Showing posts from July, 2012

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

The Magic of Nutritional Yeast

The conundrum with veganism is the fundamental lack of cheese. Let's face it, even if we find cow's milk utterly repulsive, most of us have a weakness for cheese. With an endless array of varieties, textures and flavors cheese is one of those foods that most people adore. Creamy and rich and melty good. No doubt the reason many vegetarians don't make that leap is because of cheese. Here are some simple substitutes which may satisfy that craving. Hummus. Straight from the package this stuff is delicious. Creamy, silky, rich and flavorful. Not only does it pack exceptional taste, it's also has practical applications. It keeps the beans from rolling off the bread on a bean sandwich. Peanut butter or almond butter. Much like hummus it too, can help make a vegan sandwich structurally sound. It lends a smooth, rich texture and tons of flavor. Nut butters also play well with stimulating counterpoints like garlic faux bacon. Nutritional yeast is often touted as the vega

Gosh Dern Restaurants

The food world needs a serious attitude adjustment. They are all stuck in this sickening repetition of cheese and meat. Especially restaurants. They are the worst perpetrators of all. Every dish is meat and cheese. Or meat and salad. Or meat and more meat. We get it. People like meat. Or people don't have a choice. You don't let them choose anything else. What they heck is wrong with some beans or nuts or tofu. All right. Meat eaters hate tofu. It's pretty good deep fried, but I get that omnivores aren't into it. But what they heck is wrong with beans. Everyone eats beans. So why can't there be bean salads and bean sandwiches on menus? Surely the beans would not go to waste even if no vegans happened to enter your establishment. Is it too much to ask to want a bean sandwich. It seems a simple request. Some bun, some black beans, some hummus, some red onion, some lettuce. Done. And don't over charge me for it. It cost you virtually nothing to construct. And k

Hidden Animals in Food

Dead animals are hidden is some of the most unlikely places. Foods you might assume are innocuous can contain meat or its various byproducts. Beware these seemingly innocent eats, they may have dead things in them. Margarine and Buttery Spreads. Smart Balance can have fish oil in it. The light styles are supposed to be vegan, but the regular styles can contain dead fishes. If it can be in one brand, it can be in others. Be on the look out. Read ingredients. Cheese. Vegetarians often assume cheese is safe to eat. It is their go to meat alternative. But cheese can be more than just coagulated milk. Borden singles contain gelatin. Gelatin is made from processed animal bones. Many cheeses can contain animal stomach enzymes. Including enzymes from calf, kid, pigs and cattle. Kraft mac and cheese is one such product as is their cheddar cheese. But there are numerous others. Reading the package won't help. Manufacturers are not obligated to reveal the source of their enzymes. Vegeta

Frozen Garden Salad

There's something very important missing from the world. A good frozen vegetable salad blend. Salad is great. Especially in the warm weather. Who doesn't love a crispy, crunchy, fresh salad. I used to get great salad at the local Cheeburger. But that closed down. I also used to get a great salad at the A&P, but it's no so great anymore. Assembling a fresh salad from scratch is an expensive prospect. Gotta buy romaine, bell peppers, red onions, carrots, cucumber. Or romaine, olives, croutons, tomato. Not to mention dressing. I just use plain vinegar and nutritional yeast. But most folks want more. By the time you purchase all the components, which has to be at least $15. Then you gotta take them home and wash them and chop them and mix it all together. And you wind up with weeks worth of salad if you're not a family of at least 4. Otherwise half of your money and time spent will just rot and go in the garbage. Frozen vegetable are great because you can get the ta

Vegan Chese Sauce

Here's an idea for a simple cheese like vegan sauce. You can make it thicker or thinner depending on your needs. 1 part nutritional yeast 1/2 part peanut butter 1/4 part white vinegar It'll be tangy and cheesy and somewhat fatty and creamy. Using hummus or almond butter instead of peanut butter might be a nice variation. I can also imagine adding some hot sauce instead of vinegar. Sounds good in theory, though I've not tried it. A simple combination of just yeast and non cow milk is also not bad. But it really does well with the addition of fat. Blend together the yeast, soy milk and some vegetable shortening and now you're cooking. That's the rub with being vegan. Satiating that cheese craving. Some good hummus on its o goes a long way toward achieving that. There are also some nice vegan mac and cheese recipes out there. It's not hard. Basically you just replace the yellow cheese pouch with yeast. Of course you use soy or