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Monday, December 20, 2010

Meatless Monday - The Big Vegan "Cheese" Comparison

As requested, here is my two cents worth on vegan "cheeses". After a great deal of trial and error, and I do mean errors (yuck), this is what I have found to be true. As a former cheese lovin' girl vegan cheese is just not the same. It's not, they try, but they just aren't there yet. This being said, there are some pretty good substitutes out there. There are also some scary ones to run away from. So, here is my own personal list of suggestions. 
Teese Creamy Cheddar Sauce - can rock some mac and "cheese"

Their Nacho Sauce will do the trick if you are craving some Nachos.
In the mood for a grilled sandwich? Try Follow Your Heart's - Cheddar . A little cooking tip - it takes quite a bit of heat to melt this stuff so I grill the sandwich and then I pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds to get the melt going. Their Mozzarella is good for this too.

I've gotta go with Sheese - Blue  as my blue cheese substitute.
The best flavor award goes to Dr Cow. All varieties of this stuff are amazingly delicious. Not readily available on the west coast (can you say mail order?), and not cheap, but definitely worth the extra effort, and money, for special occasions. Spread on crackers this will impress even the most finicky foodie. Really, it is an artisan product. Amazing!

My favorite all around choice goes to Daiya Cheddar. A nice choice to have on hand to sprinkle on whatever. Daiya's Mozzarella is the best for pizza making.

 Nutritional Yeast  comes in a flake form, and isn't like cheese at all, but it adds a cheesy flavor to a lot of things. I like it sprinkled on broccoli and popcorn. You can find a recipe for Nooch Sauce here on my blog. It is a really delicious Welsh rarebit type of sauce. It's a vegetarian classic.  Yummy.

And finally, let me tell you what to avoid. I don't want to be mean, but...
Vegan Rella (sorry, yuck)
Rice Vegan (sorry, yuck)
Soy Vegan (sorry, also yuck)
These seem readily available, but no one would ever consider giving up dairy if they tasted these substitutes. So as a public service, I say YUCK!
There you have it, my two cents worth, I hope it helps. If any of my readers have any other suggestions please let me/us know.


GiGi said...

I agree with the yucks! Yuck yuck!
I love follow your heart and Daiya too. Haven't had "teese" yet!

Gilding Lilies said...

I'm glad to hear that you agree. I won some Teese during MoFo, and that was the first time I tried it. It is good stuff. Give it a try.

Jessica said...

Teese is one of my favorites, although I haven't quite tried as many as you have.

I don't dislike Rice Vegan slices in a grilled cheese, but I don't know that I'd go out of my way to get it. (Like you said, it's readily available for me, too, and Teese requires a special trip!)

Jamie said...

I toy with vegetarianism once in a while, and think vegan is a good way to eat, but I just can't imagine life without dairy (cheese and yogurt.) Knowing their are options out there is a very good thing.

Rose said...

I really like the Sheese blue style too. I haven't seen those Teese sauces around here, nor Dr Cow, which I really want to try, so as you say, I'll just have to get some via mail order.

Gilding Lilies said...

Jamie, there are some really good vegan yogurts. I like them a lot.

Rose, the Dr Cow is really worth the mail order if you ever fancied more gourmet-type cheeses.

Jessica, if you can find it, I think you should try the Teese cheddar sauce, I think you'll really like it too.

SisterlyLove said...

I love Daiya cheese! It's the only one that I have found that doesn't have soy in it.

Dr. Cow looks yummy too!


Gilding Lilies said...

I wish I could have a small piece of Dr. Cow in the frig at all times.