Monday, July 2, 2007

When families attack - aka yummy vegan cheesecake

Ok, so "attack" is a strong word. But ... it still felt that way to me when I accidentally revealed that dessert was animal-free before my family had a chance to even taste it.

"Aw, I was looking forward to REAL cheesecake," my sister said, obviously disappointed.

"What's in it? There isn't tofu in it, is there? Tell me there's no tofu," said my mom, who has this fear of tofu even though she's never tried it in its original form.

Such is what happens when a vegetarian is put in charge of dessert for a birthday celebration. My mom and stepdad celebrate birthdays within days of each other at the beginning of July. So, my sis and I invited them over for dinner in their honor. My sister and her hubby cooked a lovely dinner (see blog post below) and I was charged with dessert and drinks.

I wasn't purposely trying to 'trick' anyone into eating something that they wouldn't like. But after a successful batch of 'normal-tasting' vegan chocolate chip cookies a few weeks ago, I wanted to try my hand at a more fancy, yet hopefully just as sinful, dessert. I chose this recipe from

In my family, I'm kind of famous for my cheesecakes. As a lacto-ovo vegetarian, thus far, I've never tried to substitute the eggs, whipping cream, cream cheese, etc. that is usually found in the pies. But, lately I've been trying to eat less dairy, and therefore I was gung ho about trying what looked to be a yummy delight. And, I wanted to know if it was possible, like the cookies, to make a sinful dessert where I wouldn't miss the dairy.

My faux pas was letting the cat out of the bag about the vegan dessert before dinner was even served. Not sure how it happened, but as soon as it did, the complaining started. I asked everyone to please just wait until they tasted it... even though at that point I hadn't even sampled it, so I was hopeful I wouldn't be eating those words as the night wore on.

"Do you eat all this veggie stuff she makes?" my stepdad asked my omni-boyfriend, in a tone that would make a 'yes' answer from my BF seem unmanly.

It's one thing to 'attack' me about my food choices. It's another to give someone like my BF--who has been one of my biggest supporters where my food choices are concerned-- a hard time about veggie food. I know the issue of whether or not omni/veggies can truly succeed as couples will forever be debated, but I consider myself very lucky to be with my BF. I know he will never become a vegetarian, but we've been together for nearly two years now, and he has never complained about any veggie dish I've made. In fact, he usually showers me with compliments and says things like, "This is a keeper." So I felt bad that he was put on trial along with me, just because he gets where I'm coming from with the vegetarian lifestyle, and supports me by being adventurous enough to try new dishes and various types of food.

"Hey, it's cholesterol-free, right?" said my omni-boyfriend, pointing out one of the many benefits of leaving dairy off the dessert menu. :)

My sister's hubby is the only person who didn't throw much of a fuss; he seemed geniunely interested in learning more about the ingredients. But, he's also a fairly health-conscious person, so I assume he was hoping to discover a new healthful ingredient along the way.

In the end, it was all much ado about nothing. When dessert was served, there was not one complaint or refusal to devour the vegan treat.

"This is good Jenn," my Mom raved. "But don't tell me what's in it until I'm done eating it, because it's very good, so don't tell me what's in it until I'm done."

LOL Love you, Mom. :)

This dessert was a hit with the omni crowd. Highly recommended. Just don't tell your guests it's vegan until after they've woofed it down. ;)

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