A Vegan Xmas: YouTube Star Gaz Oakley's Faux Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese Canapes Recipe

For some Christmas purists, the idea of sitting down to a meat-free holiday dinner may be a scandalous idea. But the environmental (and for some, the moral) imperative for reducing the world's meat intake is inspiring more and more carnivores to wean themselves off resource-intensive red meat and adopt a plant-based lifestyle.

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Thanks to the growing movement of vegan influencers and social media stars like Gaz Oakley of YouTube's Avant-Garde Vegan channel, veganism is no longer as daunting as it perhaps once was.  

Every week, Oakley's 544,500+ YouTube subscribers tune in to new, innovative recipe ideas that reinvent meat and fish-based dishes. In his latest cookbook "Vegan Christmas", for instance, the chef from Cardiff, UK makes the classic canapé smoked "salmon" with cream cheese, capers and dill using sheets of nori, carrots and cashew nuts.  

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Here's the recipe:

Serves - 6 
Cooking Time - 20 minutes 
Difficulty level - 2/10 


For the smoked 'salmon'

440 ml (scant 2 cups), vegetable stock 
1 tbsp, miso paste 
3 tbsp, sweet smoked paprika 
1 large sheet of nori 
2 tbsp maple syrup 
2 tbsp ,smoked sea salt (or regular sea salt) 
juice of 1 lemon 
5 large carrots, peeled  

For 'the cream cheese'
125g (1/2 cup) raw cashew nuts
2 tbsp lemon juice 
pinch of sea salt and white pepper 
1 tbsp nutritional yeast 
110ml (1/2 cup) filtered water  

For serving 
6 slices of toasted rye bread (or a gluten-free bread), cut into small pieces for canapés
lemon slices 
3 tbsp capers 
A small handful of fresh dill  

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- Place all the smoked "salmon" ingredients except the carrots into a medium saucepan, bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer for 10 minutes to let the flavours infuse. 

- While the broth is cooking, use a peeler to slice the carrots into long ribbons and place them in a large heatproof bowl. 

Pour the broth through a sieve directly over the carrots into the bowl. This will lightly cook them. When the broth has cooled, cover the bowl with cling film (plastic wrap) or place the mixture into sterilized jars. Refrigerate for at least a day (or up to seven days). 

The broth acts as a marinade. 

-To make the "cream cheese," soak the nuts in boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain away the soaking water and tip the nuts into a blender cup with the rest of the ingredients. Simply blitz everything until smooth, then use straight away or store in the fridge for 3-4 days. 

-To serve, generously spread the "cream cheese" onto pieces of toasted bread, top with the smoked "salmon" (drained of marinade), then top with lemon, capers and dill.

Image: Shutterstock


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