Friday, October 4, 2013

Missing Cheese? Join the club!

I greatly apologize for my sporadic posts.  I have been into my last phase of my degree and mixtures of hair pulling over reading heavy material and the fight against procrastination have taken over, on top of the other areas of normal "need-to-do's" that I have to get done.  But believe me, I have not forgotten!

So I have been craving pizza and all things cheesy for a while now.  Maybe it's because the weather has turned chill and when the grey skies bring along a frostiness all we want to do is to cuddle up around a fire with a dish that sticks to your ribs and ensures you won't be hungry again in an hour, like salad.
However the problem vegans face so often is that authentic cheesy goodness is very difficult to find, especially when you don't feel like making something from scratch yourself!
There are vegan cheeses out there on the market, but let's be honest, none of them still taste (or comfort) just like the real deal.
I have heard of some cheese brands that are very promising (which I haven't been able to try just yet), but in our town, with what few resources we have, the most promising is still the gluten free, nut free, soy free, casein free: Daiya cheese.

Daiya was the innovation that cuddled every vegan's heart.  It melted easily and stretched just like all those cheese commercials, but the taste....
So, the following tips (not really a recipe) are how to improve the flavor of your Daiya.  Because it is primarily a tapioca based "cheese" its flavor (while it does have some) is quite bland and mild.  Enhancements and improvements can be made with the combination of the following:

garlic powder
onion powder
nutritional yeast
oregano (if you're making pizza or italian food)

the trick here is to SALT your food, as many (if not most) cheeses are salted, and the nutritional yeast brings out that "cheesy" flavor.  Garlic powder and onion powders kill the tapioca-y flavor and enhance the other flavors around it, making it more cheesy and good.

I hope you make your favorite pizza this weekend and try this method, if you haven't already tried some mixture like this.  Let me know how things turn out!