When it comes to food, rarely will one item cause more debate than cheese. There are those that fall into the camp that we can’t live without the stuff and liken it to a deity in need of worship. Then there’s the other camp that knows cheese contains a boatload of saturated fat and sodium along with a bushel of cruelty and a side order of heroin-like addictive properties. It’s probably pretty apparent which camp we fall into, it doesn’t really even need to be said…the second camp. We fall into the second camp.
One thing everyone can agree on is that cheese is consumed solely due to it’s taste. Even die hards get a little squeamish when the examine where it comes from and what’s in it too closely. They power through because they like the flavor. Well, here’s the amazing news. All of the stuff that people love to put chunks of cheddar on can be made without even a shred of the gooey grossness that is cheese. Seriously! From lasagna to grilled cheese to cheeseballs at the holidays, there’s no need for fatty feta or stinky swiss. Prepare to indulge in creamy, tangy, plant-based bliss!
This Creamy Pumpkin and Spinach Lasagna is an extraordinarily healthy indulgence. A single serving packs nearly 11 grams of protein, more than eight grams of dietary fiber, and more than 400 percent of your daily requirement for Vitamin A. Although it’s meant to serve two, it could easily serve four. The only problem is, once you’ve licked off the last of the crumbs you might be left wishing you had made more.
What’s not to love about Brazil nuts? They are the best source of selenium on the planet. And these powerhouse nuts are also a complete protein, filled with a laundry list of vitamins and trace minerals. This a super easy recipe for Brazil Nut Parmesan, quick to prepare and much better for you than dairy parmesan. Perfect for pizza, pasta, and salads.
Making this gluten-free Tomato and Garlic Foccacia is similar to making pizza but without the rolling and flipping. Just make the dough, shape it into a pan, let it rise, add your toppings and bake. That’s it. The hardest part of making it was learning to spell focaccia!
. You’ll love these superfood-charged Maca Cheese Bowls because they’re loaded with cheezy flavor and not overloaded with unpronounceable ingredients. They’re vegan, gluten-free, full of good fat and protein. Unlike most vegetable-based recipes my version uses summer squash which gives the sauce body without the heaviness of butternut squash or sweet potato. This recipe also features the energy and libido-boosting superfood, maca!
6. Chili Cheese Turnip Fries
These Chili Cheese Turnip Fries will be your new favorite “healthy junk food” snack to enjoy with friends – or devour all by yourself
7. Lemon, Basil, and Tofu Feta Stuffed Mushrooms
Let’s make “popcorn” today! This Cheesy Cauliflower Popcorn is salty and crunchy while being a nutritious alternative to corn. Showcasing turmeric, often called “the queen of spices”, with its immunity and metabolism boosting benefits, this snack tastes great and is gentle on your body.
If you want a change of pace and a little spice to your regular twice baked potatoes, these Spicy Turmeric Twice-Baked Potatoes are just for you! They are very flavorful with the spices of turmeric and cumin and a little spicy from red pepper flakes. This recipe uses two potatoes, which could be a meal for two or a side dish for four. And don’t worry if you’re not a fan of white potatoes; these can be made with sweet potatoes, too!
Since avocados are nature’s butter, why not let them make your homemade vegan cream cheese more luxurious? In this Garlic Herb Avocado Cashew Cream Cheese, avocados are combined with a thick cashew cream. Add savory garlic and herbs or strawberries, walnuts or whatever is in your favorite bagel spread.
You’ll get so lost in this Zucchini and Tomato Lasagna, you may forget for a moment that it’s raw and healthy. Marinated zucchini and tomatoes are layered with a cashew herb cheese for a surprisingly decadent dish.
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If you’ve ever tried the biscuits at Red Lobster, you know how insanely delicious they are and if you’ve ever seen the nutritional info on them, you know why you should avoid them. These Red Lobster-Style Cheddar Biscuits, however, have all the great cheesy, garlicky taste, and none of the bad stuff. So you can feel good about digging in.
For this yummy Cheesy Sprouted Brown Rice, you mix brown rice with a creamy, non-dairy cheesy sauce made from veggies and cashews, sautéed onions, mushrooms, and spinach. Top it off with a little bit of spice and, BAM — delicious.
This Southwestern Grilled Cheese Sandwich is filled with bold and spicy flavors. Inside the toasty bread are salsa-infused mashed beans with grilled sweet potatoes and jalapeño garlic Havarti cheese. This sandwich is a perfect balance of flavors, taste, and health to keep you happy … and full!
Quesadillas are one of everyone’s favorite recipes. And while the cheese-filled options definitely dredge up some nice food memories, quesadillas are also easy to make without cheese at all. In fact, these Veggie-Loaded Quesadillas are so filling and contain such a flavorful filling, you’ll wish you’d try the cheese-free options years ago!
Vanilla chocolate chunk cheesecake with peanut butter and coconut. …Uhhh, yes please. This Raw Chocolate Chunk Cheesecake is just perfect in every way. The crust is perfectly chewy, the filling is sweet and creamy, thanks to a combination of dates and bananas, and the flavors are great for any time of year.
Ah, cheese balls — ever present at every family gathering. When you’re standing around snacking on this Extra Sharp Raw Cheddar Cheese Ball made from cashews at a family gathering, you feel like you’ve got the most coveted spot in the kitchen. If you take this to a real live potluck, you’d better guard it fiercely so it doesn’t simply disappear while your back is turned, leaving you cheeseless and forlorn. Luckily, this recipe is ridiculously simple with only about 10 minutes of hands-on time.
These Spicy Vegan Nachos will make every day feel like a fiesta day! Corn tortilla chips topped with vegan cheese, salsa, olives, and cilantro give you maximum flavor in every bite. It’s like a party in your mouth!
Enchilada police: arrest us now. These Raw Enchiladas are too delicious to be legal. A chunky salsa of avocado, tomato, onion, and cilantro, mixed with a walnut taco meat, spiced with cumin and coriander, all wrapped up in raw tomato-corn tortillas and covered in a creamy cashew cheese sauce. This is savory food heaven. These are epic. Not authentic at all (you can’t be when you make something raw and vegan, just being frank here), but mind-blowingly tasty nonetheless. It’s quite a simple recipe and doesn’t take long to make at all, not including dehydration time for the tortillas. The taco nut meat is almost too good to be true, and the cashew cheese sauce will make you sing. It goes without saying that the salsa is fabulous. Make these now, then freak out with joy.
19. ‘Cheese’ and Veggie Pie
Simple, yet tasty — that’s this “Cheese” and Veggie Pie. The best thing about this pie is all the possibilities. Root vegetables, grilled vegetables, fresh garden greens, filo pie crust, plain flour pie crust, puff pastry crust, and more. Let your imagination run wild!
This Grilled “Cheesy Mac n’ Rib” Pizza is an ooey-gooey combination of mac n’ cheese, caramelized onions and BBQ seitan. Pretty much, it’s the perfect pizza. Just make sure you provide plenty of napkins, because mess-free eating is not an option with this pizza!
Next time you think there’s no life after cheese, just try one of these recipes!
Lead image source: Southwestern Grilled Cheese Sandwich