Daiya Casein Free Cheese... amazing.


Tonight I made buffalo chicken nachos. Well kinda, they were supposed to be buffalo chicken quesadillas but the tortillas were a major fail when I didn't pay attention to the recipe... so I used tortilla chips instead. Every Thursday at work is buffalo chicken day. It's a big deal and I am always a little bit sad that I'm missing out on the gluteny, breaded, buttery, spicy, fried deliciousness that is buffalo chicken tenders. I'm really working hard at staying true to the gf/cf diet so I decided that since tomorrow is buffalo chicken day, I would make my own!

I really wanted quesadillas and I have a big box of Better Batter that I've been meaning to use so I thought I'd try the awesome tortilla recipe from their website. This normally would be an easy recipe to make but became a major undertaking because it just so happened to be 95 degrees here. I don't have air conditioning. Who takes on a cooking project on a day like today? Me. I also have never made buffalo sauce before either, and only within the past couple of years have I actually even become a fan of the stuff. The motivator for this project though, was the cheese. I haven't had cheese melted on anything in a long time and I heard about this amazing product called Daiya and I just had to try it.

Recently I've been reading a lot about Daiya on the blogs and people are raving about it, so I went to Whole Foods today and bought a pack of each of the cheddar and mozzarella versions. Daiya is a dairy, casein, soy, rice and gluten free cheese alternative. It's vegan and also free of artificial ingredients and preservatives. The main ingredient in the cheddar is tapioca and/or arrowroot flours. Weird huh? Not only does it melt and stretch, it actually tastes like the real stuff!!! I'm amazed.

I broiled some chicken tenders, made the sauce (melt hot sauce and earth balance together, viola!) and set to work on the tortillas, but the dough just wouldn't come together. I couldn't figure out why and was in too much of a rush so I gave up on that. Put the chicken in the buffalo sauce, put that on top of some chips, topped it off with cheddar cheese and melted it in the microwave. Put a dollop of CF sour cream (Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream) on the side to cut the heat of the buffalo sauce. Oh my gosh this was so yummy. And almost completely all natural and organic, not to mention completely gluten and dairy free. Cheesy, creamy, buttery goodness without the stomach ache. I took a picture but it is VERY unappetizing so I'm not going to post it, but it tasted so good. I am totally amazed by Daiya. It is excellent. I don't know how they turn flour and other ingredients into cheese that melts and stretches but they did it and it's awesome. I highly recommend it!


1artsychick said…
I am majorly considering going dairy free and it sounds like this stuff just might it not so hard. I mean I live cheese. When I was little I used to sing this song.."I love Cheese, from my head down to my knees! Oh I love Cheese!.." it was in response to the old "I love eggs commercial, which is probably way before your time. lol

But I'm also thinking about going totally non-grain. Does tapioca count? I don't think arrowroot does. I don't know yet. Again, it's in the thought stage. But I've been gluten free for 5 years now and I've started feeling icky again, so something isn't right, and a friend of mine is doing the Paleo diet and is swearing by it. He actually looks better than he has in years!

I always find your blog so inspiring, especially when I read your story.
I've been slacking off on my blog recently because I'm thinking about such a major change.

I think it's sad you are left out at work. Good for you to try and make your own!!

No air conditioning? I would not be a happy person. I did it when I was younger, but not now. Peri-menopause is not happy being hot. LOL

Jen said…
Wendy thanks so much for your comments!! I have often considered going Paleo myself, I do feel that even gluten free grain based foods aren't necessarily a good thing. It's a big commitment though so for now I just try to eat less grains and more natural foods.

I did a little reading on Tapioca and it sounds like it's made from a root (vegetable?). A tuber? It's a starch but I think a vegetable starch, not a grain. Don't quote me on that though!
JulieB said…
I have been using Daiya for several months now, and I have placed multiple orders with the company. It is now a staple in my fridge, and my husband who can eat dairy, likes it very much. It has a nice melt to it, and I love it on pizzas or in a grilled sandwich. I can relate to being left out at work. One place where I worked, I routinely made cakes for everyone's birthday, but no one ever made one for mine. When they would order pizza or something to reward the workers for a good job, I was told that I ate weird things and that it was too much trouble to accommodate me. This from my supervisor who said I was her best worker and had a great attitude! In the past, I tried a lot of non dairy, vegan, and vegetarian cheeses, and I have to say that Daiya is the best. Daiya cheese and Udi's bread make life more fun, and a lot easier. I am enjoying your blog immensely, and I admire your courage and the way you open your life to share with us. I subscribe to a lot of blogs, but yours is one of the top favorites. Thanks for sharing your ideas and thoughts and life with us.
Jen said…
Marianne thank you so much for your kind words!!! It's messages like these that make me want to keep writing!! My co-workers have all been understanding but I doubt I'll get a gluten free cake on my birthday tomorrow hahaha but that's ok. I never expect anyone that doesn't have dietary issues to understand my eating habits, so it's a nice surprise when people make the effort to accommodate me. That's really sad though that they wouldn't at least ask you if you'd like something different for lunch when they order pizza for everyone! I love the daiya though and it does help to make things easier. I can't wait to melt some cheddar on a burger!!!
Norman Mailer said…
Sounds delicious. Re tapioca - it's from the cassava root and mainly grown in Thailand and Africa. Arrowroot is from the same family of root vegetable. What I like about tapioca is it's easy to get unrefined and therefore as a "whole food" complex carbohydrate - at least the stuff Daiya uses is as I asked them about it (I'm trying to stick with a whole food diet as much as possible). Some other cheese alternatives use highly processed ingredients like maltodextrin and modified starches which your body processes differently. I like Follow Your Heart products too but for cooking applications I prefer Daiya.
Kim said…
Ooooh! Daiya sounds great!! I am going to pick some up the next time I go to Whole Foods. I appreciate your review!

Farty Girl said…
Yup! I bought my second bag of the cheddar at Whole Foods yesterday (the one in Cambridge actually, which I'm sure you've been to) and pinched it out of the bag and into my gullet!!! I was moaning and my boston BFF was like, "Wow." hahahaha. It's the best stuff ever!!!

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