Food Blog Vegan MoFo

#VeganMoFo Day 23: What, Exactly, Distinguishes “Fancy Food” From Everyday Food?

My guesses? 1. Ingredient quality, and 2. Presentation.

But I went ahead and looked for something showy from the Crossroads cookbook anyway.


This beet salad with apple, Kite Hill ricotta, walnuts, microgreens, and balsamic vinegar is super pretty and super tasty. I did NOT make it as sweet (or complicated) as their recipe: toasted walnuts instead of candied; plain balsamic vinegar instead of an agave-sweetened reduction. I don’t care for salads that are too sweet, and the textures and flavors of the base ingredients offered plenty on their own. And they’re all fancypants organic, locally grown, blah blah blah. (I suppose the vinegar could’ve been a fancier kind, but it’s our go-to not-too-cheap balsamic anyway.)


I did like their method of cooking the beets: in a sort of light brine with peppercorns, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, and a little vinegar. The aroma and the taste are really nice and mellow.

Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

#VeganMoFo Day 2: Recreate and veganize a childhood favorite

Lasagna is always a popular favorite. We made it as a family for as long as I can remember. My high school best friend and her mom had their own version that they made for holiday gatherings. One family vacation in Victoria, B.C. we dined at an Italian restaurant and were served seafood lasagna by mistake (but I loved it – listen, I wasn’t always vegan).

So I wanted to make a lasagna that more closely resembled the kind I had when I was a kid – ooey gooey cheesy lasagna. Except, confession time: I *hate* Daiya and the other “melting” vegan cheeses. They’re like the uncanny valley of food.

Since going vegan, the lasagna recipe I’ve used again and again is the version in Appetite for Reduction – the roasted cauliflower-tofu ricotta sub is rad, and an unexpected crowdpleaser: I once served it at my grandparents’ wedding anniversary/family reunion (the vegan option next to my mom’s giant trays of the normal stuff) and got compliments from people other than my health-conscious mom. But that’s not what I wanted to make today. Nothing about roasted cauliflower and tofu reminds me of my suburban Northwest upbringing.

Earlier this year, my local Whole Foods started carrying Kite Hill’s almond ricotta, and I couldn’t wait to have a reason to use it in a pasta dish. What better excuse than the MoFo? Along with that I’m layering spinach, tempeh crumbles (seasoned like Italian sausage), and sauteed mushrooms with a simple homemade marinara sauce, whole wheat lasagna noodles, and cashew cream on top to ape the gooeyness of a mozzarella topping.