Monday, June 28, 2010

Daiya Deluge

Monkey-man wanted me to post our recent winnings that has raked in
5lbs of Daiya and a copy of Tal Ronnen's The Conscious Cook.
I dig this cookbook. I would rank it among those best for high end
entertaining or creating a truly impressive meal for special occasions.
Not that it is all hoity toity recipes, but many are quite rich and not
for light eating. Its amazing just for the photos. His training and
experience really shine through. It is what professional cooking should
be. It separates the home-cooks and the real chefs.

I avoid most of the vegan cookbooks out there, but lots of (I'm sure
your favorite authors) the more popular vegan 'chefs'. I avoid them
for mainly two reasons... 1. anyone can think up a recipe like this
and don't need a book to tell me that or 2. the author(s) have no
training and no palate. I've gone through a lot of vegan cookbooks and
used their recipes straight off the page and cannot imagine what they
smoking that made that taste good? Ok, I better stop there or I will go
on a never ending rant! Sorry guys.

The contest we won was for our pizza photo, that you can see here.
It is also what sparked my recent Pizza Pizzaz Series.
We froze most of the cheese and I'll be taking some back with me on
my summer adventures. But we don't eat alot of cheese, so I think it
should last a good while. Imagine my excitement when a cooler arrived
from Canada filled with vegan cheese!

If you haven't had daiya, I strongly suggest you try get some.
If you had it once and didn't like it, try it again in a different form.
Honestly, (sorry daiyafoods) I didn't like it the first time I tried it.
But neither did I like the follow my heart cheese. I may have been
stuck in the dairy cheese mentality and that was all I was expecting.

I really think this holds way too many people back from being vegan.
They push away vegan products because they don't taste identical to
the cow titty based products. You have to be open minded and enjoy
everything for itself, not for what you want it to be.

I compare it to an experience I had as a kid. I was playing in my
room with a friend (probably around 10yrs old) and my Mom calls me
into the kitchen, asking if I want some candy. Hellz yes, I wants
candy. So she offers me some 'chocolate covered raisins', which in
fact turn out to be chocolate covered espresso beans. Not cool Mom.

Now I love coffee, at points in my life I've loved coffee too much.
And I may have liked it then if I had not been expecting a raisin.
Basically we set our minds up to want a specific experience, flavor
or texture and that in turn shoots us in the foot when the experience
at hand does not match our expectations. It may even be better than
what you had wanted but its not identical and that is what puts
us off.

We first had daiya at Z Pizza. It was too much. Too oily and too wet.
So we avoided it for a bit and then had it again at Purgatory Pizza.
Our minds were quickly changed. You just need to know how to use it.
Don't let one bad meal change how you feel about a food.


On that note... I'll still be here, still posting away. But I'll
be leaving LA for about a month and going up to stay with family in
the mountains and write my cookbook. I'm already planning some
more series to focus on, as well as filling those requests that have
been sent out to me. (Shall I call them requests or challenges?)

I may come back down for a weekend to beach bum it up or hit up
some Knott's Berry Farm, but other than that... consider me exiled!


Anonymous said...

Perfect bc I have been looking for a vegan cheese for when I make pizza. I will try daiya.

Stella said...

Hey Kitchen Witch! I've been meaning to try Daiya cheese. I can't find it anywhere, so I just buy Galaxy. It's okay-pretty decent.
By the way, I think it's so funny what you said about your #2 reason for not looking at most vegan cookbook recipes. I've made stuff with my sister before from vegan cookbooks, and so often it isn't very good at all.
One day, we made something that was really nasty. I don't remember what it was, but we followed the directions to a 'T' like we always do the first time making something. I was like 'I don't understand'. My sister, who is an avid carnivore, looked at me like I was stupid and said 'Dem vegans is hungry, girl!'. I just laughed her off, but it haunts me. I sometimes wonder if a lot of vegans don't have a proper palate due to not eating a truly healthful vegan diet, which would result in voracious type hunger and therefore thinking everything is wonderful.
p.s. don't get me wrong, I think a vegan (vegetarian too) diet is very healthful. I just feel some people don't 'get it' like my friend who has a steady diet of twizzlers and chips and is a vegan (smile)...
Anyway, nice post! I always enjoy your opinions and writing. Obviously, as I just wrote a novel here (oops)!

Kitchen Witch said...

@ Landanimal: Daiya is great for pizza, just keep it light because once daiya melts it gets wet and doesn't solidify. For pizzas we like a mix of both flavors.

@ Stella: I know what you mean. I don't know if its all vegans that have bad palates, I think it starts with the authors. Their books get popular because cooking is such a big deal and no one knows that these authors have no real culinary training. The get used to crappy recipes thinking that its just how vegan food is supposed to taste. There is a list of authors that I downright avoid because I know they have no taste in food and everything I tried from them was awful. I cannot imagine how they get up to the bestsellers list...
I have always viewed the health aspect of a veg diet as a perk. Animal rights have always come first for me and they health was just a bonus. Some people, vegans too, just don't care about healthy eating. Unfortunately these are the people that turn around say espouse about how hard it is to be veg and how unhealthy they were, etc etc