The Great CriFSMas Food Roundup, 2014 edition!

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

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You guys, I baked so many cookies this year, I’m having trouble keeping track of them all! In addition to sending a basketful to our omni neighbors, I also mailed a giant box to my parents. They’re in the midst of a remodel, and the entire first floor of their house is pretty much unusable. Luckily my mom’s sis is conveniently located next door, so they’re been crashing at her house a lot.

(Fun story: I sent all their gifts to my aunt’s house – since they’d have to lug everything over there anyway – and Every. Single. Package. was delivered to my parents’ house instead. I.E. THE WRONG HOUSE. I expected that of USPS, but UPS? COME ON GUYS.)

Still, I thought cookies would be a nice gesture, seeing as they don’t have a kitchen of their own at the moment.

Plus we got to eat the extras our own bad selves, so bonus.

As per usual, most of the cookies were from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, which I pinky swear I’ll review this year. I had a few pretty epic fails, but overall I’m happy with my progress – I get better and better at cookies every year!

 

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2014-12-16 - Maple Bacon Dog Biscuits - 0018 [flickr]

Bacon Maple Biscuits for the dogs from Emma’s K9 Kitchen. With accidentally vegan bacon bits & lots of love! These smelled amazing when baking, but also lost their festive reddish hue. Not that the dogs much care. (The giant ones are for my mom’s big guy, Copper.)

(More below the fold…)

The Great CriFSMas Food (and More) Roundup, 2013 edition!

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

It felt like I did a ridiculous amount of baking this Christmas – so, when I went and looked back at last year’s roundup, I nearly fainted in disbelief. (Full disclosure: there may have also been a food coma involved, due to the copious amounts of sugar I’ve been ingesting.) Did I seriously make a dozen plus batches of cookies last year? Little old me?

Fun story: after feeling super-smug and self-satisfied over my achievement of baking FIVE WHOLE BATCHES of cookies in one day, I headed on over to tumblr – where some lady posted about the 40 donuts and multiple trays of cookies she baked in one afternoon. Whoops! There goes my self-confidence!

So anyway, here’s the Great CriFSMas Food Roundup, 2013 edition! But with bonus x-mas presents and vegan pop culture observations.

First up: the noms. As per usual, let’s start with dessert, shall we? All the cookies are from Kelly Peloza’s The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, a review of which I’ll probably have for y’all soon. Unless. Maybe I need to try out a few more recipes? You know, for the love of science and books and all that is holy and sugar-dusted.

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Glazed Rum Raisin Cookies – With their copious amounts of liquor and strong rummy taste, these cookies aren’t for kids. Very tasty and easy to bake, though I opted to make my glaze into more of an icing, so as not to risk the cookies sticking to one another during storage. If you go this route, start out with less rum. I ended up with way more icing than I could use. Or drink! (Yes, I actually tried that.)

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Chewy Caramel Pecan Cookies – SO GOOD! Caramel and pecans, what’s not to love? Well, the cookies’ inherent stickiness, for starters: I had to refrigerate the sheet of cookies for about ten minutes before I was able to peel them from the parchment paper without tearing the cookies to shreds. I wonder if my batter was too wet; the caramel pecan mix didn’t get especially thick, which resulted in a very sticky cookie dough. Further experimentation may be required.

Also, pro tip: these cookies have mad spread, so space them far, far apart. As in four cookies to a medium-sized tray. No kidding!

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Mac-and-Cheese Monday: Twice-Baked Creamy Mac & Cheese with Sausage

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Mac-and-Cheese Monday - Twice-Baked Creamy Mac & Cheese with Sausage (0009)

Well, this is it. We’ve reached the end of Vegan MoFo VII, my friends. It’s been fun, it’s been hectic, it’s been waistline-expanding. And I can’t wait to do it all again in August! (I’m already brainstorming next year’s theme. True story!) Luckily, September 30th just so happens to fall on a Monday – and what better note to end on than one final Mac & Cheese Monday?

This recipe’s courtesy of Shane, who wanted to veganize a macaroni and cheese recipe from his childhood. What he came up with is a kind of mashup of our favorite stovetop recipe, various oven-baked dishes, and a few of our go-to alfredo sauces. The result is a rich and creamy, twice-baked dish with two cheeses (cheddar AND mozzarella; three if you sprinkle a little vegan parm on top!), pan-fried sausage, and a generous helping of breadcrumbs to garnish.

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We used Tofurky brand sundried-tomato sausage, which are mildly spicy. I would’ve liked to have played up the sun-dried tomato angle – may be with the addition of some dry (not oil-packed) sun-dried tomatoes, tomato flakes, or even fresh cherry tomatoes – but Shane decided to take it in another direction. Ah well. Next time maybe?

The sauce also contains cashews and nutritional yeast (and no margarine!), making it slightly healthier than our Creamy Mac & Cheese. Which, if you couldn’t tell by now, if the bar by which we judge all other macaroni and cheese recipes!

Shane’s newest concoction measures up rather well: it’s flavorful, rich, and creamy – and the breadcrumbs give it a nice crunch. Baked mac & cheese dishes can sometimes be a little dry, but this one’s almost (so close!) as moist and saucy as the stovetop version. Definitely one of my favorite experiments.

Mac-and-Cheese Monday - Twice-Baked Creamy Mac & Cheese with Sausage (0019)

Twice-Baked Creamy Mac & Cheese with Sausage

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 vegan sausage links (we went with Tofurky, but you can use your own favorite)
16 ounces (4 cups) elbow macaroni (or similarly sized pasta)
3 cups soy milk
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons corn starch
12 ounces vegan mozzarella shreds (we used Daiya)
8 ounces vegan cheddar shreds (we used Follow Your Heart)
enough breadcrumbs to cover a 9×13 pan
vegan parmesan to garnish (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium. Slice the sausage links into bite-sized pieces and add them to the pan; fry until golden brown. Set aside.

3. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain, rinse, and set aside.

4. In a blender, mix the soy milk, cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic, soy sauce, and corn starch until well blended. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and heat om medium-high until it starts bubbling. Add the cheese shreds and stir until the cheese is mostly melted and blended. A few lumps are fine.

