When it comes to vegan food products, I am always on the look out for something new. And when I say new I mean something that is new to the market or simply new to me. So when I walked through the aisles of Carre Four and I found these vegan white fish fillets, I knew that I had to try them.
Before we go any further I have to tell you that I am NOT a vegan who needs for my vegan alternatives to taste exactly like the dead animals they’re replacing. In fact, I’d prefer they not to because if we’re all being honest with ourselves, there were things about that we all found unpalatable. So personally, I prefer the alternatives to have an ‘essence’ of the old while being something totally new and delicious.
I had…hopes, we’ll say, about how I thought these Unfished vegan fish fillets would taste. High hopes.
Such high hopes that I paired it with one of my favorite comfort meals from my grandmothers on both sides of the family. Fish and mac & cheese.
I won’t get too much into the recipe but you can go here for a super delicious vegan mac & cheese recipe.
It’s only Wednesday but already this week has been crazy! My book, Let It Be Love is officially LIVE which means book promo and events galore. Even though I knew it was coming, it still kind of snuck up on me.
All of that to say that this will be short (ish) and sweet.
As you may or may not know up until moving to Romania I was not a fan of eggplant. I had tried it a few times and absolutely hated it. The taste. The texture. The mouth-feel. Nothing about it was enjoyable to me and that persisted for most of my life.
But here in Romania eggplant is almost the only vegetable people eat. It’s in Vinete (eggplant dip) and Zacusca (vegetable dip) or just served overcooked with tons of oil for “garnish”. Still wasn’t a fan.
And then my aunt-in-law made some Vinete and I tried it and…liked it.
So I began to experiment with it. Mostly for my husband who is Romanian and loves my baba ghanoush. And then I saw this roasted jerk eggplant recipe and it actually looked good.
So I made a vegan buddha bowl with jerk seasoned eggplant, curry TVP and a grain cooked with plenty of turmeric. And here we are.
I’m still experimenting with cooking eggplant and finding ways to add it to the menu but this one came out pretty well. It was a little softer than I would have liked but next time I’ll shave 5 minutes from the cooking time.
Hey vegans, wannabe vegans and almost there vegans! Things are a little crazy this week as I am at the tail end–finally–of my fifth book in the Mustang Prairie series so between my day job as a writer and my night job as an author, things are chaotic.
So not only am I being a lazy vegan but I’m going to pass on my lazy meal to you.
Now, if you’re expecting ‘lazy’ to mean pop a vegan pizza in the oven, you’re way off base. I have yet to find a vegan pizza that I love enough to waste the calories so no. No way. Nope. Not even a little bit. But if you have any recommendations, drop links in the comments.
When I say lazy vegan meals, I mean that I let the oven do all, if not most, of the work.
Here’s what a lazy vegan meal looks like:
As you can see from the photo, this is a lazy vegan recipe with just a handful of ingredients.
Way back in the early 2000’s, I lived in Boston and worked for a progressive non-profit organization. It was my second “real” job straight out of college so the hours were long and the pay was crap, but it was Boston, a city me and a very close friend had talked about living in during grad school.
I was there and the reality didn’t quite match the dream. Don’t get me wrong, the city was incredible. It was beautiful and old, with marks of history featured everywhere from the roundabout roads to the brick-paved streets downtown, Fenway Park and all that good stuff. Unfortunately I was (mostly) too busy working to see much of the city and surrounding area until after the election was over.
But one of the things that still sticks in my mind, years later is this freestanding food court off the Downtown Crossing exit on the orange line. There was all of your basic crap from burgers & fries, to greasy fried rice, fried chicken, smoothies and the like. But there was this one place, tangentially New Orleans themed, and they had the most amazing bourbon chicken.
I loved it. I devoured it. I ordered it all the time. Just a simple dish of chicken breasts, pan fried until crispy and coated with a delicious sauce and served on a bed of rice. You could sit in the food court to eat it, but it came in a totally not sustainable foam packaging that–unfortunately–made it perfect to eat at your desk while trying to dispense payroll for sixty offices located around the country.
So it became one of my favorites.
Over the years I have tried to recreate this dish with varying measures of success, but this time I think I’ve finally gotten it right.
Like I said, I’ve tried this recipe plenty of times even in my vegan life, using everything from tofu, smoked tofu, Quorn filets and even seitan, and they come out good but not quite the same. Ya know?
Some days you just feel like getting weird with it and on those days, well, you get weird with it.
I recently bought some new hot sauce, Crazy Bastard brand hot sauce, and so you know I had to indulge my love of all things spicy and delicious. I couldn’t go completely crazy because my partner does not handle the super hot foods all that well and I love him, so I guess I have to take it easy on the fella.
We still had some really good looking oyster mushrooms in the fridge and I knew exactly what I wanted, something simple so the hot sauce could be the star of the meal, and something to take the heat off if necessary. (It was totally necessary, btw)
So, if you’re ready to get hot & spicy, grab your favorite vegan meat alternative, mushrooms, bulgur and bok choy leaves and let’s do this! Oh, and let’s not forget the hot sauce.
Let’s start with the mushrooms because I like to put mine in the oven and let them get crispy on the edges while keeping the moisture in the big part of the cap. Dust off the dirt and grime with a wet napkin or towel, and trim them before you weigh them (if that’s your jam, but it’s totally mine).
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