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Posted on Apr 1, 2011 in Dear Diary, Food | 14 comments

Fondue or Fondon’t?

As many of you know, I’ve gone vegan for the Lenten season this year. No meat, no cheese, no milk, no eggs, and just no consuming animal products in general. Well, it’s become a sort of friendly tradition in my circle to have fondue nights! Fondue, for those of you who may not know, is the act of dipping things into stuff before eating. Sounds classy, I know. πŸ˜‰

Cheese fondue, chocolate fondue, or “entrΓ©e” fondue (which consists of dipping raw meat and vegetables into oil or broth) — whatever variety you go for, it’s just generally a really fun, social experience. And now that it’s actually become kind of a “thing” for my friend group, I definitely didn’t want to miss out on the fun!

Fondue was hosted at Amanda’s place, and a classic Swiss fondue was made – using Gruyere and Emmenthaler cheeses, white wine, and garlic.

I, of course, had to at least try to make a vegan version of my own:

This was the recipe I used:

2 bags vegan cheese (I used Daiya cheddar style shreds)
2 tsp vegan worcestershire sauce (regular worcestershire sauce is traditionally made with anchovies, just FYI)
3/4 cup beer (used Heineken)
1.5 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp flour
Dash of cayenne pepper
Dash of garlic powder

Put the beer and seasonings into a fondue pot and heat until steaming first, then add cheese in portions. Continuously stir until cheese has melted into a smooth consistancy. Adjust by adding more beer/flour/cheese until desired consistency is achieved! Then just dip your heart away! We used red & green apples, brocolli, celery, baby carrots, and (of course) some nice crusty French bread.

It was a success! Obviously it didn’t taste EXACTLY like cheddar cheese, but as my friend Gaz (who took a lot of the pictures up here) said it actually tasted like a grilled cheese sandwich so I figure that’s pretty close, hehe. It was melty, stretchy, and held onto the bread, apples, and veggies we dipped into it. All of the non-vegan fondue-ers went back for multiple dips, so I feel that was a winner.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Fondue of any kind is not health food. It’s not like you’re being extra healthy by eating vegan fondue instead of regular fondue, and thus should eat it all the time. It’s always a treat, a luxury, a fun, social dining experience. That being said, this is just further proof that there’s always some kind of work-around, some kind of alternative way to still join in on the fun even if you have dietary restrictions. Hooray!

Are you a fondue-er or a fondon’t-er? How do you feel about vegan alternatives like this? Obviously it’s not super great for you because all vegan “replacement foods” like fake cheese, fake meats, etc. are very heavily processed. But sometimes you need some replication/imitation to stick to your convictions, amiright?

Weekend activities for me include the Braves v. Nationals baseball game tomorrow afternoon with the sis, her hubs, and the boyf! Then my sister and her hubbypoo are running the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in DC on Sunday morning, so if Steve and I can rouse at a reasonable hour, maybe we’ll go congratulate them at the finish line (and see some pretty cherry blossoms) As the race is starting at 7 AM we will NOT be cheering them on from the starting line, hahahaha. We also have plans to see my cousin who’s coming into town! I hope everyone has a great weekend!

14 Comments

  1. I love fondue. I’m actually debating hosting a fondue dessert night at my place with dark chocolate hoping that’s a little lighter πŸ™‚

    Your meal looks delicious. I love sharing good food with friends.

    Sounds like you have a fun weekend planned! Good luck to your sister and her husband in the race. I hope the weather is amazing in DC this weekend.

    • Mmmmmm… dark chocolate fondue. That sounds amaaazing. Do you think there’s a way to make it without using cream? In the past I’ve only ever made chocolate fondue by melting chocolate chips in warm cream. There’s gotta be a work-around though, right?

      • I was googling it (I google everything) and some people substitute with low-fat milk or fat-free evaporated milk.

        Definitely something I will be experimenting with in the future after April πŸ™‚

  2. I think Dan and I are going to do a cheese fondue night sometime in the next two weeks since you’ve inspired me! YUM. And also, that would be awesome if you and steve came into the city to see us finish the run- the race gun goes off at 7:40am so if you can get into DC by like 9 you should be there in time to see us cross the finish!

  3. vegan fondue?! cheese is something that i truly miss since my stomach has started hating dairy and you are really an inspiration, with your experimentation. btw, gun time is at 7:40 on sunday, not 7am πŸ˜‰

  4. i am definitely a fondue-r. i actually have the Cuisinart one you have pictured above. And i have some cheese fondue in my fridge right now, lol. usually my family has it around the holidays, but my boyfriend and i will have it every couple of months. also i like having it with healthier things like you, like apples and broccoli. of course my fav is french bread.

    • Hahaha, yeah, I think I keep the veggies on the table just to help alleviate the guilt somewhat — because bread still definitely dominated my plate! I do love the way apples taste dipped in cheese though. Something about that combination wouldn’t seem obvious, but it’s soooososo good!

  5. Have to say I was surprised by how good your fondon’t was last night. Was good to see you and Steve as well.

  6. Jason’s mom makes fondue every Christmas Eve. The first year I thought it was fun but now the idea of cooking meat that way grosses me out! I stick to the fruit dipped in chocolate or the crusty bread plain.

    • Hahaha, yeah I can definitely see how that style of cooking raw meat and stuff is a little unsettling. I guess for me it’s so close to Chinese hot pot (which is the same concept – cooking meat and veggies in hot broth at the table) that it never really phased me, but when I take a step back to think about it… hahaha. πŸ™‚

  7. Well done on the vegan front!!!

    I’ve recently become a huge fan of Daiya cheese – I now prefer it to your average grocery store cheese. Having said that, I would still take a good French cheese over the vegan stuff! πŸ˜›

    • Hahaha, I know what you mean. I think that Daiya is a really great replacement if you’re trying to go dairy-free, but I gotta tell you… I still miss the real stuff. I think one of my first post-Lenten meals will be a nice big salad topped with creamy, soft goat cheese. Mmmmmmmm…

  8. Major credit on going vegan for all of Lent! I end up eating vegan a lot (and baking vegan even more), but I would have trouble with a full-on commitment! Although, I’ve never tried Daiya, so that might help! (;

    P.S. I saw on Twitter that you are going to the Fitness Bloggers Conference in Colorado this summer. I am, too, so I look forward to meeting you!

    • Yay! I look forward to meeting you, too! And I definitely recommend Daiya brand if you are looking to cut out more dairy from your daily life, but still have those cheesy deliciousness cravings. It’s really pretty close to the real thing, and should at least help keep the longing somewhat at bay. πŸ™‚

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