5. Mix the macaroni, sausage, and cheese sauce in a pot until the sausage and macaroni is well coated. Put the mixture into 9×13 pan and cover with a thin coating of bread crumbs and optional parmesan.

6. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the cheese is bubbling. If the breadcrumbs are slow to brown, you can set the oven to broil for the last minute or two – but keep a close eye on the breadcrumbs, as they can burn quickly!

7. Serve warm and gooey!

And lick the plate clean in Kaylee’s memory, okay?

Mac-and-Cheese Monday - Twice-Baked Creamy Mac & Cheese with Sausage (0007)

 
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FIN.

Mac-and-Cheese Monday, I’ll miss you most of all.

Product Review: Bold Organics Vegan Cheese Pizza

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

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While Shane was away at TAM last week, I took the opportunity to empty our freezers of all that vegan pizza we picked up the last time we traveled south of the city. While there are a few natural foods stores in north Kansas City, their vegan options are usually lackluster, bordering on shameful.

(Price Chopper, I’m looking at you! There’s no way you can justify wasting an entire shelf in the frozen section on frozen bananas [FROZEN BANANAS! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT SHIT?] when you don’t carry a single quart of vegan ice cream. No way! But I digress.)

On the menu: Bold Organics Vegan Cheese Pizza, American Flatbread Vegan Harvest, and not one but two (TWO!) varieties of the new Daiya pizzas. Sadly, I am still searching for the Amy’s brand Daiya cheese pizza. Frowny face.

First up: Bold Organics. Since I planned on reviewing these from the outset – for fuck yeah vegan pizza, if nothing else – I’d promised myself that I wouldn’t add any extra toppings. Of course, that lasted all of five seconds: as soon as I saw the pizza, in its nearly naked state, on went the extras.

For pizza numbero uno, cheddar Daiya cheese, grape tomatoes, and Kalamata olives:

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The first time around, the crust didn’t crisp up as much as I’d anticipated. In fact, it was pretty floppy, like a good NYC thin slice. And totally not up to the task of supporting all the extra toppings: I needed a fork to eat up the stray pieces. (Blasphemy!) Tasty but very, very messy.

So for the second pizza, I opted for a little extra mozzarella Daiya and a few handfuls of french fries. The cooking times on the pizza and fries are roughly the same, so it worked out well.

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Interestingly, this second crust was much crispier and more rigid than the first. I can’t think of a difference between the two save for the toppings – perhaps all the extra (moist!) toppings on pizza #1 made it thick enough that it didn’t fully cook through in the middle?

Anyway, here’s the breakdown:

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Eat to the Beat: Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread & The Monkees

Friday, October 19th, 2012

 

The song: “Hey Hey We’re the Monkees (Theme)” by The Monkees (lyrics)

The foodstuff: Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread (recipe below)

The connection: Is obvious!

 

Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread (0026)

Want a pizza bite? You’ll have to punch the monkey first!
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As a kid, I was a ridiculous fan of The Monkees (the sitcom! and the boy band! back before there was such a thing as boy bands!), cheesy as they were. Of course, this was the ’80s (oh how I date myself!), so I met Davy, Micky, Peter, and Mike in reruns. In the ’90s, I fancied myself a hippie, and often looked as though I could stand in as an extra on the show. When I wasn’t dressing all in black lingerie, anyway. Twenty years later, and I’m still nursing a secret crush on…well, I’ll never tell. That’s what makes it secret!

I even have a little plush monkey that plays the cymbals while singing the theme song to The Monkees. It was a x-mas gift from mom – when I was 28 or so. Don’t wanna grow up, you can’t make me.

 

Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread (0014)

Fresh bread, in your face.
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So I’ve been meaning to veganize the many Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread recipes I’ve seen circulating the interwebs, and Vegan MoFo seemed the perfect time. I mean, hello! Monkey Bread. The Monkees. Talk about your OTPs.

Though it’s a total pita to make (not difficult, just a little tedious), the final product is amazaballs – so worth it! Basically what you have are 48 or so individual pizza rolls, coated in margarine and spices, and baked together to form one ginormous pizza-cake-shaped-bread-thingie. If you have any leftovers (Doubtful! Shane and I polished off more than half the loaf – loaf? pie? cake? idk! – in one sitting), pop ’em in the oven on a pizza stone or similar at 425F for about ten minutes. That’s just enough time for the cheese to get all melty and gooey again. Good as new!

 

Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread (0043)

The underside of the loaf is a delicious neon, much like your brain on carbs.
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I actually made this dish twice. I keep telling myself that the reason for the repeat is because I wasn’t happy with the first batch of photos – but, if I’m being honest, I really just wanted to have Pizza Monkey Bread again! (But still, the second photo shoot? Way cuter! With a treeloot monkey and everything!)

 

Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread (0061)

Itty bitty baby bites! Don’t worry, I’ll be gentle.
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Pro tip: Use AT LEAST six ounces of cheese! I trusted my pizza bread to the Follow Your Heart brand and, while there are plenty of haters out there, it melted like a charm. Any block-form vegan cheese will work, though: Teese, Daiya wedges, whatever. The first time around, I underestimated how much cheese could fit in a bite, and ended up with pizza bread tragically lacking in cheesiness. The cheese liquifies as it melts, thus taking up less space – so keep this in mind when considering the optimal cube size.

 

Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread (0064)

Hot oozy FYH action. (It really DOES melt!)
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When in doubt: add more cheese! That’s my motto, anyway.

We’re just trying to be friendly,
Come watch us sing and play.
We’re the young generation,
And we got something to say.

You’re dancing, aren’t you? ME TOO!

 

Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread (0018)

Paint me like one of your french rolls.
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Marinara & Mozzarella Pizza

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

File this one under “excuses to eat more pizza.”

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With garden-fresh tomatoes, homemade marinara sauce, and Follow Your Heart cheese, all on a rosemary crust.

And there’s a recipe, praise be!

The Vegan Pizza Day That Was!

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Okay, so maybe Vegan Pizza Day has moved to June 28th. But the party’s still on at fuck yeah vegan pizza!

