Friday 24 June 2022

Vegan Chilli Cheese Toast

I have been a vegetarian all my life but I do eat dairy ie cheese, milk, yoghurt and milk base products. However my daughter recently changed to a vegan diet, so I have been trying lots of substitutions for dairy products that I can use in my vegan recipes so she too can enjoy all the food that I cook.

One of our favorite lunches is Chilli cheese toast, basically this is a delux vegetable packed spicy cheese on toast. I tried to recreate it using the Violife vegan cheese. 

Violife is an alternate to cheese, it is a plant based product which is free from dairy, soya, gluten, lactose, nuts and preservatives. Its is made from coconut oil, modified starch, salt and vitamin B12. You enjoy them sliced in your sandwiches, spread on your bagel, sprinkled on your pasta or melted on your pizza. Violife is the vegan alternative to cheese that tastes and cooks great! It resembles grated cheddar in appearance, it does soften upon grilling but does not go brown like normal cheese. The flavour is similar to dairy cheese and its a great cheese substitute.

There is a variety of products available in the Violife range, some that I have tried are:

Violife Le Rond Camembert  flavour is soft, round and creamy. It can be baked it in the oven or microwaved. It can be served with vegetable crudites, crackers and crisps. It is perfect appetiser to present at any party with a glass of wine.

Violife Original Flavour slices,this classic flavour that gives you your cheesy taste. Its great in a tastycheese salad or cheese ploughmans sandwich and can also be grilled to make a cheese toasty.  

Violife Smoky Cheddar flavour Slices are delicious served with warm crusty bread or rolled up with olives and sundried tomatoes. This makes a delicious starter to serve with a glass of red wine. 

Violife Epic Mature is a really nice crumbly texture that is great grated or cut in cubes to serve with cheese and pineapples . It has great robust flavour that is perfect for sandwiches and wraps or grated on pies and pasta too.

For my Vegan Chilli cheese toast I used the Violife ready grated cheese, it is convenient to use and comes in a handy resealable bag so it remains fresh even after opening. 
The Violife range is available from most large supermarket, such as Tesco, Sainsburys and Asda.

The chilli cheese toast recipe is really easy and can be made in less than 10 minutes. It has lots of healthy ingredients and the perfect balanced lunch to enjoy.

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Your Good Health with Organic Wine

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I admire winemakers that make the extra effort to produce wine sustainably. To be a little gentler with the environment without compromising the quality of the wine. Seeing animals and birds actively playing a role in wine production, even if they only munch on insects and bugs, is good news for the environment.

So, what makes a wine organic, and why should you choose organic wines?

The absence of herbicides and pesticides is the most obvious advantage, but it goes further than that. It's not only that the grapes and vines are free of chemicals but the environment as well. 

Here is a selection of great organic wines to enjoy celebrating a healthier environment.

La Scolca Soldati Millesimato d’Antan

The next time you have a celebration, why not raise a glass to the efforts of the Soldati Family of the Piemonte region of Italy.

Their La Scolca Soldati Millesimato d’Antan sparkling wine is made in the Metodo classico way. In the same way, like Champagne, the second fermentation occurs in the bottle.

La Spinetta Il Rosé di Casanova

A much younger wine, made predominantly with Sangiovese and a touch of the gentle Prugnolo grapes, the La Spinetta Il Rose di Casanova is a delightful rosé wine from Tuscany. The Rivetti family has spent the last forty-five years crafting great wines in the Castagnole Lanze area, and this rather elegant rose bears testimony to their diligence and skill.
It is a delightfully light wine that lends itself to summertime pre-lunch drinks around the pool. A tempting array of fruity flavors follows the welcoming freshness of the first sip. It is an excellent companion to summer salads and a seafood salad. 

La Scolca Gavi dei Gavi

This Gavi wine produced from sixty-year-old vines has confirmed it's top position for wines made from the Cortese grape. A rigorous selection process ensures that only the top quality grapes are used to make this fine wine. 
The wine is allowed to age through the winter on the lees, adding complexity and producing an aromatic, easy-drinking wine.
Paired with most kinds of seafood and salads ,this wine is a perfect balance of acidity and delicate fruits with a hint of almonds

Tchotiashvili Tavkveri 2017

Every so often, a wine appears so appealingly different from the mainstream varieties, and I guess the alternative streak in me excites my taste buds. Such a wine is the relatively rare Georgian, Tchotiashvili Tavkveri 2017. Only two thousand bottles of this deep, brightly colored red wine are produced. Organic farming methods are employed to produce the wine in the ancient traditional style.
The vines themselves are over forty years old, and the Qvevri method of fermentation is employed before the wine is decanted into barrels of French Oak. This silky-textured wine is lovely and light with fresh nuances of cherries, raspberries, and a collection of sweet spices. 
This wine can rest quite comfortably for up to ten years, and a short period of allowing the wine to breathe will enhance the tasting experience.

Beaumont Pinotage

I have to admit that I am totally in love with South African wines. They represent excellent value, and their quality has grown exponentially over the last few decades. So here I'm going to recommend a Pinotage wine from the Beaumont winery.
Pinotage is a South African wine. Originally a combination of Pinot Noir and what was then known as Hermitage but subsequently found to be Cinsaut. Pinotage survived a rocky start, but the Kanonkop Pinotage was judged as the best red wine at the Robert Mondavi Awards in the early nineteen nineties.
The Beaumont Pinotage is an excellent example of the strides made in improving South African wines. The vines are over forty years old, and the wine is initially stored in concrete tanks and then aged in oak barrels for one and a half years.
Pinotage has a deep dark color and is full-bodied. It can comfortably rest for up to seven years, but I suspect it may improve even more with a further year or two. The wine is an excellent companion to warm winter meals of succulent beef and venison.
The Beaumont family moved away from the cooperative system in the mid-nineteen nineties to produce their own wines. Now second-generation Sebastian Beaumont works at keeping a close eye on sustainable and environmentally sound farming practices while creating excellent wines.

Photo by Maja Petric on Unsplash


While there are no universal organic farming accreditation systems, individual grower organizations and countries have introduced qualifying requirements that allow wineries to call their wines organic.
Organic wines are a healthier option. There will still be some Sulphites in the wine but typically far less than wines not produced organically. In the USA, organic wines are not permitted to contain sulfites.
The reduced preservative content will also limit the wine's shelf life.
Organic wines are free of chemicals typically found in conventionally produced wines. Not only is this good news for controlling cholesterol levels, but organic wines will give you less of a headache if the night was a little longer than expected.

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