The Best Non-Dairy Cheese in the World! [Review]

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The Best Non-Dairy Cheese in the World

In honor of World Plant Milk Day we thought we would highlight the best non-dairy cheese in the world.

When my friends ask me how I like eating plant based, or vegan, I tell them I really enjoy it. I feel better, lost some weight, get compliments on my “glowing” face, and I’ve found that it’s much easier than I thought.

One of the first things they say is that they would miss the cheese. They can’t live without the cheese. I was speaking to a young gal one evening and she said she is a vegetarian but she didn’t notice all that much difference in how she felt health-wise. I told her “it’s the dairy”. Eating dairy is not exactly like eating meat, but it still has some of the negative side effects. It is linked to cancer and cheese has casein in it that causes us to crave it. It is linked to heart disease because too much cholesterol does that to us.

Vegan Herb Cheese Spread

I have tried making my own cheeses and for the most part they are tasty. One of my favorites is a herb cheese that I served at Thanksgiving and it was a hit. Here is the link to a video showing you how to make it by The Mushroom Den.

I think if more people will consider changing their eating habits many diseases will be stopped before they are started. I especially think of my friends and family that are now near my age of 60. There is so much heartbreak and scare that comes when a loved one has a heart attack or has to have heart surgery to unclog arteries that can be fixed by staying away form meats and dairy.

So, I really did some research. I started ordering some meat and cheeses from The Herbivorous Butcher,  located in Minnesota. They have created delicious plant based deli meats and cheeses. They have a great mozzarella cheese that I use in sandwiches and on pizza. It melts beautifully and is so creamy. Here is the link.

However, recently I found a local place in Los Angeles, and we struck vegan cheese gold!

Vromage – A nut based cheese shop in Los Angeles. The owner and brilliant cheese maker is Youseff  Fahouri.  I went on a Friday afternoon and I had Youseff to myself, LOL. It was a treat to taste all the different cheeses he had.  It is amazing that he makes the cheese without using coconut oil or nutritional yeast. I told him I couldn’t believe he didn’t use nutritional yeast, and he said those who don’t know how to make cheese use it. I told him that’s me!! We both had a good laugh.

Youseff, Owner and Vegan Cheese Maker

Youseff only uses the best organic herbs and nuts. All his recipes are in his head and hopes someday to teach others his recipes. But he only wants to teach those who are interested in changing the world.

It is amazing that he makes the cheese without using coconut oil or nutritional yeast.

Vromage is featured in the official Wedding Album of Meghan and Prince Harry, since he was asked to provide the cheese appetizers. (Meghan was a frequent customer to his cheese shop).  Very impressive indeed.

Cheese Fit for Royalty!

The name of the shop, Vromage, is a French take on the word cheese. Fromage being French for cheese, but with a ‘v’ for ‘vegan.’

We ordered the sandwich, on an organic baguette and chose the “veganzola” cheese which is his take on Gorgonzola cheese.  I had the spicy cranberry veganzola. It came with olive oil, marinated heirloom tomatoes and arugula. It was probably my favorite sandwich ever!  And if you ask my daughters, they know how obsessed I am with sandwiches. Probably my favorite meal, but since becoming vegan they are hard to come by.

Veganzola Sandwich

Since bringing home these cheeses, I have made the sandwiches like Youseff explained and using his cheeses they taste just like the real deal. So good, creamy,  and smooth. I think better than a Gorgonzola, which tends to be quite tart.

Here are the cheeses I bought: Nacho Cheese.  Spicy Cranberry Veganzela – tangy with a spicy bite to it and my absolute favorite so far.  Veganzola – tangy and rich tasting, I think this is Bruce’s favorite.  Ricotta – Made from organic nuts, I will be making lasagna soon with this, I cannot wait. I also put it in my freezer since cheeses you are going to bake with can be frozen, because freezing changes the texture. Brie truffle – so creamy and yummy. I am taking it to a friends birthday slumber party. Yes, my women friends who are in our 50’s-60’s still have slumber parties. I can’t wait for them to taste this with crackers.

I love Youseff’s story of how he began.  He was a chef and was trying to impress a girl who had made some vegan cheese and asked him to try it. He did and thought he could do better. She loved the cheeses he made and a career came from it. Alas, he didn’t get the girl, but he got a new calling.

