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I don’t get out much lately so I don’t get exposed to very many opportunities to try something new.  I’m working on that and committing to find new experiences that excite my interests and desire to find a babysitter, trek across a bridge or get in my car to drive on the weekend.  I’m exhausted with work/life responsibilities and have not quite found my work/life/family balance but, know that the social butterfly that I am will shrivel up and need committing of a different kind if I allow myself to stay cooped up anywhere for too long.

Package of DaiyaWith that in mind, this past weekend I made it to the SF Green Festival and fell in love. My new discovery was well worth the trip, the toll, the traffic and putting up with the crazy-tired Boy and left me daydreaming all Monday about how many things I could do with Daiya that I had been missing out on for what seems like eternity.  All day I could not focus for the anticipation of an evening with Daiya.

While leaving work, my daughter called to find out what she should start for dinner.  After a family meeting/discussion, okay me fussing at them, about the fact that I work the entire day and then have to travel 45 minutes to an hour in traffic to come home to my two lazy grown and practically grown children sitting waiting for me to prepare dinner, she was making an effort towards right.  Only, I didn’t want her to cook.  I wanted Daiya.  On my way home, I kept calling my daughter suggesting different things to start preparing for dinner.

Mom, what should I cook for dinner?

“You can just put the chicken on the grill.”

Should I bake it or put it on the stove?  (Didn’t I just say grill…she’s trying)

“Darling, you can put it on to grill…the Nu-wave.”

Five minutes later I call, “Um, do you want pizza?”

1 minute later, “Nevermind, just start the chicken.”

Mom, what are you doing? (irritated, I’m sure.)

“Nothing. It’s okay. Just make the chicken.”

15 minutes later, “Can you make a salad?”

Yes, I was getting on her nerves.

Pizza w/salad and avocado

Pizza with Daiya Mozzarella Cheese Style, carmelized onions, chicken and broccoli.

At Whole Foods, I found my Daiya.  I had tasted it at the Green Festival and could not get over the fact that it did not “taste” vegan.  I hate that I am trying to be cheese when I am not really cheese flavor.  And Lord knows I have spit out my fair share of wanna-bes.  I tell my kids, “you don’t know what you don’t like if you have not tried it,”  but, it still took me a few moments to decide to take my chances.

I am so glad that I stepped up to this tasting booth at the festival.  I tried the cheese pizzas that they prepared with the mozarella style and the grilled cheese sandwiches they prepared with the cheddar style.  I was in cheese love and I showed that love at the grocery store by buying multiple packs of the three flavors they stocked. (no, I had not tasted the third one but what were the chances it tasted bad?) I planned to use at least two of the flavors that night and wanted the other just for the hell of it.  I had not comfortably had cheese in ages.

Monday night, we ate pizza.  No bloating.  No upset stomach.  No disgusting feeling after.  No regret.  Pizza – Mozzarella (style), carmelized onions, broccoli and grilled chicken with pizza sauce on a gluten/dairy/soy free crust. De-li-cious.


Mini quiche made with Daiya Pepperjack Cheese Style, broccoli, carmelized onions, potatoes, coconut milk and chicken.

Getting ready for breakfast the next day, I prepared mini quiches from a wonderful recipe at www.anniescookinglab.com.  Of course, I did not have all of the ingredients so I tweaked it to fit my non-dairy needs by using Daiya’s Pepperjack Style cheese and Coconut Milk instead of cow’s milk, I added broccoli instead of spinach, used tiny purple potatoes, and added chicken.  They were delicious.

Thank you Daiya.  Thank you Annie.  Where have you been all my life?