Thursday, 5 September 2013

Cookbook Challenge Week 37 - The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

This week I have been cooking from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook from Joanne Stepaniak. I wanted to buy this book for a while but it was always quite expensive (£18 range), however I decided to splash out a few weeks ago and unfortunately I have to say that although the recipes look brilliant, some I found disappointing.

The Uncheeses -

Muenster - I have never had Muenster before I became Vegan so I don't have anything to compare this with, I found it a little bland and uninspiring.

Swizz - I was going to make the Monterey Jack but the recipe was almost identical to the Muenster so I opted for the Swizz instead and I'm glad I did. I had a lot more taste and was far better than the Muenster.

Colby - This was my favourite of the 4 I made, flavoured with pepper and garlic it tasted really lovely and I will be trying it again although possibly with more red pepper. The only fault I found with it (I also found it with the Gee Whiz Spread which I made on the same day) was that it tasted too much of lemon. I used to specified amount in the recipe but it was a little too sharp and lemony, I will definitely use less next time.

Gee Whiz Spread - This was a nice spreadable cheez with a good taste, it worked really well spread on sandwiches or on toast and got better the longer it was left in the fridge, a reviewer on Amazon recommended making this with chickpeas instead of the white beans which I might try as I think they would be an improvement.

Overall I liked the cheeses, the only thing I didn't like was the texture. They didn't contain as much agar as other vegan cheese recipes so I found these a little crumbly/watery. This might be down to my agar or it could be intentional by the author to help the cheeses melt but if I use these recipes again I will throw a bit more in to firm them up:

Above is Muenster (Bottom right with the red tinge to the top) and Swiz Cheese (Top Right)

Above is Gee Whiz Spread (Small tub on the left) and Colby (Big chunks in the centre)

Gooey Grilled Cheese - I was really looking forward to this, I followed the recipe to the letter and ended up with a very lemony tasting grilled cheese (maybe my lemons are just a bit too strong?). Very disappointing.

Classic Quiche - The texture of this was really good (chickpea flour helped with that) but I found the taste disappointing. There was was bit of nutritional yeast and nutmeg in this for flavouring, but other than that it was missing out on a lot of taste. I put some mushrooms and vegan ham in but they didn't add much flavour either, it really could have been improved with some onion & garlic powder and maybe some soya sauce/tamari/liquid aminos:

Traditional Macaroni & Cheese - I was really looking forward to this but it really was as fantastic as I expected. It certainly wasn't bad, but I have had far better vegan versions in the last few years (I topped mine with some vegan parmesan for extra taste):

Cheezy Rice and Broccoli Casserole - this was quite good, the texture was nice and it was quick and easy to make, the only improvement I would make would be the addition of some onion powder, maybe some soya cheese and a bit more nutritional yeast: 

Philly Potato Chowder - This was really good, a thick and cheesey soup topped with fake bacon bits. Lovely and definitely one to make again:

Cheez-A-Roni - The best recipe that I tried, it was a combination of tomatoes, Gee Whiz Spread, nutritional yeast and pasta. It was a very tasty, quick and easy to make comfort food which I will definitely be making again:

Overall I did like this book, some of the recipes weren't great but they were really quick to make and it gave me some great ideas for making Vegan cheeses that are a lot faster to make than those in Artisan Vegan Cheese, with a few tweaks I think they could be really great (that notwithstanding my favourite is still the Smokey Mountain Cheese from Vegan Diner). I also now have a few new items in my "to cook regularly" list from this book so thats always a plus and there are some other recipes that I really want to try from it (peanut butter fudge pie anyone?).


  1. I've had this book for a little while now, but I didn't get to use it much.

  2. Have you tried the Crock Cheez? That's definitely my favourite recipe from the book.

    1. I have not tried it but I certainly will now :-)