Young and Hungry

Welcome to Veg Day on Young & Hungry

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I know, I know. Dedicating a day to vegetarian food is about as lame as Parents' Day and Veterans Day and Earth Day and all those other days in which you're supposed to pretend you're a friend to ________ ('rents,vets, the Earth, you name it) instead just another selfish weasel addicted to live Tweeting his thoughts about the latest baby-on-an-inflatable-mattress-in-space video that went viral.

But, hey, it's a start.

Today, Y&H will, among other things:

  • Give you tips on good places for vegetarian eats (particularly if you sign up for the Y&H newsletter at right), like the bread basket at top;
  • Tell you at least one veggie burger to avoid;
  • Post a vid on how to make vegetarian gravy for the upcoming holidays;
  • And pass along this interesting bit of news from Compassion Over Killing: The animal protection group has worked with a local pizzeria to make the area's first vegan jumbo slice. Find out more details after the jump.

Compassion Over Killing, according to Executive Director Erica Meier has been collaborating with Duccini's to offer a  non-dairy cheese jumbo slice at the pizzeria on U Street.

"Duccini’s is using a fairly new soy- and dairy-free vegan cheese made by Daiya Foods," Meier writes Y&H via e-mail. "It’s the same vegan cheese that zpizza locations all over the U.S. are now adding to their menus as well."

Meier says the idea "came about because jumbo slices are a popular food item, though no one in DC offers vegan jumbo slices—so John (the owner of Duccini’s) decided to be the first pizzeria in DC to dish out Vegan Jumbo Slices!"

So if Daiya cheese is not made with dairy or soy, what is it made from? According to the Daiya site, the melty and stretchy cheese is "made entirely from plant-based ingredients including cassava, a tuberous root. The process is a large part of what makes Daiya possible. The full list of ingredients are as follows:

Purified water, natural whole ground cassava and/or arrowroot flours, high oleic sunflower and/or safflower and/or identity-preserved high oleic canola oil, coconut oil, pea protein, salt, inactive yeast, vegetable glycerin, natural flavors (derived from plants), xanthan gum, sunflower lecithin, natural vegan enzymes, natural vegan bacterial cultures, citric acid, natural color."

That's a pissload of ingredients for a simple cheese, but, hey, at least it's 33 percent less fatty than "dairy-based cheese with equivelant attributes."

Those vegan jumbo slices with the vegetable-based cheese are also available, for a limited time, for $5 each at Duccini's. Guess where Y&H will be headed for lunch today?

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