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Brian's Vegan Journal: Finding Great Tasting Vegan Options On Day 2!

PMQ's Brian Hernandez finds some great tasting vegan flavors early on in his quest.

Posted on January 11, 2022

PMQ Pizza Magazine US Pizza Team Vegan Pizza Brian Hernandez Brian's Vegan Journal BVJ-Post-Jan-2---Jan-9

Vegan Detroit Style Red Top Pizza, The Nona Slice House, Safety Harbor, Fl.

Jan. 2 - Headed home after a successful first day of my vegan journey. The drive took me through Safety Harbor, Florida, so I paid good friend and US Pizza Team member Jamie Culliton a visit. I haven't seen his shop, The Nona Slice House, yet. Well, I haven't seen enough of the U.S. Pizza Team's shops, but that's another journal. I decided to try one of his vegan options. You can get most of his pizzas in vegan form, but I just went with a Red Top. The Red Top is to Detroit-style what the Margherita is to Neapolitan-style. No better way to judge the Detroit game of any pizzaiolo. Jamie pulled it off. Aside from the Daiya cheese, everything else is standard to his regular version. The cheese itself holds up flavor-wise, but the dough is what really shone through, followed closely by the sauce blend. A very good start to this journey. This will get me through my drive home and the next day!

Jan. 4th - Back in the office and looking into getting a schedule made for making some plant-based meats at home, but in the meantime making the usual baked potatoes and other veggies. I made some steamed broccoli with an open-faced Impossible burger sandwich with brined cucumber and a ground pepper/vinegar blend. Basically a veggie puck on toast with a pickle and spicy mustard! I used a cashew sauce on the broccoli that was really a first attempt at a creamy mozzarella. Was a little too thin for cheese but makes a good sauce. I see me using this more. While I give it only a 3 for both presentation and originality (basically what I had in the fridge at the time), the taste gets a solid 7. I have room for improvement, but the flavors worked well.

First attempt at a starch-based bacon

Jan. 8 - Waiting on some daikon radishes from co-worker Tom Boyles so I can try out a bacon recipe. It is one of the more simple recipes. Not as many far-out ingredients and just thick-sliced fried radishes. No creation of fat and meat mixes or washing dough for wheat starch protein. Slice, flavor and fry! This recipe is from Making Vegan Meats by Mark Thompson. I'm finding his book very interesting, as well as all his Youtube videos. My problem is I can never quite get it "As Seen On TV" as his, but it's an ongoing process. In the meantime, I made a delicious Impossible Potato Shepherd's Pie for dinner. It was only missing the peas and carrots, but in my defense it didn't start out as a Shepherd's Pie. Those flavors emerged organically. This had thinly sliced potatoes, vegan cheddar and mozz, that cashew cream sauce I made, shallots, minced garlic, crumbled and seasoned Impossible Burger and toasted, textured vegetable protein seasoned in olive oil and Italian herbs and spices for crunch. It just ended up with that very signature taste. Next time on the peas and carrots.

I'm seeing my very early bachelor culinary styles coming out in the presentation while I test out some flavors and quick, impromptu recipes. The dishes (I hope) will get more eye-appealing as I learn more and gain confidence. If not, you can direct all mean comments to pmq.org/icanthearyouicanthearyouicanthearyou/.

For more fun content and full recipes follow along at @PMQPizzaMag on Instagram and PMQ.com/BVJ

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