Morning loves!! I like to keep you guys updated on my plant based journey, which isn’t ALWAYS easy when you come from a Ukranian family who LOVES their meat, cheese, and butter!!! And, I have to admit that, yes, there are some days that I cheat but I’m happy to say that our household still remains about 90% plant based! Some of the things that I miss are creamy sharp cheese, salamis, and charcuteries!! The problem with being plant-based for me is the fact that I don’t really love things like chickpeas and quinoa … if you haven’t guessed it yet … I’m not your typical vegetarian! I’m always trying to find ways to emulate meat and cheese and people always ask me why I don’t just eat the “real thing” and that’s a fair question, so let me fill you in on why.
For me, it’s all about the environmental reasons. It’s no lie that agriculture is hard on our environment and just simply, if I don’t have to eat an animal, why would I? Personally, I would prefer to eat a plant! It’s been really hard for me to explain my journey to people as I have lots of friends that are farmers and dairy farmers but when it comes down to it, it’s just a decision that I made that I’m trying to “master” day by day. And I won’t lie some things can be difficult to replace … take meat and cheese, for example, it’s literally taken me THREE YEARS of trial and error to FINALLY find some that I LOVE!
Anyway … the reason behind this blog post is to share some tips with you on how YOU can master the Vegan Charcuterie board!! So let’s go ahead and kick it off with the most important part of it all … CHEESE!!!
What’s the key to finding good vegan cheese?? The more local you can buy, the better!! Seriously! I’ve found some of the best vegan cheese at local Farmer’s Markets and local health food stores!! Typically they will have no name nut cheeses and coconut cheeses that are going to be (to me) THE BEST. However, in my years of cheese sampling … LOL … I’ve also found a few brands that I’ve madly fallen in love with! They are …
Miyoko’s Creamery: Excuse my language but they F*CKING KILLED IT!!! Seriously!! Their ingredient list is insane!! Such as Organic Coconut Oil, Water, Organic Cashews, Sea Salt … you get the drift! My FAVOURITE cheese of theirs is the Fresh Loire Valley in a Fig Leaf!
Kite Hill: Their cream cheese spreads are amazing!! They are packed with so much flavour that even Cassandra AND Justin both like it better than regular cream cheese!!
Pulse Kitchen: This is a local place from Penticton and they specialize in making vegan and gluten-free food from beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils!
Plus … if you’re adventurous enough, you can even make your own nut cheese … I think it might sound a little crazy but trust me, it’s so easy!! There are so many recipes and tutorials out there that are so simple to follow along with!! Such as this Garlic and Herb Vegan Cheese by Minimalist Baker and this Cashew Macadamia Nut Cheese by Erin Ireland.
Next up, is the vegan meat!! A lot of people find that the vegan meat on a vegan charcuterie board isn’t necessary but I kind of miss the idea of it and I’m not going to lie, I’ve had a HARD time finding brands that have good vegan meats, especially for charcuterie boards!! But guess what?? I found some!!!! Owww owww!!
The Very Good Butchers: This amazing duo is located on Vancouver Island and they make all of their vegan meat out of 100% Organic and Vegan ingredients and use local produce whenever possible!
Yam Chops: This is a growing franchise which I’m SO FREAKIN excited about because rumor has it they just MIGHT be heading to Kelowna!!
Again, if you are in any small to large city, all you have to do is google “Vegan Meat” or “Vegan Butcher” and I’m sure you’ll be surprised at how many options pop up … and a lot of them even ship!!
Okay, now that we’ve got the hardest parts covered, you now want to fill your board with lots of extras, the key to an amazing charcuterie board is LOTS of layers! I am a sauce/dip/spread fiend so the more options that are in front of me, the better! I love including different types of mustards, dips, and tapenades on my boards! You certainly can’t forget the baguette and crackers either … you need something to put all of those delicious spreads on!!
Then really fill it out with lots of fruits (dried and fresh), nuts, figs, olives, pickled and fresh veggies … anything your little charcuterie heart desires!!! And LAST BUT NOT LEAST … you most certainly cannot indulge in an amazing vegan charcuterie board without some damn good wine!!
Thank you for this post! And thank you for saying you don’t like chickpeas and quinoa! I don’t either, and as a vegetarian (who is raising two little vegetarians) I often beat myself up for not eating more beans, lentils, etc. Always nice to know I’m not alone!
Yummmmm! I’ve been waiting for this blog post, this board looks AMAZING!!!! I can’t find Miyoko’s or Kite Hill in Ottawa and need to do a little research on local places for Vegan meat! The only cheese I can find is not great!! I just started eating vegan on July 3rd so I’m still learning and researching!
PS: Little Leo is adorable!
Any ideas for someone who would love to try vegan cheeses but is allergic to all nuts?
What about tofu, coconut, or nutritional yeast?? This one might have to take some more taste testing!
Wow I love this!! Recently have been trying my absolute hardest to go plant based, starting with all of my dinners and then gradually going 100%.
I think the hardest part is finding those amazing snacks that compare, I LOVE cheese.
I’ll definitely check out Vegan Supply that seems super helpful and I love Minimalist Baker, she’s a queen!!
Love you Jillian!! xoxo
Love love love this so much (and love following your plant-based journey). My friend and I were inspired by Erin Ireland and her reco for a local vegan cheese maker that we also made a vegan cheeseboard (we didn’t do any veg meat so I guess not charcuterie but easy enough to incorporate!), so check it out! Thanks for introducing your followers to plant based options 🙂 xo
(Search vegan cheeseboard on our old “the party society” blog)
Yummy! As I anxiously await your cookbook are there any similar books in style to yours that you would recommend? Cookbooks are tough to buy as I end up only using a few as go to recipes. Would love one that has many great and easy weeknight meals. That is until I can get my hands on yours. I am loving what you have given a glimpse of so far!
Yes!!!! Dawn, you’re a mind reader!! I’m planning on sharing a blog post on all of my fave cookbooks!! Stay tuned!! XO
Hello!!! You have talked many time about a vegetarian store out of Vancouver that’s ships to you!!! Can you please share it with me. Just slowly going vegetarian and would love somewhere else to shop from!!! Please and thank you!!
Hi Lane!! Yes, it’s vegansupply.ca xoxo
These ingredients look DELISH. The only way to top it all off, is to come stay in our treehouse & we can share the charcuterie together. Deal? Deal
Design The Life You Want To Live
Looks amazing Jillian!! My daughter attempted to go vegan 2 yrs ago and I struggled with my understanding of it – being Ukrainian myself!! BUT… last night I watched the new Netflix documentary “What the Health” and once you know… you can’t unknow!! The last thing I ever wanted to do is become vegan but I’m guessing by having watched your journey, my challenges will be similar to yours!! Thank you for this post! You made it all look so good and inviting and it was exactly what I needed to assure me that food could be enjoyable again!! I woke up today hungry but unable to rely on any of my go to breakfast options so fruit and veggies it is until I can start educating myself!! Looking forward to your cookbook as I trust it will have a vegan and vegetarian section!
Love you Jilly! I had no idea you were Ukrainian…me too!
Keep doing what your doing and don’t change who you are.
This looks absolutely amazing! And really inspiring with a vegan charcuterie board
it’s so colorful & attractive. Good food for good health!
There is a wonderful new book, The Art of Plant-Based Cheesemaking: How to Craft,Real, Cultured, Non-Dairy Cheese, for those missing their cheese and like to experiment in the kitchen! The author is the founder of Blue Heron Creamery and breaks it down and makes it simple and yummy!
Hi Jillian, thank you for this post! Where is this wooden cheese board from? I love it! Thanks!