Best. Vegan. Cheese. Ever

No, I don’t work for this company (I wish) I just really dig the product.  As a vegan, my biggest downfall has been CHEESE!  I was able to part with my Coach™ (leather) bag, donate my silk blouse to Goodwill and do away with cottage cheese, yogurt and eggs–which I don’t much care for, anyway.  But cheese?  That’s this whole other ball of wax.

Cheese has made me feel like…well, an adulterer.  When no one was looking, I’d sneak a bite.  It would hit my palate in much the same way a junkie taps a vein.  OOOOH, orgasmic-cheesy-goodness!  But then…the guilt.  And since I subscribe to no one religious principle, I am NOT a fan of guilt.

I had resigned myself to being the occasional cheese-cheat.  :-/  I had found NO acceptable vegan substitute…I tried my hand at homemade cashew cheese, and while delicious, it didn’t satisfy the nagging void that only REAL cheese could.

I LOVE the Veggie and Rice slices by Galaxy foods, but not the 100% vegan ones.  Just the “regular” ones.  Their vegan products were…um, well let’s just say, not up to par.  (Hey, that’s just me!  I still think they’re a great company!)  But I was still vegan-cheeseless.  Le sigh.  (Note:  I have learned of some of their NEWER vegan cheese products and have not, as of this posting, had a chance to try them.  I absolutely plan to and will report back here, what I discover once I do.)

This was just how I thought it was going to be…until hubby, Little Bit and I went to one of MANY awesome Vegan Potlucks (Thank you, Dirk & Bev!) at Next Generation Water in San Antonio, TX.  I was introduced to the awesomeness that is Daiya cheese, and I have not looked back.

I have a penchant for nachos…I love melty, stringy cheese atop of crispy corn chips!  Yet, I had resigned myself to the fact that my new veganness would never allow such.  Was I ever wrong!  (And I LOVE being wrong when it’s Daiya cheese kind of wrong!)

So now, I am rarely, if ever, out of Daiya Cheese.  I use both the Mozzarella and Cheddar flavors, but must say, I prefer the cheddar, although both are top-notch.  (Sprinkle to your specs on organic blue corn cheddar chips – microwave, which yes, I know it’s bad, but whatever – for 15 seconds.  Sprinkle generously with Crystal hot sauce, and you have a snack made for a Queen!)  A vegan Queen that is.  And yes, I will allow you to address me as such!  😉



Mom’s Bean Dish, Vegan style…

As I was growing up I never realized what a great cook my Mom is.  She would fix something and I took it upon myself to complain about it, then opt to eat something “good” for me like nachos or (gag) a turkey hot dog.  :-/

She (and my Grandma, her mother) would often times make an entree known simply as “Bean Dish.”  I LOATHED “Bean Dish” – until it was put in front of me.  Then I would eat a minimum of two servings….go figure!

The other day I got a craving for this “Bean Dish,” so I texted ma for the recipe.  Of course, now, I’m a vegan, but I needed her original recipe to use as a guideline before the appropriate modifications were made.  She was gracious enough to provide me with the details, even in spite of the fact that she stands by the idea that the ground beef and beef crystals in her recipe are what “make it.”

Today, with the help of my own darling daughter, I resurrected the bean dish and transformed it to what I am hoping to be a magnificent vegan masterpiece!  (It’s still on the stovetop, mingling.)  It smells, however, to quote my awesome hubby, “…as though Goddesses sauntered through my kitchen sprinkling spices and divine nectar.

Did I mention that my hubby rules?

At any rate, I would NOT post the recipe if it was a total flop, and while it has not been officially served yet, I have had a few samples, as is the cook’s prerogative.  It tastes like sheer rainy day awesomeness!  So, without any further ado, here is the recipe, in honour of my Mom, Grandma, Daughter and Husband.

Feel free to use THIS recipe as your own guideline.  I’m not huge on exact measurements – I’m a bit of a mad scientist in the kitchen.  I have made my version rather mild as hubby’s 94 year old Grandmother will be partaking, as well.  It can be spiced up, it can be taken in an Italian direction, a Mexican direction…cheese (vegan?) can be added…the possibilities are endless!  So enjoy!

Mom’s Bean Dish

~ Organic quinoa – prepared per the directions.

(I flavored the finished quinoa with sea salt, olive oil and dry vegetable soup mix.)

~2 yellow potatoes, cut up.  ~1 can each, organic green, kidney & pinto beans.  ~1 cup chopped organic spinach.  ~2 cubes garlic seasoning.  ~1 tsp olive oil.  ~1 tsp organic ketchup.  ~Sea salt & organic black pepper to taste.   

I added 1/3 c water and didn’t discard the liquids from the beans.  I simmered, covered, over low heat for 45 minutes.

Bon appetit!

Baby Girl helps to prepare “Bean Dish.”

Simmering on the stove!

Thank you, Conan’s Pizza! (Austin, Texas)

Thank you for proving to me (a vegan who struggles with *gasp* cheese addiction) that PIZZA – pizza, that magical fruit – CAN indeed be made, 100% vegan, and DELICIOUS.  I defy ANY garden variety pizza connoisseur to taste the veggie pizza at Conan’s, made with the vegan, whole wheat crust (deep dish, I might add) and the Daiya cheese (free Daiya cheese topping on Wednesdays, BTW) and tell me it doesn’t taste as good as any OTHER veggie pizza.  YOU CAN’T and you WON’T.  It’s that good, folks.

Yes, I originally started this blog for my own vegan recipes (and recipes from my nearest and dearest, too, I might add) but I will use this space to praise other vegan friendly places, and offer reviews, tips, etc., as well.  And Conan‘s Central –  603 W 29th, ATX – (512) 478-5712 – gets to be the first entry!  Be sure to grab a Shiner while you wait for your yummy, delicious vegan goodness.  After all, we ARE in Texas.

Hello world!

As if I needed another blog…I barely have enough time as it is…but I DESPERATELY needed a space to share my ever-growing collection of vegan recipes – be it food or health & beauty goodies!

So, here’s the space!  Read ~ Comment ~ Subscribe!

Many, many, healthy, happy, and delicious thanks!  More is on the way!