Wednesday, February 07, 2007

More on the food beat:

I bought this cookbook last week. Also bought this by the same author. I'm sure I won't use the latter as much as the former, since unlimited sweets are clearly not my friend. However, this does mean that my dairy-allergic spousal unit will actually be able to have desserts now and then. I can vouch for the fact that the vegan vanilla cupcakes really do work. Next stop: Chocolate.

So far I've only made two dishes from Vegan with a Vengeance, but they were both awesome. One was a beet soup with barley and black soybeans, and the other, which I made tonight, was a casserole of seitan and bell peppers with a spicy Ethiopian-style sauce. Isa Chandra Moskowitz's cookbooks contain hints for "veganizing" dishes made with meat, eggs, or dairy. Since Rick and I are most accurately described as flexitarians, I'm thinking about adapting the seitan sauce for use on chicken. The nice thing about the vegan version, though, is that none of the ingredients require precooking (I used packaged seitan instead of making it myself), so it took about 10 minutes to throw it together, followed by 40 low-maintenance minutes in the oven. It was really wonderful with sides of rice and beet greens. Of course, we already like seitan and tofu and beans and beets and all those things that the fast food ads would lead us to believe are yucky.

Although I've always had semi-revolutionary food preferences, I'm finding myself becoming more and more radicalized on the subject. I'm finally realizing how strange it is that, in a country with an abundant food supply, it's become something of an exception to prepare and eat real food. Long ago, I stopped clipping coupons from newspapers because they were invariably inducements to buy canned and boxed things that were much, much better when prepared fresh. (I certainly don't have the time to make my pasta from scratch. Boxed spaghetti is a reasonable indulgence. But boxed spaghetti dinners? With one unit of packaging per component per dinner per person? Why feed just yourself when you can also feed a landfill?)

I don't expect to become a total crank who refuses to ever eat a candy bar, or to keep a jar of Ragu in the kitchen cabinet for those days when one is really too tired to cook. But I'm becoming more and more aware of the inversely proportional correspondence between the level of processing and packaging applied to my food and the actual pleasure I take in eating it.


At 5:23 PM, Anonymous Mitchell Szczepanczyk said...

Looks interesting. I'll be sure to check it out.

Thanks for posting about this.


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