Week 2: We Forgot the Meat

Last Week
So this was a week full of cooking adventures, and it turned out that we abandoned the meat entirely. I tried out tofu, TVP, seitan, and fake hot dogs, and was genuinely pleased with everything. Husband’s birthday was Friday, so I was resigned to making him a steak or something if he insisted, but he wanted to get experimental instead and requested something with TVP. Crazy, man.

Most of the week was pretty uneventful, but the weekend was interesting. We went up to my sister and brother-in-law’s place to celebrate my husband’s birthday and Valentine’s day. We visit them quite a lot, and usually our visits revolve around cooking, going out to eat, and otherwise food-ing. Needless to say, they were pretty shocked about the whole vegan thing, and my brother-in-law especially was all in a kerfuffle about the future of his eating life, since I’m the chief cook in our gatherings. Fortunately, everything turned out well, so they’re both open-minded, if not outright excited, about future non-animal explorations.

Things we ate:

  • Ginger tofu with broccoli: This was much better than expected. The texture was nice and firm, even a little crispy on the pieces that I cut thin. Promising starting point for more tofu adventures. Tofudventures?
  • Lemon poppyseed muffins: GREAT. Sorry for the caps, but really. GREAT. So fluffy. So lemon-y. So completely contrary to my preconceptions of vegan baking.
  • Vegan hot dogs: Kind of eh. By themselves, definitely not great, but a decent vehicle for toppings, anyway.
  • Seitan chickpea cutlets: No link for these ones, since they turned out pretty ugly. I followed the recipe from the Veganomicon, and they were pretty good. They were even better the next day in a salad – kind of like a fried chicken salad where every bite is the tasty crunchy part.
  • Safaid channe and homemade roti: Probably my favorite thing I cooked. I love anything in the dip-fresh-bread-in-stuff category.
  • TVP enchiladas for my husband’s birthday: I played around with a Rick Bayless recipe for mushroom-and-spinach enchiladas with a tomatillo sauce. It was mostly vegan already, but I used coconut milk instead of cream in the sauce and added a cup of chicken-stock-infused TVP to appease my protein-crazed husband. They turned out pretty well, but I’m going to try them again with a few tweaks before posting them up.
  • Tofu peanut butter pie, also for my husband’s birthday: I started with a recipe from the Minimalist Baker but started just making it up instead about halfway through. What I ended up with was very far from the original recipe, but it tasted great.
  • Sushi: We made sushi on Sunday. The nori and rice are fine on their own, of course, and I used avocado and cucumber in mine. Totally satisfying. Next time, I’d like to add some additional fillings for variety, and maybe try some of that dried papaya stuff I’ve heard tell of.
  • Oreo mint ice cream: I’d give it about a 7/10. It was certainly tasty enough that we finished the whole batch, and the texture was just what I wanted (nice and fluffy and scoopable), but the flavor was a wee bit weird.
  • Chickpea salad: Amazing. We’ve gone through three batches. Very good lunch staple.

Replacements
We’re now out of all refrigerated stuff – yogurt, cheese, cow milk, and the like. I’ve got a few chunks of meat left in the freezer, though, and I still have a variety of condiments (mayonnaise, salad dressings, Worcestershire sauce, etc.) that involve animals. As far as dairy products go, I’ve found that every plant milk I’ve tried has been completely adequate (and some, like vanilla soy milk, are way better than cow milk), but I haven’t bothered with any vegan cheeses.

Plan for Next Week
Next week I don’t have a lot of grand plans. I’ve got some leftover Field Roast sausages that I thought I might try making chili out of, and I’ve my heart set on making some coconut ice cream with a caramel ripple. We’ll see how that goes. I’d also like to see if I can put together some kind of old-school casserole, since I love that sort of thing in a completely unironic way.

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