Miyoko’s Sharp Cheddar-Style Cheese Sauce

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

Here’s the thing about the very best Miyoko’s cheeses: You have to act fast. And when we learned that Miyoko’s had a new cheese sauce, we did just that. (It was then sold out for a while, and now it’s back! So…act fast.)

This Sharp Cheddar-Style Cheese Sauce is phenomenal. While many plant-based folks make homemade cheese sauce that is very good, I’m not among them, and, until recently, I had yet to find a truly incredible cheesy sauce that requires nothing more than pouring it over pasta to make a delicious meal.

But now, there’s this:

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As with other Miyoko’s cheeses, this ships in two days via FedEx, and it comes in smallish containers (one meal, basically, for no more than a pound of pasta, and less if you want it to be super cheesy).

IMG_4514Because it’s cashew-based, the ingredients separate a bit, so you have to give it a good stir, then heat it over the stove until it gets thick and creamy — about 10 minutes or so.

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The result is a beautiful, thick, cheesy sauce that is perfect for pasta shells. And, just for a little variety, we also tried it with macaroni, which was equally delicious.

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As many vegan cheese lovers know, consistency is among the toughest things to perfect when it comes to plant-based cheeses, but Miyoko’s nails it. And this sauce also has the sharp, cheddary flavor of any classic mac-and-cheese recipe.

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Don’t forget to ask your local retailers about carrying Miyoko’s cheeses … we are thrilled to see them in no fewer than four of our local stores, and counting, in many different flavors. But ordering online has its benefits, too — Mikoyo’s donates 1% of its online sales to an animal rights/vegan nonprofit.

 

 

 

Kite Hill Cream Cheese – Chive

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

Though I love Daiya’s cream cheese, when I saw Kite Hill‘s chive cream cheese at Whole Foods, I thought I’d give it a try.

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Wow. This cream cheese is even more amazing than Daiya’s. It’s creamier, and the chive flavor is far stronger and fresher.

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The reason the photo below is of a cracker rather than a bagel is because this cream cheese is rich and flavorful enough to serve on crackers (though of course we can’t wait to try it on bagels, too).

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If you can find it, check it out…and enjoy.

Kite Hill Brie

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

This Kite Hill cheese is called “Artisan Almond Milk Product – Soft Ripened.”

In other words, it’s vegan brie. And it’s delicious.

IMG_1071This soft, creamy, melt-in-your mouth vegan cheese has the tangy, ripened flavor of real brie — as well as the texture. It has a sharp rind and a rich, creamy interior.

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I highly recommend this vegan cheese for any occasion in which a cheese plate is called for…I’ve tried it out on non-vegans who couldn’t believe how tasty it is. And, best of all, it’s cholesterol- and cruelty-free.

Enjoy!

Kite Hill Soft Fresh Original

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

This Kite Hill almond milk cheese has a lovely, rich, nutty flavor.

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However, its clammy, slightly rubbery texture doesn’t make it the best cheese for spreading onto crackers.

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The Kite Hill website suggests that this cheese can “be served warm with fresh bread or crostini” — and warming it up might be a good way to go. Served cold, the cheese doesn’t spread well; it’s far too crumbly … yet we did find that it makes a nice foundation for bruschetta; the tomato mixture holds the crumbles in place, and the creaminess of the cheese is delicious.

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This Soft Fresh Original reminds me of ricotta, but Kite Hill actually has another ricotta-style cheese, which we haven’t been able to find locally yet.

This Soft Fresh Original is also a great vegan cheese for sprinkling over salads … it enhances lettuce and veggies with its rich, creamy, subtle, savory flavor.

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So while this isn’t the best cheese for spreading on crackers straight out of the fridge, if you’re looking for a nice crumbly vegan cheese for myriad other purposes, check out Kite Hill Soft Fresh Original.

Miyoko’s Smoked Chive Farmhouse

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

Because we’re such huge fans of Miyoko’s Double Cream Chive as well as Smoked Farmhouse, we couldn’t resist this limited edition Smoked Chive Farmhouse.

