When my husband and I went vegan 12 years ago, I could tell he was slightly anxious. Growing up in Finland, dairy was a huge part of his life – cheese in particular. Not only did we always have cheese in the house, he regularly bought those fancy cheeses from Whole Foods. Whenever we would have people over for a dinner party or movie night, a cheese platter was a given.
Very early on in our vegan journey, we were at a potluck and someone put out vegan cheeses that were seriously next level. My husband nearly lost his mind. Our new friend, Jackie, came over and nonchalantly dropped that she made the cheeses from scratch. “You made these?” I asked. “How??” A few days later The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook by Jo Stepaniak magically appeared in our mail box. Jackie had bought it for us. She swore by the recipes and knew this is exactly what my husband needed to satisfy his cheese cravings.
As you can see, Jackie wasn’t playing. Years later, and we still use this cookbook all the time. Even with all the commercially available stuff nowadays, the recipes in this book are still extremely impressive. Not only that, they’re super easy. Stepaniak has an ingenious way of re-creating the flavors and textures of cheese with just a few ingredients and simple cooking steps.
This week I made one of my all-time favorites, her vegan Muenster Cheez. It looked so good and tasted so AMAZING I knew I had to write about it. Just look at these pictures! I reached out to Stepaniak and asked if I could share the recipe and she gave me permission. ❤️
If you want to try your hand at vegan cheesemaking get her book! Another recipe we love is her Crock Cheez – it’s also sensational and sooo easy.
Now for the recipe you’ve been promised!
Makes 1 (3-cup) block
1 ½ cups water
5 TBL agar flakes or 1 ½ TBL agar powder (we order agar powder from Amazon)
½ cup firm silken tofu (optional – we don’t use it)
½ cup chopped raw cashews or skinless Brazil nuts (we use cashews)
¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 TBL sesame tahini
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp dry mustard
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp ground caraway seeds or coriander (we use coriander)
Lightly oil a 3-cup plastic storage container, and sprinkle paprika over the sides and bottom until lightly coated. Set aside. Combine the water and agar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, until dissolved, about 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and add the remaining ingredients. Process several minutes until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender jar as necessary (we use our Vitamix). Pour into the prepared container and cool uncovered in the refrigerator. When completely cool, cover and chill several hour or overnight. To serve, turn out of the container and slice. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator. Will keep five to seven days.