The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook: Delicious Dairy-Free Cheeses and Classic “Uncheese” Dishes

July 27, 2010 · Posted in Bestselling Cooking Books 

Product Description
This is the perfect cookbook for those who need or want to eliminate dairy products but still enjoy their favorite dishes. This tenth anniversary edition offers completely new versions of the acclaimed, original recipes plus many new ones. You’ll discover a whole new world of flavorful, cheesy-tasting dishes without the cholesterol and dairy allergies that can be harmful to your health. Whether for family dining or elegant entertaining, you’ll find recipes that will… More >>

The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook: Delicious Dairy-Free Cheeses and Classic “Uncheese” Dishes

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5 Responses to “The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook: Delicious Dairy-Free Cheeses and Classic “Uncheese” Dishes”

  1. Lisa Fowler on July 28th, 2010 12:17 am

    Overall, this book is really great, with a couple of exceptions. Before I proceed, though, here are a few tips that might come in useful:

    1. If your nutritional yeast flakes have a powdery appearance, make sure you use only half the amount called for in any recipe! If a recipe calls for ½ cup of yeast, use only a quarter cup. This is especially important for people who dislike nutritional yeast as much as I do. Don’t omit the yeast altogether, because in just the right quantity, it does add an unmistakable “finishing touch” of cheesiness to recipes.

    2. Recipes that are made up only of plain flour, nutritional yeast, and seasonings generally do not taste like cheese; they taste more like savory gravy. On a similar note, bean-based recipes are going to taste more like hummus than like cheese. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if you’re prepared for it, of course.

    3. I find that most of the recipes in this book contain too much lemon juice. Maybe I’m just sensitive to the tartness of lemon, but I’d personally recommend either omitting the lemon juice in most recipes, or at least cutting back on it significantly. Also, I find that many of the recipes can be pretty bland because they lack the saltiness that makes dairy cheese so appealing. That can easily be remedied, though, by just adding more salt to taste.

    That said, here are my individual recipe reviews:

    GOOEY GRILLED CHEEZ — This crisp sandwich with its sharp, creamy filling is really satisfying. I do add a little more ketchup to the cheez than suggested, though, and a LOT more salt (about ¾ heaped tsp). The cheez makes the best ever vegan pizza, too. Take note, however, that vegan cheeses don’t get stretchy, so if you’d like some texture or “chewiness” on your pizza, try topping the cheez with some mock meat, like sliced and fried Tofurkey Italian sausage. Tomato sauce + cheez + sausage + minced garlic & herbs + a drizzle of olive oil for moistness = paradise. Mmmmm.

    CROCK CHEEZ — If you’re craving sharp, salty, aged cheddar, look no further. This is it. It may not taste exactly like the cheddar you were used to, but it can easily fool non-vegans when served on Ritz crackers. I’d advise you to omit the lemon juice, and to refrigerate the cheez overnight, because you probably won’t like it straight from the food processor. Mix Crock Cheez with some salsa, and you’ll have the world’s best, most cheddary, vegan nacho cheese. Also, if you were a smoked cheddar fan, you absolutely must try the Smoky Crock Cheez variation. Yummm, it tastes *exactly* like real smoked cheddar.

    TOFU BOURSIN — Very, very close to the real thing. It calls for vegan mayo, and I’d suggest that you use Vegenaise for best results. Make sure you refrigerate it before eating — it’s not that good straight from the food processor. The White Bean Boursin is excellent, too, but it tastes more like hummus than like cheese.

    GEE WHIZ SPREAD, AGED CHEDDAR VARIATION — This makes the perfect carry-me-along potluck dip. It doesn’t taste like cheese, but more like creamy gourmet roasted red pepper hummus. I would definitely advise you to significantly reduce the lemon juice (I just use a little more than one tbsp, as opposed to the recommended three). Remember to chill the spread before serving. Serve with chips and toasted pita triangles…yum!

    CHEEZ-A-RONI — If you have any Gee Whiz left over, be sure to try this recipe. It’s very rich and creamy, guaranteed to subdue any macaroni and cheese craving. It’s also a good way of using up Gee Whiz spread. I detest prepackaged vegan macaroni cheese, but I look forward to Cheez-A-Roni and Colby Mac & Cheez days…

    COLBY CHEEZ (a block uncheese) — A cashew-pimiento cheez that is yum yum. I personally wouldn’t eat it cold, but this stuff makes the best “macaroni and cheese” when melted. It can get squishy when grated, but don’t let that discourage you. Melt the cheez in a little soymilk, add lots of margarine and a fair amount of salt, and stir the sauce into cooked elbow macaroni. You’ll be amazed how close this tastes to the real thing. Orgasmically good!!

    ZUCCHINI CHEDDA SOUP — You absolutely can’t go wrong with cashews and pimientos. This soup is as cheddary as it is hearty. I think even zucchini haters would enjoy it.

    SWISS CHEEZ (another block uncheese) — This stuff was bland and weird tasting when cold; however, it was delicious layered and melted in lasagne. It makes a good choice when you need a “cheese” that’s mild and mozzarella-ey, and tastes better than commercial vegan mozzarella. Don’t eat it cold, though, because, like commercial vegan hard cheeses, it’s pretty icky that way.

    MINUTE MAN CHEEZ SAUCE — I thought this was really bad. I’d advise you to skip this if you don’t like nutritional yeast.

    BUFFALO MOSTARELLA — Another thumbs down. I found it very oaty tasting, but I know many people who do love it.

