Saturday, May 8, 2010

New Product Reviews: Daiya Cheese, Amy's Mac & Cheese, Rice Cheese Blocks,

So, this is a no-photo post. There is a very good reason for this.

I have found the best vegan cheese ever, and most (all?) of the dishes have resulted in not blog-worthy photos. What is this mysterious "cheese"? Daiya.

Seriously, check out that link. Gluten, soy, dairy free. Yet...delicious. It comes pre-shredded, in mozzarella and cheddar flavors. (At least at my local Saint Paul, MN, Whole Foods.) My chief complaint is that the package is not resealable and forces me to either dump the contents into another zip-top bag or to utilize my chip clips. (There are roughly 3 individuals who are laughing at my chip clips because they know exactly where they are from.)

Mr. Coconut and I have made several quesadillas and added the cheese to various burritos and pasta dishes. Not to mention just dipping the quesadilla slices in spicy taco sauce, awesome salsa and other dips. Yum! Other dishes in the past two weeks that added Daiya cheese: red potato hashbrowns with Daiya; red potatoes thinly sliced with garlic and onion and olive oil -- plus cheese at the end. I know, a bit potato-heavy, but other than quesadillas and potatoes and pasta, the Daiya cheese ran out quickly.

On that note, I also tried the Amy's Non-Dairy Rice Mac & Cheeze. Amy's previously had a "soy cheeze" mac & cheese that was not vegan. They also had a rice macaroni & cheese that was not vegan. However, this new stuff is made with the aforementioned Daiya cheddar. SO AWESOME.

Back story:

I loved making my own mac & cheese, and still love it even as a vegan. I'm a fan of Road's End mac and cheese mixes. I'm also a fan of making my own mac and cheese with nutritional yeast.

Long before I was vegan, I became obsessed with this frozen mac & cheese from Michelina's. It was creamy, dreamy, quick and comforting.

Guess what? The Amy's mac and cheese tasted just like I remembered Michelina's tasted like. Amazing.

Word is that Galactic Pizza an awesome local pizza joint, is using Daiya as its vegan cheese.

Another new product I tried in the past few weeks was the Galaxy Rice Cheddar block of cheese. I've talked about my love of the rice cheddar cheese slices. It's nice to have soy-free selections in the vegan cheese market. The block of cheese shredded finely was pretty good in Tofurky sandwiches after being heated up for 30 seconds. Not nearly as good as Daiya -- like no where near. This stuff is still the most awesome vegan cheese next to Daiya, though.

So now I have more Daiya and I plan on attempting photo-worthy dishes. My main thought is to make the best potato skins ever: baked up russets with sour cream, green onions, Daiya cheese, and -- possibly -- bacooo bits. (I have a plan on making my own Bac-O Bits with some TVP. Maybe, maybe even make some killer twice-baked potatoes, we'll see.

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