Have you ever tried Vegan cheese?  It’s actually quite yummy!  I was hesitant at first….is it expensive?  Is it going to taste good?  What if I hate it?  Does it melt? And so many more questions crossed my mind, but I went for it and really enjoyed it.

My go-to brand of choice is Vegan Chao Slices.  You can find the Creamy Original and Tomato Cayenne flavors at your local Festival Foods.  Both are sold in a 7oz package and the cheese is pre-sliced.  It’s delicious on its own if you want to enjoy a slice right out of the package but also tastes lovely in the few dishes I’m about to share with you.

I admittedly started by trying each flavor on its own, so I knew what I was getting myself into.  The Creamy Original tastes like provolone cheese and the Tomato Cayenne tastes like a spiced cheddar cheese.  Needless to say, both had amazing flavor.  I knew I didn’t want to each package by the slice so I can up with a few simple recipes you can use to try each of the cheeses while also enjoying a complete meal.

First up is a Broccoli & Cheese Baked Potato.  Sounds simple enough, and who doesn’t love a good baked potato?  I think a loaded baked potato is a meal in itself so that’s exactly how I enjoyed it.  I baked the potato, steamed the broccoli, melted the cheese, and assembled my dinner.  It was awesome!  I’ll definitely be making it again sometime.

The recipe can be found here.  This is a Vegan recipe.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Wash and dry 2 large baking potatoes.  Run each potato with olive oil and place on a baking tray.  I like to poke each potato a few times with a fork before baking so don’t forget this step!  Bake the potatoes for 40-50 minutes or until you can easily insert a fork in the center of the potato.

Steam the broccoli in the microwave according to package instructions.  Pour the broccoli into a bowl.

I like to use vegetables that you steam in the package because it’s less work and less cleanup.  If you prefer to chop the broccoli and steam on the stove that will also work.

Break apart the cheese slices into small pieces and place in a microwave safe bowl.  I like that the cheese is pre-sliced because it makes this part a little easier and faster 🙂  Microwave on high for 30 seconds, then stir, then microwave for another 30 seconds, and stir again.  The cheese should be fully melted by this point but if it’s not, microwave again for another 30 seconds.  Pour the melted cheese over the broccoli and stir to coat.

Use a knife to slice open both potatoes.  Gently open both potatoes and add a heaping scoop (or 2) of the broccoli and cheese mixture onto each potato.  Serve warm and season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Yum!  Such a simple yet delicious meal.

The recipe can be found here.

Next up is Vegan Grilled Cheese.  I’m sure everyone reading has made plenty of grilled cheese sandwiches in their life so this one should be fairly easy to explain!  I do like to use the Tomato Cayenne slices for the grilled cheese sandwiches.  I think it adds great flavor and pairs really well with tomato soup, if you need something to dip your sandwich in!

The recipe can be found here.  This is a Vegan recipe.

Heat a griddle or large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Spread vegan butter on 1 side of 4 slices of bread.

Place 2 slices of bread, butter side down, on the griddle.

Top each piece with the sliced cheese.  Feel free to use the entire package of cheese, evenly distributed between each slice of bread.  This makes for a super cheesy and gooey sandwich.  If you want to use less cheese on each sandwich you can probably get about 4 sandwiches out of one package of cheese vs the 2 sandwiches I’m making.

Place the other 2 slices on bread on top of the cheese, butter side up.

Cook for about 3-4 minutes and then flip.  Make sure the bottom is golden brown and the cheese is starting to melt before flipping.

Cook the other side for about 3-4 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted.

Slice in half and serve warm with a side of tomato soup.  Such a simple meal but everyone is sure to enjoy it!  It’s hearty yet something you can enjoy year-round.

The recipe can be found here.

Lastly, is Mexican Pizza.  I absolutely love this recipe.  The crust is perfectly crisp, the refried beans make a great “sauce” and the veggies are tender.  You can customize the toppings to meet your needs, but everything is fresh and tastes great.  You won’t want to share this pizza!

The recipe can be found here.  This is a Vegan recipe.

If you want to use a homemade cauliflower crust, make sure to prepare the crust first.  I like to use frozen store-bought cauliflower pizza crusts.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Slice the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno.  Cook the corn according to package instructions or drain the corn if using canned corn.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the refried beans, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne.  Make sure you check the label on the refried beans if you have dietary restrictions.  A lot of refried beans are made with lard, but you can find refried beans that are vegan / vegetarian friendly.

Place the cauliflower crust on a baking sheet.  Spoon a layer of the refried bean mixture onto the crust, making sure to spread the beans to the edges.  I did not use all the refried beans when making this recipe…it was too much for my taste, so we warmed the beans and at them as a side dish but use as much or as little of the refried beans as you like.

Top with the sliced onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno.  Then sprinkle with the corn.  Again, add as much or as little as you like on your pizza.

Top with the cheese.  I like to use the Creamy Original cheese.  I either break apart little pieces to put all over the pizza or cut each slice of cheese into strips to be added to the pizza.  It helps the cheese melt and cover more of the pizza.

Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the veggies are tender.  Slice and enjoy!

I don’t think there will be any slices left!

The recipe can be found here.

Happy Cooking!

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