Sarena Shasteen ~ Honestly, I don’t miss cheese. I was never a cheese lover before I discovered my lactose intolerance … I know, shocking! However, when Daiya Foods came out with a dairy-free, soy-free and gluten-free vegan cheese alternative, how could I ignore it?
And of course, there are a few dishes where cheese is the feature ingredient. To name just a few: pizza, lasagna, and casseroles. Since I am good with my cheeseless pizza, I chose to go a different route when testing Daiya vegan cheese alternative.
I started with a grilled vegetable panini …
Then I moved on to a cheesy squash casserole …
But this was no plane jane casserole; I wanted to add a little spice to it. My favorite spice as of late…turmeric. I really just kind of went with some vegetables we had around that needed to be used up. I think some of my favorite things come from the last things I need to get rid of before they turn to compost! This combination is yellow squash, carrots, onions, garlic, turmeric and Daiya Mozzarella-style. I wanted a tasty protein base to go with it, so I chose quinoa to make it a complete meal. This made the perfect bed for my cheesy squash casserole! All mixed up, this was so creamy and the squash formed an incredible sauce that coated the quinoa.
So, what do I think about Daiya? Well, I was kind of eh, about it with the panini. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it, but I wasn’t blown away by it. On the squash casserole…I LOVED it! It is extremely creamy and melts really well! That is impressive all by itself. I don’t think it has a ton of flavor, but I guess mozzarella cheese isn’t loaded with flavor either. That’s what makes it a great addition to dishes where you are looking for creamy gooeyness, but don’t want to mask the the flavors of your dish. Honestly, the problem with most dairy free cheeses are the messed up flavors, so the mild flavor of Daiya is perfect in my book. Daiya also has a cheddar version that I did not pick up, but now I want to try it!
Update: I gave in and made pizza with the Daiya vegan cheese alternative. This is a buckwheat flat bread that I threw together (no yeast), with a roasted red pepper spread*, Daiya vegan cheese alternative, and a pepper/onion mix. Ok, they win…I am sold. This stuff is really amazing on pizza! Check it out…stringy…like cheese!
* Roasted Red Pepper Spread = Jar of leftover roasted red peppers pureed with fresh garlic, salt and pepper…YUM!