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Come celebrate the Vegan Pizza Day That Was with us, ALL WEEK LONG! Americans & Canadians, share your vegan pizza photos with us for a chance to win one of three awesome prize packages featuring buttons, tees, totes – & more free product coupons than you can wag your tongue at! – from Tofurky, Daiya, Lightlife, Gardein, Nasoya, Tofutti, Field Roast, Bob’s Red Mill, Upton’s Naturals, & more! I may or may not have burned a few mix tapes especially for the occasion!

We also have a special Early Vegan Pizza Day giveaway for those in the mainland UK. Share your vegan pizza photos for a chance to win a prize package of vegan meats and cheeses from Redwood Foods! There are enough goodies here to keep you happily snacking for a month or more. (Or a week, if you’re anything like me. omnomnom!)

veganmofo 2011 - vegan pizza takes over the world

A cheesy, saucy, sexy time will be had by all! Vegan Pizza Day, so nice we’re celebrating it twice.

Vegan Bacon & Cheddar Potato Soup

Monday, November 7th, 2011

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Vegan Bacon & Cheddar Potato Soup, y u no photogenetic?
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Ever since I first saw the adorably silly “proposal” commercial for Progresso’s Loaded Potato Soup With Bacon

(You know which ad I’m talking about, yes? “What is that?” “That’s a big chunk of potato!” I would embed it, but it doesn’t yet seem to be available on the you tubes. Boo! Hiss! Boo!),

I’ve been craving bacon potato soup like a mofo. Which is funny, ’cause I’ve never had it before – not even in my pre-vegan days. (So many of those processed soups contain milk, to which I’m allergic. Good times!) Anyway, I decided to modify the Creamy Potato -n- Corn “Spowder” recipe I so love, making it creamier and soupier (if that makes any sense), while also adding some vegan bacon …and cheddar cheese!

I know, I know, Progresso’s version doesn’t have cheddar cheese, and this makes the dish so much more unhealthy, but I just couldn’t help myself! Plus I had a brick of cheddar Follow Your Heart that was set to expire, and surely this is a sufficient reason for adding cheese to yet another dish that doesn’t require it? Yes? No? Maybe?

As you can probably imagine, this is one delicious dish! Kind of like liquefied cheddar mashed potatoes, with extra chunks of potatoes and greasy fried bacon for supercalifragilisticexpialidocious goodness. Next time I’ll try the loaded bacon potato soup, minus the cheddar. Hopefully I’ll even one-up Progresso, though that’ll be a hard one to judge since I’ll never taste the competition. (Or does vegan always win? Yeah, that sounds about right!)

Bottoms up!

 
Vegan Bacon & Cheddar Potato Soup

Ingredients

1 medium onion, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 medium white potatoes, divided
2 cups plain soy milk + extra to taste
2 cups water + extra to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons margarine
5 ounces vegan cheddar cheese, shredded (1/2 package cheddar Follow Your Heart)
5 ounces vegan bacon (1 package Lightlife Smart Bacon)

Directions

1. Wash and peel the potatoes. Set three aside for later. Cut the other three into quarters. Fill a medium saucepan three quarters full with water; bring to a boil on the stovetop. Toss in the quartered potatoes and cook on medium high for about fifteen minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes and, in two batches, process them in a blender or food processor: blend one half of the potatoes, along with one cup of soy milk and one cup of water, until the “batter” is smooth and creamy. Repeat with the second half of the potatoes. Transfer back to the saucepan (or a large mixing bowl) and set aside.

2. While the potatoes are boiling, slice the bacon into small, bite-sized strips. In a large skillet or frying pan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil on medium-hot; once hot, reduce the heat to medium and add the bacon. Cook on medium for approximately ten minutes, or until the strips are brown and crispy, like so:

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Stir frequently to keep them from burning! When done cooking, set aside.

3. Peel the onion and dice it into small bits. In a large soup pot, heat two tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat; once hot, reduce the heat to medium and add the onions. Cook on medium for ten minutes or so, until the onions turn golden brown. Add the potato “batter” and continue to cook on medium.

5. Dice the remaining potatoes into small, bite-sized pieces and set aside.

6. Once the soup has heated up and started to bubble, add the margarine, spices and shredded cheese. Stir constantly so that the cheddar cheese and potatoes don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add extra water as needed.

7. Once the cheese has melted, sample the soup; add any extra seasonings to taste. Toss in the rest of the potatoes and the bacon – grease and all! – and continue to cook on medium for about ten minutes, or until the potatoes are tender (to your liking). Serve hot!

Optional: for crispier bacon, you can add it to the soup closer to the end of the cook time – or use some or all of it as a topping!

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Casper the Friendly Ghost PIZZAS!*

Monday, October 31st, 2011

2011-10-26 - Casper the Friendly Ghost Pizza - 0017 Casper the Pizza Man

The resemblance is spooktacular!
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Earlier this week, I feeling hungry and lazy and craving some pizza, but the husband – oh maker of all things pita pizza ’round these parts – was at work and thus unable to service me the way I so often required servicing (i.e. WITH FOOD. I’ll pause for a sec so that you can picture that, mkay.) The horras, right? After a little moping and low blood sugar-induced faintness (I know, such a child!), I realized that I had some white rolls sitting in the fridge. Perfect for mini toaster oven pizzas, just like dad used to make me as a kid!

The first few batches came out looking like angel wings to me, at least when you touched them tip-to-tip, like so; but, after further noming, I saw that the shape of the rolls was just the slightest bit curvy, and vaguely reminiscent of a ghost. And so Casper the Friendly Ghost Pizzas were born! (Also: an excuse to eat more mini pizzas!)

These are super-simple and quick to make, with maybe five minutes of assembly and ten minutes of cook time required. You just need:

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  • one ghostly roll, cut down the middle (mine is from a megachain store which shall remain nameless but rhymes with “Mall Fart”; each roll makes two pizzas)
  • red sauce
  • vegan mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded
  • something round for the eyes and a mouth. I used black olives and cherry and Juliet tomatoes, but you could just as easily use any round fruit, veggie or vegan meat. Think: carrots, zucchini, sausage or hot dog links, etc.
  • Start by cutting the roll down the middle. Add the red sauce, followed by the cheese, “eyes” and “mouth.” Bake in a toaster oven at 425 degrees F for ten to fifteen minutes, or until the cheese is nice and melty. Eat and repeat!

