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We’re pretty gaga for vegan cheese over at the Green Queen office- there’s always some in our fridge and we’re always on the looking for new brands to try. Some of us even dabble in making our own. The holy grail of vegan cheese is the vegan cheese board and we’re always looking for more ideas and tips on how to improve our game so we sat down with the charming Tan sisters to taste their delicious creations, talk about their vegan food education mission in Hong Kong and get the lowdown on how to build the perfect vegan cheese board for your next soiree.
How Did You Start Making Vegan Cheeses?
Why cheese? Studies show that dairy may be linked to certain cancers and other diseases including heart disease and diabetes. Our aim is to help people wean themselves off dairy whilst enjoy vegan cheeses food while they transition to new eating habits.
We started making vegan cheese seven years ago for our family members, close friends and students and have been doing so ever since. Recently though, the demand for our vegan cheese has increased so this year, we decided to focus on developing more varieties of cheese and getting more people to taste them through our various events.
Tell Us More About Your Vegan Cheeses
We create artisan vegan cheeses, cultured in the same way that dairy cheeses are made. Our cheeses are nut or seed based, include organic soybeans and are made without oil for the most part.
We are excited to share that we have created two new cheeses, both a first in Hong Kong: a “Cheeze Bomb” and a “Baby Blue Cheeze.” Others include French Brie, Sharp Cheddar, Chevre, Gruyere, Gouda, Italian Burrata, Mozzarella, Parmesan Cheeze, a Savoury and Sweet Cream Cheeze series and Parmesan Powder to sprinkle on pastas and salads.
What Are Your Top Tips To Create The Perfect Vegan Cheese Board?
The key to putting together a delicious, visually stunning cheese boards is to have a variety of flavours and textures: crunchy crudite veggies, chewy dried fruits, crispy nuts, herbed olives, crispy flatbreads, moist breads…you catch our drift.
Obviously it starts with having delicious vegan cheeses and WHOLE board ingredients. We can’t stress this enough- good quality foods and cheeses are key to creating a successful Vegan Cheese Board. WHOLE means fresh (ideally organic) veggies, fruits, nuts, artisan vegan breads and crackers to serve with your cheeses.
The Cheeses: go for a mix of soft spreadable cheeses, hard sliceable cheese & bleu cheeses, and mix up younger cheeses with more aged ones so you can vary mild, medium and strong flavours. Our favorite combo from the Happy Plantarian selection is French Brie, Chevre, Baby Blue Cheeze, Sharp Cheddar, Cheeze Bomb and at least one flavour of Sweet Cream Cheeze (we offer many different flavours including Blueberry, Pina Colada and Organic Matcha Redbean.) We have more creations of new flavors and new variety of Cheezes on the way!
The Vegetables: Red or Green Endives, Pink or Watermelon Radish, Cucumber, Zucchini, Carrots, Sweet Peppers & Cherry Tomato- these all work well. make sure everything is cut into bite size pieces so it’s easy for people to pick and dip.
TheFruits: Fresh Figs, Pear Wedges, Whole Grapes, Fresh Apricot Pieces, Mixed Berries, Dates & Olives- these are always popular. You can also feature a fruit spread or some quince pate.
The Nuts: we like Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, Pistachios & Hazelnuts
The Stuff To Spread On: Rice Crackers (GF), Wheat Crackers, Sourdough Slices, French Bread, Savoury Biscotti, Rye Rounds…whatever you fancy really- as long as it works with cheese!
Can You Tell Us More About Happy Plantarian And Your Mission?
Happy Plantarian was founded by us, Althea & Tansy Tan, two sisters on mission to apply Whole Food Plant-Based Nutrition principles through cooking healthy plant meals without the use of animal products.Cooking plant foods can be a simple yet innovative, flavorful and super happy process. In 2016, we published the very first Whole-Food Plant-Based Vegan cookbook of its kind in Hong Kong featuring Anti-Ageing Whole-Food, Plant-Based recipes so that we could make our food more accessible to everyone.
We are currently a Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Educational Alliance Program Partner, the first such partner in Hong Kong certified to teach the Food for Life Program.
We offer nutrition-based Food for Life Programs as well as Whole Food Plant-Based Cooking & Vegan Baking Classes that will enable people to create delicious plant meals at home, delight family and friends and help them stay healthy and fit.
We’re very excited to be part of a credible professional team that is able to share evidence-based food knowledge with Hong Kong people, offering knowledge and resources to them on how to eat to maintain a healthy weight for life, how to help prevent and survive diseases, and how to help make their lives better and happier.
To get in touch with Happy Plantarian about events or to order their vegan cheese, contact them at + 852 6545 1996 (Whatsapp) or firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram to check our their delicious plant-based creations.