Adventures with Daiya: Tofurkey Pizza

The new Tofurkey Pepperoni Pizza, Sampled at Food Fight!

Tofurkey Pizza Samples

My past exerperiences with Daiya have ranged from a tasty, gooey grilled cheese with tomato at Savor Soup House, to uncooked samples at VegFest, to so so home experiments, to the oozing pizza I thought was going to coat my mouth forever and lead to the world’s first drowning by vegan cheese at zpizza in California.  After the first couple tries, it was clear that I was in the minority opinion (but not alone) on this non-dairy cheese, it was taking over the vegan world, and making commercial strides into the ‘real’ world.

I came to accept that progress has been made, vegan cheese that looks and tastes like plastic will one day be behind us, and that goo is here to stay.  That being said, please don’t think all I do is complain about Daiya.  I think it’s fantastic that people are so ridiculously jubilant over a vegan product.

I remain open-minded and my appreciation has developed, which brings me to the latest of my Adventures with Daiya:

In the ever-flowing wave of vegan excitement over the novelty of vegan convience foods, and progress, in the name of nondairy cheese, comes the Tofurkey Pizzas.

I sampled the pizza above, Pepperoni, and the Tofurkey Cheese on Earth Day last weekend at the vegan mini mall.  I liked the Pepperoni, with the thin layer of dispersed Daiya  cheese (both Mozzarella and Cheddar?), mild sauce, and smokey bits (which truly tasted like Tofurkey jerky, but who’s complaining?)

I thought the sole Cheese slice had too much of the greasy cheese, but the Pepperoni distracted me from that with the chewy bits and I can see myself reaching for a slice in the future, if it comes my way.  It’s a little sad that they don’t use traditional rounds, but it’s a freaking vegan frozen pizza, so who cares?

Pros:

  • Vegan, soy-free, and non-hydrogenated!
  • Two popular brands & the possibility of being widely available.
  • Nostalgic, convenience food, with a vegan twist.
  • Thin crust and thin layer of Daiya.
  • pizza!

Cons & Questions:

  • Brand new – have you seen it in stores yet?
  • Over-priced, convenience food – you make the call.
  • The recommended serving size is 1/3 a pizza, is that practical?
  • Daiya is now found at Whole Foods and all over the place – try your hand at a homemade pizza!
  • The Daiya effect aftertaste.  I was telling my friends about this pizza days after trying it, and my mouth was still weirded out.

More convenient Daiya options:

Buy it online, or in Portland at Food Fight!, Whole Foods, and Lamb’s Market.

In other recent vegan cheese adventures:

I really, really like Bacun Cheezly.

cheezly

So much so that I made this pizza with Hot Lips dough, sliced creminis drizzled with olive oil, roasted raab, sliced Granny Smith apples tossed in liquid smoke and balsamic vinegar, Bacun Cheezly, and Mozzarella Teese.

Pre-baked

pre-baked pizza

new teese on pizza

The vegan cheese wars are fascinating, ridiculous, and full of hyped out opinions.

Every now and then, something special comes along, making its way amongst all the passable, or please-pass non-dairy alternatives. Follow Your Heart, Daiya, Teese,  and Cheezly are all brands that have gained notoriety in the vegan community in recent years.

If you’re already rolling your eyes and agreeing with the first statement, stop reading now, because I’m clearly about to wade into the waters.

If you agree, and yet, like me, you can’t resist trying each new one as soon as you can, please, continue.  It primarily boils down to sheer curiosity - Which one is the best? Which one will make your life that much easier?  Which is actually worth buying? Which one will make your pizza look real? We want to know!

Either way, I’m just posting photos of a pizza that some dear friends and I put together, my contribution being the new formula of Mozzarella Teese that some vegan bloggers were sent a sample of:

Pizza with Mozzarella Teese, Marinara by Liz, Roasted Butternut Puree by Bram, Handmade dough by Chelsea, and sliced mushrooms.

new teese

Flavor-wise, I didn’t notice a huge difference.

I admit – I’ve been a fan of Teese since it premiered in 2008. I find it similar to Follow Your Heart Mozzarella, but tastier and a tad saltier. Formerly, Teese Mozzerella used to do the pooling melt thing, but I didn’t see any of that this time.

It was overall, creamier, from the shredding to the softening.  Our dough was beginning to overcook, or else I think a few more minutes would have led to more of the sought-after ‘melting’ achievement vegans dream of every single night.

I have some more left, so I’m going to try again on another pizza, and likely, a panini.  I really like the idea of an insane pizza with a little bit of Cheelzy, the new Teese, and sauteed raab.

