I am definitely a cheese lover.  Oh yes.

I admit it.

The sharp, hard cheeses are certainly my favorite.


Manchego.  There is nothing like it.
Parmesan.  I do believe I could nosh on an entire wheel. (At one point growing up, we actually did possess an entire 50lb block of this delight on our top fridge shelf for an unspecified length of time…)
Asiago.  It’s just delightfully sweet and a tad bit nutty.

I so love the bite, the crisp aroma, and the incredibly unique texture of a daringly hard cheese on the tongue.

Oh, and now that I adore the buttery deliciousness of Castlevetrano olives – the two are a match made in heaven.
Wait now…what am I saying?
I’ve completely neglected to mention how with the addition of red wine and Marcona almonds, an evening may, and most certainly will, envelop into a most memorable consumption of bliss.

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All of the dreaminess of a good cheese aside, I must be frank.  Exquisite cheeses come in many forms, but a soft stinky cheese is definitely NOT one of those.  Pee-ew-ee!

Although I love the taste and the texture of so many types of cheese – (Kerrygold Irish Sweet Skellig Cheddar is a good one to try for all you grass fed dairy enthusiasts out there…), the fact of the matter is, cheese does not always love me.  The somewhat fermented and curded savory selection certainly does not always reciprocate  – and I’m not alone in suffering from this plight.

Dairy – O’ Contrary.

Thus, I’ve sought out dairy-free cheese alternatives before.  Nut cheeses often time taste quite lovely, and I’ve found one almond milk cheese in particular that suits my fancy from time to time.  But nothing really does it for me like the real thing.

That said, my experimentation with the ultimate departure from dairy to create a “free” cheese most definitely did not leave me feeling as though I could and would depart from my occasional consumption of my favorite real-deal cheesy selections, but it did leave me quite impressed.

Toppled over a caraway scented grain free cracker, and coupled with a glass of red wine, I left the “situation” feeling quite satisfied.

Zucchini Cheese (Adapted from Jamie Hartman and Hayley Ziegler of Gusty by Nature)

12 oz. fresh zucchini, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup water
Juice of 1/2 small lemon
2 Tbs. Great Lakes Grass Fed Gelatin
3/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. nutritional yeast (I omitted this)
1-2 tsp. coconut oil (I chose to omit this as well, lest I did not want coconut-infused cheese this time around)

Combine the zucchini squash and water and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer for about 5 minutes.  Drain water and transfer to a high speed blender.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Process until smooth.

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Line an 8″x 8″ glass baking dish with parchment paper.  Pour zucchini cheese mixture into the dish and chill for at least 2 hours.
Slice and serve.

Don’t forget the olives, almonds, and wine!

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