Review: Daiya Cheddar Wedge

If I had a dime for every person who, when they find out I’m vegan, says, “I could never give up cheese!” Let’s just say this blog would look a whole lot better than it does. The great thing about being vegan today is that you don’t have to “give up” anything; you just have to find the right products to replace the ones that you currently use.

I FINALLY got my hands on the new Daiya Cheddar wedges that just hit the market. You would have thought I won the lottery when I spotted them on the shelf. I promise no one got hurt, but I do think I scared a few people.

My first impression was that the package is really small for the nearly $5 price tag. But when I opened the package, I found that the block of cheese is the same size, if not bigger, than a block of the fancy cow’s milk cheese you see at Whole Foods. So, really, the price isn’t so bad.

Reviews of the cheese had led me to believe that it wasn’t very firm, but I found just the opposite to be true when I cut a few slices. Is it as firm as a traditional block of cheddar? No. But it sliced easily and held its shape.

I’ve tried many other brands of block-style vegan cheese and they were all pretty gross. My biggest worry when I heard about the wedges was that they wouldn’t taste very good cold. And I was relieved to find that not to be true. The cheddar had a nice tang to it that worked really well by itself, or with crackers and slices of apple. And I was surprised by how rich it was; a few small slices go a long way with plate of fruit and crackers.

This product certainly gives me more options for my lunch dilemma. I can’t wait to try the other varieties.

Up next this week? I’m making Japanese-inspired hot dogs with wasabi fries, as featured in the latest issue of VegNews. I’m also making a pot pie using my slow cooker. I’ll have posts on those later in the week.

I hope you all are well!

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Weekend Tofu and Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

If you’re looking for a good, stick-to-your-ribs kind of breakfast, this dish is for you. It’s the first recipe I’ve made from the newest cookbook in my collection, “The Vegan Slow Cooker,” and it was delicious. Hash browns are layered in the bottom of the crockpot, vegan cheddar (I used Daiya) was layered on top of that, and then a mixture of silken tofu and spices is added to the top. Paprika and freshly ground pepper top it off before it cooks for two hours in your slow cooker. The tofu mixture firms up nicely to the consistency of scrambled eggs.

I wasn’t sure how flavorful it would be, but the final result packs a ton of it. Still, while the recipe is great on its own, the next time I make it, I’m going to add onions and green peppers to bulk it up and add extra texture and flavor. We added a few drops of hot sauce to give it a kick.

Next up? Hungarian Mushroom Soup. Can’t wait.