Friday, January 20, 2017

How to Celebrate National Cheese Lovers Day, Gluten Free and Vegan Style

You love cheese, I love cheese, we all love cheese! But, sometimes, cheese doesn't love you back (lactose intolerants, you know what I'm talkin' about). Luckily for all vegans, dairy-free-ers and adventurous eaters, though, enjoying cheese without the dairy is easier than ever. In fact, this could be your best National Cheese Lovers Day yet!

So what does a gluten free and vegan diner need to celebrate National Cheese Lovers Day - minus, well, the actual cheese? Whether you're looking for dairy free cheese products or homemade recipes, have a craving for pizza or a healthier version of your mama's mac n' cheese, here are some easy, delicious way to get your dose of vegan cheese this holiday!

casey the college celiac

Some nights, you just want to walk in the door from work and throw together dinner in thirty minutes of less. Those nights, dairy free cheese products are a girl's foodie's best friend. I'll be the first to admit that I'm no expert; however, I've probably had enough hands on experience to earn my Daiya Cheese girl-scout badge.

My favorite (totally unsponsored - though I wouldn't turn down some Daiya love, wink wink!) product is Daiya's Mozzarella Style Shreds. Made with ingredients like tapioca flour, pea protein and coconut oil, these shreds are free of most allergens and melt just like "regular" cheese. Although they definitely have an acquired taste, a little bit of this creamy goodness goes a long way in recipes. In particular, I use Daiya shreds to top my vegan buckwheat pizza and in my stove top veggie mac n' cheese. As a rule of thumb (or taste buds), use Daiya when you just want a sprinkle of cheese on the top of your meal.

casey the college celiac
Is it obvious that I <3 pizza?
When you want to dive into a pool of cheesy goodness, try out homemade cheese sauces instead. Typically, there are two types of recipes: vegetable-based sauces and nut-based sauces. Personally, I love the first type. I mean, what could be better than enjoying your cheese sauce and getting some hidden veggies too?

The recipe that always pops up in my kitchen is TheVegan8's magical fat-free vegan cheese sauce, which uses steamed zucchini and potatoes plus a variety of spices. For an even simpler sauce, you can make my version of Brandi's recipe, which just combines all of the following ingredients in a high-powered blender:

2 big Yukon potatoes or 1/2 a russet potato, baked or steamed
1/2 large zucchini or squash, steamed
1/4 cup of water or unsweetened dairy free milk of choice
Liberal scoop of turmeric powder
Liberal shake of mustard powder
Sprinkle of paprika
Optional: sprinkle of oregano and/or thyme

How to eat it? (Besides using chips as a spoon). Stuff it into spaghetti squash for a healthier version of enchiladas, or transform boring zucchini into a creamy masterpiece that will have you craving vegetables.This sauce also holds up in a crock pot for easy meals like stacked enchiladas or secretly superfood-packed mac n' cheese!

casey the college celiac
Those close up shots...
If you need even more ideas on how to turn veggies into (cheesy) liquid gold, here are some other winners from around the blogosphere:
Some meals, though, call for a richer, creamier kind of sauce. After all, if the rest of your meal is mainly vegetables - like my favorite loaded baked potato - your digestive system may need a break from all that fiber! I'll admit that I have yet to make my own nut-based sauce; however, the times I've eaten it in restaurants have been memorable in the best of ways!

casey the college celiac
Raw, vegan cafes apparently have the best cashew cheese quesadillas! 
If you're ready to go a little nutty, check out some of the recipes below:
You've probably heard the saying, "Where there's a will, there's a way." Well, when it comes to celebrating National Cheese Lovers Day, it should be: Where there's a craving, there's a recipe ready for creating!

Because, the truth is, your diet is only as restrictive as you let it. And whether you're a traditional cheese lover or a vegan foodie looking for your latest addiction, these recipes are guaranteed to help you celebrate National Cheese Lovers Day in delicious, dairy free style!


*Also found in What's Cookin' Wednesday, VegetarianMama, Pretty Pintastic, Saucy Saturdays, Dare to Share, RunningwithSpoons!*

What's your favorite dairy free product? Have you ever made your own cheese sauce? Tell me your thoughts below!



1 comment:

  1. I didn't even know National Cheese Day existed. How my world has expanded now :)

    ReplyDelete