I am going to break ranks with a lot of vegans and admit something to omnivores/dairy fanatics: fake cheese does not taste like cheese. Nothing is going to quite duplicate the meltinesss, texture, or flavor of cheese. I can’t stand it when vegetarians insist something “tastes just like X” or that they serve it and “no one knows the difference!” Such talk is usually a tangled web of lies. So I’m not going to spout that bullshit here. I’m an honest guy.
The issue for me is not duplicating cheese precisely (maybe it was in the beginning, but my goals have changed). The goal is to duplicate typical cheese-containing dishes as a whole, in ways that are still delicious–even if it doesn’t taste exactly like the original product. Also, I want to do it from scratch using whole ingredients (and not that nasty science experiment Daiya cheese). My biggest beef with many vegans is the reliance on processed, pre-made, fake meat and cheese products sold at the grocery store. Reliance on those items confirms the stereotype that vegan diets are too expensive (they’re not, given the main staple of our diet–dried beans–is the cheapest thing at the grocery store) and missing essentials like protein, calcium, iron, and B vitamins (they don’t, as long as a variety of whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and vegetables is consumed). Now, about the “cheese” sauce…
This one is a bit decadent, given it contains one of the few ingredients that the ever-feuding Paleos and Vegans both tend to agree is evil: white pasta. It can be made even healthier with whole wheat pasta, but everyone needs a treat now and then, okay? If a plant-based diet were nothing but nuts, sprouts, and self-denial, no one would do it. We talk a good game of caring about animal cruelty, sustainable food, and being healthy, but–if we couldn’t indulge once in a while in things like white pasta, fried food, and baked goods–fewer people would be as open to indoctrination by us.
This one will definitely appease omnivores, as the recipe was modified from an older one I used to make with chicken and cream. The chicken is here replaced with a veggie mixture (the fiber for which makes up for the fact that you’re eating processed carbs), and the cream with soy yogurt, so if you’re stubborn you can alter it back to suit your flesh-eating desires. Contrarian.
This recipe is another super easy, fast, and nutritious way to get vegetables and healthy fats and proteins into your diet. This one works as a dip, a sandwich spread, or can be tossed with pasta. I did the latter, and it was delicious. There is almost no prep time. If you sub the onion and garlic with the powdered forms, it will be ready in seconds.
It is usually fairly easy to get people to eat something vegan if white pasta is involved, and this dish is no exception. This can be made even healthier with whole wheat pasta, but there is nothing wrong with indulging once in a while. So go nuts and eat some white pasta, okay? This is delicious enough that you may not miss the parmesan cheese, so give it a try without. If you think it tastes like feet, you can add some later, okay?
I can already hear the groans from the dairy lovers. This can’t possibly taste like anything except feet, right? Doesn’t it reek of nuts? Didn’t you just puree some nasty tofu? Why are you ruining Alfredo sauce this way? To answer your questions:
- Feet gross me out, so I’ve never gotten close enough to know what they taste like.
- No, it doesn’t reek of nuts. It is made with cashew cream, but that’s watered down with stock to cut the sweet nutty taste.
- There is no tofu in this.
- Not everyone can eat dairy, whether due to personal ethics or potential for diarrhea. So dont judge.
This is actually quite good, or else I wouldn’t be sharing it. It works as an Alfredo substitute, but can also be baked with pasta for a vegan mac and cheese substitute. No, it doesn’t taste exactly like cheese, but that doesn’t mean it tastes bad. And I’ve been trying for months to find a way to approximate a creamy sauce without it tasting disgusting (I’m looking at you, science experiment that is Daiya Cheese). So this was success. Proceed if you want to give it a try.
I realize that labeling this dessert “dairy-free” is a bit redundant, given that traditional mousse is made without dairy. However, many recipes do include dairy (usually whipped cream, which is an easy way to weasel out of the beating of egg whites); many savory versions are made with roux thickened sauces (like veloute or beschamel) which also include dairy. However, this is the very simple classic version with just a few ingredients. It is unbelievably simple to make (if your beating arm gets tired, you can use electric beaters), and will be a definite crowd pleaser. The prep takes just minutes, though you need to give yourself at least two hours of chill time (overnight doesn’t hurt either).