I’ve been trying to decide if I should do a review-post that wasn’t exactly positive. Most of the things I review are things that I’ve pretty much loved and continue to use. But the two items I’m going to talk about today get a ‘meh’ rating. They aren’t bad, per se, just not something I plan to consume again. So not really a negative review so much as a ‘it was ok’ review.
Let me preface with, when I became vegetarian over a decade ago, I tried some of the ‘fake’ stuff and decided it was gross and it seemed counter-intuitive to eat fake meat anyway. So we didn’t try to fake it, I simply learned to cook differently. I used the same philosophy when I became a vegan a year ago… don’t fake it.
I guess if you want to be snarky, you might ask why I use soy milk and soy margarine, but that’s not really what I mean. What I mean is trying to make something taste like the non-vegetarian item… soy milk does not taste like cow’s milk, which is just fine by me. The veggie burgers I eat do not taste like hamburger, by design. So that’s where I’m going when I say I don’t try to fake it. I might want something creamy but I don’t necessarily want it to taste like cream, understand?
So when we became vegan, I avoided fake cheeses. You may have noticed that my calzone, foccacia, and yummy bread are great pizzas without even attempting to use cheese. And even though I do bake cakes and cookies, I don’t really use egg replacer so much as I use baking soda and vinegar.
Why am I telling you this? Well, because…
There’s been a lot of hype lately about a vegan cheese on the market. On April 1st, Daiya was made available at all whole foods stores. I was not privy to that information when I was in whole foods the other day and noticed a sign at the pizza station stating that they could make vegan pizzas using Daiya. I’d heard so much good stuff about Daiya lately that I was intrigued, so I went to talk to the cheese gal and my taste-tester asked the pizza guy. After a few more people were given to me to help me, my taste-tester arrived stating that the pizza guy said he uses a white block of vegan cheese for the pizzas. I found Follow Your Heart, but not Daiya. I carried the Follow Your Heart over to the pizza guy and he said, yea that’s it. Hmmm… it’s not Daiya, though… I decided to do more research and put it back.
When I got home I found out that Daiya was now available at whole foods. I searched and found a picture of the cheese in question, it was not a block of vegan cheese, it was shreds… I’m glad I waited. I also learned that Daiya is used in some premade vegan items, like Amy’s Non Dairy Rice Mac & Cheeze. I have liked just about every Amy’s product I’ve tried, so I decided to give this vegan cheese, Daiya, a try by having it prepared by a chef I usually like.
Yes, it was creamy, stretchy and all the things that make it resemble cheese. And yes it had a bit of a cheddar-like taste… but overall, it was missing umph. The mac and cheeze reminded me of school lunch room mac and cheese, certainly not my favorite. For me, I think I’m going to stick to just omitting cheese from my diet, it works well for me. Besides it is one less processed food I’m consuming.
Amy’s Non Dairy Rice Mac & Cheeze… Rating: Meh, Skip it
The other meh review item is overnight oats… it is another item that is all a buzz on food blogs. I mixed some oats with a banana, agave, a splash of soy milk, and amazing grass – amazing meal, chocolate infusion (a.k.a. protein powder) together, and refrigerated overnight.
The next morning I tried the overnight oats… meh. I don’t know if it was the graininess from the powder I used (**see sidebar) or I just didn’t like the overall texture. For me, I think I will stick to baking with oats, raw oat bars, or just plain old fashioned cooking on the stove top.
Overnight oats… Rating: Meh, Skip it
**Sidebar: I accidentally bought amazing grass – amazing meal, chocolate infusion rather than amazing grass – chocolate green superfood… I am not happy. While the flavor is similar, the ‘meal’ is very powdery and grainy. Looking at the ingredients the thing that is different is that the ‘meal’ has added hemp and rice protein powder. I’ve tried this in many things and am always disappointed by the graininess. 😐 **
So that was my meh post… sorry that I didn’t have a stellar review to report… but if I’m honest, then I’ll post reviews that don’t always end up as glowing reviews. Do you really trust a reviewer that says everything is awesome?
Until next time…