Vegan Comfort Foods
Should we all be going Vegan?
Do you know any Vegans? Are you a Vegan? Ever since I did research for the blog on Earth Day, 420 Smells like Earth Day, and learned about food productions impact on the environment, I’ve been curious. As it stands, the most I really know about Vegans is that allegedly they have smelly farts and can’t eat nothing. Everyone says that. I exaggerate. It’s a plant-based diet, right? But, more than vegetarian. The privilege I had of travelling to India, now 25 years ago, came with eating a mostly vegetarian diet. My friend James and I ate our way through that country with the most delicious Dal, Naan and Biryani imaginable. Not too mention the culture and the people. A trip to India should be a bucket list item for all who can. But I digress. As usual.
Besides environmental impact, the health benefits of a plant-based diet are vast and proven. Weight loss, lowering risk of heart disease, lowers chances of getting certain types of cancer, i.e. colon. Also, lowers A1C levels for diabetics. While all that sounds great, there are also drawbacks. The gas and bloating are real. More importantly, you lose your most prominent source of Vitamin B-12 and Omega-3s, which can lead to many deficiencies like anemia, medication interference and even depression. Important to replace the lack of proteins. Well, I’m out. After all, I grew up in a home where every meal led with meat. It was the centerpiece of everything we ate. When we’d travel to the South to visit relatives, I can still hear my mother, “That Texas beef is like no other!” She had a point.
The Top Vegan Comfort Foods
Basically, a vegan diet is one void of animal foods, or anything that has a face. i.e. meat, fish including shellfish, dairy eggs and honey. Hence, the carbon footprint. So, imagine a world without meat production. The reduction in stress, not only on the environment, but on our bodies. Certainly, we’ve all heard the phrase “everything in moderation.” To that end, I looked through several vegan blogs and found a few recipes I might try to incorporate more into the diet. Emphatically, none of these are my recipes, but, the fun is making them your own. Maybe I’ll sneak in some meat. Kidding.
We ate a lot of curry in India. Delicious. Indian curry is different than most other curries I’ve tried in Japan and Europe. The levels of spices vary. Also, lentils are very prominent in Indian cuisine. Being a huge fan, I found this from the blog This is Vegan, a recipe for Vegan Lentil Curry that I’m definitely going to try. Recipe for Vegan Lentil Curry.
So, other than Mr. Potato Head, I know potatoes don’t have a face. Don’t those look good? Almost like tater-tots. However, every chef I’ve seen on TV or otherwise will say how difficult they are to make. Tater-tots, I mean. Something about the challenge of replicating the texture that mass production has mastered. These Vegan Potato Croquettes are crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside and apparently very easy to make. Recipe for Vegan Potato Croquettes, from the very popular blog, Hinglish News.com.
Unquestionably, Native Americans, or the Indigenous, are the most maligned culture in America. Amongst the cadre of gifts they given to society, uncredited, preservation and living off the land are unequaled. Succotash, a gift to the colonists in the 1600s and derived from the Narragansett Indian word msickquatash, allegedly meaning boiled corn kernels. This summery vegetable dish combines cherry tomatoes with corn, beans and buttery coconut oil. Vegan Summer Succotash, from the wildly popular food blog, food52.com.
Spaghetti and Meatballs is one of America’s favorite comfort foods. This version uses Kale, Parsley and and Zucchini to make a vibrant looking and delicious pasta meal. Also, it uses vegan cream cheese, which, I understand is made from cashews. Having a nut allergy makes vegan life even more challenging. However, I read that avocado, a favorite, makes a great substitute. Recipe for Vegan Green Spaghetti, from the website eat this much
Admittedly, pies and cakes aren’t my favorite sweets, although I absolutely stand by my recipes for Lemon Meringue Pie for my Uncle’s Birthday and, of course, The Cherry stuff aka The Best Dessert EVER!. Living in Los Angeles, there are several vegan bakeries, The Best Vegan bakeries in LA. Hawaii, Oregon and New York are the most vegan-obsessed states in this country. This light, fluffy Vegan Vanilla cake is something I’ll definitely try. Recipe for Vegan Vanilla cake, from the blog, Loving it Vegan.
Undoubtedly, if you use vegan cheese, my cast-iron skillet pizza recipe can be vegan. PIZZA. I modified the recipe from the top tier America’s test kitchen. Basically, marinara sauce and pizza dough are vegan, so adjustments only need to be made in dairy and omitting the meat. Ouch. Recipe for the Best Vegan Pizza, from the blog, The Big Man’s World.
A Tuscan and Umbrian chopped salad of soaked bread, onions and tomatoes, panzanella, is a popular summer dish. Accordingly, TV food favorite, Ina Garten, whose reliable recipes I’ve been using for years, wrote this take on Italy’s famous offering. Clearly, this is a can’t miss. Recipe for Ina Garten’s panzanella salad, from The Food Network.
Revisiting last years blog on Juneteenth, this is one of my favorite beverages to make and enjoy. Hibiscus Tea recipe. I looked in the vegan chat-rooms (proceed with caution), and I found this interesting vegan beverage recipe I might try. “Heat up some blueberries in a saucepan and press out their juice and mix that with rice milk. It’s sweet and tasty.” Doesn’t that sound good? So, Vegan comfort food, huh? Well, maybe.
Now that’s my kind of vegan food
Fittingly, the last of this Vegan comfort foods blog features a black woman. Chanel Goodson is currently tearing it up in the LA food truck scene. Black-Owned Vegan A.F. Truck Packs Flavor Into Plant-Based Street Food. At this point, Vegan A.F. is the talk of this town and one of the fastest growing. Word on the street has it a brick and mortar is coming. Indeed, if you live in LA and have Instagram, you can see where they are located daily. I’m anxious to try their deep-fried egg rolls and banana pudding.
May 14 is Mothers Day!
On account of this Sunday, May 14, being Mothers Day, a gift to my reader is a familiar one. Amy’s Answering Machine has been featured in a couple of previous blogs, Here’s to the Moms, and When did laughter become offensive?. However, the above are some previously unposted tracks. Altogether completely hilarious. Certainly a reminder to honor all mothers, biological or otherwise, to acknowledge them and be thankful. If you’re blessed to have your mother in your life, take that opportunity to tell her and make her a special meal. For example, something vegan, but, bring Tums cause, well, you know.
Happy Mothers Day!
LOVED this post, Chris! I, too, ponder the question of going full vegan for all the reasons. I’ve landed at “moving in that direction” cuz it can be freakin’ delicious and satisfying – and my system appreciates the time to adjust 😬 Have you been to Cafe Gratitude?? A visit there in the Arts District years ago opened my eyes, brain, and stomach to how creative one can be to create delicious and satisfying plant-based food. Amazing. Another local place that still resonates is Little Pine. I’m sure there are so many in your area. LA vegan friend Tracy says Crossroads is her all time favorite. I always look forward to my next meal and these places and other creative chefs inspire me to go full vegan! As for omega-3 fatty acids, flax, chia, and avocado can fill in for fish. Not sure about B-12…gotta read up on that. Thanks for getting me excited to keep on this quest! Take care, Chris!
Marney, how awesome to hear from you! thanks for commenting and it sounds like your journey is far more advanced than mine, but, I’m excited to embark on the plant-based trip. Although I will admit I still long for the days when we could eat like we did on the track team 1000 years ago!😂 Hope you’re well!