Have you ever heard of cheese spaetzle? It’s a traditional German comfort dish that is like a German version of Mac & Cheese. Only so much better! It has been one of my favorite foods for a really long time, but when I became vegan about three years ago I didn’t really think about it anymore. It took me years to finally come up with a mouth-watering vegan version of this traditional dish that I think is even better than the original. While the traditional recipe only contains cheese and fried onions, I also added leek and crispy smoked tofu cubes to my vegan German cheese spaetzle.
Spaetzle are a kind of soft egg noodles found in the cuisines of Southern Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Spaetzle dough is usually prepared with eggs, flour, and salt, but it’s also possible to make a vegan version of this traditional dish. Traditionally, you use a kind of chopping board to make the spaetzle. However, I think it’s much easier to use a strainer or potato ricer. You just press the dough through the potato ricer into boiling water and as soon as they rise to the surface they’re ready. They’ve always been my favorite kind of pasta and I think I like them even more than spaghetti. They’re some vegan versions in the store, but it’s much cheaper to just make them at home. All you need is flour, semolina, soy flour, and curcuma. If this still sounds a bit weird to you (German food can be crazy. Haha! But it’s sooooo worth it!), check out the article on spaetzle on wikipedia. They have tons of pictures showing you how the preparation of spaetzle works. It’s really pretty simple. ;-)
For the sauce , I used cashews, nutritional yeast, and white miso paste. I’m so in love with this easy vegan cheese sauce. I could eat it on literally everything. When you add some chili peppers, it’s also a great and healthy nacho dip.
I hope you liked this little “insight” into the German cuisine and its traditional dishes. As always, I love hearing from you guys! Hope you all have a great weekend! :-)
Vegan German Cheese Spaetzle
For the vegan spaetzle:
- 1 3/4 cup wheat flour
- 1/2 cup durum wheat semolina
- 3 tablespoons soy flour
- 8.11 fl oz sparkling water
- 1 pinch curcuma
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
For the vegan cheese sauce:
- 1 heaped cup unsalted cashews
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1,5 teaspoon mustard
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch black pepper, to taste
- 1 pinch curcuma
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon miso paste
- 1 leek, cut into rings
- 7 oz smoked tofu, cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- First make the cashew cheese sauce: Place all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
- In a medium pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil and stir-fry the tofu cubes until they're crispy and lightly golden. Set aside and cook the leak together with one tablespoon of water for about 5 minutes in the same pan.
- Then make the spaetzle: Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well with a wooden spoon (the dough should be pretty soft).
- Fill the spaetzle dough into a potato ricer and press it into the boiling water (don't put it into the hot water, but just let the dough drop into the water). The spaetzle will be ready when they rise to the surface (this will take about 2-3 minutes). Skim and put aside.
- In a large pan heat the cashew cheese sauce, add the leek, the tofu and gently stir in the spaetzle. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with fresh parsley.