I hope at least one of my Daiya-happy friends chimes in with their opinion here (pssst, Chelsea)!

Over all, I’m pleased with it!  I think it’s scary to be anyone but Daiya in the vegan cheese world lately, but I’d prefer it on pizza any day.  Teese is making an effort – and perhaps they can also offer cute bags of shredded soy dairy, because I’d be all over that.

More Pizza.

new teeeeeeeeeeese

Close up:

new teese close up

Check out the slightly cooled look:

teese

Thank you, Chicago Soy Dairy!

In other vegan cheese news:

Anyone else tried it yet?

Check out the new labels coming soon here!

The Teese Challenge: Broccoli Raab, Garlic & Teese Rolls

The long-awaited (in my head) goal of recreating the classic broccoli & mozzarella pinwheels of the local pizzerias of my childhood finally came to vegan, teese-covered fruition!

This is definitely the first test batch, but overall, I’m pleased with how they came out.  The one BIG difference I’d change for the next round is to double the pizza dough.  There was a little bit of both fillings left over, and with double the dough, I’d be able to make even large, spiral rolls – aka pinwheels! I used broccoli raab, because, you know, farmers markets, the joy of raab, etc.

Broccoli Raab, Garlic & Teese Rolls

teese challenge

Here’s what you need:

  • Double batch of pizza dough, fully risen.
  • Flour for the dough.
  • One bunch of broccoli raab or small head of broccoli, roughly chopped.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves of minced garlic
  • One batch of Tofu Ricotta (I used Nasoya firm with the recipe from Veganomican/Vegan with a Vengeance with the addition of a teaspoon of tahini).
  • One small tube of Mozzarella Teese, shredded.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Prepare the Tofu Ricotta and set aside.
  3. Sauté the garlic on low/medium heat in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add a dash of crushed red pepper, freshly ground black pepper, a generous pinch of sea salt, and the chopped broccoli raab (or broccoli).  Add a splash of water, and stir for 5-7 minutes, until well-cooked.
  5. Remove the sauté pan from heat, cover and set aside.
  6. Flour your hands and roll out the pizza dough to a large oval.  Use more flour if needed.
  7. Lightly brush the dough with olive oil, or use a mister.
  8. Place large spoonful of tofu around the dough.  Use a spatula to spread out.
  9. Carefully do the same with the broccoli raab mixture.
  10. Spread 3/4 of the shredded teese log onto the other fillings.  It’s okay if it clumps a bit.
  11. Roll up like cinnamon rolls, and precisely cut with a sharp knife.  Rinse your knife between cuts if you need to.
  12. Lightly grease a 8×13 pan (you may need more than one).
  13. Place rolls in the pan(s).  If there is a more open side, place that side up.
  14. Sprinkle the rolls with the leftover (1/4 tube) of shredded teese and a drizzle or spray of olive oil.
  15. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
  16. Serve warm with marinara sauce for dipping.
    Ready to roll

roll

Teese, Teese, Teese! The eventual double-dough rolls will be prettier!

teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese

These rolls are part of the official Teese Challenge.  Chicago Soy Dairy generously sent vegan food bloggers their soy cheese to cook with and document.

The Teese Challenge: Dang Quesadilla with Nacho Sauce

Oh, it’s way past hip to quote from Napoleon Dynamite?

It’s not even far gone enough to be hip again?

Well, let’s continue enjoying vegan quesadillas, forget that reference, and commence talking about  how much we love Tina Marjorino as Mac.

This is my first entry into the grand Teese Challenge.  It had to be a soft, simple one because I’ve recently been attacked by new allergies and the worst sore throat of my life.  My ultimate goal is for individual chick’n style seitan parm sticks with teese mozzarella - modeled after this post on my old site.

Whole Wheat Quesdilla with Teese Nacho Sauce, Black Bean & Roasted Red Pepper Spread, and Avocado.

nacho teese quesdadilla

I was pretty fascinated by the  mildly spiced, calmly orange, Nacho Sauce. It was my first time using it. It comes out of its tube like squishy cheese curds and did that crazy teese-liquid-melt-congealing into the quesadilla.  That is so cool! I know that may sound gross, but I’m a fan.  Dang.

The Black Bean spread is based on this hummus recipe from Cooking Light.  I swapped a whole roasted red pepper, dash of hot smoked paprika, and a couple tablespoons of water for the mere tablespoon for tahini, because I could.  I bought the paprika from the new Spice & Tea Exchange location in downtown Portland – I’m mesmerized by this type of shopping on my lunch hour!

Teese ranks high with my favorite vegan cheeses.  I was stoked to participate (and receive complimentary teese!) for this project! Can I make Nacho Libre nachos next?