Cheese. Ahhhh. The main reason I became a vegan and the main reason I came back to reality five years later. Cheese.
Now don’t get it twisted. I give a solid thumbs-up salute to the vegans of the world and their quest to live life without causing harm to the animals in order to feed the multitudes. But a true vegan is not just focused on what animal products they’re not eating, it’s a lifestyle commitment that includes clothes, shoes, furniture choices, hair products and cosmetics.
I was a fraud – unintentionally, but a fraud none the less. I cringed at the thought of animals in overcrowded cages and sub-tolerant living quarters while they got fattened up to fulfill so-called humanity’s super-size it mentality, but still I only committed to vegan nutrition.
So, I’m no longer claiming to be a vegan; but who says I can’t eat like one?
Enter vegan/veggie cheese.
Cheese is my chocolate. It’s the shredded addition in my salad, the sliced topping that wakes up the flavor of a cracker, and the melted, velvety goodness that makes an ordinary plate of broccoli into a dish extraordinaire. I LOVE dairy cheese! But unfortunately, the fat content is a bit much for my southern region. Vegan cheese, at least the slices that I buy, are a welcome substitute in taste, less fat, and definitely melt-ability, which, for me, is the defining factor in choosing cheese. If I can’t melt it, keep it.
Now of course, vegan cheese isn’t going to taste exactly like its dairy cousin but there are flavors that mimic pretty well. Another good point to make about vegan cheeses is that they’re not all created equal. I’ve tried some brands whose flavor made rice cakes taste like gourmet cuisine. So, it’s best to shop around.
I usually stick with the “Go Veggie” brand that I usually buy in slices. The smoked provolone and the pepper jack flavors satisfy any cheese cravings you have and melt
well. When I make sandwiches or homemade pizzas for my grandchildren, I usually add a mix of dairy and vegan cheese and they devour it.
Since I’m back to dairy cheese, I do post limits on what I will buy. Only when I’m making homemade macaroni and cheese do I buy Velveeta or dairy cheddar cheeses. I prefer to stick to mozzarella cheese made with skim milk, and at least three grams less fat per serving. Mozzarella has a lighter taste, and does not feel heavy in my belly.
I’m actually happier with my nutrition choices. Choosing to nix dairy cheese from my daily nutrition definitely controlled how much I ate – since I wasn’t eating it anymore. But first of all, did I mention I LOVE cheese? I refuse to eat meat anymore, but I actually want dairy cheese in my life, in moderation. Vegan cheese fills in the gaps so that I’m still getting the flavor without buying or chowing down on too much cheese.
I think you’d love it!