the most important thing about Stepaniak's Uncheese Cookbook is that it helps us reconceptualize cheese as a combination of flavors and textures instead of letting us continue to treat
it as just an ingredient or food.
Cheese is tangy, salty, creamy, rich--and so are Stepaniak's "uncheeses". By using a combination of healthy core ingredients including torula yeast, lemon juice, tahini, oats, cashews, tofu, onion, garlic, and pimientos, among others, Stepaniak has created some really clever and tasty recipes that take the place of cheese quite well.
If you have read the one negative customer review posted here, let me assure you that that reviewer was wrong. The two recipes upon which that review was based are not the two best in the book. Like any cookbook, some recipes among the hundreds work better than others.
I've spent a few years with this book, though, and it has changed the way I approach vegan cooking. The best recipes in this book are marvels.
A few examples: the "mostarella" "cheeze" (particularly with a touch of hickory smoke flavor added)is a delicious soft, spread that has received praise from everyone to whom i have ever served it. The stuffed shells and lasagna recipes are simple, elegant, and impressive. the sauce recipes are top notch,
and the cheesecakes are great.
a wonderful thing about this book is that once you master the basic techniques of creating uncheeses, you begin to see how Stepaniak uses them as a foundation upon which to build a repetoire of creamy, cheesy vegan ideas. Then you can start to develop your own versions of traditionally dairy-based recipes.
don't hesitate to pick up this book. And while you're at it, check your supply of torula (nutritional) yeast, onion & garlic powder, cornstarch, pimientos, lemons, tahini, and raw cashews. if you've got that stuff, a good blender, and Stepaniak's Uncheese Cookbook, you're ready to get started!