Currently viewing the tag: "teese"

box-design-finaltexture09-11-12-11-1024x541Go to: Vegan Cuts

DSC_0053I was delighted to get a full-sized Teese heat n’ serve cheese in my April box from Vegan Cuts! I remember the first time I tasted Teese, Chicago Vegan Foods‘ vegan cheese, at the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival in 2008 (see here). It was vegan cheese satisfaction pre-Daiya. I am glad to see that Teese is still making new cheese products for the vegan faithful. I am waiting for them (please, please!) to make vegan Combos.

DSC_0057Of course, I had to squeeze its contents in a hot pot of elbow noodles asap. It oozed out like Easy-cheese. You remember Easy-cheese, right?

DSC_0060What a delicious nostalgic delight, a bowl of Mac n’ cheese! It is now a squeeze away. Support Chicago Vegan Foods because they make the best vegan non-dairy and they’ll never sell out to Kraft, which is a viable threat given market trends.

IMG_3170Hadn’t been to Rockville Centre’s Three Brothers in awhile. It was time for a visit.

IMG_3172Their mozzarella sticks are the star of the show. I am happy they are a bit narrower in girth than the earlier recipe. I think most know how I feel about too much Daiya. A well-seasoned firm breading juxtaposed with oozy cheese: yum.

IMG_3173Cross-section. These would go on my Vegan Top 100.

IMG_3174Seitan cutlet hero. The seitan–housemade. The cheese–Teese.

IMG_3177My friend’s choice was a seitan bacon cheeseburger.

IMG_3179We got free cinnamon sugar knobs.

IMG_3184In other news, the winter clothes went away and the bathing suits came out! I don’t care if we’re barely over 50 degrees. I can’t take it anymore!

IMG_3191Orange chocolate Twinkies. Why orange? I ran out of vanilla.

Shirley’s birthday dinner at Bhojan.

Leftover 3 Brothers pizza, weekday, Electrician‘s.

Chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips: “sweet treat” fix, weekend, Electrician’s

Pancake’s vegan birthday cakes, Pancake’s 9th Birthday Party, Merrick

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I can’t stop eating it. Mango and sticky rice. I love it. I think I need to do a search for the best–and really, when I say the best I mean the biggest portion. I really have never had a bad batch. Even after this to-go mango & sticky rice sat in its foil container for quite some time, resulting in gummy sticky rice, it was still delicious! This batch was from Pagoda Thai by my apartment and eaten at the foot of the East River in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

When I read that Bushwick Pita Palace, a neighborhood falafel joint, had burritos and Daiya on their menu, I knew I would soon succumb to delivery. On a sweltering summer day in Brooklyn I gave them a ring, pleased as punch with their friendly disposition. I ordered their super veggie burrito which, thankfully did not have squash or broccoli in it. Just the basics: rice, bean, guacamole, cheese, sour cream, fresh tomato and some shreds of Romaine. I ordered a side of their super-hot green salsa to meet the minimum. Beyond the burrito, Bushwick Pita Palace is great. $3 falafels, fast and friendly. I recommend them highly. Unlike the pretentious, hipster-owned, bad-attituded $7 falafel of Yummus Hummus.

Ah, I miss Boneshakers. Now that they closed their space on Kingsland and combined with their bakery Champs, I miss the full sandwich menu. I miss a fresh-made S.a.g. on-demand. When I stopped by recently they had some wrapped up in the bakery showcase made in the morning. They nuked it for me and I devoured it, but it was not the same. Maybe it’s because I can bake pretty amazing cupcakes and cookies myself that I miss the sandwiches so…

After exhaustive veggie burger reporting, I named Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop on the Lower East Side as having one of the best in the city. It’s good! But I’ve had much better in other cities. New York, why can’t you have a fabulous all-around vegan veggie burger that I don’t have to worry about eating? And why can’t your servers know if it is vegan? And that brioche buns have egg and butter in it? Is that too much to ask?

Calexico has a food truck at D.U.M.B.O.’s waterfront. Like most carts, the selection is not as robust. Hitting their restaurant in Greenpoint a few months back (see here), we dined on grilled chile-lime tofu, watercress, jicama, etc. But vegan options are limited to bean tacos here. A nice bite but a little uninspired. Sure, authenticity is key in a meat-heavy cuisine, I understand. But Mexican’s highlight of fresh, flavorful vegetables and sauces is the raw material for a truly spectacular veggie burrito. I will gladly act as vegan consultant to any restaurant wanting to appease this hungry mass of eaters! Seriously!


