leave some of the cheese spread in tact and some crackers bare.  People are different you know.  Some may want to dip their own and some just want to grab and go!

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