How’s it going you ask?
Well, it’s actually going quite well.
I won’t tell you about how I cheated last week and had a peanut blossom cookie, or that I’ve been eating some super boring breakfast and lunches. I don’t need to tell you about the cheese-less (and tasteless) pizza that I had at pizza hut, and I definitely don’t need to bore you with the details of the vegan caramelized onion dip I was going to post as a great snack idea for all those super bowl parties you might have coming up… because, well it flopped. It was just gross.
Yeah, I won’t tell you about those things.
What I will tell you about is that I feel great! I can definitely tell a difference – I have a lot of energy and just feel overall clean. I don’t really have cravings for a lot of junk food anymore which is so interesting to me. I haven’t sat down and polished off an entire bag of tortilla chips with salsa like I sometimes do.
Ok, more than sometimes.
I also will tell you about Daiya “cheese.” I love how Vegans have to put cheese in quotes. That makes me laugh for some reason.
If you don’t know, Daiya cheese is the go-to “cheese” for Vegans. From what I have found, most people making a transition from being a Vegetarian to Vegan struggle with cheese. Cheese is just so good! Do you know why we struggle with it? Well, let me just tell you. Cheese has an addictive property to it.
Check this out:
In 1981, Eli Hazum and his colleagues at Wellcome Research Laboratories reported traces of the chemical morphine, a highly addictive opiate. It turns out that morphine is found in cow milk and human, purportedly to ensure offspring will bond very strongly with their mothers and get all the nutrients they need to grow.
Researchers also discovered the protein casein, which breaks into casomorphins when it is digested and also produces opiate effects. In cheese, casein is concentrated, and so is the level of casomorphins, so the pleasurable effect is greater. Neal Barnard, MD said, “Since cheese is processed to express out all the liquid, it’s an incredibly concentrated source of casomorphins—you might call it dairy crack.” (Source: VegetarianTimes.com)
Dairy crack? Oh no wonder!
But I digress…
Vegan cheese has come a long way. I remember tasting soy cheeses and rice cheeses that don’t melt and taste terrible, but I have heard so much talk about Daiya that I knew I had to try it during this month of Vegan eating.
Since Friday nights are our family pizza and movie night, I knew it would be the perfect time to try it! So I made my normal pizza crust and topped it with a ton of great veggies. We had artichokes, roasted red pepper, black olives, red onion and mushroom. Delish! I topped it with the mozzarella style shreds by Daiya and awaited the goodness to come out of the oven.
It was good! It wasn’t perfect… but it was good! The cheese does melt, and it does have a nice creamy texture that cheese has – actually it was almost creamier than other cheeses in my opinion. The taste was not quite a mozzarella taste, but it wasn’t bad either.
All in all, I can completely understand why Vegans like Daiya. Using it in moderation, creates a cheesy, rich feeling on those foods that just need that – like pizza of course. I wouldn’t mind trying the other flavors – they do have cheddar, and a pepper jack style.
Will I continue to make my pizza with it? Probably not, but the jury in my head is still out on that one. I think I will cut down my cheese intake quite a bit, but I’m sure I will indulge from time to time.
Do you have a pizza night at your house? Are you still ordering it from your local pizza joint? Try this recipe for a wonderful crust and make your own! Get your kids involved and have a great family night.
Recipe~Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
Source: unknown – I’ve been doing this so long I really don’t know where it came from!
1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup warm water
1 packet yeast (or 2 ¼ teaspoons)
½ teaspoon organic raw sugar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
In food processor, combine flours and salt. Pulse to combine. Add yeast and sugar to warm water to activate. Let sit for about 5 minutes until active and bubbly. (if it is not bubbly, dump out and start again!) Add EVOO to yeast/water mixture and slowly add to flour while food processor is on. It should pull away and become a ball – process for 1 minute. Take dough out and knead a few times and let it lay on a floured surface covered with a towel for about 30 minutes. It should almost double in size.
Roll out dough to fit your pizza pan and add good quality crushed tomatoes with a sprinkle of oregano and top with your favorite toppings! I also brush the outside crust with some EVOO and sprinkle sea salt and garlic powder on it. Its so good!