Vegan Sweet Potato and Kale Cheesecake

Vegan Sweet Potato and Kale Cheesecake

“Vegan Sweet Potato and Kale Cheesecake”

This elegant-but-easy (stupid easy!) dish is the perfect way to use up leftover mashed sweet potatoes. Although leftover sweet potatoes are almost unheard of in our house! But after a recent dinner party, we had a little remaining. So this luscious cheesecake was what we whipped up. It’s perfect for brunch, lunch, dinner, or sliced thin for an appetizer.

Ingredients:

Sweet Potato Chip Crust:
1 1/2 cups sweet potato chips “crushed” in food processor to yield 1/2 cup or slightly more crumbs
2 tablespoons melted vegan butter

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray. Using a fork, combine the crumbs and butter in a small bowl until butter is completely incorporated. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over bottom of the pan, and then gently press to mostly cover the bottom. Refrigerate while you prepare filling.

Ingredients:

Filling:
12 ounces extra firm tofu, gently pressed (not silken)
8 ounces Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups mashed and seasoned sweet potatoes (be sure these have the full complement of vegan butter, sour cream, sea salt and pepper)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups chilled kale pesto (use my delicious Kale, Pepita, and Sage Pesto recipe below or one of your own)

Topping: 1/2 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, 1 tablespoon per each of 8 slices
Garnish: Roasted pepitas
Optional Sidecar: Small clusters of red grapes

Preparation:

Place all ingredients, except pesto, topping and garnish in the bowl of a food processor, and process until thick, smooth, and completely combined, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.

Gently spread half of filling evenly over crust, being careful not to disturb the crumbs. Top with pesto, spreading evenly, and finish with a final layer of remaining filling, spreading gently to seal to edges of pan. Bake cheesecake in center of oven for about 35 minutes or until edges are set and top appears dry; some minor cracking is to be expected. (If your mashed sweet potatoes were very moist, you may need to cook up to an additional 5 minutes.)

Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator about an hour before you plan to serve (or heat slices about 30 seconds in microwave), as it is best at room temperature or with some of the chill removed. Loosen edges with a thin knife blade before removing outside ring from spring form pan.

Slice and top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and a few roasted pepitas. Alternatively, spread the sour cream over the top of the cheesecake and sprinkle with the pepitas before slicing, especially if presenting the entire cheesecake at the table.

Serve, if desired, with small clusters of grapes on the side.

Ingredients:

Kale, Pepita, and Sage Pesto:
6 cups roughly chopped, lightly packed fresh kale
3/4 cup lightly roasted and salted pepitas
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons rubbed sage
Sea salt to taste (start with 1/2 teaspoon)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste (start with 1/4 teaspoon)
Juice of 1/2 small lemon
2 to 3 teaspoons maple syrup
3/4 cup olive oil

Preparation:

Place all ingredients except olive oil in bowl of food processor and pulse until very finely chopped, almost a paste. With motor running, drizzle in olive oil until all ingredients are completely combined, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary. Adjust seasoning if desired and chill, covered.

Yields 8 servings.

Created exclusively for Tofutti Brands, Inc. by Betsy DiJulio over at The Blooming Platter.

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Better Than Ricotta Cheese with Roasted Red Peppers and Pesto

Better Than Ricotta Cheese with Roasted Red Peppers and Pesto

“Better Than Ricotta Cheese with Roasted Red Peppers and Pesto”

This is a quick way to add flavor and crunch to easy hors d’oeuvres. Delicious!

Ingredients

12 slices of Baguette style bread, brushed with olive oil and lightly toasted in the oven
1 cup Tofutti Better Than Ricotta
2 T. Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
1 small jar of roasted red peppers, sliced thin
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 T. chopped parsley
1 small jar of Pesto
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, sour cream, red pepper flakes, parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place slices of lightly toasted bread on a cookie sheet.

Top each slice with a generous spoonful of ricotta cheese mixture, arrange red pepper slices on cheese mixture and place a small dollop of pesto to finish.

Bake for 8 minutes, serve warm.

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