Vegan Cheese And Party Planning
Credit: Madeleine Ball a.k.a Madprime (cc)

When your planning a soiree for the greentongues, it's essential your trays bear dazzling alternative offerings. Most of the green eaters you know have tried just about everything from processed to homespun vegan formulations. You'll find surprising them incredibly difficult (unless they're newly greened), but you can't fail to please them if you know which vegan cheese and condiment investments are most likely to inspire mass applause.


Daiya And Follow Your Heart For Your Melts

Both “Daiya” and “Follow Your Heart” are vegan cheese titans that excel on dishes calling for melt and high flavor. Daiya is a tad blander than Follow Your Heart, but it's spot-on in the flavor and melt department for traditional items that require ethical substitutes. For pepperjack Daiya, however, you can easily sprinkle your Daiya mozzarella with cayenne pepper and save yourself the extra investment (their pepperjack isn't the greatest – stick to their mozz and cheddar).

If you're serving mini pizzas, the daiya mozz and cheddar are a winning combination. Cafe Viva in New York's East Village seem to use both, and their vegan pizza is the best I've ever tasted.

You'll want to look to Follow Your Heart's Monterey Jack flavor for your quesadillas. It is pure magik in this realm of comfort food. Some swear by their cheddar flavor as a nacho melt, but I vehemently disagree that it should be used on anything. In fairness, I have never had FYH cheddar on nachos, but when I did have under other circumstances, it was enough to prevent me from ever ordering another block.


Cheezly and Dr. Cow's For Your Finger Foods

Some brands of vegan cheese will bless the crackers of your guests, while others will surely earn you a glare. To avoid the latter, you'll want to steer clear of both Daiya and Follow Your Heart in their present form. Either of the two “can” be used as a non-melted cheese, but it isn't really the area in which they excel. Winning decision-making will land you in the court of Cheezly, and, some believe, Dr. Cow's expensive cultured “cheez.”

Before there was Daiya, there was Cheezly. Sadly, as exceptional as it is in the order of vegan cheese, it can be quite difficult to obtain in the states. Dr. Cow's is easier to acquire, but ensure the retailer's shipping is quick as it can go bad very quickly. It is also incredibly expensive and something to save for the swankiest of affairs. That said, there are some green tongues that bow to its alter, and there are those who find it revolting. You will have to be the judge of whether or not, you wish to use it on your crackers.


DIY Splendor For Your Sauces And Spreads

Daiya and Follow Your Heart are “okay” in vegan cheese sauce, but the DIY recipes out there easily have them beat. The famous vegan cheese sauce from the Post Punk Kitchen is incredibly easy and quick to whip up, and a Tahini-Curry powder-Braggs Liquid Amino formulation rises as a true winner among sauces.

All you'll need for the former is nutritional yeast, unrefined flour, mustard, garlic and onion powder (not salt), and a sprinkle of seasalt. For the latter, you can add a few tablespoons of tahini and a teaspoon each of curry powder and Braggs Liquid Aminos to a thickened soy milk or rice milk “cream” (add a teaspoon or two of arrowroot or non-gmo cornstarch to vegan milk to thicken) for PurpleZoe's “Swoonworth” cheez.


Additionally useful purchases and DIY projects for your ethical fete include Vegenaise (or your alternative vegan mayo), Tofutti's Sour Cream or Cream cheese (as needed – there are solid recipes for this if you prefer to make your own), and for sweeter offerings, So So delicious coconut milk icecream (which comes in a pleasing array of heart-lighting flavors).


Happy event planning, Greenies.