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.