Hello fellow & future vegans!
Today I wanted to write about something that many people consider to be the biggest obstacle towards going vegan: cheese.
Now I totally understand this sentiment. I used to feel the same way myself. Cheese is in a lot of our favourite comfort foods, so to imagine these comfort foods without cheese is hard (although there are some truly chilling facts out there about the dairy industry that make it harder to enjoy cheese). Luckily, there are so many ways to remake your favourite dishes without using real cheese! And the more time you spend as a vegan, the more you discover that you don’t have to sacrifice anything. There are so many fun ways to replace dairy or meat in any recipe! For cheesy dishes, a very easy option is Daiya cheese. I love using Daiya products to create a dish that has that cheesy feel, without being actual cheese. Read on for some of my favourite ways to use Daiya products!
Five Tips on Making Delicious Vegan Meals Using Daiya Cheese
- You can add a delicious sprinkle on top of lasagna, tacos, burritos, or pasta dishes. But remember my pro tip – use less than you might think.
- Try Daiya’s cream cheese spreads as a replacement to cream cheese on your bagels. Personally, my favourite is the chive and onion flavour.
- Add Daiya shredded cheese to a vegan pizza that is loaded with delicious toppings. A great combination of toppings to try: pineapple, banana peppers, fresh basil, spicy hashbrown potatoes, Yves vegan pepperoni, tomatoes, garlic sautéed mushrooms, and about a cup of Daiya cheese on the entire pizza.
- Buy a vegan Daiya pizza for those nights when you barely want to lift a finger. I love the fire roasted vegetable choice.
- Buy a bunch of boxes of Daiya Cheezy Mac for easier comfort food options. (Sometimes I find vegan products in the most surprising places. I recently found these when I was buying olives at a Greek deli in my neighbourhood. It is fantastic. It reminds me of eating Kraft Dinner when I was a kid except it is way better!)
My Amazing Mac + “Cheese” Recipe
My absolute favourite way to enjoy Daiya cheese is by adding it to my vegan mac and cheese recipe that I actually consider one of my greatest accomplishments to date.
- Pasta: 2 cups
- Cashews: 2/3 a cup
- Garlic powder/onion powder: 1 tsp of each
- Paprika: 1/2 teaspoon
- Frank’s: to taste (skip if you don’t like things spicy)
- Olive oil: 1 tbsp (you can skip this if you want to but add more water to blend the ingredients more quickly if you have a subpar blender like I do)
- Cashew milk (unsweetened): 1/4 cup (or more depending on your blender)
- Nutritional Yeast: 1/2 cup
- Arrowroot starch: 2 tbsp
- Apple Cider Vinegar: 1.5 tbsps
- Salt and pepper: to taste
- Liquid Smoke: 1 tbsp
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Soak the raw cashews – either overnight, or in boiling water for 30 minutes.
- Cook the pasta of your choosing (I choose shell).
- While the pasta’s cooking, blend cashews, liquid smoke, cashew milk, olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, apple cider vinegar, black pepper, salt, and nutritional yeast until you reach a consistent texture.
- Pour the mixture into a large pan on medium heat with some olive oil.
- Slowly whisk in arrowroot starch powder (this ingredient is the secret to the cheese-like consistency!).
- Put the pasta into a baking dish and pour the cheese sauce over top of it. Mix it all together.
- Top with bread crumbs and coconut bacon.
- Sprinkle with 1 cup of Daiya cheese and do not mix in.
- Bake for about 10 minutes.
- Serve up!
Enjoy your creation with a glass of red wine and great company. (I added Gardein Meatless Meatballs to make up for my lack of great company, so feel free to go that route too.) Below, a shot of my meal in all its glory!
Until next time!