2015 Starts with No Resolutions

I got a vegan cookbook for Christmas, which is funny because I often unintentionally un-vegan recipes all the time. I’ll be making something and I think–why am I doing this in oil? Butter works better here. Or I think–wait? Shouldn’t there be milk to finish this sauce? Or, most commonly, I’ll say “this needs a little cheese to make it perfect.” I’m not setting out to un-vegan things, but it happens.

I’ve had a number of vegetarian partners over the years, but I’ve never really been one myself. Usually, it’s fish I miss the most, although I am really fond of a good cheeseburger. I used to say that yes, if i had to kill my food myself, I totally could. I’m not really sure about that anymore, except when it comes to fish. Of course, if I had to catch my own fish (or, for that matter, milk my own cows, raise my own beans, or collect my own eggs), I’d likely starve from incompetence, but the moral point about culpability and intention stands.

So, the vegan cookbook.

It’s sort of a “Vegan before 6” thing, I guess. More like a Vegan 3 out of 21 Meals, plus snacks. No, it’s actually about exploring things I’ve roundly rejected in the past.

I already eat very little beef, almost no chicken, rarely any pork and it’s been over a year since I’ve had the special restaurant meats like rabbit, boar or duck. I only eat any sort of meat or fish in restaurants or other people’s houses, and even then not always. Our take-out choices tend to be Thai, noodles or Indian, which means I’m likely picking a vegetarian entree without thinking about it. But I have not had positive experiences with either vegan restaurants or vegan evangelists. I’ve known a number of bad-stereotype vegans (I’ve probably known a number of stealth vegans, but by their stealth nature I would not know), so it’s not made me receptive to the concept.

But the local famous vegan/vegetarian place has gotten significantly better in the last five years (the vegan milkshake remains nasty, however) and now there’s a sandwich shop across the street which is totally vegan, very friendly, quite tasty and excellent for take-out. So, in my no-new-year’s-resolution of “revisiting things I’ve roundly rejected, instead of just largely ignoring as Not My Thing”: the vegan cookbook.

Last night I made the spinach linguine with edamame pesto and did not even consider throwing in some of the delicious wedge of Parmesan cheese I have. I felt like it needed more salt, but that may be because I used white wine in place of the vegetable broth and, of course, did not include the Parmesan. I also really noticed the absence of nuts (I usually substitute walnuts for pignoli when making pesto in the conventional manner) but felt the reduction in oil made no real difference. I cracked pepper over it before serving, which I highly recommend.

We liked it and would definitely make it again, as it’s quick and filling.


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