Product Review: Daiya Cheezy Mac (Deluxe Cheddar, Deluxe Alfredo, Deluxe White Cheddar Style Veggies) – $4.99+/each
There is just something that is so uplifting about finding a newly released product rather quickly in your regular grocery store. That was exactly how I felt when I stumbled across the new line of Daiya Cheezy Mac, which I didn’t even know existed. So…surprise, surprise!
Usually I keep very up-to-date on any forthcoming gluten-free and dairy-free products, and Daiya is always my go-to when it comes to anything involving cheese! I have been a fan of Daiya vegan cheese products since I first had to go dairy-free. While I find that most of their products have that “Daiya” flavor…it doesn’t really change the fact that it is delicious vegan cheesy goodness. Gotta love it.
So, yes…imagine the happy dance of joy that occurred when I was walking the natural food aisles at my local Kroger and…as I turn around from the vegan milks…there on a shelf right at eye-level are three different varieties of the Daiya Cheezy Mac products. OH. MY. GOD. There were only 1 box left of each on the shelf. And they were all coming home with me.
I’ve been cutting out a lot of processed foods, but there is always a time and a place for easy-to-prepare products, especially on those weeks where you’ve planned out breakfast, snacks, and dinners…but forget about the ever-important lunch meal. Which is exactly what happened this past week. But, thankfully these beautiful boxes were sitting on a shelf in my pantry and definitely saved three days of lunches this past week (the other days brought allergen-free soft pretzels from the local gluten-free bakery, Annie May’s Sweet Cafe, and I cooked up a gluten-free vegan pasta with fresh veggies from the garden). Guess it was a week of pasta lunches…and I’m way okay with that.
So…let’s start with the first one that we tried right out of the gate…
Daiya Deluxe White Cheddar Style Veggie Cheezy MacDaiya Deluxe White Cheddar Style Veggie Cheezy Mac
This was the smartest pic of the day when we devoured this for lunch of Tuesday. There was a serious lack of veggies happening that day, with our local professional soccer team playing that night. The morning was filled with some gym-time and leftover couscous cakes and dairy-free yogurt. That at least had some fruit in it. But dinner, for me, was simply a protein bar (Luna Protein Mint Chocolate Chip if you were wondering…) so the veggies were a nice touch and perfect on this day. This box comes complete with a package of gluten-free brown rice pasta and dehydrated veggies (think peas, carrots, and red bell pepper) and a pouch of dairy-free “cheeze” sauce (not powder), which is white cheddar flavored in this particular version. As the noodles are boiled for 7-8 minutes to reach that perfect al dente, the veggies re-hydrate, adding not only a touch of color but some depth of flavor too. Noodles are drained and then put back into the pot and the cheeze sauce is then poured over top and mixed in. LOVE!! I LOVED THIS! I was so happy with the first bite I took of this pasta. It was creamy and dreamy and fluffy and awesome. And just…REALLY FREAKIN’ GOOD! How’s that. The veggies are a very nice touch and one that doesn’t leave semi-hard veggies into perfectly cooked pasta. It all came together. And the sauce being in a pouch and being a sauce, not a powder, meant it was silky and creamy and not lumpy and gunky. I really enjoyed this! I shouldn’t have been surprised…but I was.
Ingredients for the Daiya Deluxe White Cheddar Style Veggie Cheezy Mac are: Brown rice pasta (whole grain brown rice, rice bran, water), filtered water, dried vegetable blend (pea, carrot, red bell pepper), tapioca starch, non-GMO expeller pressed: canola and/or safflower oil, coconut oil, sea salt, vegan natural flavors, pea protein isolate, potato protein, tricalcium phosphate, evaporated cane sugar, lactic acid (vegan, for flavor), xanthan gum, yeast extract, titanium dioxide (naturally occurring mineral), onion, vitamin B12. It is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, certified vegan, and also kosher.
As for nutritional information for the Daiya Deluxe White Cheddar Style Veggie Cheezy Mac…my roommate and I split these to make a bigger meal, but the serving size is 1/3 of the package with 3 (obviously) servings per box. One serving will provide 290 calories, 9 grams fat, 3.5 grams saturated fat (from the coconut oil), 0 grams trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 590 mg sodium, 48 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 1 gram sugars, and 6 grams protein. How about that??!!