    (Fyi, if you can’t find any ghost-shaped rolls, use something round – like a soyburger bun or English Muffin – and make a mummy instead!)

    For the cheese, I went with Vegan Gourmet’s Follow Your Heart. Rather than shredding it, I cut thin strips from the block, thinking that layered pieces would give more even white coverage. I also added a few shreds towards the bottom of each ghost’s body, for that ragged, ripped sheet effect. Pre-cooking, they looked more like goatees than anything else. Pubescent Casper, represent!
     

    2011-10-26 - Casper the Friendly Ghost Pizza - 0009

     
    As it turns out, the cheese got so melty that everything just kind of melded together. So use that Daiya if you’ve got it! As long as the cheese reaches maximum ooziness, you should be safe with cheese shreds or slices. (Plus I find that I pile on less cheese when I stick to shreds. I fail at thin-slicing things.)
     
    2011-10-26 - Casper the Friendly Ghost Pizza - 0025

     
    Clearly, Casper is the ghost on the left; as per the line drawings, he’s white with sparse black facial features. Plus I fashioned him outta the top piece, so he’s fluffier and so much the better for hugging and cuddling. (It’s Casper the FRIENDLY ghost, yo!) But who is his red companion on the right?
     
    2011-10-26 - Casper the Friendly Ghost Pizza - 0018

     
    An evil twin? His lady friend, if you know what I mean? (AND I KNOW THAT YOU DO.) Casper’s pizza boss, perhaps?

    Kelly food. Yeah, that’s what.

     
    * Sorry for the caps, I JUST LOVE PIZZA SO MUCH!

    TAKE ALL THE VEGAN PIZZA

     
    Vegan MoFo 2011 logo banner

    Vegan Mac & Cheese Pizza! With two kinds of vegan cheese! And a side of macaroni and cheese for dipping!

    Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

    2011-06-04 - Mac & Cheese Pizza No. 2 - 0017

    So regular readers, Facebook friends, passing acquaintances, the cashier at my local Green Acres, et al. are already all-to-familiar with my mac & cheese pizza recipes, mostly because I talk about them ALL THE TIME. As in, EVERY CHANCE I GET. (I love macaroni and cheese, yo. YOU DO NOT WANT TO COME BETWEEN ME AND A POT OF MAC & CHEESE! Throw in a pizza pie and it’s on like Donkey Kong!) And veganmofo is no exception! Why should it be? More people to share my soon-to-be infamous Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese Pizza with!

    I’ve actually made three different versions of this pie, including one with twice-baked macaroni and cheese, and a similar dish using Daiya Pepperjack cheese in place of the traditional cheddar. But version #2 is far and away my favorite: because the mac & cheese – made with both Daiya and Follow Your Heart cheeses, for double the cheesy goodness! – is added to the pizza pie after it’s baked, it retains its oozy, gooey, melty, liquid cheesy deliciousness. And if I love anything, it’s a hot, soupy bowl of vegan macaroni and cheese on a chill fall evening. Like hot chocolate, BUT WITH CHEESE! Pizza in a cup, drink up!

    Okay, done now. Promise. I JUST LOVE MAC & CHEESE SO MUCH!

    This recipe – along with dozens more – was originally published on the Perfect Pizza Press blog. If things go as planned, we’ll be able to give away some shiny pizza presses for veganmofo vi! But alas, those were my plans last year, so we’ll have to see how things play out. WHO KNEW THAT IT WOULD TAKE SO LONG TO GET A PRODUCT SAMPLE!?! Six to twelve months, pfffft.

     
    Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese Pizza, No. 2

    Ingredients

    For the dough:

    1 cup warm water (110 degrees F / 45 degrees C)
    1 tablespoon sugar
    2 1/4 tablespoons active dry yeast
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

    For the mac & cheese:

    1/2 cup Follow Your Heart cheddar cheese, shredded
    1/2 cup Daiya cheddar cheese, shredded
    1 cup uncooked macaroni (Mini shells are my personal fave!)
    2 tablespoons margarine
    6 oz plain soy milk

    FYI: this is 1/4 of my recipe for Creamy Mac & Cheese with Daiya and Follow Your Heart vegan cheeses; double or quadruple this recipe you’d like some extra mac & cheese to serve with that mac & cheese pizza – or if you’d just like the mac & cheese, please! For a healthier pizza, sub in a mac & cheese recipe that uses a nutritional yeast sauce.

    For the pizza:

    Cornmeal or cooking spray with which to coat the pizza stone or pizza pan
    Two to four tablespoons of margarine with which to coat the dough
    1/2 to one cup of vegan cheddar cheese for the pizza (We used Daiya – it melts better than cheddar FYH, at least in the oven. Stovetop, they’re roughly equal.)
    Eight to twelve strips of of vegan bacon, diced into small bits (Optional; we used Lightlife Smart Bacon.)

    2011-06-04 - Mac & Cheese Pizza No. 2 - 0007

    Directions

    Prepare the dough!

    1. Stir the water, sugar and yeast together until dissolved. Add the olive oil and salt, as well as any extra spices or seasonings. Stir in the flour until blended. Form the dough into a small ball and let rest in large bowl, covered loosely with a towel, anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.

    Assemble the cheesy pizza!

    2. Once you’re ready to make the pizza, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

    3. As the oven is heating, spread a dusting of cornmeal onto your pizza stone (or lightly coat your pizza pan with cooking spray). Using fingers dipped in olive oil (optional), pat the dough onto the stone, spreading it out evenly.

    4. Next, lightly spread some margarine onto the uncooked dough, taking care not to press down too hard as you do so. It helps if the margarine is near room temp when you try this! You want even but sparse coverage; too little margarine means that the pizza will be a little on the dry side, while too much will compromise the integrity of the crust. We used between two and four tablespoons to coat the entire pizza.

