One of the biggest struggles I hear people when people are transitioning to a vegan diet, is what do I do about CHEESE!? It seems like it’s easier for people to eat less meat than it is to give up dairy, so it’s pretty important to have some great vegan cheese recipes in your back pocket. There are several qualities that make a vegan cheese good, including creaminess, flavor, texture, mouth feel and meltability. Try this super easy meltable vegan cheese for all you delicious gooey, cheesy dishes.
Another aspect to a great grilled cheese sandwich are the fillings! Here I’ve used grilled zucchini and arugula, as well as some healthy baked tofu. Feel free to experiment with fillings like:
- apple, cranberry relish and fried sage
- tomato, jalapeño and cilantro
- caramelized onion, avocado and arugula
- fig and shiitake bacon
- butternut squash and roasted garlic
- pesto and marinated tomato
- wild mushroom and rosemary
Interested in more cheese recipes? Try these:
- 3 Tablespoons agar agar flakes
- ½ cup water
- ⅓ cup cashews, soaked if possible 2 hours and drained and rinsed
- ½ cup water
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, for dusting at the end
- 1 recipe meltable vegan cheese (see recipe)
- 4 pieces of whole grain bread
- 1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
- 4-6 slices of thinly sliced red onion
- ½ avocado, sliced
- 1 small block of baked tofu, sliced into thin slices
- 4-6 leaves of fresh basil
- 1 cup arugula
- First add the agar agar flakes to a sauce pan with ½ cup water and set aside.
- Add the cashews, the other ½ cup of water, lemon juice, salt, garlic, nutritional yeast and arrowroot powder. Blend until smooth and add to the saucepan with the agar agar.
- Whisk well and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting and cook for 5 minutes. It will have the consistency of thick pancake batter.
- At the last minute, fold in the finely chopped peppers and stir well.
- Prepare your mold (I used a 3" diameter ramikin) by cutting a piece of parchment paper the exact size of the bottom of your mold to help it release when it's cooled. Place the paper in the mold and set aside.
- Pour into whatever mold you are using and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. It should be about the firmness of extra firm tofu or a soft cheese, and will be sliceable!
- To make the grilled zucchini, heat a grill pan and very lightly oil it with coconut oil or some other high smoke point plant based oil. Place the long thin slices of the zucchini onto the grill pan and cook until soft and the zucchini has grill marks.
- To make the grilled cheese sandwich, heat a heavy bottomed pan over low heat until hot. Place some slices of the Meltable Vegan Cheese onto two pieces of the bread and top with 1 slice of tofu. Place both sides of the sandwich into the pan, cheese side facing up. Cover and cook covered until the cheese is melty and the bread is golden brown. You can also place the slices of cheese covered bread into a microwave and cook for 30 seconds to help the cheese melt after the bread is browned.
- Take both sides out of the pan and build the sandwich with the grilled zucchini, avocado slices, arugula, red onion and fresh basil.
- If you like it really cheesy drizzle come Nacho Cheese