Thursday, January 12, 2012
This week was harder than last week, harder because I was tired of cooking, shopping, prepping, chopping, mixing, basting, frying, baking, kneading, stirring and all I wanted to do was sit down and do the tasting. I will shout out here that I went out to eat on both Saturday and Sunday and I was able to go vegan both times, completely and faithfully. My friend Germaine took me to Kung BBQ which makes my mouth water by just typing it and I had a soft tofu vegetable soup which was rich and spicy. And on Sunday I went out to Margaritas and chips and salsa, all of which are vegan and had a huge plate of pan cooked vegetables with green cilantro rice and black beans. It was filling and delicious.
This week I dug into an amazing cook book, Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi, which I tried 300 times to link to but lets skip over that. First and most importantly, a cookbook should have pictures, beautiful pictures that show what the food looks like right before you put it in your mouth. Otherwise, I put the cookbook back on the shelf at the library and keep on looking. So know that and be forewarned Cookbook Writer's of All Countries. Secondly, cookbooks should not ask that I travel the globe in search of ingredients that are rare and impossible to pronouce: One small Treviso? Kekap manis? Asafoetida? Smoked Scamorza? And I'm sorry to caper lovers everywhere but nothing should ever feature capers - ever.
So back to this beautiful book - the recipes were fresh, easy and the pictures vibrant and it made me want to cook things I had never cooked before. Monday we had pizza, a delicious kale and red pepper pizza on a crunchy cornmeal crust. Tuesday we enjoyed Green cous-cous made with Israeli cous-cous, the color was vibrant and I ate leftovers the next day. Wednesday we had Soba noodles with eggplant and mango and sadly I was told "I don't mind if we never have that dish again". Tonight we had Zuchini Fritters, wild rice mixture and cucumber kimchi. And in this busy week I managed to squeeze in time for a batch of Vegan Banana bread and 4 loaves of hot and crusty Whole Wheat Oat Bread.
So ends week two of my vegan challenge - I can say that I am still rocking it - I've held steady for 2 weeks and even found some Vegan dark chocolate and ate half a bar last night. This weekend I'm going to scale it down - make some soups and focus on simple sushi rolls. And make my family some comfort foods and even maybe a grilled cheese or a bean burrito. But while they aren't looking I'll be planning next week's menu and carefully substituting the eggs with something fizzy, the butter with something olive oily, the cheese with something creamy, and the milk with something soy.