Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day 54- Vegan Cheese Experiments

It melts, it stretches, I'm in love.

It also makes my throat sore, my tummy grumbly, and I'm a little stuffed up. I suspect it might have something in it that was once something I'm allergic to, and it's stacking with the pollen and dust. Forking allergies.

But other than that- ZOMG!

So first I made oven fries.
I need to finish off the bag of potatoes I bought more than a month ago, and fries are a great way to do that. Also, they taste good and are cheap to make this way.

Oven Fries
  • 3 medium potatoes scrubbed or peeled
  • 1/4 C veggie oil, give or take
  • 1 T salt, or to taste
Cut the potatoes into fry shapes. Make sure you cut them so the longest side of the potato becomes the length of the fries- no one likes short fries. I cut slabs, then cut those into fry shapes. You want your narrowest fry side to be less than 1cm- the thicker they are the slower they cook.

Once you have them cut, toss them into a bowl. Pour in oil and salt, then mix with your hands. Spread on a (foil covered) cookie sheet, and bake about 20 minutes on 400*F. switch to broil for about 5 minutes if they aren't done. Higher elevations and lower oven temperatures require longer cooking. People above 4000 feet might want to nuke them first to get them started.

Optional adds (during the in-bowl mixing stage)
  • cajun seasoning (used this one)
  • garlic powder
  • Thai sweet chili sauce
  • Hot chili sauce
  • chipotle powder
  • garlic cloves (and this)
  • random herbs
  • curry
  • flavored oils
I like to dip them in (homemade, vegan) mayo with roasted garlic mooshed up and mixed in, but I'm missing a couple ingredients, so I just used catsup.

Melted the cheese over once they were done baking- Win, but I didn't use enough/ let it melt long enough.

So then I made bean and onion quesadillas. (sorry for dark pic)
Zomg, win. Just Daiya, tortillas, a couple slices of onion, some beans, and oil for frying in. Om nom nom. Gave them about 20 seconds in the microwave to make sure the "cheese" melted.

I don't sell Daiya. I don't make anything by saying this. It's forking great in what I've used it in. It's not cheese, it won't ever be cheese. But if kooky veggie food making scientists could come up with a bacon sub as good as this, I would eat it and die happy. This is seriously good vegan cheese.

Putting it up against "real" cheese, it's pretty middle of the road- salty, a little vinegary, strange powdery texture before it melts. Oh, and it's insanely expensive. But for lactose intolerant omnis, or people who are allergic to milk (and soy- it's soy free), it's pretty darned good. Better than the stuff at the normal grocery store, anyway.

Now I just have to make the bag I have last. That could be a problem... It's really good, and I don't want it to go bad.


  1. Do you think you could freeze some of it, get it to last longer that way?

  2. That's funny that you think the bacon substitute needs improvement, cause I had thought that soy bacon was the best of the vegetarian "meats". Maybe because I had tried it before the others, before I had thought there was anything odd about fake meat.

    But I guess that I like just about all forms of bacon: regular bacon, turkey bacon, bacon bits, soy bacon strips. But I just don't like limp or greasy bacon. I like dry bacon. I like bacon made in the microwave by the drip-dry thing invented by a six-year-old and her father. I do not like bacon fried in a pan and left to soak up the grease that should have been cooked away.

    I used to read another blog, and the author would go on about bacon flavored chocolate. I don't think I've ever seen any bacon flavored chocolate, but after reading about it I tried eating chocolate just after having a bite of bacon, and even that turned out to be okay.

  3. Kim- it freezes, but... I don't wanna!

    laughing- I used to eat just the crispy fat part after nuking the hell out of it, and that's the bit I miss. Love crispy fat. Bacos aren't bad, but... the fake bacon I've had was either too chemically, or not bacony. or tempeh made with mushrooms, and i ended up sick.

  4. today i read in the sacramento bee (wed's food section) that vegans live 15 years longer than the average american!
    just thought i would share that with everyone, because when i read it i was like WOW!! but there was no one else around to tell. :)

    im an almost vegan...but the cheese!!!!and the honey. mmmmm.

  5. I have a hard time believing that there has been a trackable vegan community for long enough to have that kind of data. You don't know someone's life expectancy until they die, their are no naturally vegan indigenous cultures, and the age of people currently dying from age-related illness are probably not, nor ever have been, vegan. Plus, veganism is largely an American subculture, so now the sample is even smaller . . .

  6. actually, veganism (and veggie eating in general) is more popular and accepted in the UK. The numbers I see for the US are something like 2-4% of americans identify as vegetarian, and about .5% as vegan. UK numbers are much higher- partly because of a large indian migrant population, and because of the whole mad cow thing. The mayo link is a (yummy) vlogger from germany.

    Most studies I've seen actually show the best assumed life increase in balanced, high quality lacto-ovo veg diets. Vegans, due to low numbers, are a fringe group, obviously, but show life expectancy around the same as omnis, possibly lower.

  7. I've never tried this stuff, and it isn't a bacon replacement per se, but if it's half of what they promise, I bet it is GOOD.
    (Only the hickory version is vegan from what I've seen.)

  8. Oh, the bacon salt... yeah, I've heard about that but haven't tried it yet.honestly, I should be finding ways to take salt *out* of my food, not put more in. But I've heard from people that tried it that yes, it's amazing.