Tuesday, October 4, 2011

VeganMoFo #3 - Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook


Today's book is the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook by vegan cooking pioneer Joanne Stepaniak. I made the Baked Macaroni and Cheez which is our favorite version of this dish. It uses cashews, tahini, roasted red peppers, sauteed onions, and a minimal amount of nutritional yeast for the sauce. I've tried all sorts of vegan versions of macaroni and cheese including those that use tofu, sauerkraut, carrots, potatoes, miso, boatloads of margarine and other unusual ingredients but my favorite recipes always have roasted red peppers. As you see, the peppers do a good job of making this recipe look similar to the original. I use about 1/2 cup less water than the recipe states and I pre-soak the cashews a bit. I also saute the onions in water and reduce the salt to make for a healthier casserole.



















I enjoy the recipes in this book although I'm not sure I'd feed them to really picky omnivores. Most of the recipes contain nutritional yeast so if you hate it this book isn't for you. There is one recipe that doesn't contain nutritional yeast that I make all the time - the tahini, pickle, and tomato sandwich which is wonderful on rye bread.

The book serves a place for those looking for substitutes for their favorite comfort foods and in the 10th Anniversary Edition there is a focus on reducing or omitting the oils. There is a center spread of gorgeous color photos and each recipe has a nutritional analysis. Probably the most unique section is the chapter on block uncheeses which use agar flakes or powder (a sea vegetable) to make firm cheeses. There is also a section on fondues which I've never tried as I do not have a fondue pot.

I've made many of the recipes in this book and have liked most of them. My favorites are the Florentine Ricotta Pie, most of the block uncheeses (Swiss, Monterey Jack, Onion, Dill & Horseradish, Colby, Muenster, and Buffalo Mostarella), Gooey Grilled Cheez, Cheez Please Soup, Creamy Vegetable Chowder, Parmezano Sprinkles, the Gee Whiz Spread and the Crock Cheez.

7 comments:

vegan.in.brighton said...

I love the Uncheese Cookbook, especially the Crock Cheese recipe. It's delicious! I always have to add more nooch to the mac & cheese though!

lazysmurf said...

That is a beautiful shot of the mac and cheese, I want to dive into it! I haven't tried that version yet, I'll have to check it out!

laceylovesfood said...

My favorite recipe from this book is also nooch free, the white bean boursin is AMAZING!

Emily Segal said...

I have always wanted this cookbook. Good to read your review and enjoy those yummy mac n cheeze pics!

veganverite said...

Oh -- that looks delicious! I have tried so many vegan mac n cheese recipes, I can't believe I haven't tried this one yet! I'm excited about the roasted red peppers -- I bet they lend a nice flavor. I'm definitely going to try this one.

veganverite said...

Oops! I just noticed I posted my comment twice. I can't figure out how to delete that second one. I was just a little too excited about that mac n cheese yesterday. ;)

corrinadarling said...

i made this particular recipe only once, and it was years ago. but, i remember we really enjoyed it. i really like the uncheese book. i usually use ACV where she calls for lemon juice because i find it adds the same kind of tang, and i don't like cheeze that tastes like lemon.

one of my fave recipes that i never see mentioned is the spicy tomato herb spread. never gets love, but i like using it for grilled cheeze.

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