Last time I had a sandwich from Brooklyn Standard in Greenpoint I wound up devouring their French Dip sandwich only to realize too late I had eaten a substantial amount of real dairy Swiss cheese, breaking an almost decade and a half of diligent non-dairy eating. The error was quite appalling in more ways than one, prompting me to officially blacklist the deli for good.  But stopping in in person for the first time, mostly for convenience’s sake, The Greek and I had enough yum to lift the ban, yes, but not enough to have me running back.

I had the Tofu Reuben, one of their new vegan sandwiches. Now, I usually order a vegan Reuben whenever a shop offers it. It’s one of my favorite sandwiches, mostly because I am a big fan of the sauerkraut. But Brooklyn Standard’s Tofu Reuben was not so um, Reuben-y. It was very good, yes yes, but lacked the taste complements associated with the classic sandwich: the brine-y ‘kraut, the tangy Russian-style dressing, hot and melty vegan cheese (in this case Teese).

Here’s the Portobello sandwich, marinated grilled Portobello mushroom with pea sprouts, tomato gastrique, tomato and asparagus spread served on a toasted whole wheat multigrain baguette. I didn’t get to try it. I ate my sandwich like a competitive food eater and did not want another bite… well, at least for another 3 minutes or so. But by then The Greek had put chevre on it. I was safe!
Because excess is the road to someplace or another, we opted to pick up a slice of Vegan Treats‘ orange creamsicle cake! I have fond memories of orange cake. My grandma used to make a glazed orange bundt I was mad for. (Years later she told me it was Duncan Hines.) Anyway, this cake was lighter and more subtle–delicious! Ok, Brooklyn Standard, we cool.

Since Daiya‘s first buzz in March ’09 to my first taste of it in August (read here), the vegan wonder has turned the vegan cheese world upside down. Now it is the winner of VegNews’s Product of the Year, although Vegan Gourmet (Follow Your Heart) won the reader’s choice. I have watched area eateries thrive through Daiya’s inclusion on the menu. It is quite an amazing product, yes. To be honest, the vegan cheese options available before its break-out left something to be desired although it is unfortunate that Chicago Soydairy, who I love as a company and an innovator of vegan products, and their very good cheese Teese, has been overshadowed by timing. Daiya is the hot topic.

So why am I saying I’ll never eat it again? Well, just because I have been eating way too much of it lately. Despite my thinking it is an advancement and a wonderful product it is still a packaged, processed product–not a whole food. Soooo, with massive consumption (see below), one tends to feel a bit, um, yucky afterwards. After this weekend’s Daiya bender, I am ready for a break, ready for a detox. This is not to say that each bite I ingested wasn’t damn delicious, I just need to take it easy.

How does one get to this point? Take the proximity of the Electrician’s home to 3 Brothers and a frigid Saturday night and you get a Sicilian pie piled with Daiya. There was something so comforting about driving home from a pizza place, a warm cardboard box warming the length of your quadriceps, the wafting smell of marinara and warm crust filling the car. It had been a long time since I had experienced such anticipatory excitement. I must add that inside 3 Brothers was bustling! The entire dining room was full, with parties waiting by the counter for pick up and seating. I looked around and saw a ton of stretched ear lobes, code on Long Island for vegan hardcore, and older men discussing the NY Times article that helped spread the word about the vegan goings-on in Rockville Centre’s 3 Brothers.

Back at the house, I stared long and hard at the Sicilian pie we had ordered. I hadn’t had a Sicilian slice since I was a little girl, when it was my preference. There must have been a ton of Daiya on the thick crusts. We dug in and ate way too fast.Wow, I was so stuffed yet I could not stop myself from seconds.

My Daiya-fest 2010 did not stop there, however. Before meeting up with my fellow foodies for the Vegan Bake Sale for Haiti (see post below), we hit Pala on the Lower Eat Side. Yes, Pala, with its new all-vegan menu and many Daiya-infused dishes. Though I ordered the sensibly portioned gnocchi, which only had a sprinkling of the white wonder, I had followed that up with a couple of slices of Tall Guy’s mushroom and veggie sausage pizza! Upping my Daiya intake significantly. I was entranced and couldn’t help myself. Maybe I was making up for the 12 years of veganism I survived without simple comforts like pizza on demand.