Daiya Deluxe Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac
So then, along came Thursday. And when I went to the pantry on Wednesday night to prepare the pasta for Thursday’s lunch, I asked my roomie if she wanted alfredo or cheddar. She went with the classic cheddar. And so, out that box came. Same basic cooking instructions as the other box. Which makes it really easy to plan on preparation timing. HA! Into the boiling water went the noodles (no veggies this time). Once they were done, they were drained and sauced accordingly. And this one…this one really wins the day. When I first started making the (highly processed) Velveeta Mac & Cheese meals at home, I loved how the sauce would just taste on the noodles, coating all of them in this great ooey-gooey-ness. And THAT was what Daiya did here. Daiya brought me the flavors of my adolescent years…in a version that I safely can devour and gorge myself on. Which, I could easily do. The rich, velvety cheeze sauce is a perfect cheddar flavor, coating each noodle in its creamy goodness. I was in heaven while I devoured this one at my desk that day. Seriously…beyond anything that I expected! I would marry this product.
The ingredients in the Daiya Deluxe Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac are: Brown rice pasta (whole grain brown rice, rice bran, water), filtered water, tapioca starch, non-GMO expeller pressed: canola and/or safflower oil, coconut oil, sea salt, vegan natural flavors, pea protein isolate, potato protein, tricalcium phosphate, evaporated cane sugar, lactic acid (vegan, for flavor), xanthan gum, yeast extract, titanium dioxide (naturally occurring mineral), annatto (color), onion, vitamin B12. This product is also gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, certified vegan, and kosher.
As for nutrition, a serving of the Daiya Deluxe Cheddar Style Cheezy Mac is 1/3 of the package and the package is meant to serve 3. A serving of the Daiya Deluxe Cheddar Cheezy Mac will provide you with 300 calories, 9 grams fat, 3.5 grams saturated fat (again…coconut oil), 0 grams trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 580 mg sodium, 48 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 0 grams sugars, and 5 grams protein. It is filling and delicious and amazing and I love, love, love it.
Daiya Deluxe Alfredo Style Cheezy Mac
My roommate didn’t grow up eating anything with alfredo sauce…so moving in with me has been an adventure. I’ve made this usually dairy-heavy sauce out of cauliflower and now have dished it up using Daiya’s version of this amazing sauce. While this one turned out to be her least favorite, I think this was my second favorite (cheddar being the best!). Same easy prep…same simple directions, but this time…that awesome those cooked noodles were drenched in the comforting white sauce that is alfredo. Yes…alfredo can be just as delicious without all the cream and dairy and Daiya proves it. I loved the little touch of black pepper, which brought a depth of flavor to each bite. The creamy sauce clung to the noodles, making each bite feel so sinful, but in honesty, it wasn’t. And that is what makes this the ultimate comfort food of all time. And, yes, this does have that cheesy, creaminess that is associated with alfredo for sure. You won’t even miss the real thing. This was true love. True, true love.
The ingredients that go into the Daiya Deluxe Alfredo Style Cheezy Mac are: Brown rice pasta (whole grain brown rice, rice bran, water), filtered water, tapioca starch, non-GMO expeller pressed: canola and/or safflower oil, coconut oil, vegan natural flavors, sea salt, pea protein, potato protein, tricalcium phosphate, evaporated cane sugar, lactic acid (vegan, for flavor), xanthan gum, titanium dioxide (naturally occurring mineral), yeast extract, spices, onion, garlic, vitamin B12. As before, this product is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, certified vegan, and kosher!
As for the nutritional information for the Daiya Deluxe Alfredo Style Cheezy Mac…a serving size is 1/3 of the package with (again, obviously) 3 servings per package. If you stick to that serving (my roomie and I just split it in half), you will be taking in 290 calories, 9 grams fat, 3.5 grams saturated fat (hello, coconut oil), 0 grams trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 600 mg sodium, 48 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 0 grams sugars, and 5 grams of protein. A creamy and dreamy product.
I believe in Daiya. I really do. They are experts and proving dairy-free and gluten-free alternatives to the grocery store aisles. Seriously…these boxes were some of the best investments I ever made. I loved the flavors and the creaminess that each different variety provided. And they really did all taste different…and while I certainly have my favorites, all three were a fantastic way to enjoy one of life’s best comfort foods, without destroying my stomach in the process. Daiya is proof that there is a God that loves the dairy-free (and gluten-free) people. And even if you aren’t required to eat this way, I highly recommend trying out these products regardless. My roomie is very much in love with these products and she doesn’t have to eat this way. She just does because I do.
Daiya…our love affair continues. Thank you!!