Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hi, everyone! I have been a reader of all your blogs for so long that I'm inspired to start my own. I hope to share some great food, and find community with other vegans.
I've been vegetarian for years, and trying veganism for a while. Your blogs have been a great help with recipes and just inspiring the urge to cook! I am not a perfect vegan, but cook vegan at home (hence the title) and am mostly vegan on the outside (i.e. I will order what appears to be vegan food at a restaurant but may not go all out to certify that every ingredient is vegan). I realize this may seem like my values are compromised to some, but it is my way of functioning in the very non-vegan world that we live in. And also to keep some peace living with a carnivore. It's not fun always being at odds with the one you love.

Although I have been wavering for a while between vegan and non, I realized one day while eating a (dairy) cheese pizza that it was so terribly nasty, heavy, and greasy, while I had really enjoyed the previous night's broiled tofu with pesto sauce. This was a big switch for me, because in previous attempts to go vegan, one of my issues was that I was constantly hungry. Now I am finding that that fullness was unpleasant, and instead crave that lighter feeling I get with my vegan meals. So, it's better to have a piece of fruit (or chocolate cookie) later on than to feel stuffed after a meal!

So, the meal that inspired my vegan transformation is from Veganomicon. It is the Basic Broiled Tofu and Sweet Basil Pesto Tapenade. These recipes are both genius. Most baked tofu recipes that I have made never have the right texture - they get hot but never crispy, or flavorful, unless they are sliced really thin, and that is not always the shape I am going for. This recipe addresses that. The flavor is great and the texture is right on, even though the pieces are big. I used the cast iron pan as recommended, and it worked very well. The pesto is great, too - really different edge with the lemon and maple syrup. I have always preferred vegan pesto to the kind with cheese, and this one is over the top. Give it a try!

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