Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Cheez Sandwich

Talk about surreal, a local TV newsperson did an interview with me last night! There I was on television opening my refrigerator and chopping an apple. They did a very nice, positive piece -- another happy little shout out for veganism!
Anyhoo, here is my first attempt at making a homemade block cheese to use for slicing. I followed the "Gooda Cheez" recipe in Jo Stepaniak's Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. I sliced it into little cheese sandwiches on wheat bread, with some Brussels sprouts, apple chunks (although not the same apple I sliced on TV -- that was an apple body double), and let's not forget two little organic lemon wafer cookies from Food Fight!
Verdict: I was thrilled that my cheese set up perfectly overnight and had a smooth, creamy texture. But we all felt that the Dijon mustard taste was overwhelming -- good for a sandwich but not for plain snacking. It all got eaten up, though. 3 stars.

42 comments:

vegancore said...

Congratulations on the interview/TV appearance! I bet Shmoo got a kick out of seeing you (and his lunch) on TV.

I love your blog and check it every day, but right now I can only think about one thing: That block cheez is the exact same color as the yellow container it's in. It's mesmerizing.

deva said...

oooh.. that looks fab!

Dreena said...

I give you credit for making your own block cheese, it would seem like a lot of work to do... but maybe not?? Looks super anyhow, and congrats on the TV spot!

Anonymous said...

Wow...wouldn't it be great to post the interview on your site???? hint hint hint..

I like mustard. Do you think the cheese could be grilled?

Denise said...

Wow, a positive news story??!! What, hell just froze over??!!

Seriously, it's good for people who watch the news to see this; a story which is not aired to promote fear or pharmaceuticals. Bravo!

Fiona Bun said...

Binkies Baby!

Jennifershmoo said...

>That block cheez is the exact same color as the yellow container it's in.

Ugh, I know, I totally screwed up on the brightness and balance in the photo today. The flash made the whole thing look overexposed. The cheese isn't really *that* bright!

Shmoo did get a big kick out of it. The reporter said something about "her son's lunch box" and he shouted "That's MINE!" :-)

jen said...

though not a vegan, i love reading your blog and seeing what kind of goodies you're whiping up for litte schmoo! i would love to feed my kids like this... :)

Jennifershmoo said...

Hi, anonymous! The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook says these cheeses can be made into grilled sandwiches, but they may need to be kept covered while grilled to help them melt. I haven't tried it yet.

bagwasher said...

You should try the recipe for cashew cheeze from Real Food Daily cookbook. I have been making it recently and it is really good. Unfortunately my daughters' school has a ban on cashew and pistachio nuts due to a kid with an extreme allergy. So I can't sent that cheeze in the lunchbox. I'm thinking of trying it with almonds to see if it works the same.

Bethany said...

Before I race out and buy the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook - do most of the recipes use soy? My daughter is allergic to dairy, eggs, and soy (which is why I follow your blog!) and I have yet to find a cheese substitute that doesn't involves dairy or soy.

Lunch looked great today as usual!

Beth Miriam said...

Bethany,

Try Follow Your Heart cheese, I know it's vegan so no dairy or eggs. You can check the web site for soy.

Jaylyn said...

That's wonderful that you and your vegan ways made it onto tv over there! As someone who was born and raised in the Tri-Cities, and lived there until just over a year ago, I know that the area really could use more knowledge on the subject. Your blog is definitely one of the best places for them to learn!

This may sound random, but I also wanted to ask you something. I remember ages ago, you mentioning eating at Giacci's. What was it that you ate there? Do you happen to know if the Pasta Fagioli (soup) is vegan?

MaryAnn8 said...

How do you prepare the brussel sprouts? That is awesome your son eats brussel sprouts!!!!

Lisa Marie said...

A friend of mind just turned me onto your blog. I am totally LOVING it! Thanks for all the ideas. You're quite an inspiration!

Harmonia said...

Between the Blog awards, upcoming book, and Interviews, you are quite the rising celebrity!

Sidenote: I Haven't mastered homemade cheese alternatives yet. *whimper*

Karen Anne said...

The fake cheese I've bought in stores is truly awful. Is homemade actually better?

Anonymous said...

If you go to vegan.com and listen to the January 10 podcast, Erik Marcus briefly mentions your blog and says he wishes his mom made tofu fishies when he was growing up. It's not mentioned until 25 minutes into the podcast though.

Nadine said...

I soo have to get that Uncheese cookbook!

renee said...

This is one of the best blogs I've seen! I can't wait to try a few of these out; there isn't a lot of stuff I can eat on campus, and I'm always throwing random things into my bookbag to munch on latter.

leila said...

Dear Jennifershmoo,

your lunches are getting more absolutely delicious every time i look; you are putting so much excellence into this food, which is standard-setting, in terms of my own life. and apart from this, i'm so happy for you that your blog and vegan food is getting this amount of recognition!

really, congratulations to you. and your shmoos.

my husband, who's from WA, is asking me Which television station interviewed you? and i'm asking Do you know when it'll be broadcast?

take care,
love from leila

Sweet Pea said...

