Posted Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 1:30 PM
I second the recommendations for both Daiya and The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook!
Teese is another good vegan cheese. http://www.teesecheese.com/
Both Teese and Daiya are limited distribution because they are new, but they have store lists on their websites, including internet stores. And they both freeze fine, so you can get a big block and cut it up. Daiya is supposed to have nationwide distro by this spring.
Follow Your Heart makes Vegan Gourmet and that's easy to find. Galaxy Vegan Parmesan and Parma are available. I sprinkle nutritional yeast on things for a cheesy taste (good on popcorn).
I've learned to make a variety of nut- and seed-based cheezes that cover everything most people use dairy cheese for. Mainly from the Uncheese book, but also from other cookbooks. There's a cashew-based cheddar in the Real Food Daily cookbook that's good too. Several good tofu ricotta recipes--I can't remember where I got the one I had but it has tahini in it and even gets a little melty on pizza--maybe Veganomicon or Vegan Planet?
But even just plain cashew butter, mashed avocado or tahini stands in for creaminess in most places, like sandwiches.
This chevre-style cashew cheese is amazingly good. I served it at party and people thought it was actually goat cheese: http://veganjoy.blogspot.com/2009/02/vegan-valentine.html (SCROLL DOWN) Note: "agar flakes" are a sea vegetable--look in Asian markets or the area in your store where Japanese foods are kept.
Dr. Barnard (with Uncheese author Jo Stepaniak) gives some great info in Breaking the Food Seduction on cheese--and how the casein protein is actually physically addicting. (Available in the PCRM.org store, but here is an excerpt from that chapter: http://books.google.com/books?id=VixE_PWeqbYC&lpg=PP1&dq=breaking%20the%20food%20seduction&pg=PA49#v=snippet&q=cheese&f=false.
Once you stop for a while you really won't miss it and will probably use substitutes less and less. (And you may find out it's been aggravating your allergies and nasal congestion, like I did.) I find the idea of dairy cheese pretty gross now, to be honest!
Hope that helps!