Cookbook Review: The Cheesy Vegan, John Schlimm (2013)

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

It’s easy being cheesy!

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: The publisher sent me a free copy of this book for review at my request.)

Vegan cheese! No two words in the English language are able to arouse the excitement, the vociferous debate, the unbridled passion of vegans quite like “vegan cheese.” (Except – maybe – “free pizza”!) Whether arguing about the merits of Daiya vs. Teese or swapping our favorite cheesy sauce recipes, us vegans love to cut the cheese. (Sorry I’m not sorry.)

John Schlimm’s latest cookbook, The Cheesy Vegan, doesn’t disappoint. Filled with recipes for cheesy sammies and cheesy pizzas and cheesy pasta dishes and cheesy soups and sides (and an entire chapter of mac & cheese! ONE WHOLE CHAPTER!), there are also a ton of recipes for homemade cheeses: Cheddar. Mozzarella. Brie. Swiss. Feta. Ricotta. Blue. Jack. Muenster. Wine. American. Cottage. Cream. Parmesan. Nooch cheese. You name it! If it’s cheesy, it’s in here.

Better yet, the cheeses are all pretty easy to make: just blend and chill. I’ve been on the fence about whether I should give Artisan Vegan Cheese a try, since (from what I’ve seen) some of the recipes border on alchemy. But these are actually recipes that homemade cheese novices like myself can pull off with some ease!

While choosing recipes to test for this review, I tried to select dishes that would allow me to experiment with a variety of the homemade cheeses. Six weeks, seven cheeses, and thirteen (plus!) meals later, and I think I’m finally ready to do this!

For what it’s worth, I’ve been allergic to milk my entire life – so I’m not exactly the best judge of whether vegan cheeses taste or even behave like their non-vegan counterparts. Luckily, my husband was more than happy to help with the taste-testing and opinionating. (We’ve both been vegan since the mid-aughts and consider ourselves connoisseurs of vegan cheese.)

With that disclaimer out of the way – let’s get cheesy!

(More below the fold…)

This Week in Pizza

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

First and foremost: CHEDDAR BACON CHEESEBURGER & FRIES PIZZA! This really happened, people.

 

2012-11-17 - Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza - 0040

 

When I first came up with the idea for this bad boy, it was with the intention of making it for Thanksgiving. The holiday kind of crept up on us this year, you see, and the prospect of making a five-course meal for just Shane and I wasn’t really doing it for me. Alas, Shane – who hearts his seasonal holiday foods – nixed the idea. Instead we compromised on these epic looking Thanksgiving Burgers, and made the cheeseburger pizza over the weekend.

Gooey cheddar Daiya cheese, fried Lightlife Smart Bacon, savory Yves Smart Round, crispy crinkle cut french fries – not to mention tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms – ugh, my stomach is doing a happy dance just thinking about it. Seriously fucking amazing.

 

2012-11-17 - Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza - 0008

 

I know that pizza isn’t exactly considered a holiday food, but you should totally take this to your next family gathering and wow the defensive omnivores with the awesomeness that is vegan junk food. “THIS! THIS IS WHAT VEGANS EAT, COUSIN GEOFFREY! Go eat a hamburger and choke on a cow’s dick!

OR! If it’s something a little more festive you desire, allow me to remind you of last year’s Vegan Thanksgiving Pizza with all the fixings!

 

2011-11-24 - Thanksliving pizza - 0028

 

Just saying. Last minute meal idea. YOU’RE WELCOME!