That's great about the interview and all the media attention that you are receiving.

I read your blog everyday and have linked your blog on mine.

Keep up the good work.

Stefania

Jennifershmoo said...

Hi, Bethany -- most of the recipes in Ultimate Uncheese are soy-free or have soy-free alternatives. This gooda contained no soy, just carrots, cashews, tahini, nutritional yeast, and a lot of seasonings. I think it would be just right for you and your daughter.

Hi, Maryann8 -- Yep, Brussels are one of his favorites! These were just boiled in lightly salted water until tender. He eats most veggies plain that way. But there's a great recipe for Best Brussels Sprouts on my recipe page that you might like to check out, too. When they're made like that we can hardly keep our hands off them!

Thank you so much, Leila! It was KVEW channel 42, and it was already broadcast that night at 11pm. It was a short piece, but very positive. :-)

La Tea Dah said...

I'm so glad the newspaper found you! I'll be watching the newspaper for the article about you! I missed you on the news last evening, but I'll check today and see if they rebroadcast that segment.

Keep up the good work! The lunches look terrific!

Jennifershmoo said...

Thanks, la tea dah! It's in today's paper, on the front page of the food section. :-)

Florence said...

Dear Jennifer - Schmoo
I'm a french vegetarian woman, on the path to be vegan.
Everyday I check your blog to see what good idea you have had for the lunch of little schmoo.
What lucky he is !

You make me stop buying bad and fat sandwiches for my lunch at university ...
Thanks to you.

Arline said...

Jennifer, you have made such amazing progress in such a short time . . . that ripple is still moving on!

By the way, some people I share your site with have the incorrect opinion that all of this wonderful vegan food costs lots more to make at home. Just came back from Whole Foods in Glendale and picked up a 4-pack of vegan carrot muffins for my daughter to take to jury duty (they get donuts from the judge every morning!) The 4-pack was $4.89!!!

Thanks for all you are doing! I think the Food Network needs to see you -- your show can come right after that guy who is feeding his family lo carb . . . . no perhaps right BEFORE would be better!

Arline said...

p.s. How about a link on your website to the newspaper's article?

Anonymous said...

Second Arline about a link to the news article for those of us not in the states please ?

Jennifershmoo said...

Thank you, jaylyn! You're right, the Tri-Cities isn't exactly the most vegan place, lol!

Thanks for reminding me of Giacci's -- I had been noticing that they looked closed every time I drove by recently. I stopped by today and they have closed down. They had told me the fagioli was vegan, but you had to remember to ask for *no cheese* or they would put it on the soup, salad, pasta, everything.

Thanks so much, Arline! It's pretty amazing, really. Sorry, the paper doesn't have the article in their online edition, just the headlines.

Erin said...

Someone mentioned this blog is a veg recipe Live Journal community, and I wanted to drop you a line to tell you how awesome your blog is. I'm hounding my boyfriend to make lunches like these for me now -- your shmoo is a lucky boy!

Anonymous said...

oh please get a show on the food network!..i live for that channel
-AP Environmental Girl

saucy said...

your blog really irritates me!

Leslie said...

Congrats on all the news hype. It's amazing how your site has grown, especially in the last few months! It's also nice to see the reoccuring brussels sprouts!

And for Saucy, if this blog irritates you, just don't read it. What is the point of writing that?!?

As for everyone else, I am happy that Jennifer and Shmoo are getting such great responses, especially for those who are not vegan (yet?) and can learn a little something. It's an added bonus with the pictures.

Jennifer, are you starting to feel any pressure?!?! I mean, now that you're a "star"?!?!

Jennifershmoo said...

>Jennifer, are you starting to feel any pressure?!?!

Well, when I think of over 2,000 people stopping by to see what's for lunch, I do feel a bit of pressure in the morning. LOL!

Anonymous said...

I have and love the uncheese cookbook.
To answer one question, I don't think many or any are soy. I only made a few but most that I did had agar agar as the 'solidifier' for solid uncheeses. A couple used cashews, one used pomento, some with nutritional yeast some without. I was amazed at how well they worked out.
Its more than just how to make 'cheese' substitutes, it also has recipies for things that would normally have cheese, how to do them differently.

Also wanted to say I LOVE the blog. Very inspirational. Makes me hungry too.

Leslie said...

Jennifer, are these repeat hits or individual hits? Because I go to this site sometimes up to 3 times a day (mostly in the middle of cooking something) for old posts. If it is all 2000 people per day, wow...

Rebecca said...

Now I do believe I have seen everything!! My kids *love* block cheese sandwiches! I'll have to try this. I really want that cookbook!
That is awesome about the interview! You rock!

jenny vorwaller said...

ohhhhm i cannot wait to start packing lunches for my toddler! :) you inspire me so much.

yay for healthy eating!

Yve said...

Hi Jennifer,
Greeeeeeeeat site. How do you keep the
apple slices from turning brown.

red said...

thank you



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