Friday, April 23, 2010
Welcome to Ontario, Daiya Cheese
I apologize, friends, for the lack of new recipes this week. I burned out slightly on the cooking front, given the weekend party food prep and my general state of being busy. I've still been cooking dinner every night, I've just been turning to simpler, tried and true recipes, rather than venturing into the unknown. A bit of a snore, I know. I have been feeling slightly uninspired.
So when Jill from Vegan Backpacker offered to bring me some special vegan treats from the Panacea Shop in Toronto, my answer was a giant YES.
Jill and I had never met before, but we are both from Ottawa and are fans of each other's blogs. Jill and her husband are spending this year traveling (and eating) all over the world, which makes for pretty interesting blog fodder. She came back to town for a few days via Toronto, and brought me the aforementioned, unavailable-in-Ottawa, vegan goodies. Marshmallows, chocolate bars, and, most importantly, some Daiya vegan cheese. We met up at Bridgehead coffee shop so Jill could give me my treats. It was fun to finally meet both Jill and her friend Valerie who came along too. I don't get to talk about food blogging with real live people very often. Very cool.
After that pleasant diversion, I went back to work and left the treats to be effectively refrigerated in my car (it was COLD today!) All the treats that is, except for the Mahalo bar which I tried to have just one bite of before heading to my afternoon appointment. This attempt at moderation failed miserably. That is one awesome chocolate bar. You'll notice the empty wrapper in the photo above.
When I finally arrived home for the evening, I felt the need to try at least a bit of the Daiya cheese before committing to the grilled cheese sandwich I had planned for dinner. With leftover corn chips from the party sitting on the shelf, nachos seemed a logical choice.
The cheese comes pre-shredded so it is wildly convenient to sprinkle it onto whatever you choose. I laid out a handful of chips on a cookie sheet, topped them with salsa and cheese, and stuck them under the broiler for three minutes. The cheese melted really well and the end product looked great.
More importantly, it all tasted really amazing. I normally don't like non-dairy cheese because most brands end up with a really weird texture and I have to fool myself into eating them without feeling peculiar. Not Daiya. When melted it tasted remarkably like regular old cheese and the texture was perfect. Score!
I talked myself out of a second helping of nachos, but I was very much looking forward to that grilled cheese sandwich. I made some asparagus soup for dinner (recipe to come!) and the sandwich was the perfect accompaniment. Once again, the cheese melted perfectly and tasted great.
I predict my future will hold many more grilled cheese sandwiches.
-Anyone done anything exciting with marshmallows recently? I was excited to eat a marshmallow for the first time in well over a decade, but now I have a whole bunch of vegan marshmallows and not the faintest clue what to do with them.
-I am excited to see vegan zinester and artist Nicole J. Georges when she comes through Ottawa as part of the Sister Spit tour this weekend. I love her pet portraits and I think she could do a great one of Sacha. Maybe someday I will commission her.
-I have switched my volunteer duties with the Shepherds of Good Hope and I will now be helping out in their impressive vegetable garden. The garden produces a whole lot of food for the free meals that Shepherds provides for the city's homeless population. I am looking forward to working with the very experienced gardeners who make up the committee. This summer is all about furthering my gardening education, it seems.
This Time Last Year: Improv Vegan Panzaratti.