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This lovely cheese is far more smoky than chivey, and for those who love a bit of smoke, this one tastes even smokier than the regular Smoked Farmhouse. It’s a firm cheese, more sliceable than spreadable, and while it was terrific on crusty bread, it would also be very tasty on any sandwich or chopped/shredded into a salad.

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Because it’s a limited edition cheese, don’t miss your chance to order. And, as if you need a reason to eat this yummy vegan cheese, Miyoko’s will donate 1% of online sales this June to Vegan Outreach.

Miyoko’s Napa Valley in a Brandy-Cured Grape Leaf

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

When we saw that Miyoko’s Kitchen was offering a Limited Edition cheese, in a brandy-cured leaf no less, we couldn’t resist.

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The Napa Valley in a Brandy-Cured Grape Leaf is, like so many Miyoko’s cheeses, a thing of beauty.

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This cheese soaked in a bit of the brandy it was wrapped in and has a hint of flavor and sweetness, and it otherwise has a lovely nutty, slightly smoky flavor.

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This soft, creamy cheese is rich and indulgent — and we highly recommend trying it while it’s available. It’s perfect for early summer feast with fresh bread or crackers.

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In Los Angeles? Check out Vromage…

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

Los Angeles is a bit of a vegan heaven, and now for one more reason: Vromage.

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This all-vegan-cheese shop is now open in West Hollywood. Here’s a glimpse at the menu:

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And you don’t need to be in L.A. to enjoy Vromage…visit the online store to shop for such items as Veganzola, Feta Herb, Asiago, Brie, Pepperjack, and Truffle Cream.

We will be reviewing these vegan delicacies as soon as we can get our hands on them…

Vtopian Sharp Cheddar

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

We were glad to have the opportunity to try another Vtopian cheese — sharp cheddar.

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Like the other Vtopian cheeses we’ve tried, this one tasted more sweet than sharp (as with the caramelized onion camembert, this one contains soy-based yogurt). As Dana pointed out, “That’s what you get cheese for, the kick.”

Yet despite not being as sharp as we’d expected, this cheese still had a wonderfully cheesy texture.

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We paired this wine, by the way, with Trinity Oaks Pinot Noir, one of our favorite vegan reds.

Vtopian Caramelized Onion Camembert

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

Today we present Vtopian‘s Caramelized Onion Camembert.

caramelized onionThis cheese wedge, thanks to its caramelized onion topping, is quite sweet and would make a great dessert cheese.

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In general, we noticed that Vtopian cheeses have a longer list of ingredients than either Treeline or Mikoyo’s (which generally have under ten ingredients), and the sweetness in this wedge seems to come from the soy-based yogurt. Despite the sweetness of this cheese, the total sugar is less than 1 gram per 1-ounce serving. And the major ingredients of Vtopian cheeses are organic.

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We had a lovely vegan-friendly wine — Guenoc Victorian Claret — which, thanks to its complexity and spice, made a great pairing with this sweetish cheese.

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Treeline Cracked Pepper

Midge Raymond

Midge Raymond is a co-founder of Ashland Creek Press. She is the author of the novel My Last Continent and the award-winning short story collection Forgetting English.

Latest posts by Midge Raymond (see all)

While many vegans are looking for cheese to melt on sandwiches or in recipes, one of the things I missed most (until now) was simply snacking on cheese and crackers…which wasn’t always easy to do. Treeline‘s cracked pepper cheese, however, is perfect for slicing and nibbling.

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This cheese comes in a small package (which doesn’t last long in my house), but which would be perfect for a small party…probably 2-4 people could enjoy this little round of delicious, creamy, peppery cheese.

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It slices beautifully, and the pepper that layers the top adds a wonderful kick to an otherwise smooth, nutty flavor. There is no way a non-vegan would not love this cheese (gluten-free and made of cashews) — so it’s a great item to bring to parties and gatherings.

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Visit Treeline to learn more about its delicious cheese (and we have more reviews of Treeline cheeses to come, so visit us again!). I especially love Treeline’s page Why We’re Dairy-Free, and don’t miss the company’s FAQ page, which will tell you all about Treeline’s cheeses and why nut cheeses are so much healthier than dairy.