So I have to be honest.
I was having a crisis of faith.
I just didn’t feel veganism the same way I had felt vegetarianism. I think it’s the difference between being able to see you’re eating an animal and reminding myself that cheese hurts a cow in a somewhat nebulous way. I knew animal byproducts were bad, but I didn’t feel bad when I ate them.
And then I went to Europe. My first time over there, and I knew being vegan was going to be difficult, and furthermore I didn’t want to go to Paris and not have a butter croissant or brie. So I decided I would take a break and then decide when I got back if I still wanted to be vegan.
Now I hope I don’t offend all you Europeans out there, but I found it very difficult to get enough vegetables in Paris and Florence! I suppose there may be more at more expensive restaurants or maybe people cook them at home… but I couldn’t find them. And after sleeping in the Milan airport and then then 24hour travel on the way back…I was done. On the plane ride back I read a Bay Area Vegan magazine, and on the walk from the BART station, through the beautiful Berkeley neighborhoods, I just knew. I wanted back in. I wanted vegetables! And I didn’t want any more cream or cheese. So here I am again. And I’m back with a vengeance! Or.. vegan-ance?
Then I decided to do a couple easy side recipes: Refrigerator pickles and Cumin Cauliflower.
Technically, I can’t tell you how the pickles are until they… you know, pickle for a while. The cauliflower is yummy, although I probably should have let it caramelize more.
But then I made this…which I wasn’t really sure about, and it was my first foray into miso…but wow.
It is crazy delicious. And then I was on a roll so I made this too. Again, my first time making dumplings. And YUM!
And I saved all my leftover stuff top make my own stock at some point in the future (thanks PPK!). I also got some more experience juggling multiple recipes (going to be useful when I want to put an actual meal together!)
And here’s the recipes!
- 1 fresh butternut squash (peeled and chopped) OR 1 cup canned butternut squash OR canned pumpkin (I did fresh, it was very easy)
- Extra virgin olive oil, S & P
- 1 tbsp Earth Balance (or other non-dairy butter replacer)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened & unflavoured almond milk
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) (I used the latter)
- 6 tbsp nutritional yeast, or more to taste
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2-3/4 tsp kosher salt (or to taste) & ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 servings macaroni (8oz or half a 16oz package) makes 3 1/4 cup cooked (I actually did a full package)
1. Roast the squash (toss with olive oil, salt and pepper in a baking dish and put in a 400 degree oven until soft)
2. Boil water, put in macaroni for 7 minutes.
3.. Melt butter, add milk, arrowroot or cornstarch, nutritional yeast, mustard and s&p.
4.. Add a cup of squash to food processor and puree, then add in cheese sauce.
5. Mix everything together: macaroni, sauce, and chunks of butternut squash.
(Adapted from this recipe.)
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1-2 teaspoons celery seed (I use 2)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups sliced cucumber
- 2 tablespoons dill
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced or chopped
Combine everything in a jar and refrigerate.
Roast cauliflower with salt and pepper and cumin (I added some garam masala just for fun)
Carrot soup with Miso
(from Smitten Kitchen)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 regular or 6 small garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped or grated ginger, or more to taste (I skipped this because I forgot to buy it- whoops!)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup white miso paste, or more to taste
- Saute carrots in olive oil.
- Then add onions and then garlic a minute later.
- Add vegetable broth, then puree in batches.
- Stir in miso paste, and enjoy!
Dill-ey Stew with Dumplings!
For the stew:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 medium sized sweet onion (like Vidalia or Walla Walla), quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups vegetable broth, at room temperature
- 2 stalks celery, tops removed, sliced 1/4 inch thick (I actually used a whole bunch.)
- 1 1/2 pounds potato, in 3/4 inch chunks (I used three large potatoes)
- 1 cup carrots (I did three regular sized carrots)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- Fresh black pepper
- 1 15 oz can navy beans, rinsed and drained (about 1 1/2 cups)
For the dumplings:
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoons dried rosemary, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or soy)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Make a roux with the olive oil and flour by whisking flour into oil.
- Allow flour to brown up a bit and get nutty.
- Add onions and coat with roux, and saute a bit.
- Add garlic and salt.
- Then add broth, celery, potatoes, and carrots.
- Add in thyme and dill as well as pepper.
- Bring to a boil and then cover and let simmer for 20-25 minutes.
- Meanwhile make the dumplings by mixing dry ingredients, then make a well in the middle and add in wet ingredients.
- When the potatoes are good add in beans and then form dumplings and drop in.
- Cover pot and let simmer for another 14 minutes to cook the dumplings.
PS: I’m on pinterest now, if anyone wants to check that out.