This week was the week of vegan cheese. Now, I thought I had been coping well without cheese. Sure, I missed a little bit on top of my pasta, here and there, but I was okay. On Sunday I had a whopper Indian takeaway from Spice and Rice, Dublin 1, which I highly recommend, as they have a wide range of vegan and vegetarian options, which is quite rare. It’s nice to have more than just one option on the menu! I went for a good auld Aloo Gobi, and it certainly went down a treat.
On Monday I had some vegan pizza from The Thug Kitchen Cookbook, which is both hilarious and full of really useful, easy and novel recipes. A big recommendation for vegan peeps. The roasted garlic sauce and pesto was really tasty, but there was something about having pizza dough that made me long for melty mozzarella real bad. Like, real bad. So by the luck of the gods, when I was in my local Dunnes Stores the next day, I spotted they were now stocking Vio Life cheese, winner of the 2015 PETA Vegan Food Award . Just two tiny little options, amongst all the dairy cheeses, but that was all I needed. Trying not to squeal with joy, I promptly stuck the ‘mozzarella’ for pizza Vio Life in my basket, especially thankful that I had leftover pizza dough and sauce. That night, I ate like a pizza king. Vio Life looked like, smelled like, felt like, and tasted exactly like real cheese, and that to me, is a huge victory for the company. I’ve been snacking on the block of Vio Life all week since: sliced on crackers, and sprinkled over this awesome avocado and basil pasta recipe and melted on top of potato waffles. Yes, I had managed without cheese, but this addition completely changed the challenge for me.
Being vegan isn’t actually a challenge anymore…I miss nothing. I’ve found all my alternatives, bar ice cream, because although I know there’s dairy free ice cream out there, I haven’t wanted it enough to spend the extortionate amount of money on it – and I’m enjoying the same variety of foods as I used to, just in dairy free forms. The only other new meal I made this week was a tofu stir fry, which is simple enough to whip up. I didn’t use a recipe, just roasted some nuts, added sesame oil, tofu, veggies, then seasoning, in that order. Quick and easy, and useful for lunchboxing and keeping in the fridge for lunch on the go.
So, the cooking is getting easier, the shopping is getting easier, and really, the whole change isn’t a change anymore. Like everything, veganism gets easier with time. It has only been a short time frame and I’m already practically, fully adjusted. Anyone can do it, if they wanted to. Next week I’ll do a full recap of the four week challenge, and my final decision on whether I’ll be continuing the vegan lifestyle into February!