BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

No Matter How You Slice It

12 Comments

Timing is everything when it comes to food reviews. Trends are as unpredictable as the weather, turning the latest and greatest innovations into old-hat just a month down the road. This unstoppable phenomenon has never been more clear to me as I flip through old files, discovering half-baked reviews from products first sampled almost a year ago (!) now. Where did the time go, and more importantly, why didn’t I share this gem sooner?

Daiya is practically a household name a this point, a pivotal player in the vegan cheese game. No other dairy-free shreds have achieved mainstream approval, nor prevalence, quite like their white and orange strands, initially making a splash back in 2009 as the very first meltable option. Not content to just ride the wave of this immense success, they’ve continued to innovate ever since that great success, unleashing cheesy goodness throughout countless other prepared foods. Their latest offering to cheese-loving dairy detractors shines just as brilliantly: Slices, imitating the flavors of cheddar, swiss, and provolone.

Provolone-Style slices were the only variety I could get my hungry mouth around at the time, but considering their culinary potential, the other two are worth seeking out for a second round. These are not fine cheeses you’d want to eat cold, plain, or otherwise uncooked. Surprisingly fragile and prone to crumbling straight from the package, the flavor doesn’t impress right off the bat. Borderline bland, with a subtle sweetness, these slices are definitely not meant for topping crackers. Where they really come to life is under a hot broiler, melted down to gooey, creamy, and yes, stretchy sheets. Mild but with a pronounced tang and satisfying salty accent, they’re appropriately rich, imparting an addictive sort of decadent fattiness upon any dish. Though it didn’t seem like a winner at first, I found myself increasingly taken with this simple cheesy pleasure. In fact, my tasting notes conclude with the declaration that the provolone option is the “holy grail of vegan cheese.” Overenthusiastic hyperbole aside, these are darned good slices.

But of course, I would never recommend eating them outside of a hot dish, which is why I heartily endorse the equally savory, slightly indulgent cheesesteak sandwich pictured above. Soy curls soaked in umami-packed mushroom broth make up the “meat” of the matter, tossed with lightly charred onions and roasted peppers, all smothered under a blanket of that prize-worthy provolone cheese. Altogether, it’s the kind of dish you could use to convert meat-lovers, cheese-lovers, and generally picky omnivores alike. So go ahead, give in to your cravings because now it’s effortless to keep them vegan!

Vegan Cheesesteak

1 1/2 Cups (About 2.8 – 3 Ounces) Dry Soy Curls
1 1/2 Cups Mushroom Broth

4 Teaspoons Olive Oil
1 Medium Yellow Onion, Thinly Sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper, Roasted and Thinly Sliced
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
1 Tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Reserved Mushroom Broth
1 Tablespoon Reduced-Sodium Soy Sauce

3 Hoagie Rolls, Split and Toasted
9 Slices Provolone-Style Daiya Cheese

Begin by placing the dry soy curls in a large bowl and covering them with warm mushroom broth. Let them soak for about 15 – 20 minutes, until the soy curls are fully re-hydrated and tender. Pour off but reserve any excess liquid.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion and saute, stirring often, until aromatic browned around the edges. Add the bell pepper, oregano and pepper and continue cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are wilted and soft; about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, sprinkle the vegetables with flour and stir to coat. Gently pour in 1/4 cup of the reserved broth along with the soy sauce, bringing the mixture up to a simmer. After another two minutes, remove the pan from the heat.

To assemble your sandwiches, divide the soy curl filling between your three toasted rolls and lay three provolone slices on top of each. Run them all under the broiler for about 2 – 3 minutes, until the cheese is perfectly melted and gooey all over. Dig in immediately!

Makes 3 Sandwiches

Printable Recipe

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Author: Hannah (BitterSweet)

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

12 thoughts on “No Matter How You Slice It

  1. Wow this cheesesteak looks sooo yummy! :)

  2. I just bought the provolone slices and have some seriously yummy plans for it. Adding this sandwich to the list!

  3. I might have to pick up a pack of those slices next time I’m in the US just to make this sandwich, it looks amazing. I have to say I’m more of a FYH girl that a Daiya one but I’m willing to give ‘em all a whirl.

  4. What a great idea for these slices, Hannah! I’ve had the Swiss and it also has a sweet taste to it. Odd, but not bad in grilled cheese form.

  5. I bet they’d also go great on a vegan reuben. I used to make Reubens like crazy (recipe below) when I sampled “Teese”, but I prefer Daiya. http://vegandietguy.com/tasty-vegan-reuben-tips/

  6. This cheesesteak is absolutely brilliant, my mouth is watering :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  7. yum yum yummm! Now, I need to make this for me & my hubby this evening! It looks freaking delicious too!

  8. I may be one of the few vegans that doesn’t go nuts for Daiya, but even I’m drooling at this!

  9. I’ve seen them at the store but thought they were the same as their other products but in slices. I’ll have to take another look at them if only to make that cheesesteak sandwich. :-)

  10. i have tasted the swiss, and it does have an odd sweet taste. i don’t really mind it in a sammie, since mine are usually loaded with a savory and spicy things.

  11. I love the Daiya Provolone-style slices for melty cheesy sandwiches, not the Swiss (it wasn’t like the Swiss cheese I had before I became a vegan). Goodness, looking at this vegan cheesesteak is making me miss Philly even more. I must…make….this…cheesesteak sandwich!

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