As I started really moving toward a plant-based diet (i.e. vegan), I didn’t miss cheese too much at first. Yeah, right, for about two days. But once I got over the first week or two, I honestly didn’t think I craved it anymore. Ha. I was fooled. Sure, I had my trusty bag of Daiya cheddar shreds in the refrigerator drawer where I used to keep about 6 types of cheese at any given time. I didn’t break into them often, and frankly didn’t think I liked them much anyways. So why bother?
Then I started to really miss pizza. Sure, I tried versions of bare pizza with sauce and some toppings. The result was ok, but it didn’t have that “it” factor I was craving. As I have read more, I have seen this concept discussed again and again. Vegan experts generally agree that when one has trouble with feeling full or satisfied on a plant-based diet, it may be due either to not meeting calorie requirements (believe me, not the case with all the cooking I’ve been obsessed with) or missing the creaminess/fat that comes with animal products. Others talk about casein in dairy/cheese being addictive and opioid-like, but I’m not convinced on that. It may very well be true, I don’t know. I just wanted pizza.
You might wonder why I will go on and on about Daiya brand. I don’t have any endorsements or free products, but wouldn’t that be nice? I like the fact that it is oriented toward vegans and additionally toward people with food allergies. No dairy or nut products (they do state that coconut is the exception). The products are soy and gluten-free, which is less of a concern for me, but critical to others. I can’t have cashews in the house due to a child’s severe allergy, which means no cashew cheese recipes. Therefore I seek safe yummy “cheese.”
I tried it with a pizza made with sub rolls and really liked it. This is not gourmet here, but I hope it might help if you are looking for an exceptionally easy and delicious pizza. It should work on any crust; I’ve just been in “fast and easy” mode and have used pre-sliced rolls. I am now CERTAIN I like Daiya cheese (a lot!) when heated and much less when not.
Hoagy or Sub rolls, any bread or crust could be used, just be aware I started with an already baked “base” to my pizza
Muir Glen brand Organic Pizza Sauce
Freeze-Dried cut basil (Fresh would be great but it was not available or attractive in Feb/March)
Toppings: I only used sliced green olives each time, but add any you want
Daiya brand mozzarella shreds
(Set oven to broil. I used broil-high and my oven rack in the second from the highest position).
1. Place your sub rolls or bread open side up on a baking sheet. Spread with the desired amount of pizza sauce.
2. Liberally sprinkle basil over sauce
3. Add toppings (cook vegetables slightly ahead of time if they won’t be soft with the short cooking time)
4. Add Daiya mozzarella shreds
5. Broil (mine took 6-8 minutes) as you watch very closely for light browning of the cheese.
If you have any tips on vegan cheese or pizza, I’d love to hear…