The prices are comparable to any upscale cheese shop and they are worth every penny.  Plus, you are helping your body; his cheeses have no cholesterol to clog your arteries.

His shop is closed on Monday and Tuesday, that’s when he makes his cheeses.

Vromage is worth the drive just to sample the cheeses. But here is the good news: they ship anywhere in the world! It is my new go-to for cheeses. I feel so lucky to have found it. I know you will love it too.

Viva La Vromage!

Gratefully – Clara

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Nobody Really Believes Almonds Lactate!

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The FDA’s Attack on Milk Substitutes Is Corporate Welfare in Action

Scott Gottlieb, the head of the FDA, first jokingly — and then seriously — announced that the FDA plans to crack down on the use of the word “milk” on the packaging of products such as soy milk and almond milk, because plants do not lactate.

I recently read the article that is linked above that a friend posted on social media.  If someone tells me “this is not FDA approved” my first thought is “this must be good for me.” The only thing FDA cares about is if they have their hands in the money. (See Dallas Buyers Club). I remember when our government took over GM. Suddenly Toyota’s brakes were no good and they were part of trying to sue them and take them down. But you can’t keep a good product down. Toyota is still thriving.

Now their war is turned on the products that avoid dairy. Why? Because our government’s hand is in the money jar. Not only does our government subsidize the dairy industry, we also purchase the milk consumers don’t want. So, through my taxes, I am buying milk and eggs! How convoluted is this??? The Tariffs alone that are put on soy and legumes will make us pay more money to eat “healthy”. The link of cancer and heart disease to dairy consumption cannot be denied.

Of course there are a lot of naysayers out there who buy into this manipulation of words. The hostility I get when I use terms like “meat” in a meatless meatball, etc is nothing less than what the government is doing and did to companies like Hampton Creek, the creators of Just Mayo and Just Egg (now being called Just Scramble). I still can’t buy their non egg product made from mung bean because the FDA accuses Hampton Creek of bad practices and then closes the case without appeals. Target gets involved and drops all their products because of it. All this stemming from a fraudulent letter that was sent to Target. If this isn’t abuse of power from FDA I don’t know what is.

How is this America free? When corporations are being sued, threatened, tariffed by their own government because the companies they are in bed with some consumers no longer want. It’s the worst of America.

Here is a link to an article about Just Mayo and Target.

 

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The World’s First Cajun Vegan Restaurant [Restaurant Review]

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The other day I was in North Hollywood, CA looking for a place for lunch.  A quick “Vegan Restaurants near me” search found Krimsey’s Cajun Kitchen touted as the world’s first Cajun vegan restaurant.  I had to try it.  As many of the vegan restaurants we have visited, this one was in a small space in a strip mall.  The walls were decorated with all things Cajun, LSU banners, a poster of the New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees, and voodoo dolls.  There was an eclectic mix of tables and chairs that reminded me of my aunts’ kitchens we visited during hot summer vacations in the South.

Fried Okra with Vegan Ranch Dipping Sauce

Speaking of my aunts, when I saw fried okra on the menu, I had to try it.  I have enjoyed many servings of fried okra in those kitchens graced by Aunt Della, Aunt Roe, Aunt Sarah, and Aunt Norene usually accompanied by corn bread, and black eyed peas so my taste memory had great expectations.  They did not disappoint!  Fried perfectly, not oily, crunchy and served with vegan ranch dipping sauce.  This fried okra took me to a place of gratitude for my extended family we used to visit in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico; so many fond memories of those summer vacations.

New Orleans Poboy Sandwich

For my main dish, I had a hard time deciding between the classic Cajun dishes; gumbo, jambalaya,  and a choice of poboy sandwiches. Since it was lunch, I decided to go with the New Orleans Poboy sandwich.  In place of the traditional fried shrimp, they used fried hearts of palm, complimented by dill pickles and spicy house sauce.  The fried hearts of palm had the necessary crunch yet was soft inside and the mildly spicy house sauce added the cajun touch.  I loved this sandwich, it is a perfect lunch treat.

I ended my meal with warm, right out of the oven, vegan beignets, topped with powdered sugar.  They were light delicious, and melted in my mouth.

French Quarter Beignets

There was so much on the menu that I was not able to try, so I plan to come back again!

With Gratitude – Bruce

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