Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Fake Cheese a Real Food? Why Not?

Processed foods have a bad rap these days. "Just eat real food," everyone says, and the real food will cure anything from arthritis to migraine headaches. The people who give this advice do tend to be in good health and do tend to eat real food.

Well, except when they're eating dark chocolate, or sugary fruit that's only existed for a few hundred years, or drinking wine. The first and third foods are about as real and unprocessed as a Cadbury egg. But if we can wink at dark chocolate, bananas and wine, why not fake cheese?

Real cheese and cream give me acne. Fake cheese, like Velveeta and American cheese, don't. For me, they're better than real cheese (and Velveeta melts better than real cheese, too).

If you'd like to add fake cheese to your real foods list, here's a wonderful recipe I made (up) tonight. It would have been good with shiratake noodles.

1 pound grass-fed ground beef
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce made with local, vine-ripened tomatoes
garlic powder (real garlic goes bad quickly in Indianapolis)
a few teaspoons of Italian seasoning
8 oz Velveeta cut in 1" chunks (ounces are shown on package) from Walmart

Brown the beef with the spices. Add spaghetti sauce and cheese on low heat. Makes four small or two big servings. Serve with shiratake noodles from a high-end grocery store or a local green vegetable (I had green beans from my front yard).

Note that Velveeta has more carbohydrate in it than actual cheese, and does contain real dairy. Whatever it is about cheese that bothers my skin must get denatured in whatever wonderful process it is that goes into making fake cheese.


tess said...

In the drive to simplify "rules" for people who don't want to know the details, but simply what THEY should eat, "processed" foods are outlawed, as you observe. My opinion is, "processing" itself is not the problem, it's what ingredients are in the processed foods, as you found when carrageenan was somewhere it didn't belong. So long as one tolerates the individual ingredients, why is there a problem?

Lori Miller said...

The thing is, I don't tolerate some of the individual ingredients--there must be something about the dreaded processing that renders them harmless to me.

Old books on housekeeping describe the lengths our ancestors went to render edible and preserve--in other words, process--foods: fermenting, brining, pickling, using spices, aging, sprouting, souring, burying; they had to do something before refrigeration and canning. Processing can be a good thing. But if people mean they don't want to eat flour, sugar and seed oils, they should put it that way.

Val said...

Thanks for the recipe! Imma gonna try it - just got a pkg of shirataki noodles in my latest Keto-foodie pack, wasn't quite sure what use I was going to make of it?
(And I have been known to grab a slice of the fake cheese my office manager buys, to hold me over until lunchtime - AFAIK it hasn't seemed to wreak havoc on my system)

Lori Miller said...

You and I are probably the only people making this recipe.