Chef Creates Life-Changing Vegan Cheese You Can Make in 15 Minutes

vegan-cheese

Fresh almond curd ricotta by Skye-Michael Conroy.

Cheese is the sticking point for many a well-intentioned vegetarian. And while store-bought vegan cheese is making the transition easier than ever — it turns out you can whip up miraculous dairy-free cheeses in just minutes in your home kitchen … all thanks to the genius of The Gentle Chef, Skye Michael Conroy.

Conroy’s recipes have earned him a cult following of people devoted to his recipes for cheeses, sauces, and other popular foodstuffs. His Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook, for example, has recipes for cream cheese, bleu cheese, chevre, muenster, pepper jack, hard parmesan — and almost every other cheese you can imagine. Not to mention non-dairy milks, butters, desserts, and more.

His mission is to recreate familiar textures and flavors for those who miss the taste of their favorite animal-based foods. Enthusiastic fans agree: he’s seriously onto something.

“Many people who embrace a plant-based diet do so for ethical reasons and not because they dislike the flavor and/or texture of meat, eggs and dairy products,” Conroy tells Latest Vegan News. “But finding satisfying plant-based alternatives is not always easy for individuals who once enjoyed the flavors and textures associated with these foods, or for individuals who grew up with meat-based dishes as a traditional part of their family or ethnic heritage. My work focuses on approximating the appearance, flavors and textures of meat, egg and dairy products that many of us grew up with: foods that are familiar and represent tradition and foods that evoke a feeling of nostalgia.”

In order to create the recipes for his cookbooks: The Gentle Chef Cookbook, The Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook, and Seitan and Beyond, he’s done extensive research.

“My recipes are the result of a great deal of study of food science related to dairy cheeses and an understanding of how to replicate those flavors and textures using plant-based ingredients,” he says. “Countless hours of experimentation went into each recipe with many failures before achieving success with a particular cheese.”

Conroy also shares lots of recipes on his blog, from cheddar and sour cream potato chip seasoning, to spicy Italian pancetta. If you want to make his epic recipes for cheddar, mozzarella, and other amazing re-creations, you’ll have to buy his cookbook. While the recipes are generally pretty simple, they do require some explicit instructions — and a few specialty ingredients (though most are easily available in stores or online).

In the meantime, here’s an easy recipe to tide you over:

Golden Cheddar Sauce
This velvety cheese sauce has a mild cheddar flavor that will please the entire family. It’s ideal for preparing macaroni and cheese and cheesy rice. Try pouring over freshly steamed vegetables or baked potatoes too. This recipe yields about 2 cups of sauce.

IngredientsDSC09024-001
1 and ¾ cup organic plain unsweetened soymilk or almond milk
¼ cup tapioca starch
¼ cup mild vegetable oil
¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 T mellow white miso paste
1 T tomato paste or 2 tsp tomato powder
2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
1 tsp fine sea salt or kosher salt
½ tsp dry ground mustard
½ tsp onion powder

Tip: For a tangier sauce, add 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice.

Preparation
Whisk the ingredients together in a small saucepan until smooth. Place over medium-low heat and stir slowly and continually with a flexible spatula until the mixture becomes bubbly, thickened, smooth and glossy. Please note that the golden color will develop as the cheese sauce cooks. Taste and add salt as desired and/or additional soymilk or almond milk to lighten the consistency to your preference. Reduce the heat to low to keep warm until ready to serve, stirring occasionally.

So what’s The Gentle Chef’s latest project? Eggs.

“I’m currently working on egg analogues that capture the appearance, flavor and texture of real eggs. I think this will be a game-changer for many who miss eggs.”

You can buy Conroy’s cookbooks at TheGentleChef.com, and follow him on Facebook. 

Follow Latest Vegan News on Facebook, on Twitter @LatestVeganNews, and Google+ , and sign up to receive our daily headlines in your inbox here. 

Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief

Hannah Sentenac, Editor-in-Chief

A wizard of words, lover of all living things and vegan mac 'n cheese master, Hannah is the Editor-In-Chief and Founder of LatestVeganNews.com. Her writing has appeared in Live Happy magazine, the Miami New Times, OneGreenPlanet.com, MindBodyGreen.com, and numerous other publications and websites. She's obsessed with Cocowhip, Just Mayo and Dandies marshmallows, and is totally addicted to the outdoors. You can reach Hannah directly at hannah.sentenac@gmail.com.

