The one thing that I miss the most while fasting from animal products during Great Lent is cheese. Not a day goes by where I don't want to come home after a day's work and gnaw on a provocative hunk of cheddar. But, the good thing about Great Lent is that it challenges me to do things I normally wouldn't - in this case, making vegan cheese or cheez. Like a lot of food bloggers, I am not big into following recipes, usually just inspired by them. One exception is the Vegan Diner cookbook by Julie Hasson. I've actually made/followed three of her recipes so far with this cheez being the third. I am forever a fan! I don't even own this cookbook - my husband picked it out at the library for me and I copied some recipes before returning it, but it's very worthy of permanent bookshelf space and I'm creeping amazon for a used version.
This cheese grew on my exponentially. The first taste there was a little funkytown going on, but by the 5th day it was all I wanted! I didn't use an ultra smoky paprika, but I will make the extra effort for the next time. Also, find agar powder at an Asian food store. I totally got punk'd by the $8 agar flakes from Whole Foods and I hope this does not happen to you.
This recipe pretty much sums up the Vegan Diner's originals. Get after that cheez!