    5. Spread the diced bacon onto the pizza, followed by the cheddar Daiya cheese.

    6. Bake at 425 degrees, for between 15 and 20 minutes for a single pizza, or 30 minutes for two pizzas.

    Make the cheese sauce!

    7. Once the pizza’s in the oven, it’s time to make the macaroni and cheese! Begin with the cheese sauce. In a small saucepan, bring the soy milk to a boil.

    8. Reduce the heat to medium and mix in the margarine, stirring until melted.

    9. Add the cheese shreds, stirring gently until they combine with the liquid to form a creamy cheese sauce.

    Optional: season to taste with salt, pepper, onion or garlic.

    10. Reduce the heat to low, stirring every few minutes.

    Make the pasta!

    11. In a skillet or sauce pan, cook the pasta according to the directions provided on the package. Stop when about 90% done and drain, leaving a little hot water with the pasta. (This will mostly cook down as you continue to heat the pasta.)

    Combine the two to make mac and cheese!

    12. Mix the cheese sauce into the pasta, stirring well. On medium low heat, let the pasta continue to cook until it’s the desired consistency. Stir constantly during this last step so that none of the pasta or cheese sticks to the pan.

    Mac & Cheese Pizza, holla!

    13. Once the pizza’s done cooking – and hopefully you’ve timed this so that the pizza and pasta finish cooking at roughly the same time! – remove it from the oven and top with a drizzle of mac & cheese. Let cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy warm, perhaps with a side of extra macaroni and cheese?

    2011-06-04 - Mac & Cheese Pizza No. 2 - 0028

    Hey, it’s not too hard to double or even quadruple the recipe, giving you two glorious vegan junk food meals in one!

    Vegan MoFo 2011 logo banner

    vegan nomz roundup!: even more pizza ed.

    Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

    …because it’s been entirely too long since our last vegan pizza party!

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    By the way, I pizza blog in this. In fact, I’m wearing it right now. The more you know.

    Now bring out the pizza!

    Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese Pizza, No. 2!

    2011-06-04 - Mac & Cheese Pizza No. 2 - 0017

    Another vegan mac & cheese pizza!

    This recipe is fairly similar to the original, with one key change: instead of adding the macaroni and cheese to the pizza before it’s baked, we added the mac & cheese after the pizza came out of the oven (and more sparingly, too; this pizza is more like a “regular” pizza and less like a carb pie!). Since it isn’t baked twice, the mac & cheese topping is a little creamier and soupier. There’s also some extra cheddar Daiya and margarine hiding under there – along with bits of Lightlife Smart Bacon – for added moisture. (It’s like a white pizza only orange, yo!) Here’s the recipe, give it a try!

    fwiw, this was the scene as we sat down to plates loaded with pizza slices and sides of mac & cheese (we made a full recipe, of course! ALWAYS MAKE A FULL POT OF MAC & CHEESE!):

    Me: I AM GOING TO GET PREGNANT WITH THIS MAC & CHEESE!

    Shane: [looks of horror and revulsion; not just at the thought of sexy time with cheesy pasta, but also – presumably – because neither of us wants children, to the point that this is a condition in our prenup]

    Me: I mean I’m going to eat so much that my belly bloats up to where I look pregnant. YOU KNOW, MY BABY BUMP.

    Shane: Oh.

    And I did.

    Mac & Pepperjack Pizza

    2011-06-18 - Mac & Pepperjack Pizza - 0015

    Vegan macaroni and cheese pizza #3! “Mac & Pepperjack,” as we nicknamed it, is made with Pepperjack Daiya cheese (duh!) and topped with breadcrumbs, baked mac & cheese styley. Between the pasta and the pizza, this pie is like two meals in one. It took the husband a week to finish off the leftovers, what with the way he loaded the mac & cheese on there. Three inches of cheesy goodness? This bad boy is practically a deep dish!

    Kalamata Olive Bread Pizza

    2011-05-28 - Kalamata Bread Pizza - 0007

    Kalamata Olive Bread Pizza, made in the toaster oven! (The pizza, not the bread; you’ll need a bread machine for that!)

    This recipe for Kalamata Olive Bread is one of my favorites, and here it’s been improved upon in the only conceivable way one might so polish a masterpiece: ADD DAIYA CHEESE! Immediate success! The tang of the bread complements the mozzarella Daiya and red sauce nicely, and it’s even better when toasted to a lovely brown crisp. I see many more slices in my future. (Also: a kalamata olive pizza crust!)

    Of course, you can sub in your own favorite bread recipe; I’ve made quickie toaster pizzas with everything from homemade loafs to french bread to plain old sliced white bread. It’s hard to go wrong when vegan pizza is involved!

    (More below the fold…)

    Creamy Mac & Cheese – it’s a new Daiya!

    Monday, May 16th, 2011

    2011-05-09 - Mac and Cheese - 0010

    When I went poking through the archives I was surprised to see that I’ve only written about mac & cheese but once! Just once! Shocking when you consider how often we eat the stuff. Which in itself is shocking, given that I’d never even had mac & cheese until I was in my mid-20s! (Milk allergy, how I’ve learned to love you.) This oversight must be remedied!

    Anyhow, in the original Teese vs. Follow Your Heart showdown, Follow Your Heart emerged victorious. (My latest pizza nomz roundup? Full of spoilers. And no Teese!) I found Teese a little salty, possibly with a weird aftertaste; I don’t wholly remember. (Of course, this was the old formula; and while things may have since changed, between Follow Your Heart and Daiya my contentment is so complete that I’ve no desire to revisit the issue. But I digress.) Thus, the mac & cheese recipe I offered up as our “perfect” formulation was a strictly Follow Your Heart-based dish.

    Once Daiya finally hit the market, however, we did revisit our previously “perfect” mac & cheese formula and came up with a dish that’s even creamier, worlds yummier and more decadent than the original. This one involves a 50/50 mix of cheddar Follow Your Heart and Daiya cheeses. We found that Daiya alone made for a good enough cheese sauce, but the two combined? Heavenly!

