Vegan Feta Cheese

As we have established many times, I am in no way a vegan. But when I was teaching cookery, we once ran a Mexican class that consisted mainly of vegetarians with a few vegans in the mix, and my boss experimented with this recipe for vegan feta cheese. I’ve always been a bit wary of substituting a ‘free-from’ version of something for the real deal, because setting up the comparison often results in disappointment. But I literally could not stop eating this stuff when it was presented to me. Then I forgot about it, because I have no real need for vegan cheese substitutes on a day-to-day basis.

But, over a year later, I was throwing a vegan dinner party, and remembered the existence of this almond feta. I decided to give it a go. It was just as tasty as I remembered. Everyone else seemed to love it too, and I’ve made it a couple of times since.


I’m not going to pretend this is a like-for-like substitute for feta, because obviously it tastes different, being made from almonds rather than dairy. But it does have the same salty, savoury, addictive joy about it. It’s wonderfully crumbly and versatile. The almonds, when broken down like this, are surprisingly creamy. Here, I’ve shown it crumbled on top of a salad (because just photographed in its little dish it would look a little uninspiring, just as photographing an untouched lump of real feta would). But you can use it just as you would the regular cheese: it’s great with all sorts of salads, or roasted vegetables, or sprinkled over eggs, or baked into a frittata. You can make up a dish of it and keep it in your fridge happily for a couple of weeks, pulling it out whenever you need it.



This recipe is adapted from the version we used when I was teaching, but I’m afraid I have no idea where that was from originally. Do shout if you know!


This does take a bit of time, but it’s largely completely passive time, where you can happily leave the nuts to do their thing and go and get on with your life.


200g blanched almonds
90 ml lemon juice
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra for the baking dish
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1½ teaspoons salt
125 ml water


  1. First, soak the almonds. Place them in a bowl and pour over boiling water. Leave to soak for an hour.
  2. Drain the almonds, throwing away the water. Pop them into a food processor of other blender with the lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt, and 125ml water. Blitz thoroughly until you have a relatively smooth paste.
  3. Line a sieve with muslin, a clean tea towel, or a coffee filter. Put the almond paste into the lined sieve and leave to drain for at least three hours (or leave it overnight if you like).
  4. Preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 3. Lightly oil a small baking dish or tin. Pop the almond mixture in, smooth the surface, and lightly smear a little more olive oil over the top. Bake for around 25 minutes, or until starting to turn golden. You can use the almond feta warm or cold from the fridge, as you wish.

Roast Butternut Soup with Coconut, Lemongrass, and Chilli

It’s not often I can say this about a recipe featured on this blog, but this is vegan, gluten free, and healthy. Don’t worry, I have not abandoned the baked goods. But James and I do not live on macarons and pie alone (oh, if only), and plenty of savoury food comes out of my kitchen. Some of it is even healthy. I just don’t tend to feature it on this blog, because I find it less interesting. Also because so much of the savoury food I make is thrown together with whatever is lying around in the fridge, in a very ‘meh, it’ll probably be fine, chuck it in’ sort of a way, and so it’s hard for me to recreate dishes again, let alone write down how I made them.


However, the recipe for this soup was specifically requested (I know, how exciting) after I made it for a group at a yoga retreat, and so I recreated it and actually bothered to write down what I was doing, and here it is. Apologies for the rather uninspiring photos – they were taken at speed in the dying light. Still though, look how healthy it all looks…



It’s soup, so you can play it a bit fast and loose with the ingredients. Only one onion left? No problem. Got some herbs you want to throw in there? Go for it. Not a vegetarian and want to go mad and add bacon? Live your best life today.


1 large butternut squash
olive oil
2 onions
thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
2 lemongrass stalks
80g Thai red curry paste (about 1/2 a small jar, or make your own if you’d rather, or add more to taste)
1 can full fat coconut milk
750ml vegetable stock
1 lime
1 chilli (optional – to garnish)


  1. Preheat your oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 6. Peel your squash and cut it into roughly finger sized chunks, discarding the seeds. Pop it in a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then roast for around 40 minutes – you want it meltingly soft and just charring around the edges, for flavour.
  2. While that’s happening, slice your onions, peel and roughly chop your ginger, and bash your lemongrass stalks a bit so they release flavour. Put a generous slug of olive oil in your largest saucepan and cook the onions, ginger, and lemongrass down together, until the onions are soft. Add your curry paste and cook gently for 3-4 minutes until everything smells amazing. Tip in your butternut squash, coconut milk (saving a couple of tbsp if you want some to drizzle on the soup), and stock. Stir it all together and then simmer for around 10 minutes. Find the lemongrass and pull it out.
  3. When everything is all happily cooked down and amalgamated, blitz your soup until smooth – I use a stick blender, but a liquidiser or food processor will do the job. Add your lime juice, give it a good stir, and check the seasoning. It should be rich and warming, with a lingering chilli kick at the end. Add more salt, pepper, or lime as needed. Serve hot, drizzled with the leftover coconut milk if you’re feeling artistic, and add some chopped chilli or extra chilli sauce if you want it to have more spice.