Wild Mushroom Pasta

I'm a big fan of Good Eats and Alton Brown. I've learned a lot from him. So when he suggested that dried exotic mushrooms were an umani flavor bomb I took to amazon to procure some. 

When you only cook with and eat plants, sources of deep and real flavor are important. 

His advice was spot on. I got a dried exotic mushroom mix and used it in my pressure cooker to create a sauce/broth for pasta and even though I forgot to add olive oil, it still had tons of flavor. 
After the pressure cook was finished I added the oil I forgot and cooked it off for a  few minutes. I then stirred it into my precooked pasta. Let it rest 5 minutes to tighten up. It was a perfect sauce to enrobe my pasta. . 

Dried exotic mushrooms are not cheap. But if you don't eat/cook with animal products, they feel like a bargain. There's so much flavor to be had. It's worth it and then some. 

1/2 box pasta, cooked to al dente

2 ounces dried fancy mushroom mix, big pieces broken or diced
1 pint …

Curious Consumptions

When people find out you're vegan they always ask the same set of questions. What do you eat and what do you miss eating. Logical questions to be sure. It only makes sense they'd be curious as to how one maintains a healthy diet on plant foods alone. It's so ingrained in our collection consciousness that we need to drink milk for strong bones and eat poultry for our muscles and that bacon is the ultimate source of flavor. I think bacon is for lazy chefs who can't come up with real flavor on their own. Bacon is just a cop out. Bacon is to cooking what pine tar is to batting. Anyone can hit a home run if they use enough of it. The real skill of a chef is tested in what flavors they can conjure up sans pork belly and other dead animal flesh. It's challenging, but doable.

As for food that may or may not be missed, that is different for each individual. Some people miss the convenience. I know I do sometimes. So many prepared foods are rife with dairy and meat byproducts. A lot of folks miss cheese. It's probably the number one reason vegetarians don't go vegan. With so many varieties and such rich flavors and textures, cheese truly is an amazing food. And it's sad that it's been corrupted by modern factory farming the way it has. Back in the day cheese was a wholesome and innocent food packed with nutrition and outstanding taste. Nowadays eating a single slice of cheese is pretty much the equivalent of rubbing raw the udders of hundreds of cows.

It's funny to think about how omnivores wonder what it must be like. It's like they've made first contact with an alien race. They're not sure if they speak the same language or even if they can breathe the same air. But they mean well, I'm sure. They think we're crazy, but hey, we think they're crazy too. So it all works out quite nicely.