Before my daughter was born, we ate pizza once a week. It was easy and tasty, and we loved it. When my daughter was diagnosed with a dairy allergy, we thought we were going to have to give up our favorite food. Were there any dairy-free cheeses that would lend themselves to pizza? Lo and behold, we discovered some tasty options.
Early on, we had learned that most soy-based cheeses still contained dairy — casein to be specific, which is my daughter’s most severe allergy. So, we thought a dairy-free cheese alternative was out of the question.
We tried Amy’s Roasted Vegetable Pizza, which contains no cheese (or tomato for that fact) layer.
Then, we graduated to Amy’s Rice Crust Spinach Pizza — tasty but expensive.
Finally, we tried ordering pizza at Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria, where Dairy-Free Daiya Cheese is a complimentary option. Jackpot!
Dairy-Free Daiya Cheese melts and stretches just like regular cheese. More importantly, it tastes good.
Once we realized we could buy Daiya Cheese at the grocery store, we began making our own dairy-free cheese pizzas at home. We buy dairy-free pre-made pizza crust, jarred pizza sauce, and Daiya Mozzarella and Cheddar style cheese shreds. My daughter loves to participate in building her pizza.
When we are making both dairy and dairy-free pizzas, we make her single-serving dairy-free cheese pizza first to avoid cross-contamination. And then, we either bake it by itself in the toaster oven or on the top rack of our oven with the other pizza underneath.
My daughter loves her Daiya Cheese shreds (as does my non-allergic son, who is just as happy eating dairy-free cheese pizza as cheesy pizza). She also asks us to add it to her soups and to make quesadillas with it.
We’ve found Daiya Cheese shreds at Nob Hill (Mountain View, CA), Whole Foods, and Sprouts Farmers Market (Sunnyvale, CA). Daiya Cheese is a little pricey, so when it’s on sale, we buy multiple bags and stick them in the freezer. They defrost and melt beautifully when added to hot dishes.
What food product has made your life easier?