Sunday, January 17, 2010

Livin' La Dolce Vegan

Let me tell you a story - the story of how it all vegan. A long time ago, in the Garden of Vegan, a young woman named Sarah became well acquainted with fruits and vegetables, as well as fuzzy little companions (and tattoos - lots of tattoos). She evaluated her relationship with food and decided to live la dolce vegan, and fortunately for you and me, she decided to share some of her favorite recipes from the journey.

The thing I love about Sarah Kramer (and BFF Tanya Barnard) is that each book in their cookbook trilogy tells the tale of a different part of her journey. In HIAV, she is learning who she is as a vegan and how to live in a world that isn't always friendly to such peculiar dietary choices. In addition to some great soup recipes and completely bizarre entrees, primarily borrowed from others who are aiding her in the transition, there is a section on vegan DIY and do's and don'ts. There's even a glossary! In The Garden of Vegan, she and Tanya get a little more adventurous, including entertainment ideas and hygiene tips. Sarah authored La Dolce Vegan all by herself, and she focuses a lot on meals that are appropriately portioned for herself and her husband to share, as well as more comfort food and fast-n-easy recipes. Because of that, La Dolce Vegan is definitely my favorite of the three.

Last night's dinner was Peanut Butter Pasta from The Garden of Vegan. It came together extremely quickly - I would say no more than 15 minutes once the pasta water boils. The sauce was outstanding. I chose this recipe specifically because she mentions in the introduction how revolting she thought it would be and how pleasantly surprised she was to find it [more than] edible. I figured it would fill my "weird" quota and help me use up some of the vegan worcestershire sauce I bought last week for some other recipe.
It didn't take very good pictures - this was the best one and it sucks, but trust me - it tasted great!

Tonight, I made Veggie Goulash from La Dolce Vegan. Every time I make this, I say "I forgot how good this is!" I swear - the name makes it sound less appealing than it is, despite the very humorous introduction, remarking on fun synonyms for goulash (hodge-podge) and how they make Sarah laugh. Anyway, this one took much better pictures and made me use up all of my Hungarian paprika, so it looks like I'll have to make a trip to the Spice Corner again. I know, they'll have to drag me by my hair, kicking and screaming all the way.
I was struck by the pretty still-life I accidentally created on my cutting board while assembling the vegetables to be scrubbed, so I wanted to share. By the way, regardless of how ripe that tomato looks, I'm going back to my mantra of "no fresh tomatoes in winter."
Also, I have gotten spoiled by the delightful scents of Basmati and Jasmine rice. Brown rice smells just awful, doesn't it?

Update on Mister's piggy, if anyone is interested: it doesn't seem to be broken after all, but he can't stand on it and Angst might lose one of his lives if he gets too close to kissing it. Mister will be home from work for a few days, so hopefully the swelling will go down and the bruise will stop being so painful for him - love, prayers, and general good thoughts are always welcome.

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