Friday, March 11, 2011
Vegan Pizza and Fake Cheese Thoughts
So, I bought some fake cheese recently by Daiya. I got cheddar and mozzarella shreds. I really didn't notice the taste of the cheddar in anything. I put it on tacos and a baked potato and some other foods, but it really was barely noticeable in taste or texture. The bottom line I find with these is that I can do without them. They do turn a bit liquid when melting, though, so macaroni and cheese might be a good way to use these. I am going to try that in the future.
I used the mozzarella on pizza. I wasn't really sure how it was going to melt or hold up in the oven for the 20-25 minutes necessary to cook the pizza crust. I used probably about half as much Daiya as I would have used real cheese. It actually felt heavier in my hands as I was sprinkling it than real cheese, so I think that's why I started going light.
I started out with this whole wheat crust. I do this in my stand mixer. I did it one time on the dough cycle in the bread machine and it pushed the lid up and exploded all over the place. It is a lot of dough. I can make 2 pizzas on large stones plus a cookie sheet and a deep dish pizza in a cake pan. Sometimes I make 2 pizzas and then partially bake a couple crusts and put them in the freezer. This dough is incredibly easy to work with and rolls out like a dream.
The sauce I use is just cheap store kind. Check for vegan ingredients, of course. I'm not really picky about this since most store kinds just have a few ingredients and are inexpensive. To make it taste a little sausage-like, I sprinkled caraway and fennel seeds on the tomato sauce. I added the last of a Gardein scallopini that I had in the freezer, along with some chopped up vegan Boca burgers, jalapeños and onions.
I put granulated garlic on the crust. I should brush it next time with some olive oil or melted Earth Balance. It was a smidge dry this time.
I'm really glad that I didn't use that much of the Daiya. Once it melted, it was seriously liquid and heavy and the taste and texture was a little bit overpowering. It was almost like a thick Alfredo sauce pizza and the taste that I would associate with mozzarella cheese wasn't there at all. If I made this again, I would cut the amount of Daiya used by half. This is a good thing, though, if you like this cheese, because it does go a lot farther than real cheese. It's kind of expensive, too, so good to know you'll get your money's worth.
Later that night and the next day, I had some gastrointestinal potty problems, if you know what I mean. It was not fun. Nobody else in the house had issues though and they both tried the vegan pizza. I think boyfriend ended up eating more than I did. About a week later I ate some more of the Daiya mozzarella on something else and had the same reaction, so I don't know what's in there that doesn't agree with me, but I won't be having this stuff again. I didn't have the same reaction to the cheddar, for what it's worth.
If anyone has any vegan cheeses that they just love, do let me know. Or if you love Daiya and have had success with it in this or other applications, feel free to share your thoughts. I don't want to give them a bad rap or anything, but it just didn't work for me.
Boyfriend really loves to get these shots of me with my mean cooking and cutting faces. He also likes to catch me licking utensils when I'm done with them.
He also always says, "Do something cool," while aiming the camera at me thus ensuring that nothing I do will be cool or otherwise photo-worthy.