Food Blog Vegan MoFo

#VeganMoFo Day 5: I Don’t Believe in an Interventionist Veganism

But I know, darling, that you do.

Seriously, though – making a lifestyle change based on one meal is a bit much to ask. So maybe let’s focus on that thin pie slice of maybe-could-be-vegan-but… sorts. You know, the ones who say things like “But I love cheese too much.” Yes, I realize that’s tomorrow’s prompt. So let’s refocus on the pie metaphor and make a goddamn delicious vegan pizza.

I’ve made a lot of vegan pizzas over the years, trying to find what works, because I cannot with the options available at pizza restaurants. (How sad! I really did eat a lot of omni pizza in my youth…) The key thing is getting used to pizza without the chewy, melty layer of cheese–DAIYA DOES NOT COUNT, ICK–and somehow giving it that rich, salty, yummy thing that omni pizza has in spades. The key, I’ve found, is that things must be pre-cooked–spinach sauteed, especially–and olive oil generously applied. Seasoning is critical. Best toppings include mushrooms, spinach, well-spiced crumbled tempeh, artichoke hearts, and cherry tomatoes. But, if I’m honest, my version of a deep-dish pie piled with vegan staples isn’t going to calm the culinary nerves of a soy-phobic non-vegan.

This might.

America’s Test Kitchen, bastion of omnivorous home cooking, came out with a brilliant vegan cookbook this year, Vegan for Everybody. They applied their nigh-scientific methodology to a full slate of vegan cooking techniques, including ricotta subs (cashew, tofu, cauliflower, etc.). And one of its applications is this gorgeous mushroom pizza: sauteed cremini AND shiitake mushrooms, garlic, a really good homemade whole wheat crust, cashew ricotta, and parsley. Simple, but delicious and substantial. It feels fancy. And it might help change a mind or two: Hey, maybe this could be OK.

Served with salad. Because vegans gotta vegan.

Food Blog

Friday night’s all right for stir frying

Usually I like to eat out on Friday nights – it’s always been a long week, I’m always tired, I always get home later than usual. But, well – I’ve been home all day, and I have an excess of tasty vegetables. Why not save money and the frustration of deciding where to go and just cook?

It started with my standard last-minute recipe search technique: I had some beautiful fresh shiitake mushrooms and I was in the mood for tempeh, so I searched* for “shiitake tempeh stir fry.” Among the first results was this perfectly acceptable suggestion:

Made a few modifications to account for the fresh mushrooms instead of her dried, partially because I hate dried shiitakes but mostly because, hello, beautiful:

But that was minor – subbed vegetable broth for the mushroom liquid in the tempeh marinade, and fresh for dry mushrooms in the stir fry itself. Easy.

After making the marinade and adding the tempeh, I threw a mix of sprouted red rice and plain long grain brown rice in the clay pot while everything else prepped. (This rice combination turned out especially good. I need to find more sprouted red rice.)

I didn’t think this was quite enough of a meal, so I decided to add a simple salad (just mixed baby lettuce) and carrot ginger dressing from the Isa classic Appetite for Reduction. I don’t know how I’d avoided making that recipe before–it is very tasty. I may have used more ginger than it called for, and I have no regrets.

* So until quite recently, I worked on Yahoo’s Search property. Since getting laid off, I decided to switch to another search engine, but feeling contrarian, I opted to set it to DuckDuckGo instead of Google. I know most people won’t care, but good lord, we could have a very long and likely boring conversation about search results.