Updated: Sep 14
An amazing plant-based, vegan-friendly, soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free Italian-Style Pumfu Parmesan recipe that makes 4 servings and takes about 15 minutes to prepare, with an additional 25 minutes for cook time.
As an Italian, one thing I cannot live without is Italian Parmigiana. The delicious golden-brown breading, with the velvety inside, is topped with the perfect ratio of marinara and cheese. I mean, who wouldn't love that?
It took me a while to create the perfect recipe and even longer to finally step away from traditional processed cheese alternatives. Because let's face it, cheese is delicious, but it's also detrimental to your health.
Cheese is often one of the only things holding vegetarians back from becoming plant-based. Did you know only about 10% of enzymes in cheeses are not vegetarian-friendly? Some enzymes are derived from the stomach lining of young cows. Other enzymes, such as vegetable enzymes, are derived from fig tree bark, nettles, cardoon thistles, mallow and ground ivy, or creeping Charlie. Microbial enzymes are made from molds, such as rhyzomucor miehei. Genetically modified enzymes are derived from bacteria, fungi, or yeasts. The worst part of all this is that the package doesn't clarify which type of enzyme the cheese contains (1).
Enzymes derivation aside, cheese is made from milk, and growing up, we were told to drink our milk if we want strong bones, but this has since come back false. Actually, besides containing hormones and gross amounts of pus, consuming milk has been linked to quite a few risks, such as:
Increased risk of broken bones
Increased risk of diabetes
Increased risk of ovarian cancer
May cause antibiotic resistance
Contains hormones (2)
That's just from consuming milk, but it takes 10 pounds to make a single pound of cheese. That means the number of hormones, steroids, cholesterol, saturated fat, and other associated health risks increase (3).
Whey protein comes is also a part of the cheesemaking process. When special enzymes are added to the milk, it separates into curds (used to make cheese) and liquid whey. So, even more risks are associated with this ingredient (4).
Personally, I prefer to be able to customize my food to my specific dietary needs. I like to know exactly what is in my food, and I find comfort in knowing my meals are organically made; that's why I created the perfect Cashew-Based Mozzarella Cheese recipe to pair perfectly with my Pumfu Parmesan recipe.
So without further ado, I introduce my Italian-Style Pumfu Parmesan recipe. I think it's safe to say you'll enjoy it as much as my family. Since I am allergic to soy and have adapted to a plant-based lifestyle (no meat or dairy), this recipe is vegan-friendly, plant-based, soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free.