    After years of tinkering, I think this is it! THE PERFECT CREAMY VEGAN MAC & CHEESE RECIPE! (Previous disclaimer re: personal tastes still applies.)

    Although, there’s no telling what will happen when Pepperjack Daiya reaches Kansas City…

    Creamy Mac & Cheese with Daiya and Follow Your Heart vegan cheeses

    2011-05-09 - Mac and Cheese - 0002

    Ingredients

    2 cups Follow Your Heart cheddar cheese, shredded
    2 cups Daiya cheddar cheese, shredded
    4 cups uncooked macaroni (mini shells are my personal fave!)
    8 tablespoons margarine
    24 oz plain soy milk

    Directions

    Make the cheese sauce!

    1. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the soy milk to a boil.

    2. Reduce the heat to medium and mix in the margarine, stirring until melted.

    3. Add the cheese shreds, stirring gently until they combine with the liquid to form a creamy cheese sauce.

    Optional: season to taste with salt, pepper, onion or garlic. If a thicker sauce is your desire, stir in a pinch of corn starch.

    4. Reduce the heat to low, stirring even few minutes.

    Make the pasta!

    5. In a deep skillet or wide, shallow sauce pan, cook the pasta according to the directions provided on the package. Stop when about 90% done and drain, leaving a little hot water with the pasta. (This will mostly cook down as you continue to heat the pasta.)

    Combine the two to make mac and cheese!

    6. Mix the cheese sauce into the pasta, stirring well. On medium low heat, let the pasta continue to cook, until it’s the desired consistency. Stir constantly during this last step so that none of the pasta or cheese sticks to the pan.

    Serve warm and melty!

    Or … maybe on a pizza? (You heard me right!)

    2011-05-09 - Mac and Cheese Pizza - 0013

    Fuck yeah hot carb on carb action! (You’ll find the recipe at the PPP blog: Creamy Vegan Mac & Cheese Pizza! And you will go looking for it; resistance is futile. Muahaha!)

    Extra-special bonus nomz!

    2011-03-26 - Baked Mac & Cheese - 0014

    Vegan Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Daiya! (Recipe via To Live and Eat in L.A.) Not bad, though not nearly as creamy and cheesy as I like it. Shane is a big fan; he’s partial to the breadcrumbs!

    vegan nomz roundup!: pizza ed.

    Saturday, May 14th, 2011

    2011-04-12 - Pizza To-Do List 01

    Make pizza, photograph pizza, eat pizza, blog pizza, repeat.
    THE ONLY TO DO LIST THAT MATTERS. LIVE BY IT!
    ——————————

    Lately I’ve been all about food and furkids. More specifically, pizza & ice cream and cats & dogs. It’s my own form of escapism, yo. (Burnout, who me?) So, while it might seem like I haven’t been up to much lately – particularly to those of you who just follow me here – the truth is that I’m still blogging, just in other spaces, including a few new places.

    For instance: fuck yeah vegan pizza and fuck yeah vegan ice cream. I started these sister blogs on tumblr after realizing that my food self can basically be boiled down to these two foodstuffs. (And further realizing that posting mouth-watering photos of gooey, oozy, melty, cheesy pizza slices and delightfully decadent frozen desserts is worlds more fun than beating my head against the twin walls of speciesism and misogyny that encircle the feminist and animal advocacy communities. End: rant.) If you’re on tumblr, please follow and submit! (Photos, not yourself!) If not, sign up. I need you!

    Also, I’ve been cooking up a storm in my real-world kitchen too, experimenting with new pizza and ice cream recipes, some of them developed by my own bad self. (Which would explain why I’ve gained ten lbs. since x-mas, but I digress.) Possibly you might be wondering where in the worlds I’ve been hoarding these delicious new dishes? Though I’ll save the ice cream not-porn for another day – this post is called “vegan nomz roundup!: pizza ed.” for a reason, peoples! – today I’d like to talk about some of the many pizzas I’ve made so far this year. All of the recipes are available on the PPP blog. (ETA: I also post uber-adorable photos of adoptable animals every Friday! You’ve been warned!)

    (Certainly you remember the Perfect Pizza Press, yes? It’s a pizza cutter-esque kitchen utensil that Shane invented in ’09. He hired a welder to make a prototype based on his design and, when it proved a success, we decided to sell it online. While the website has been functional for months now, the presses are not yet available for purchase. Obtaining samples from local manufacturers has proven slow-going, and my recent health issues haven’t exactly sped things along. During the limbo we’ve been feasting on vegan pizza – for the blog/business, of course – so it’s a wash I guess!)

    Possibly you’ll find that some of these pies are a repeat; if so, this is only because they rocked so hard the first time that they could not be denied an encore!

    Listed in reverse chronological order; if you do nothing else, you simply must scroll through for the awesomness that is the Garbage Plate Pizza! Look for it in the middle.

    And yes, I realize that these are all terribly unhealthy, over-processed, fat-laden dishes; again, see: my recent unexpected weight gain. (Unexpected? What did I think would happen when I bought Daiya in bulk? Play with fire much?) The good news? Now that I’m overhauling my diet to include pizzas with less or no cheese; thinner crusts topped with more fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds; and dough involving a greater variety of flours, future dishes will (mostly) be on the healthy side. Consider this the junk food pizza roundup.

    Personal Pita Pizzas!

    2011-04-02 - Kelly's Pita Pizza - 0002

    (More below the fold…)

    criFSMas 2010: The Big Fat Saucy Vegan Food Post

    Thursday, December 30th, 2010

    2010-12-13 - Kitchen - 0002

    So. We’ve harassed and humiliated the dog-kids. You’ve seen my shiny sparkly goodies. Twice! And yet, my holiday blogging would not be complete without a FOOD POST!

    While x-mas is oftentimes an excuse to overindulge, this year I went overboard – owing in no small part to the fact that I handmade a number of gifts, including a couple tons (okay, I exaggerate, but not by much) of chocolate goodies.

    But let’s begin at the ending, shall we? As in: criFSMas dinner!