    AMAZING MAC ‘N’ CHEEZ SAUCE — Not recommended at all. It tastes nothing like cheese…more like gravy, in fact. I imagine it’ll be good with veggie fried chicken, though.

    Overall, this book is great, apart from some recipes that I haven’t liked, and my initial failures due to too much lemon juice and/or nutritional yeast. I do like the way I can get creative with the recipes. As a last note, try not to expect the recipes to taste exactly like the cheeses that you were used to, because they probably won’t…just as vegetarian burgers don’t taste exactly like Big Macs; they are to be enjoyed in their own right.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. Mimi G. Clark on July 28th, 2010 3:15 am

    I think I speak for many vegans when I say that giving up dairy is one of the hardest parts of becoming vegan. I tell my students not to give up a particular food until or unless they find a satisfying vegan replacement for it. Otherwise they will surely feel deprived and inclined to “cheat,” which leads to a viscious cycle of deprivation, cheating, and guilt, and that is self-defeating. In the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, Joanne Stepaniak, educator and author of over a dozen books on veganism, has updated her original Uncheese Cookbook from 1994. In the introduction, Vesanto Melina, MS, RD, explains the history of the dairy industry in North America, and the governments economic support of agricultural systems that produce dairy products. Twenty-seven pages of introduction include charts depicting how to get calcium from plant foods, and the nutritional benefits of uncheese vs. dairy cheese. My 14-year old vegan-since-birth daughter selected several recipes to make herself, such as Gooey Grilled Cheez for sandwiches, Unstuffed Shells which is a fabulous ricotta substitute, and Traditional Macaroni and Cheez, all of which were hits. Some of my favorites include Betta Feta, Gee Whiz Spread, Crock Cheez, Lemon Teasecake, Nacho Cheez Sauce and Dip, Parmezano Sprinkles, and Three-Cheez Lasagne. As in all of Stepaniak’s cookbooks, the recipes are clear and concise, with nutritionals included for each recipe. The index is thoughtfully categorized according to gluten-free recipes, soy-free recipes, nut-free recipes, yeast-free recipes, and corn-free recipes. Whatever your particular dietary needs are, Stepaniak has taken them into consideration in the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. Anonymous on July 28th, 2010 5:33 am

    This book is perfectly amazing. It includes UNcheese recipes for “blocks” of cheese that you can use on sandwiches or in other recipes; soups/chowders; fondue recipes; pizzas and casseroles; desserts (UNcheesecake! ). Most of the recipes are quite low in fat (nutritional analyses are included), contrary to what some might believe. Yes, a lot of the “cheeses” use nuts, but many use beans, nutritional yeast, and other amazing ingredients. Recipes are fairly easy to make, uncomplicated, and use easily-obtainable ingredients, for the most part. Some of the “block” cheeses require agar-agar, which is a seaweed derived thickener used in place of “gelatin,” and this ingredient can be costly. But otherwise, the recipes are cheap to make, taste great, and are healthy. I had a nonvegan friend of mine try the “colby cheeze.” his reaction? “wow, if I didn’t know better, I would totally think this was real cheese!” Do yourself a favor and get this book. There are so many reasons to cut out the dairy, and this book lets you do so and still have your cheezy treats.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. Anonymous on July 28th, 2010 5:43 am

    The recipes in this book are nothing short of miraculous! I have been using The Uncheese Cookbook for years and am probably due for a new copy, as my book is well worn with many dog-eared pages. The recipes aren’t cheese, so don’t expect them to be. They are UNcheeses. Still, they have an incredibly cheeselike flavor and texture. In fact, several of them come so amazingly close to “the real thing” that even some of my dairy-eating friends have been fooled.

    What is particularly impressive is that the ingredients are wholesome, natural, REAL foods–not the highly-refined starches and other questionable items used in many of the commercial soy cheeses (which, in my opinion, taste like plastic). Furthermore, these recipes taste GOOD and are surprisingly easy to make. Here are some of my favorites: Gee Whiz Spread (awesome!), Colby Cheeze, Gooda Cheeze, Boursin, Hot Parmesan Artichoke Dip, Philly Potato Chowder, Curried Cauliflower Cheeze Soup, Unprocessed Cheeze Sauce (heavenly!), Fondue (every kind under the sun!), Stuffed Shells, Grilled Cheeze, Cheezecakes (yum, yum!), and so much more.

    Not only are the recipes imaginative, delicious, and rich tasting, they are remarkably low in fat (there’s a nutritional analysis with each recipe). Many other cookbook authors and recipe developers have tried to imitate Ms. Stepaniak’s uncheeses, but no one could surpass her original creations. She’s a true pioneer.

    If you miss cheese or just want something cheesy but healthful, be sure to pick up a copy of this classic gem!!!
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. Jill Schatz on July 28th, 2010 6:49 am

    The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook goes beyond cheese analogs. It has great casseroles, soups, stews, dips/spreads and desserts as well. A few of my favorites include Chickpea Flour Pizza, Zucchini Chedda Soup and Cheezy Rice and Broccoli Casserole. Even people who never liked cheese will be pleased, while vegetarians trying to quit cheese will find their salvation here. Joanne’s recipes are always easy to read and require short preps – I always go to her books when I don’t have time to putter over meals but want great, satisfying tastes.

    Two caveats: Joanne includes revised versions of some favorites from her other books here, but the majority of recipes are new and will satiate her audience. And if you are low tech, without either a blender or food processor, get one/both first, or you will sit on the sidelines here.
    Rating: 5 / 5

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