Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy!

That is my BF Chris’s triumphant cry when we indulge in a particularly cheese-laden dish, generally pizza. Mo’ cheese, mo’ better is his motto.

So when making the switch to a plant-based diet, the thought of forgoing cheese was painful. I remember only a couple of years ago snorting in a most un-ladylike way when a guy at a reception told me that I could make delicious cheese from nuts.

But never let it be said that I won’t eat my words if I’m proved wrong and in this case, I was!

I have tried most of the vegan cheeses available locally at Sprouts, Whole Foods, Fresh & Easy including Daiya and Follow Your Heart, but I have to say they are just okay. There are some wonderful creative chefs out there who are pushing the boundaries of cheesemaking with great results. Check out Skye Michael Conroy’s latest cookbook THE NON-DAIRY REVOLUTION COOKBOOK, available on Amazon and the author’s website, He also has THE GENTLE CHEF COOKBOOK and THE NON-DAIRY EVOLUTION FORMULARY: Cuisine for the Ethical Gourmet and that certainly describes me.

There is also a page on Facebook where Chef Skye’s adherents post pics of their successful renditions of cheese boards and I must say it is impressive. Also have discovered some terrific bloggers doing great things in the plant-based food world, like this recipe for Vegan Feta by Jo Hobson of Including Cake.


Vegan feta – Credit: Jo Hobson,

I’m also dying to try the recipes from super cheesemaker Miyoko Shinner in her latest cookbook. So I went online and ordered the ingredients that sub for animal-derived products like rennet, and replaced with kappa-carrageenan and super agar among others. All the ingredients in the cookbook are readily available on Amazon or from speciality companies like Modernist Pantry who carry a full-range of culinary products for both vegan and non-vegan chefs.

But I have discovered that I have an irrational deep-seated fear of making cheese – or at least making cheese badly – so the ingredients have been gathering dust in my pantry for months.

As next week is my birthday, I have asked my vegan warrior Princess Pamela Whistley to open her kitchen so we can make some cheese together. Fearful things are always lessened by the presence of a good friend with vast knowledge, right?

I will post pics of my results so you can judge if I have any talent for this pursuit. Just thinking about cheese cake, fondue, a wheel of brie, moussaka with feta…I’m drooling already.

Cheesy, cheesy, cheesy!


Lisa Lyons

Lisa Lyons
“I smile as a cause and not an effect…”


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