    2010-12-24 - criFSMas Dinner - 0010

    I did most of the cooking the day before – which was, for us, the 23rd – so that we could be as lazy as possible the day of. I prepared a deep-dish lasagna feast with tons of veggies (green and yellow zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms and garlic) and plenty of oozy, gooey cheese (in this case, cheddar and mozzarella Follow Your Heart). (Jump to the end of this post for the recipe!)

    2010-12-24 - criFSMas Dinner - 0005

    I also breaded and froze some vegan mozzarella sticks – my first-ever batch – so they’d be nice and ready for their date with the deep fryer next day. Spoiler: they are terribly delicious, and surprisingly easy to make. (Recipe via Hell Yeah It’s Vegan!)

    2010-12-24 - Making Mozzarella Sticks - 0009

    2010-12-24 - Making Mozzarella Sticks - 0016

    (More below the fold…)

    Pizza Soup! (Take 1)

    Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

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    Close on the heels of my Loaded Canadian Pizza Style Baked Potatoes, I decided to try something similar with soup. In other words, Pizza Soup! (I’m all about pizza lately!) Initially I considered cannibalizing a few of the many tomato, minestrone and/or pizza-esque soup recipes available on the intewebs, but Google turned up so many results that my head near e’sploded. Instead, I used my favorite, tried and true soup recipe – “Spicy” Three Bean Soup – as a jumping-off point (mainly for the base), incorporating some elements from the baked ‘taters into the mix (i.e., the fried tomatoes, mushrooms and olives).

    All in all, this is a rather decent dish that could – imho – use some refining. (Trial and error, baby!) This particular concoction is, believe it or not, a little too tomato-y for my tastes; next time around, I think I’ll omit the sundried tomatoes altogether. Also, because I made this while Shane was in the midst of a liquid diet (he’d had a root canal a few days prior), I decided to run the canned tomatoes, mushrooms and olives through a food processor and stay away from mixed veggies altogether. Yay on the former, nay on the latter. Take 2 will have a cup of carrots, methinks. Finally: more orzo. At least two cups, maybe three.

    Oh, and come to think of it, maybe I’ll fry up the Smart Pepperoni with the tomato/mushroom/olive mixture. My thinking was that I’d prefer it be crispy, so I should add it last, as a garnish; but unless you eat it asap, it sogs up anyway. Probably it makes a better seasoning than a decoration. Thoughts?

    Pizza Soup, Take 1

    2010-11-05 - Pizza Soup, Take 1 - 0006

    Ingredients

    4 tablespoons olive oil
    2 tablespoons minced garlic
    3 ounces canned black olives
    4 ounces canned mushrooms
    14 ounces canned tomatoes

    46 fl. oz. vegetable juice
    3 cups vegetable bouillon
    3 cups water
    6 tablespoons olive oil
    2 tablespoons minced garlic
    1 cup sundried tomatoes, diced
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    1 tablespoon parsley
    2 teaspoons garlic powder
    3.5 teaspoons basil
    2 teaspoons oregano
    1 cup small pasta (e.g., orzo)
    3/4 cup mozzarella Follow Your Heart (or the vegan cheese of your choice; OPTIONAL: omit the cheese and use nutritional yeast instead!)

    Lightlife Smart Pepperoni or Smart Bacon to garnish

    (More below the fold…)

    Creamy Mac & Cheese – now with Heart!

    Saturday, December 26th, 2009

    Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet soy cheese

    Vegan Gourmet v. Teese: Who shall emerge victorious?

    2009-06-03 - Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe Order - 0034

    Spoiler: Each shall live to melt another day!

    Originally, I’d intended this as a side-by-side comparison of Teese and Vegan Gourmet vegan mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, à la the Sweet & Sara v. Dandies showdown. Yes, I had it all planned out: I ordered exactly enough tubes of Teese to make a few batches of cheddary mac & cheese, with an extra tube of mozzarella and cheddar left over to cover a homemade pizza each. The fridge was stocked to nearly-overflowing with brick upon glorious brick of Vegan Gourmet. (Nom!) Unfortunately, we tried so many different mac & cheese recipes – and over such a lengthy period of time – that it quickly became impossible to keep track of the many cheese/recipe variations. (Seriously, I’ve been at this since early summer!)

    So while I don’t come bearing a chart or pro/con breakdown of each brand and flavor of vegan cheese, I can say that I prefer Vegan Gourmet to Teese. Teese is a little salty for my taste, and since it’s not available locally, it’s a tad more expensive than Vegan Gourmet, especially when you factor in shipping costs. Of course, I’m not judging either brand against its dairy-based counterpart, since I’ve never been able to eat the stuff. (Something for which I’m quite thankful now; it’s rather easy to “give up” non-vegan products when you never formed taste for/addiction to them to begin with!) My husband – who is not allergic to milk and found cow’s milk cheese the hardest foodstuff to relinquish upon going vegan – nominally prefers Teese to Vegan Gourmet. Take from that what you will.

    In terms of cooking with Teese versus Vegan Gourmet, I think the two are tied for convenience, meltability, etc. Both seem to have their own “sweet spot” for achieving maximum gooeyness. For example, when sprinkled atop mini pita bread pizzas, Vegan Gourmet melts best when cooked at 450 degrees F for about 15 minutes. But, um, that’s in the Garbato-Brady oven; my sister has had slightly less luck at these settings. Likewise, the reason we tried so many mac & cheese recipes is because the cheese sauce congealed at different rates, depending not just on the brand, but also how and when the cheese was mixed with the soy milk, margarine and macaroni. So no matter which brand you favor, there’s no small amount of experimentation and guesswork that goes into cooking with vegan cheese. But hey, it’s totally worth it, dontchathink?

    Anyhow, after months of laborious taste-testing, the Mr. and I finally came up with our perfect mac & cheese recipe. Again, grain of salt; mac & cheese is a highly personal and intimate subject, particularly in the vegan community, so perhaps you’ll try this dish only to discover that it tastes like dreck. But hey, that’s how I feel about mac & cheese dishes centered around nutritional yeast, and many fellow vegans swear by these recipes. To each her own.

