Are you a vegetarian and love cheese in your food? Do you miss the classic Italian dish, Pasta with Parmesan Cheese, due to vegetarianism?
Well, worry no more! The market has come up with a solution for you – Vegetarian Parmesan Cheese. But what exactly is it made of?
What Is Parmesan Cheese?
Parmesan cheese is a hard Italian cheese made from cow’s milk. It is usually aged for 12-36 months and has a slightly gritty texture due to the presence of the protein crystals. It has a nutty and salty taste that compliments various dishes like pasta, pizza, and salads.
What Makes Parmesan Cheese Non-Vegetarian?
Parmesan cheese is not considered vegetarian because it contains animal rennet. Rennet is an enzyme used to coagulate milk and form curds in cheese-making. It is derived from the stomach lining of young calves who are slaughtered for veal or meat.
What Is Vegetarian Parmesan Cheese Made Of?
Vegetarian Parmesan cheese is made with non-animal enzyme alternatives that replace rennet. These alternatives include microbial enzymes or vegetable-based enzymes derived from fungus or plants like thistle or artichoke.
How Does Vegetarian Parmesan Cheese Taste?
Vegetarian Parmesan cheese tastes similar to regular parmesan but has a milder flavor compared to traditional parmesan. This difference comes from the use of different enzymes in its production.
Where Can You Find Vegetarian Parmesan Cheese?
Vegetarian parmesan cheese can be found at most grocery stores that carry specialty cheeses. Look for labels that specifically state “vegetarian” on them.
The Benefits Of Vegetarian Parmesan Cheese
- It allows vegetarians to enjoy the taste of classic dishes like pasta with parmesan cheese
- It is cruelty-free and does not contribute to the meat industry
- It is a healthier option as it contains less saturated fat than regular parmesan cheese
Cooking With Vegetarian Parmesan Cheese
Here are some delicious vegetarian dishes you can make with vegetarian parmesan cheese:
1. Vegetarian Caesar Salad
- Romaine lettuce, chopped
- Cloves of garlic, minced
- Lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
- Olive oil (1/2 cup)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Vegetarian parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 cup)
- Bread crumbs (optional)
- In a small bowl, whisk together the minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss the chopped romaine lettuce with the dressing until the leaves are well coated.
- Sprinkle grated vegetarian parmesan cheese and bread crumbs over the salad.
2. Vegetarian Spaghetti Carbonara
- Cook the spaghetti noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
- Add vegetarian bacon bits or diced mushrooms to the skillet until cooked through.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, vegetarian parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
- Add the cooked spaghetti noodles to the skillet and toss with the egg mixture until well coated.
- Sprinkle with additional vegetarian parmesan cheese before serving.
In conclusion, vegetarian parmesan cheese is a great alternative for vegetarians who want to enjoy classic Italian dishes without compromising their beliefs. It is made with non-animal enzymes, tastes great, and is readily available in most grocery stores. Try it out in your next recipe!