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“Say ‘Vegan Cheese!’” (Part 2)

By Holly Kalyn, Editorial Intern for Compassionate Cuisine

If you saw “Say ‘Vegan Cheese’” (Part 1), you’re probably still pretty busy trying the cheeses from our roundup of artisanal, gourmet, and homemade vegan cheeses. But as promised, we’ll now focus on some sliced, shredded, and even cheese sauce options to add to your vegan cheese repertoire.

By now you know that real cheese is both unethical and unhealthy. In a nutshell, the making of cheese involves abject cruelty to cows and continues to sustain the veal industry; its high contents of saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium contribute to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. In our bodies, the milk protein from cheese changes into highly addictive casomorphine, a habit-forming chemical that actually stimulates a craving for cheese. I know, finally…your cheese cravings explained.

But just in case you need even more reason to end your relationship with real cheese and start a healthy friendship with vegan cheese (which leaves cows unharmed), here are some more enticing choices that will complete your vegan cheese collection and have you scrambling to decide which to try first.

Cheese Sauce

Cheese sauce is one of those comfort foods we dream about. Fortunately, many vegan versions are easy to make, use only a few basic ingredients, pack the flavor, and are sure to warm your tummies.

Macaroni and Cheeze (Squash and Cauliflower Sauce)

Mac & Cheeze
Creamy, cheesy and healthy!

Chef Linda’s recipe for macaroni and cheese uses creamy winter squash and cauliflower as the base for the cheese sauce. Both delicious and healthy, this casserole is topped with Brazil Nut Parmesan. Perfect for a lower fat fix of your childhood favorite.

Alfredo

MindBodyGreen created an Alfredo recipe that they dubbed “The Best Vegan Alfredo Sauce You’ll Ever Make.” A bold statement, but I’ll trust them. Made with avocado, cashews, nutritional yeast, and lots of flavorings, this sauce looks like it will give dairy-based Alfredo a run for its money. The recipe makes enough to toss with 6 servings of pasta.

Macaroni and Cheese (Potato, Cashew, Coconut Milk Sauce)

As you can see, there is no lack of mac and cheese recipes for vegans. And there shouldn’t be with how gaga everyone goes for mac and cheese. Well, this 5-star dish from the blog, Vegan Yumminess, uses cashews, carrots, potatoes, coconut milk, and nutritional yeast for its creamy yellow sauce and only takes 20 minutes to make!

Queso (3 Ways)

Minimalist Baker has veganized queso! And if that isn’t enough, they’ve created three variations of it: shakeable, thick spread, and traditional queso dip. Imagine how perfect this would be on nachos, for dipping chips or veggies, or even on top of enchiladas!

Teese Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce

Teese nacho cheese
One variety of Teese brand cheese, Nacho Sauce

A staff member at Catskill Animal Sanctuary tried this cheese at the NYC Veg Fest and now she swears by it. If you’re a big nacho person, this is your stuff, and you don’t even have to make it yourself! Even better, Teese promises a taste and texture remarkably similar to traditional nacho cheese.

Cheezy Beer Dip for Fondue!

The other day I wondered if it would be possible to find a vegan recipe similar to the cheese fondue I grew up with. Made with beer, it was absolutely divine on sour dough cubes. Well, lo and behold, I found this recipe from Cest La Vegan—made with beer and all! Can’t wait to give this baby a try!

Sliced and Shredded

To cover every last base, let’s talk cheese for sandwiches and pizzas, which means slices and shreds. Here are what many consider the best:

Field Roast Chao Cheese Slices

Field Roast Chao Cheese
Chao Slices is a new vegan favorite

People are going bonkers for Field Roast’s new cheese slices. Chao is the word for a specific type of fermented soybean tofu and is also the “traditional ‘cheese’ of Asia.”  This cheese comes in 3 innovative flavors that you probably wouldn’t expect in cheese: Coconut Herb with Black Pepper, Creamy Original with Chao Tofu, and Tomato Cayenne with Spicy Peppers. The crew at Field Roast focuses on inventing modern, cutting-edge flavors instead of attempting to mimic traditional dairy cheese and in turn, they’re carved out a whole new angle that’s specific to vegan cheese.

Daiya

Daiya shreds
It melts, it stretches, it’s Daiya Shreds!

A mainstay in some vegan refrigerators, Daiya seems to be the tried and true vegan cheese product that people love. Some say it revolutionized the vegan cheese game and that there’s still nothing like it. Between its texture, stretch, flavor, and meltability, this one hits all the marks of a good cheese. Daiya makes frozen pizzas, cream cheeses, cheese slices, and cheese blocks, but it’s the shreds that really seem to shine and be a favorite among consumers. Coming in cheddar, mozzarella, and pepper jack, you’re set for any recipe involving melted cheese, from grilled cheese to nachos to pizza.

There you have it! As you can see, vegans have cheese options for every occasion and use. We’d be shocked if we missed a type of cheese, but let us know if we’re forgetting anything. Have you tried any of these? Comment and tell us what you think!

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Add Love + Stir, Ingredient Spotlight, Vegan Lifestyle

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