    (More below the fold…)

    VeganMoFo, Day 28: The Perfect Pizza (Press)

    Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

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    Though I’ve been focusing on healthy, frugal vegan foods this month, I have a confession to make: I’m a pizza addict. The Mr. and I have pizza for dinner several times a week. And it’s not exactly the healthy, low-fat, veggie-loaded, cheeseless kind – not even close!

    Usually, we make these cute lil’ mini-/personal pizzas using pita bread as the base, but every few weeks or so, we go all out and make large pizzas from scratch.

    2009-02-21 - Vegan Gourmet Pizza - 0004

    Okay, well, not totally from scratch: the dough is fresh, but the sauce is canned, as are the black olives. I guess you could say that the faux pepperoni and soy cheese are made from scratch, just not by us (our artisans of choice are Lightlife and Follow Your Heart, respectively). The sundried tomatoes may or may not be homegrown and homemade (read: dried); while I still have a batch from 2008 stashed in the freezer, our garden was a huge fail this year, and we’ll probably deplete our stores by the end of November. But it’s too painful a subject to discuss quite yet. Sigh.

    Anyhow, the pita pizzas make for a quick and convenient meal; not only does the pita bread allow you to forgo the dough-making step, but the pita is also small enough that the pizzas are edible as-is, no cutting required. The larger pizzas are another story.

    While fresh-made dough requires some planning ahead, it’s more time-consuming than difficult. Rather, we’ve found ourselves plagued by a problem of a different sort: namely, slicing the layer of thick, gooey vegan cheese and through the crispy crust underneath. Though I’ve never had dairy-based cheese (I’m allergic to milk, making the transition to veganism that much easier), Shane swears that pizzas with vegan cheese are infinitely harder to cut than their non-vegan counterparts. For a while I assumed that the problem lay in our cheap-ass cutlery, but we always manage to make a mess of our pizza toppings, no matter the sharpness (or dullness) of the knives used. We even tried a few of those charming little pizza-cutters-on-a-wheel, with little luck.

    About twelve months ago, Shane started going on about an idea he had for “the perfect pizza cutter.” I rolled my eyes not a few times, especially since he was going through this Billy Mays* / Anthony Sullivan fascination phase. But he kept on with it, contacting local metallurgists and welders in his spare time. I more or less humored him, thinking that it would be so insanely expensive to commission a custom-made piece from a professional that the idea wouldn’t go anywhere. And a few metalworkers did give crazy high quotes – we’re talking $500 and up (thanks, but no thanks). Still he persisted, and got in touch with a welder – with experience in kitchen utensil development, to boot! – who was willing to do the job for fee low enough that I couldn’t say no.

    And so the Perfect Pizza Press was born!

    2009-09-26 - Perfect Pizza Press Prototype - 0002

    I have to hand it to him: he came up with a really kickass idea.

    (More below the fold…)

    More Vegan Gourmet: Cheesy Baked Potatoes

    Sunday, March 8th, 2009

    Baked potatoes. Diced tomatoes. A dash of olive oil and garlic. Smothered in melty, cheddary Vegan Gourmet soy cheese.

    Need I say more?

    Cheesy Baked Potatoes

    2009-03-08 - Cheesy Baked Potatoes - 0002

    Ingredients

    4 white baking potatoes
    14 to 28 oz canned diced tomatoes (or 2 to 3 fresh tomatoes, diced)
    Olive oil
    Garlic and/or onion powder
    Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet soy cheese (or similar), cheddar flavor, 1/2 to 1 brick
    1 medium sized glass baking pan

    (More below the fold…)

    Vegan Gourmet Pizza: Melty!

    Sunday, March 1st, 2009

    The husband and I finally (!) tried Follow Your Heart’s Vegan Gourmet soy cheese last week (don’t ask me why it took so long – I’m already kicking myself). We’ve been searching for a suitable vegan soy cheese for some time now, so when Shane spotted Vegan Gourmet during his last Whole Foods run, he picked up a few bricks of the cheddar and mozzarella flavors. We (ok, he) made two homemade pizzas last Saturday, in anticipation of a Lost marathon – one topped with mozzarella, the other, cheddar. As you can probably surmise, it was effin yummay!

    Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet soy cheese

    Admittedly, I haven’t sampled many of the newer vegan cheeses (Teese, Sheese), but Vegan Gourmet is the best I’ve tried thus far. The mozzarella has a bit of a salty taste; Shane says it tastes very much like “real” (read: cow’s milk) mozzarella (I wouldn’t know; I’m allergic). The cheddar isn’t as salty (though it contains more sodium – go figure), but has a “cheddary” taste. (Again as per Shane; a direct quote: “They’re very reminiscent of real cheese.”) Since I don’t have any experience with dairy cheese, I’m having a bit of trouble putting the taste into words; suffice to say, both the mozzarella and cheddar and very tasty. Though, I do have a slight preference for the cheddar, probably because it isn’t as salty as the mozz. (The cheddar is healthier, too, what with less fat and more protein – yay!)

    True to Follow Your Heart’s promise, both cheeses are uber-melty: They Melt! Almost too well, actually: it’s really difficult to slice a large pizza right out of the oven, because the cheese is so melty. It practically liquefies under heat! We had to let the pizzas sit for about ten minutes before we could cut and serve the slices, and even then, it proved messy.

    Naturally, we made a second batch of pizzas last night. (I expect it’ll be pizza 24/7 round these parts, now that we’ve found an edible soy cheese!) This time, we tried “pressing” the bricks of cheese like tofu, in order to draw out some of the excess water – the suspected culprit in the greasy/watery/liquid-y consistency of melted Vegan Gourmet. We also spread the shredded cheese on a large baking pan, and let it sit out on the counter for about an hour prior to making the pizza, hoping that any excess water might dissolve into the ether. All this helped a tad – the melted cheese wasn’t quite as watery – but it was still a lil’ messy to work with. Still, it’s a huge improvement over the alternatives, namely, cheese-less/-free pizza, or pizza laden with cruelty (i.e., dairy cheese). 4.9/5 stars!

    (More below the fold…)