Being sick is wretched. I was all gung-ho to be writing again and have a list of topics I want to blog about but when my nose is runny and I have to eat crackers constantly (Wheat Thins are vegan, by the way) to keep from feeling nauseated, writing about food is less than appetizing.
But I’m no longer on a strict diet of grilled cheese and hot tea so it’s back to blogging. Or as I like to call it, semi self-indulgent rambling.
So, way back when Bob and I started dating — or, as most people call it, September — he offered to cook for me. Lucky girl that I am. For our second or third date, he pulled out an amazing recipe for Edamame pesto with mushrooms and red onion from the Post Punk Kitchen website. I’d never heard of it before but I’m not sure I can say enough good things about this site. Isa Chandra Moskowitz is pretty freaking amazing. She’s also the author or co-author of several vegan cookbooks — we have ‘The Veganomicon” and “Vegan with a Vengeance.” I both do and do not want the cupcake book. The recipes look amazing; I may not looking quite so amazing after partaking of them.
We’ve tried quite a few recipes from the site: Scalloped Potatoes with Eggplant Bacon, the edamame pesto, Homemade Seitan, Marbled Banana Bread and Peanut Butter Blondies. And Bob was lusting after the Pesto Risotto with Roasted Zucchini. I have a feeling we may make that next week.
So here’s my advice to anyone who wants to eat vegan — and not end up with tasteless, dry food. Find a good vegan cookbook and follow the recipes to the letter — at least the first time. Unless you have much more experience in the kitchen than I, trying to covert a traditional recipe to vegan — especially when baking — is well, a recipe for disaster. Rice milk and almond milk may be interchangeable in a recipe or they may not and you could end up with soup instead of cookies.
The recipes from PPK don’t just take out the cheese and meat and leave you with a tasteless, boring dish of steamed vegetables and rice. Not that there’s anything wrong with steamed vegetables and rice, I’m a fan of both. But it’s not exactly Friday night nachos now is it? Oh, we made nachos last week, they were pretty epic.
Eating vegan food can still be decadent and delicious and awesome. The blondies are a favorite cookie and are definitely decadent. They still have fat and flavor and will want to make you eat an entire pan in one sitting — which is my measure of a good dessert.
It takes practice and some crazy awesome recipes but not relying on meat and cheese for flavor opens up a huge world of food that is quite amazing.
I still love cheese. But the more Bob and I experiment with lentils and tofu and mushrooms and spices that I could only spell before our kitchen adventures, the more grateful I am that he is vegan. Food is something we do together and we’ve learned lots of new things to do with garbanzo beans and that I don’t like stewed eggplant and that cooking with the dog underfoot is a challenge.
There is so much food out there. So here’s to the next adventure.