Sunday, April 1, 2012

A few foods I've rediscovered as a vegan

As I expected, the shift to veganism has led me to a renewed appreciation of a number of foods. Here are a few:

1) Lemons! I’ve always loved everything about lemons, but over the past several weeks I’ve also come to appreciate how well a spritz of lemon juice at the end of preparation can even, surprisingly, substitute for feta. That squeeze of juice brightens up so many dishes, including one of my favorites: spaghetti tossed in olive oil with spinach, garlic, walnuts, red pepper flakes, and olives.*

2) Which brings me to another: olives! They’re just so salty and rustic and beautiful. I find myself adding them to more and more dishes. At the first social gathering I went to since going vegan, a small cocktail party, the hostess thoughtfully prepared vegan hors d’oeuvres for me (well, they were for everyone, but specifically catered to me). Her delicious olive tapenade with crostini sent me on an olive kick which is still going strong.

3) Wasabi crackers! I adore wasabi in general, and my current snack of choice is KA-ME wasabi rice crackers. They have five well-deserved stars on Amazon. (Looking into wasabi, I discovered that scientists have developed a wasabi fire alarm for deaf people, which won them an Ig Nobel last year.)

4) And finally…udon noodles! The Koyo ones - another five-star Amazon rating - are so simple and elegant in their little bundles. I haven’t even made a proper soup of them yet (though I’m learning more about Japanese folklore, which is fascinating), but I’m enjoying them and newly inspired to start preparing Japanese vegan foods.

*And sometimes with a little Daiya faux-mozzarella, which is surprisingly good. The jury’s still out on some of the other cheese substitutes, except for the inedible Daiya faux-cheddar.

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