Daiya speaks to me. It says "Sprinkle me on a carb and pop me in the oven, bitch"

I’m not really a big fan of faux meat and dairy in general. While I think they are awesome for those who need help transitioning or just need a fix once in a while, I would rather get down on some whole, real foods. I consider them  a junk food, and so I don’t eat them often. (A writer once compared eating fake meat to masturbation…) That being said, there are a few faux products I will pepper into my diet every now and then.

I think I have written before about my appreciation for Tofurkey slices…the first time I had a Tofurkey sandwich was a good 8 years after I stopped eating meat because, well, like I said—not big into the pretend stuff. But I did miss the flavor of a smoked turkey sandwich (with avocado and tomato and stone ground mustard on fresh whole grain bread, OhMyGasm) so I was stoked to find Tofurkey comparable to the packaged, processed lunch meat of my childhood. When I first bit into a Tofurkey sandwich, presented to me by an old room-mate, the first words out of my mouth were, “oh…I feel naughty.”

The other faux-animal product I enjoy from time to time is Daiya “cheese.” I’ve had bad experiences with nearly all of the fake cheeses I have tried, which is upsetting because in my pre-vegan days, I had a pretty serious relationship with sharp cheddar cheese. We were on and off, hot and heavy, eat-a-whole-block in one sitting. Sigh.

For the most part, non-dairy cheeses taste a bit weird, the texture is funny, and they don’t melt. But Daiya shreds DO melt, and although I don’t really enjoy the unmelted shreds, every now and then I like to buy a bag of the stuff and have a little ooey-gooey fun.

My favorite thing to do with them is have a Mexican party. Stack sandwich is one of my favorite mexi-meals to make with leftovers, and Daiya shreds are a welcomed addition to my layers of beans, veggies and home-made guac. The boy and I had a quesadilla party a few weeks back, and we bought Daiya, which I was excited about. (He ate real cheese. I have never dated a vegan.) Editor’s note: Originally I wrote “my boy,” here. My mom then emailed me accusing me of being possessive. The subject line of the email was “man slave.”

Other things I like to do with Daiya include make grilled cheese, tomato and avocado sandwiches, and home-made pizza. So tell me what you do with your Daiya. Have you found a better cheese alternative? Are you a faux-meat fan or do you shy away, like I do?

Read More →