I made a rookie Vegan error today.
I went grocery shopping and decided to finally take the leap and try some non-dairy cheese. They sell Daiya at my supermarket, but S.O. has mentioned that he prefers Soya cheese flavoured “loaf” to the more well known brand, so it got first dibs.
Made by Okanagan’s Soya Co. (in Canada!), Soya cheeze comes in cheddar, mozzarella and jalapeño flavours. It looks just like a block of cheese, and isn’t too expensive, as long as you’re viewing it as a rare treat – $5 for 250 g.
I brought it home, opened it up and cut a thin little slice off to try. I was impressed! It tastes considerably like mozzarella (I figure that was safer than cheddar since it’s pretty mild, so less “fake” flavour needs to be used – theoretically).
I was very excited that I had discovered an option for future pizzas, and I turned it over to see if there was any substantial nutritional perks. I glanced at the ingredients and…there it was.
Silly me for thinking that a fake cheese would be Vegan. Am I alone in assuming that pretty well the only reasons a person wouldn’t eat real cheese are that they don’t consume dairy products, or they physically can’t consume them?
I’ve already purchased the loaf, unfortunately, but since I have my brain pretty wrapped around by-productless products these days, I am going to be pawning this one off on the S.O.
Damn! So close!
In other news:
I have a serious love for Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup. Even before I went fully Vegan, dairy did not exactly agree with me, so I would use almond milk in place of cow’s milk – but there is still cream in the soup itself. Obviously, when I switched dietary tracks, I stopped eating this delicious and extremely unhealthy food!
I haven’t had any dreadful cravings for the soup in the past month, but once in awhile I do think about how nice it would be to have cream of mushroom soup again. Then I search for Vegan versions and think that they look delicious, but click on since I’m usually not in the mood to make anything from scratch when such a craving hits.
This weekend, I decided I was in the mood. After digitally thumbing through a few recipes, I settled on this one. Easy, straightforward, with no hard-to-find ingredients, and only two that I would have to pick up: mushrooms and cashews.
This soup is just delicious! Being a fan of the can, I have rarely had homemade mushroom soup, so I wasn’t sure I would enjoy all the different flavours from the garlic and onion, and the herbs. Boy, was I wrong.
I did make a few changes. The broth that I bought recently, though organic, has a ludicrous amount of sodium, so instead of six full cups of it, I used 3 and a half, plus one and a half cups of water, and one cup of almond milk. I also used two cloves of garlic (instead of three) and one small onion (somewhat less than 1 cup), for the flavour uncertainty I mentioned above. I decided to hold off on adding the rest of the liquid – I added two cups as the onions and mushrooms were cooking – until I had pureed the soup, since I felt the mushroom slices were too large. It ended up being a semi-pureed soup, which is fine by me!
The only other problem I faced was with the cashews. I did soak them, as suggested, since I don’t think my food processor is super-powered. Nevertheless, they ended up grainy in the soup. I am not a texture nut (pun intended), so I didn’t mind, but next time I will likely puree them for much longer, in much less liquid, in the hopes that they will reach that “cashew cream” state.
All in all, just wonderful. I am definitely looking forward to lunches for the next few days. S.O. doesn’t like the texture of mushrooms (he’s one of those nuts we talked about), and I’m kind of hoping I didn’t make them fine enough that he’ll eat it – I’ll quite happily keep it all to myself!