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I Have A Bone To Pick With The Vegan Cookbook-Writing Community


Dear Vegan Cookbook-Writing Community,

Why did you lie to me?  I only wanted to join your ranks seeking better health through animal-free eating.  When you named a recipe, “Fake-Out Mac ‘n Cheese” or “Smoked Cheddar Sauce” I ran out to the store and purchased one cup of whole raw cashews, one 12-ounce package of soft silken tofu, nutritional yeast and other items like light yellow miso.  I was very, very disheartened by the decidedly un-cheesy, un-fakeout-able results.*  My five-year old cried when I asked her to try a bite.  My husband dutifully choked his down, with a healthy portion  of sausages to hide the bizarre texture.  My little boy secretly used my cellphone to call my mom and beg  for help, and he’s only three and a half.

Why did I keep trying?  Thank goodness I borrowed your cookbooks from the library before committing limited shelf-space to these lies.

This goes double for recipes proclaiming faux ricotta (cashews) and faux-mozzarella sauce (cashews).  No.  Cashews just cannot taste like every kind of cheese.  They don’t even taste like one kind of cheese!  No.  It’s not happening!

Best regards,

Back to the [Organic, Grass-Fed] Beef in Boulder

Today after I emptied my fridge of the stomach-churning results of my dabbling in The Sexy Vegan Cookbook, I felt nauseated not only by the gross concoctions, but the money and time that was literally going in the trash.  I guess until my psoriasis clears up, I’m going to strictly avoid red meat and other inflammatory foods, but I’m done with experimenting and hoping to find vegan food that I really enjoy.  Food can be about pleasure in addition to nourishment!

I have a new theory about veganism that disturbs me: there may not be any delicious vegan food.  I know, I know!!  Any vegans reading this will be incensed!  Someone prove me wrong – please post recipes!  If we’re Pinterest pals, share the “best of” recipes on your board!  I’m convinced these vegan cookbook writers are all charlatans.  I don’t want to give up, but I can’t stand another heartbreak!

On the other hand, is it possible that vegans are just not biologically disposed to enjoying the types of food that thrill the palates of mainstreamers?**  I mean this genuinely.  Just as there are some people who hate beer or cruciferous vegetables or sushi, is there a biological component of vegan eating that I lack?  Keep in mind that I’ve been happily dairy-free and gluten-free for a long time now, but this month-long experiment in veganism has pushed me over the edge.  I’m not complaining about vegan cuisine because I’m used to eating a cheese-soaked Fatburger every night.

One thing I can say about 28 days of vegan eating: I lost 2 more of the “last five pounds of baby weight” that I’ve been looking to shed since my second wee babe was born in 2009.  I just plain lost my appetite.


*If you see “nutritional yeast” in a recipe that claims to result in anything “cheez” like, you’re in for heartbreak, my cheese-loving sister.

** Case in point: in Veganomicon, the authors make this note in the introduction to a recipe called, “Mac Daddy” which is supposed to be a type of mac ‘n cheese: “Any vegan potluck would be incomplete without Mac Daddy, but since omnivores tend to be sketchy about nutritional yeast, save this for appreciative vegans and vegetarians.”  Hmmm…  So we are NOT the same…

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 01.31.2013 12:19 PM

    HA! You know, I always wondered about those cashew/nutrional yeast recipes. Thanks for doing the research for us ;)

    • 01.31.2013 3:07 PM

      I will be SO VERY HAPPY to be proven wrong by some great recipes — a friend told me about homemade artisinal nut-milk-based cheeses (!!!) so I’ll report back to you on that eventually. :)

  2. 02.22.2013 11:26 AM

    Very interesting question about vegans and their lack of want for some really good food. I mean, I would break any fast/diet/cleanse whatever, no matter how close I was to the end, if someone offers to take me to the nearest Denver foodie eatery. I just can’t help it. And maybe I’ve been trained to be fulfilled by foods and crave flavors, so maybe it can be deprogrammed… but for now, I love good food. All of it.

    Also, the only time I have ever enjoyed nutritional yeast was in a homemade season salt by gnowfglins, it’s very good on popcorn. And if you cook the popcorn in coconut oil, it’s vegan. So there you go, just serve popcorn.

    • 02.22.2013 2:36 PM

      I do enjoy nutritional yeast on popcorn!! Which is a good thing, because last time around – in a fit of euphoric optimism about my latest stack of vegan cookbooks from the library – I bought a LOT OF IT!!! Come on over and I’ll fix some up for ye! :)

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