“The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook,” by Jo Stepaniak

“The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook” is the latest addition to my cookbook library.  Because I was brought up on dairy products there are a few things I really miss eating since becoming a vegetarian; macaroni and cheese is one of them.  I was intrigued by this book because it offers a wide variety of dairy-free recipes from individual un-cheeses to casseroles and desserts.  The secret ingredient in most is nutritional yeast (not active dry yeast; there is a difference).  I couldn’t wait to try them.

The first recipe was the Gooey Grilled Cheez sandwich (page 141).  This recipe, and the others in this cookbook, are uncomplicated and easy to follow.  It was a “high okay” in my opinion.  It had a cheddar-like flavor and was definitely gooey, as melted cheese should be.  As non-cheeses go the flavor was similar to other veggie cheeses — maybe a little less lemon juice would have been better.

The second recipe I tried was the Traditional Macaroni and Cheez (page 112).  This recipe was right on the mark.  It was everything I’d hoped for in a non-dairy recipe and more. The color, texture and flavor were perfect.  I did make one minor alteration to the printed recipe by layering chopped onion between two layers of the macaroni/cheez mixture before baking, because this is the way my family always preferred macaroni and cheese casserole “back in the day.”  Served with stewed tomatoes on top it was just like Grandma used to make — delicious (tastes like pizza)!

Considering all the negatives associated with dairy consumption I am thrilled to have found this cookbook, and I’m looking forward to experimenting with several other recipes in the near future.  Betta Feta (page 45) and Caesar Salad Dressing (page 146) look very intriguing.

I purchased this cookbook on Amazon.com below retail and no shipping charges if your order is over $25.00.  I would definitely recommend “The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook,” by Jo Stepaniak  if you are serious about following a vegetarian lifestyle.

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Vegan “Parmesan Cheese”

This is an exciting recipe I discovered while viewing a recent cooking demo on http://www.therenegadehealthshow.com . (I highly recommend this site.)

We all know how expensive commercial brands of veggie cheese are, so I couldn’t wait to try this recipe.  I made it last night to serve on tofu stuffed shells, and it was great.  You can make a larger batch to keep on hand. It’s simple and stores well in the refrigerator.

Ingredients:

5 large Brazil nuts, rough chopped

1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

sea salt to taste (I found that 1/2 tsp. works well)

Grind the nuts.  Add sea salt and nutritional yeast, and grind again.  Done!

Is that easy, or what?