As you will know if you know me or keep up with my blog I am now vegan! This has been a long time coming, I had been vegetarian since I was 13 and had been cutting back my dairy intake since moving away from home about 2 years ago. But about four months ago something clicked and I realised I needed to take the plunge. I’m not 100% sure why I decided that day that it was the right time, but clearly it was because I haven’t looked back. Warning- lots of kinda crappy photos of really yummy food (mainly pizzas) ahead!
This was meant to be a post about all the changes, both big and small, I have made on my vegan journey. I was going to talk about how you can make the transition smooth and easy… but instead I ended up rambling on about cheese. So I’m just gonna work with that for this post. Maybe I will write the post I was intending on writing at some point in the future, maybe I won’t. Let me know in the comments if you would like that and I will try my hardest to do so without getting distracted.
I was one of those people who always used to say “Yeah I could totally go vegan… except for cheese… I could never give up cheese”. Now I know you don’t have to give up cheese as a vegan! Vegan cheese has a bit of a reputation, people think it’s bad and is never going to live up to it’s dairy counterpart. This simply isn’t true. My personal favourite vegan cheese is Violife Original. Not only is it super yummy (it kinda tastes like edam but if you leave it open for a few days it matures a bit and tastes more cheddary) but it’s also super accessible; I buy mine in ASDA and it only costs £2.28! I love using it on pizza or just in a sandwich. It’s available in most supermarkets, healthfood stores and Holland and Barret and also comes in other varieties like cheddar and pizza cheese (although the original melts pretty well in my opinion).
If Violife isn’t for you then there’s loads of alternative out there, just pop to your local healthfood store and look in the fridge, there’s bound to be at least a few different brands. You can also make your own using soy milk or cashews or anything on this great list! Or if you just want that cheesy flavour how about trying Nutritional Yeast! It has a really cheesy flavour and is great to sprinkle over dishes much like parmesan. It also dissolves in liquid so can be used to make a great cheese sauce as well as containing lots of B12 goodness and being available at most healthfood stores, online and in some supermarkets in the freefrom section.
There are ready made food items involving vegan cheese too for those lazy days. I got the pizza and potato skins from Holland and Barret (I swear this isn’t sponsored by them, I just shop there a lot). The pizza was okay but the potato skins were amazing, although I currently cannot remember the brand name. Filled with gooey yummy vegan cheese and spicy meat free chorizo. Honestly one of the best things I have ever eaten. Some pizza places have vegan cheese as an option such as Village Pizza, I ordered from there twice when I was in London a few weeks ago, no regrets. You can also ask for no cheese and add your own at home (although do check that the base is vegan before doing this).
These cheese alternative not only cut out cruelty from your diet but they are all healthier than their dairy counterparts, yay! I hope this has inspired you to maybe think outside the box when it comes to cheese. If you want to know more about what vegan options there are in your area maybe have a look on facebook and see if there’s a page for local vegans like my local page Cornwall Vegans. Also be on the lookout for local vegan festivals- there were loads of stalls with different types of fancy vegan cheese at Vegfest so I know there’s more out there. I know I haven’t mentioned all the different brands and recipes that are out there so feel free to leave any more cheesy ideas in the comments.