Vegan Product Review: Daiya White Cheddar With Vegetable Cheezy Mac

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The title is incredibly long for this review, but I’ll start with a disclaimer: Daiya sent me three coupons, one for each flavor, so I could try out their cheezy mac and do a review on it. Obviously this isn’t going to influence my review, but I wanted to let my readers know in case it would influence your opinion on said review.

That said, I was pretty impressed with the white cheddar cheezy mac. The first thing that I noticed on the package was that, like the Daiya pizzas, it is also gluten free and nut free. That meant that my hubby could have some too, so I let him try a bowl himself when I cooked it up to review it.

The noodles had a nice texture for rice noodles, I was pretty impressed. Some prepackaged rice noodles that I have tried have ended up mushy even at recommended cooking times, or overly starchy, but after 7 minutes in lightly salted boiling water in my stockpot, I could hardly tell the difference from the whole wheat noodles that I used to eat. The sauce packet is a liquid, so all I had to do was dump it over the strained noodles and stir after returning them to the pot. The vegetables were in the packet with the noodles, so I had to use a fine-mesh strainer so I didn’t lose them. I wish I would have taken photos, because the final product looked very similar to the box art, and that alone impressed me!

The sauce smelled strongly like Velveeta, but had a delicious white cheddar taste. The consistency of the sauce would land a 9/10 from me, it was sticky and gooey and cheese-like. Much better than the Kraft packets I ate as an omnivore! I enjoyed the vegetables in the mac n’ cheese because I often grew up with carrots and peas in mine, but my husband complained that he didn’t think they belonged in it. I think a major improvement for future use might be to put the veggies in a separate packet, so those like me that like them can add them, and those like Steve who don’t can avoid them. With the way that they’re mixed into the same packet with the noodles, it would be quite a hassle to pick them out.

The noodles cooked to a perfect al-dente, so the texture gets an 8/10. They were still a little slippery, but brown rice noodles usually are. The sauce stuck to them beautifully, though it also stuck heavily to the pot. Without a good soaking or an immediate cleaning it would be difficult to un-stick it, but so would a mac n’ cheese made with “real cheese,” so I guess it gets a pass.

In terms of quantity, the little box came with 1 cup (approximately) of dry noodles and the sauce to cover them. For most families, even as a side dish, you would need two boxes, and though the quality is spectacular the price may be a sticking point. I would have paid just shy of six dollars had I not had my coupons, and though the food was amazing, the value may have been a bit lower. If they could find a way to manufacture it cheaper, my 6/10 for value would bump up to an 8, because it was most definitely delicious.

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