The gnocchi was a sensible choice indeed. Topped with a variety of fresh herbs, the marinara-drenched tender dumplings were absolutely delicious.

And while I am recapping this great meal, let’s look at our appetizer, veggie sausage skewers (Field Roast, me thinks). A good start to the Daiya-fest that would follow and the cupcake fest that would follow that. Detox here I come.

Food bloggers are funny.

Mighty O of Seattle. The best vegan donuts I’ve tried so far. Granted I have yet to hit any other solely vegan donut shop, I can’t see anyone having a more superior real donut than Mighty O. I got the glazed all the way to the left. So good. FoodSparrow picked up six to carry on for loved ones at home.
Seattle’s Wayward Cafe has a killer tofu scramble! In fact, when it comes to scrambles, their Cheezly scramble is the best I’ve ever had. (Now I have been saying “the best I’ve had” a lot these days. I’ll be compiling a “Best of” posting soon, my own award show so to speak.) But this scramble incorporates all the elements for a satisfying and hearty breakfast for those mornings after.Our early lunch at Madison Valley’s Cafe Flora was one of the most flavorful, delicious and invigorating meals of our stay in the Pacific Northwest. Our appetizer, coconut tofu with sweet chili sauce, couldn’t have hit the spot more. The delicate dipped tofu chunks were served with plenty of fresh greens for wrapping: fragrant basil, cilantro and romaine lettuce. Next up was the roasted pumpkin and wintergreens salad: Granny Smith apples, roasted pumpkin, pomegranate, corn bread croutons and pumpkin seeds in a sherry vinaigrette. This salad was just perfect: tart, crunchy, fresh and energizing. My tongue tingles typing about it. Since we ate light we opted for dessert. Cafe Flora is not strictly vegan and doesn’t have too many dessert options for us. We chose the warm apple and fig crisp with a scoop of vanilla soy ice cream. Mmmm.Sutra is four courses of gourmet vegan bliss. With set community seating and prix fixe pricing, Sutra is much like Brooklyn’s Four Course Vegan. The chef’s seasonal dishes are creative and incorporate the best of the fall harvest. The first course was a fantastic soup Luna (white) and Fairytale (think Cinderella’s coach) pumpkins, sunchoke, saffron soup topped with fried capers and a swirl of parsley tarragon oil. Second course: pickled pepper, beet, fennel and sorrel salad with candied sunflower seeds in a balsamic reduction. The second best salad I’ve had (see above for numero uno). After these two courses I expected the best from my main course but it was slightly disappointing. An marjoram and garlic roasted orzo in a tomato sauce with wild porcini mushrooms and a side of yellow carrots and Swiss chard. I didn’t love the combination of flavors and it was a bit heavy. For dessert we received an apple torte with an almond fig crust and a scoop of heavenly coconut ice cream on top. The dessert was a bit like our lunch’s dessert so I would have preferred a cake… but what else is new?
Pizza Pi, the all-vegan pizzeria in Seattle’s University District, has been on my list for quite some time. I finally got there on my last day in Seattle to purchase a small pizza for a roadtrip north. The artichoke pizza was ordered and so we headed next door to Sidecar For Pigs Peace, an all-vegan shop with groceries, accessories, and all sorts of vegan goods. Great place! Back tot he pizza: we had the best of intentions in ordering the pizza to go… but when it was ready we walked it to the table and proceeded to eat all of it. It was pretty good! The sauce wasn’t the tastiest and Teese was not completely melted, but c’mon… vegan pizza! The counter person seemed a bit annoyed we wasted a to-go box and grabbed it out of the garbage pale we disposed it in. I guess she wanted to recycle it but, um, cardboard is not recyclable with food waste on it, nor is it sanitary to reuse it. But we see your point Oh righteous counter person! Goodbye Pacific Northwest! Thanks for the eats.

