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Praise Cheeses!

Praise Cheeses!

Guest bloggin’ blondie Marisa Miller Wolfson (of Kind Green Planet) sings the delicious, and oh-so-healthy praises of dairy-free cheeses.   Whether you are weight conscious, vegan, lactose intolerant, or Kosher – vegan cheeses have made some serious advancements and are yummier and healthier than ever!   Read on:

Today your mission is to open your heart to cheeses…vegan cheeses.

It is my pleasure to inform you that the hunt for a *real* vegan cheese is over. Finally. I’m not talking about something that vaguely resembles the taste, texture, and/or qualities of dairy cheese. I’m talking a vegan cheese that could fool any old cheese-eater any day of the week. Believe me, I tested it on a bona fide cheesavore, and I triumphed. When I tried it on a quesadilla, I almost wept. My prayers have been answered. Praise cheeses!

Here’s the bad news: it’s not out yet. I got a sneak preview and hope to have more info in late spring. Feel free to check out the (still incomplete) Daiya Foods website and sign up for updates on this soy-free, nut-free, all-natural product.

In the meantime, what’s a cheese-lover to do? All is not lost! There are still some good, solid vegan cheeses out there. Here are my faves:

ON A CRACKER/ FOR WINE AND CHEESE:
Dr. Cow’s brand of artisanal cheeses, which are raw and made from nuts are erfect for when you’re hosting a swanky party. Click here for where to buy and more delicious details.

Dr. Cow
Dr. Cow

ON A SANDWICH/BURGER:
Tofutti brand American cheese is great for American, sandwichy foods. Available at most health food/natural food stores.

Tofutti

ON PIZZA:

Everybody is obsessed with Daiya Cheese, with good reason.  This stuff is fool ya Mama good.

In a pinch Vegan Gourmet cheese from Follow Your Heart works well and is pretty yummy when melted. Available at most health food/natural food stores. Watch this video for tips/tricks on how to make it melt properly.

Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella (but all flaves are yummo)
Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella (but all flaves are yummo)

ON PASTA:
Parma! is divine!   Super healthy, raw, and a delicious addition to just about anything! Available at these stores and online. To make your own version: put some toasted sesame seeds in a blender and blend to a powder. Blend it further with an equal amount of nutritional yeast, and a little bit of salt.

Parma, you so fine. I wanna make you mine!

See Also

ON A SALAD:
Sunergia makes a delicious soy feta to add some savory goodness to your salads. Found at many natural/health food stores.

Soy Feta
Soy Feta

ON NACHOS:
This 5-star VegWeb “queso sauce” recipe uses nutritional yeast too. (Note: brewer’s yeast is not nutritional yeast. Red Star nutritional yeast is the best.)

ON STEAMED VEGGIES:
Mix tahini with some nutritional yeast. Add a little bit of vinegar or lemon juice and water. Add salt, onion powder and/or Mrs. Dash to taste, and voila!

SIDE NOTE:
Have you searched for these products in your local health food store but to no avail? Good news: sometimes getting a store to carry something is as easy as asking the manager to carry it. If you look up the product’s website, contact the company, and find out the local distributor, it will increase your chances of success. But I’ve had success before just making a request with no prior research. The store STILL carries the product I requested.

Got your own vegan cheese faves? Leave a comment below.   (ED’s NOTE: Want to know why cheese is not only awful for your gorgeous bod, our planet, and animals?   Check this short pamphlet out.)

Marisa Miller Wolfson is the Outreach Director for Kind Green Planet, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching people about healthy, humane, eco-friendly living. She’s currently in post-production for her documentary about veganism and is co-drafting a city council resolution to lower NYC’s global warming “foodprint.” She also loves coaching people on plant-based living through Vegan at Heart, a free email mentoring program for treehuggers, animal lovers, and health nuts who consider themselves vegans at heart but not necessarily in practice.

Guest Blogger Marisa

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