Sunday, September 8, 2013

For New Vegetarians

Sometimes I forget that vegetarians started at Day One.  I've been veg for 22 years, most of that vegan, and I can't remember that place where you think you'll never eat comfort food again.  I am often shocked when omnivores tell me there's no way I could make a recipe vegan when I've been veganizing recipes for years.  I will concede that I haven't even thought of making meringue, but I never did even when I ate eggs.

You can veganize recipes by studying cooking, both as an art and a science.  Alton Brown is a really accessible source as his recipes and videos are all over the internet.  THE JOY OF COOKING is a great primer on ingredients.  Get some good equipment; quality pots, pans, spatulas, etc. will make your work easier.  The equipment doesn't need to be fancy or expensive, it just needs to work well for you.  And practice practice practice.  Most recipes don't work straight out of the gate and need to be tweaked for your taste.  Remember that everything affects your food and that if you know your kitchen, your ingredients, your geography, and basic techniques, your food will be amazing.

But going back to Day One, sometimes you just want something that tastes like mom made it for you and that's where creative shopping comes in handy.  I do a lot of shopping at +Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market and +Whole Foods Market which is where I found the ingredients for this dish:  whole wheat hamburger buns, pickles slices, tomato slices, Vegenaise, Daiya Cheddar Sandwich Slices, +gardein Crispy Chik'n Filets, and McCain Potato Smiles.

I defrosted the potato smiles in the microwave while I toasted the bun.  When the bun came out of the toaster oven, I put the potatoes on a foil lined tray and set them in the toaster to broil.  Then I cooked the chik'n filet in the microwave while I dressed the hamburger bun.  Just before the potatoes were done, I added a the cheddar slice and let it melt while I finished assembling the chik'n burger.  Everything was ready at the same time and tasted amazing and familiar.  You could easily make two or three at the same time for a BBQ at home so don't get left out at the next party.