Vegan Deli

Vegan Deli  by Jo Stepaniak

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Raising Vegetarian Children
by Jo Stepaniak, M.S.Ed., & Vesanto Melina M.S., R.D.

Raising Vegetarian Children

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Jo, I have to thank you for your fabulous book! As a lacto-ovo vegetarian for 17 years, I thought frequently about making the switch to veganism. I was so hooked on dairy that even with my knowledge of how horrible the dairy industry is, how bad it is for our bodies, and the discomfort and guilt about my consuming dairy grew, I just never believed I would be able to eliminate it altogether. I've never been a fan of most of the vegan cheese substitutes that are available, so they were no help the various times I attempted to eliminate dairy in the past. I really am a dairy addict!

A little over a year ago I accepted that my health depended on eliminating dairy whether I liked it or not - I began doing some research as I prepared to make the transition, and in the process discovered your book. My husband and I have been eating a vegan diet for a solid year now and we love it - your book was a big contributor to a successful transition that was virtually free of cravings for "real cheese" and continues to be an often used favorite. I tell every struggling vegan wannabe about it. My husband recently consumed some real macaroni and cheese at an office potluck - and came home to tell me that he thought the vegan cheeses we make from your book are way better than dairy cheese. Victory!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

In health,

Dear Jo,

Thank you for your Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook! As a vegan, the prospect of your book greatly appealed to me (I found it through an Internet search for vegan cheese), although I must admit that I was skeptical at first! However, after managing to find some nutritional yeast flakes, I gave the Mostarella a go. It was amazing!!! It tasted so much like the real thing -- even non-vegan members of my family admitted it was very authentic. Since then, I have made many of the recipes from this book. On paper, none of them sound very convincing as cheese substitutes, but in practice, they are all superb! The Eggplant Parmezano is one of my favorite dinners!

Thank you for producing this great book -- I am very grateful for your ideas!

Yours sincerely,
Alice C.
West Sussex, England

I have to tell you that your Mac and Cheez recipe in the The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook is utterly awesome. My family doesn't digest soymilk well, and fortunately your recipe doesn't call for it. And it did turn out plenty creamy for us, even though it is supposed to be on the drier side. We adored the pizza. We even drizzled some of your Pizza Cheez Sauce on top of the Mac and Cheez - oh yummy!!! We are trying all the recipes and they are wonderful. Thanks!!!!

North Carolina

Hey Jo! I am so totally loving The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook and thought Iíd share a few of my success stories with you.

First off, I donít know how you did it, but you definitely worked some major magic. I have always hated parmesan cheese--real, fake, store-bought, homemade, it was all *blech* to me. Couldnít stand any of it, and I always just left it out of recipes. I had pretty much given up altogether, not really caring, but then I saw that you had a new version, and since I like to always give things a chance, I figured, why not. Not wanting to go through the trouble of blanching and skinning almonds when I just knew I wasnít going to like the outcome, I decided to make it with easy, ready-to-go pumpkin seeds. Well, oh my, wow! I *love* the stuff! Iíve used it on and in just about everything Iíve eaten these last few days. So yum! Thankyouthankyouthankyou for this recipe!

Having the Parmezano Sprinkles and wanting to put it in all sorts of stuff, I decided to make the 20-Minute Bean Pizzas. Even better, they turned out to be 15-minute pizzas for me. :) Super easy, super fast, super delicious. I have a feeling this will be on heavy lunch rotation!

Next I made the Chick Cheez. I only tasted a bit of it as is on a few crackers, but itís really good on its own! However, I was making it to go into the Cheez-A-Roni. Talk about warm, ooey gooey comfort-food! And I love that it makes a lot, ícause Iím a really big fan of leftovers. One way I changed some of the leftovers a bit was to put some in a little casserole dish, topped with some seasoned breadcrumbs(using the Parmezano Sprinkles), and baked it for 15 to 20 minutes. It had a baked ziti feel and was like eating a whole new, delicious recipe.

I also made the Guacamole Grillers (using the second variation) and was quite surprised how it actually did take on a cheesy-ish taste and texture. This is my new current favorite sandwich!

Nope, not done yet! Really, I do do other things besides just eating. Honest!

I couldnít resist making the Lemon Teasecake. It wouldnít stop calling my name! And oh how happy I am that I answered! How completely clever--who would have ever guessed that those ingredients would come together like that? Well, I guess you would! ;) My mom is head-over-heals in love with this recipe, and Iím right there with her. We donít really have to share it with anybody else, do we? Oh, and the Granola Nut Crust is fantastic, and I know Iíll be using it for many future pies. Pretty good on its own, too! ;)

I just whipped up a batch of Beannaise, but havenít had a chance to use it yet. Looking forward to it though, and Iím sure itíll be great. And when I first got the cookbook I put together a container of Instant Cheez-It so that it will be ready for me when Iím ready for it. Itís a completely brilliant idea! Perfect for those times when Iím hungry and need something quick and easy. Canít wait to give it a go.

Whew! Iím pretty sure that covers it all. What can I say, I went a little new cookbook crazy! Next up will probably either be the Frittata or one of the Quiches. Iíve made both of your original versions of these and loved them, and now Iím really looking forward to trying their soy-free versions as well. You know, Iíve always said that Vegan Vittles is my all-time favorite cookbook, but it seems as though The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook is coming on strong! Thanks so much for bringing us this wonderful collection of recipes! I truly appreciate all of your hard work and amazing talents!

Have a happy day!


Dear Jo,

Having grown up in an Italian household, you can imagine the amounts of cheese that were consumed...manicotti, lasagne, stuffed shells, pizza...I put cheese on practically everything I ate! Shortly after meeting my husband, we both went veggie. Within a few months we switched to a vegan diet, and quite frankly I would have been lost without The Uncheese Cookbook. It completely transformed my cooking from boring and unexciting to FABULOUS!

Do you have any idea how much of an impact this has made on my life? Here it is ten years later and not only have you enabled us to stay on track by allowing us to eat all the foods we have grown to love...with a healthy tweaking...but we have a clean bill of health, we have maintained our slim waistlines, we have extra energy to expend on issues that are near and dear to our hearts, and most important to me is that I have based my career on my vegan skills in the kitchen. My favorite pastime has become finding a very fat-filled meat and cheese laden recipe and transforming it into a vegan culinary delight, inevitably incorporating your "cheeze" recipes.

I have enjoyed your columns on compassionate living, and I just picked up Neil Barnard's new book "Breaking the Food Seduction" (excellent!!!). What a nice surprise to find your recipes in it. After all these years, I felt it was time to finally write to let you know what a difference you have made in our lives...and the lives of everyone we have assisted over the years in their search for DELICIOUS vegan cuisine.

Thank you, Jo, from the bottom of my heart.

Sending smiles,

Patty "Sassy" Knutson

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