I'm not much for substituting Gluten for meat, or other "fake" substitutes. Morning Star Bacon? Give me a break. Some things however, I do like, such as Tofu, Garden Burgers (with Bacon) and Bocca Burger, which I like soft, un-fried, and is excellent with Hummus, avocado, and sprouts. The point here, is that if you don't eat meat, why try to emulate it? Which brings us to Soy cheese. Like Tofu, it may be used as a substitute, but it is not pretending to be anything other than what it is. And like the Garden Burger, it is not a cheap copy and it is delicious in its own right.
Evidence of the production of Soy cheese dates back as far as 25- 220 AD in the Henan Province in Northern China. Dairy was not considered fit for human consumption, and didn't really appear in the Chinese diet until early in the 20th Century, fabled to be encouraged by an entrepreneur, whom wanted to import Paneer from India.
So, I say, eat Soy cheese. It is delicious, easy to make, and won't make you feel like a poseur.
The following method is adaptable to your liking. You can add/omit as you desire. If you want something likened to Pepper Jack for example, add jalepeños...
Soy Cheese -adapted from the Zen Soy Cheese Recipe
You will need:
Filtered or Artesian water. (Tap water contains contaminants such as Iron, minerals, and the ever controversial Flouride, which can taint the colour and have a sour effect on the flavour).
3 (15 oz) packages firm or extra firm tofu
2.25 fluid oz soy powder
1 1/3 T. Grapeseed Oil (or any vegetable oil. I have used canola, olive...)
sea salt, to taste
3.4 fluid oz tamari
2.8 fluid oz apple cider vinegar
2.8 fluid oz raw tahini
2.8 fluid oz honey or agave nectar
Drain tofu and cut blocks into thirds. Bring water to a boil and boil tofu for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk all other ingredients together until smooth and all lumps have vanished. Drain tofu in a mesh colander, or a cheese cloth or cotton lined colander, for about ten minutes, gently pressing out any excess moisture. Transfer tofu to a large bowl and mash well until it has the consistency of cottage cheese. Be sure not to leave any large lumps, nor to mash it too fine. Add the other ingredients and stir to combine. Pour into a container and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Use as you like.
If you make this, let me know what you think. I've often enjoyed this as a mid-day meal by itself, or the following, is a favourite lunch of mine:
Sprouted Wheat Bread
Soy Cheese (I often add caraway to the above recipe)
Beat Kraut (Pickled Planet, or homemade)
Brown Mustard (also homemade)
Makes a delicious, nutritious sandwich.