Saturday, June 2, 2012

Top 10 Cheese Alternatives

Cheese was the hardest thing for me to give up when I made the transition from vegetarian to vegan. I like the taste of cheese, but I don't like what it is. Thankfully there are tons of alternatives that can replace cheese in pretty much any dish. I rounded up a list of my top 10 favourite cheesy stand-ins.

  1. Avocado - instead of cream cheese, spread this buttery green fruit generously on sandwiches, wraps, bagels, etc. Avocado has a reputation of being "fattening" but if you compare it to cream cheese, it's half the amount of fat! Plus it's loaded with vitamins such as vitamin K, potassium and B6, which cream cheese does not have. See for yourself - compare the nutritional information between avocado and cream cheese
  2. Red Star Nutritional Yeast - the ultimate B-vitamin boost, this can be sprinkled on anything - popcorn salad, pasta. It adds a cheesy flavour and an unexpected punch of protein.
  3. Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese - okay, if you're not a fan of avocados then this is a decent alternative. I just wish they would ditch the partially-hydrogenated soybean oil.
  4. Lunch Box Fondue - the Vegan Lunchbox lady is my hero. And this recipe has been one of my favourites since she posted it way back in 2005. There's 1001 things you can dip into this, and sometimes I even use it as a sauce on pasta.
  5. New Farm Style Comforty Gluten Free Mac & Cheeze - Another "cheese sauce" recipe that I fell in love with at first sight. Get Sconed is an absolutely delicious blog, and I'm pretty sure every vegan on the planet reads it.
  6. Mac-Oh, Geez! The first time Dreena Burton posted a pic of this kick-ass casserole, she was still perfecting the recipe, and it was an agonizing five months before she finally dished out the goods on how to make it. And it was so worth the wait. 
  7. Daiya - finally a fake cheese that actually melts. Of all the vegan cheeses I've tried (and I've tried a LOT) this one is my favourite. It's a bit salty, but then again, so is real cheese. Yum, yum, use the shredded version anywhere you would use regular cheese - nachos, pizza, fajitas, you get the point.
  8. The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook - by Joanne Stepaniak. All I can say, is Ms. Stepaniak is a frickin' genius! Order this book on Amazon, get it from the library, do whatever you have to do to get this book. 
  9. Marmalady - unfortunately I don't know if she sells it on its own, but Chef Salima makes the best-o vegan pesto I've ever had.
  10. Road's End Mac & Chreese - in a pinch, this is just as convenient as KD, and without the animal ingredients.
So there you have it. I could have kept going, there are tons of delicous alternatives to cheese. I'd love to hear what your favourites are.

1 comment:

Theresa said...

I concur wholeheartedly with avocado, and also with tofutti cream cheese! I also love doing a mix of bread crumbs & nutritional yeast for topping casseroles and pasta bakes.