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay BiscuitsHad I not wanted to allow for internet searchers to easily find these vegan Red Lobster cheese and garlic biscuits, I would have called these my “Holy Sh*t Motherscratcher Ever-Lovin’ Biscuits”… or some such name that adequately expresses my great excitement about them. Many, like me, have fond memories of chomping on Red Lobster‘s complimentary cheese and garlic biscuits back in the day. I remember hitting up RL with the family for special occasions. You know, ‘cuz Red Lobster is a classy joint. So it’s potent and early-on food nostalgia that lead me to attempt to veganize the biscuits. And with this weekend’s White Trash dinner party on the horizon and holding some leftover Teese, I brought it on.

I should say that this great vegan feat would not be possible without Teese, who so instilled hope and excitement in the vegan cheese market. Chicago Soydairy, if you were a person you would be filing a restraining order against me.
Okay, so let’s get to the biscuits! I used Vegan Brunch‘s herbed whole wheat drop biscuits as a guide for these but will post the tweaked recipe below. I normally don’t like typing out Isa’s complete recipes in my blog postings because I think everyone should buy her books… but this is a special case!
Vegan Red Lobster Cheese & Garlic Biscuits/Holy Sh*t Motherscratcher Ever-Lovin’ Biscuits
2 cups white flour
5 tsp baking powder
1 garlic clove-minced
2 tsp fresh parsley-chopped
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp salt
3 TB cold Earth Balance vegetable shortening
3 TB cold Earth Balance soy margarine
1 cup soy milk
1 cup sharp cheddar Teese (I shredded half and diced the rest into tiny cubes)
1) Preheat oven to 450. Grease a baking sheet.
2) In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, minced garlic, parsley, rosemary and salt.
3) Using your hands, cut in shortening and margarine until you get a crumby texture.
4) Add the milk and mix until incorporated. Stir in Teese until equally distributed.
5) Drop dough on greased baking sheet, making about 10-12 biscuits.
6) Bake for 15-18 minutes, until biscuits are lightly brown
7) Let cool for a few minutes on a cooling rack
Finishing touch:
8) Mix 2 softened TBs of Earth Balance margarine with 2 tsps of fresh parsley, a tsp of garlic powder (from a garlic mill, if you have) and a pinch of salt. Use a pastry brush to coat the tops of each biscuit with the buttery mixture.

The result: Amazing!

After a glorious gorgeous day at sea on the soft-sanded and low-key Brighton Beach, Coney Island’s quiet cousin, my new eclair “canoe” baking pan was finally utilized by way of cheddar and chive corn dogs. Sun-tired and hungry, CP and I pulled these dogs together using the Blue Ribbon corn bread winner from the Iowa state fair (recipe here), some shredded Teese I had been saving since Chicago’s Pitchfork Festival and the chive trimmings of my very own chive plant. Luckily Chicago Soydairy‘s Teese has a long shelf life. It grated easily and incorporated nicely into the thick batter, so gummed with flax-egg mixture. My chives, infused with the Brooklyn attitude of my fire escape, speckled the batter and dogs deliciously although next time I’d opt for scallion. After the batter was divided into the pan, in we popped the veggie-weiners for a nice savory surprise prize. The result: picture perfect little corn dogs! For dessert, vanilla coconut milk ice cream sundaes with thick chocolate ganache, ripe banana, warm strawberry sauce, toasted coconut and chocolate sprinkles. Delish!

★★Because Chicago Soydairy featured this post on their new recipe blog, Go Vegan Go!, here is my update with the full recipe, adapted from this original recipe from Dana Sly:

Teese and Chive Corn Dogs
2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
6 Tbsp. water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. table salt
1 cup soy milk
1/4 cup canola oil

1 cup grated sharp cheddar Teese (and more for sprinkling on top!)
1/2 cup diced chives
3 or 4 veggie dogs, cut in half
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2) Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the ground flax seed, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer the ground flax seed in the water for 3 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Set aside the gumminess.
3) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well-combined.
4) Add the ground flax seed mixture, soy milk, and canola oil to the flour mixture. Beat just until smooth (do not overbeat.)
5) Stir in your grated Teese and chives and mix until distributed evenly.
6) Spoon into a canoe baking pan and poke in the veggie dog halves. You’ll need to push them to the center of the batter… or not!
7) Sprinkle with leftover Teese and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
8) Cool on wire rack 10 minutes.
9) Serve with the condiment/s of your choice!
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