Recipe – Vegan Cheese and Dressing


Almost 70 years ago, a wonderful dish was created. Similar, in terms of ingredients to a taco salad, haystacks are composed of many ingredients. They are a combination of Fritos, tortilla chips, or rice, cooked beef, beans, or chili, followed by fresh vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, olives, peppers, and onions, and topped with various condiments such as guacamole, sour cream, ranch dressing, or salsa. All of these ingredients are laid out potluck-style and each individual can build their haystack according to their personal taste.

Haystacks are commonly found in three distinct North American religious subcultures: Seventh-day Adventists, the Amish, and the Mormons.

The Amish haystack has less of a Mexican influence and includes lettuce, chips, meat, and a spaghetti-like sauce, topped with the chopped vegetables and cheese.

The Mormon haystack has a more Asian influence and includes white rice, chicken pieces, cheese, celery, tomatoes, sliced almonds, coconut, chow mein noodles, and pineapple chunks.

Ella May Hartlein is credited with creating the Adventist version in the early 1950s. Adventist haystacks are vegetarian with no beef or other animal meats. If vegan, then other animal by-products such as cheese, ranch dressing, or sour cream are omitted. These items typically are replaced with soy sour cream and soy cheese, or home-made ranch dressing and cheese (see recipes below).


Sabbath is approaching, maybe you should have haystacks

Recipe – Cheese & Dressing for Haystacks

Melty Cheese

2 c. water

1/4 c. raw cashews

1-1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tbs. tomato paste

1/8 tsp. turmeric

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

2-3 Tbs. cornstarch

3 Tbs. yeast flakes

1 Tbs. lemon juice

1 Tbs. olive oil

1/2 tsp. onion powder

Blend cashews in small amount of water. Then add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Cook in saucepan over low heat stirring constantly to prevent scorching.

Ranch Dressing

2 c. vegan mayo

1/2 Tbs. basil

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 Tbs. onion powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 scant teaspoon fructose

1/8 tsp. paprika

Blend all ingredients together adding a little water at a time until it reaches desired consistency.