A Milestone…

My father, Frederick Emmett Owen, died 34 years ago in 1979…  he was 57 years old.  Somehow at the time, in my semi hippy, somewhat drug crazed mind, I thought being older than 57 would be a milestone…  if I could make it past 57, I’d out live my father and all would be good.  Well here I am, my birthday and I am 58 years old.   So of course I made a pizza.  And a guava cupcake…

Mazel tov




Along with the missing of dairy (i.e. cheese), a tough thing for me  to deal with  is a lack of mayonnaise.  OK,  it is not the healthiest thing in the world, but I do find myself using it on many things, what would takoyaki  be without mayo?

Unfortunately, what is the main ingredient of mayo?…  eggs, not so much a  vegan thing.  There are of course store-bought vegan versions of mayo,  for example,  followyourheart.com/products/category/vegenaise  but can one make it at home for a whole lot less money?


My version does not have less fat (we are stuck with that unless you want just blended tofu, which frankly, kind of sucks),  but it does have fiber and omega-3.  Mayo with fiber, cool!  Fat is fat.. butter, lard, suet, palm oil, whatever…  1 tablespoon of fat is the same amount of calories no mater what the source.

Mayonnaise is an emulsion of oil and protein… egg yolk usually being the protein.   But what if we substitute the egg  protein for, wait for it… flax seed.  Work with me here,  it will be amazing and remember I am a mayo freak.

Here we go:

1 T ground flax seed

2T boiling water

3 T soy milk (or other non dairy milk)

1/4t sugar

1/2 t salt or there abouts to taste

1T prepared mustard or if you prefer, 1/4 t dry mustard

2T vinegar or lemon juice

About 1 cup vegetable oil

Add the boiling water to the flax seed and set aside,  when cool, in a blender or using a stick blender, combine all ingredients, 1/4 cup of oil and blend.  Then slowly continue to blend and drizzle in enough remaining oil to make a thick mayo.  Refrigerate and enjoy.

vegan mayo


My goal in testing and reviewing vegan cheese is to try the same cheese in different dishes; baked, fresh (think salad) and of course PIZZA!  So here it goes…

Teese by chicagoveganfoods.com.  They make it in mozzarella and cheddar flavors.  It is self stable and will, according to the manufacturer,  last for about 4 weeks in the refrigerator.  So far I have only tried the mozzarella style.

First  is pizza … I used my go to recipe;  a 2 day Papa John’s clone, this time with black olive and tofurky peperoni.  The teese did melt although did not achieve the stretch of dairy cheese.  Taste did not knock me out but was ok.

Next, a baked black bean and corn burrito.  Teese baked in the burrito  and on top as a garnish. In this case, I think because the teese was not the star of the show as in pizza, I was much happier with the results.  There is a creamy flavor that seems to work better than on pizza.

The texture of the cheese is quite soft, almost bree like.  In baking and even pizza, that can work, but I have my doubts for something like salads or tacos.  I have yet to try the cheddar flavor, it may have a firmer texture.  Conclusion, maybe a C+ to B- overall..

teese pizza

black bean and corn

Vegan “Cheese”

I think that one of the most difficult hurdles to becoming a vegan for me is cheese.  Or lack there of.  As a vegetarian, I would avoid cheese that used rennet as the coagulant (essentially ground up cow stomach lining), but now it’s no dairy products at all.  Some so-called veggie cheeses are non dairy, mostly soy-milk based, but ah-hah there is that one little ingredient… casein.  Casein is a milk protein that causes dairy cheese to melt, a characteristic that we want cheese to be able to do… think PIZZA!  So non dairy “veggie” cheeses are not vegan.

What do we have left?  Vegan cheeses.  Yay!

Well not so fast…  one can make a non dairy cheese that might have the taste and sort of texture of “real” cheese but how to make it melt?  It takes a thickener that will go back to it’s liquid state when heated, i.e, on a PIZZA, (can you tell, I like PIZZA).  Problem is dairy cheese never really melts to a liquid,  a result of all kinds of science with protein molecules and such.

Anyhoo…  the whole point of this rambling post is that I am on a search for a vegan cheese that will taste sort of  like dairy cheese and melt for PIZZA (have I said that I like PIZZA?).  In upcoming posts I’ll review the different vegan cheeses that I can get here on Kauai.  Sometimes being 2500 miles from anywhere else limits what one can get at the local store.

I will start with one that can be ordered on-line and is shelf stable until opened, “teese”  Next time…


A New Year…


It’s early January and  I am about two months in  my adventure of being totally vegan.   I don’t think I’m turning back but we will see…Of course when I say “we” I mean me as nobody else has seen this blog.  Nonetheless, here we go.  Things are growing around the  “farm”  as  this picture of a newly minted cantaloupe should attest and also last night I made a potato hamburger bun part white whole wheat , tvp-oat veggie burgers and whole-wheat crackers,  it was pretty darn tasty.