27 Responses

  1. Your post is so appropriately timed, as I spent all day working on three different cheeses to teach in my cooking class this Saturday! I love Skye’s recipes and passion. Thank you for this great information and I better get that book!!

  2. Alan says:

    I have the Non-Dairy Formulary – I think it was the forerunner of the Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook – and the cheese recipes were all good. IMO better than Miyoko Schinner’s. That said, the presentation of the book in those days wasn’t great so perhaps it’s improved.

  3. Susie says:

    Any cheese ideas without so much oil?

  4. Anne says:

    I would love for someone to make a shrimp replacement. I miss that texture more than anything else.

    • Shannon says:

      Sophie ‘s kitchen makes vegan seafood! You can buy it at whole foods in the frozen section

    • Rebecca says:

      Check Asian markets/vegetarian restaurants – the vegan chinese and vietnamese place near me have one that has a pretty good texture. In the frozen section, Sophie’s Kitchen has some frozen breaded “shrimp” and Vegetarian Plus also sells a frozen shrimp.

    • Gina Ellinger says:

      Have you tried Sophie’s Kitchen brand? So far their breaded shrimp are the closest in texture that Ive found. Not great, but not awful either. I like them crispy for dipping in sauces. For other recipes Im not certain how they’d be. Not gonna work if you dont like them breaded. I guess it would be possible to remove the breading. 😉

    • Amanda says:

      Google “Paradis Vegetarian” they ship all over the world and I can attest to the quality of their products! The shrimp is outstanding!

    • Rick Garcia says:

      There is vegan shrimp and other vegan seafood

    • Elisa says:

      This same chef, Chef Skye Michael Conroy is coming up with a new cookbook very soon and it’s all about seafood, he’s still working on it or maybe just the last details. He has been showing us pictures of his seafood creations and they look like the real thing, they look so delicious. Want to find out more? Go to his website at: http://www.thegentlechef.com and look for his FaceBook closed group so you all can join and learn more. 🙂

  5. Jordan Tucker says:

    http://www.theppk.com/2011/11/cashew-queso/#.URkZbdW8MH8.pinterest

    I only use oil to cook my onion and peppers in this recipe. However, you could definitely leave oil out completely.

  6. Ruth Riddle says:

    Gardein brand has just produced a vegan mini crab cake, which is delicious and healthy. This brand has many flesh analogs, from beefless tips to fish filets to meatballs to meatloaf to chicklenless strips. Really, an endless variety. Fred Meyer in the Pacific NW carries quite a few selections. If I want a specific Gardein product, I order it from my local health food market.

    • Add my vote for Gardein vegan mini crab cake and their fishless fillets. Fabulous! Put the fillet on a white hamburger bun with some Follow Your Heart (new and improved types only) or Chao and you’ve got a McD’s fish fillet replacement.

    • Robin says:

      Publix in Florida also carries many Gardein products.

  7. Ashley says:

    Beyond better cheese from whole foods is so good. It comes in powder form with prebiotic and natural vitamins. No oil and it is on the shelf. So good for you!

  8. Mark sutton says:

    My 60 cheese-like sauce recipes, that firm up when cooked, took me 5 years to develop and are no fat, using common ingredients (unlike tapioca flour): http://www.hearthealthypizza.com

  9. shannon says:

    just made this as mac and cheese. fabulous!

  10. Nancy P says:

    How about Baltimore or the surrounding area such as Towson – has major university and upscale communities or Columbia, MD

  11. Flaia says:

    Do you think it would taste as good if I eliminated the miso paste? I like miso, but it’s extremely high in sodium, and I am trying to really limit my sodium levels. Also, I only see it in the 8 ounce tubs, and I would not use it, except for this one recipe, so it would be money down the drain. I wonder what a good replacement for the miso could be.

    • Robin says:

      Miso keeps forever, something like 2 years. It’s used in many dishes, so you might find other uses for it.

  12. Connie Giacchino says:

    I have a problem with digesting soy, need to keep calcium, iron and protein levels up they dropped.
    I love nuts beans
    Not allergic to nuts thanks for that love almond milk coconut milk cant have soy any suggestions for a cheese lover lol

  13. Tania says:

    Brilliant would love more recipes😜for those requestimg lower in oil, sodium ..,that’s what cheese is … It’s not recommended to be a huge part of our diet .. Eat less 😊

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