Pre-finals Me decided to put cooking on hold for a few reasons:
- My fluctuating diet. In the past few years I’ve transformed from carnivore to vegetarian to mostly vegan (or as I prefer, Herbivore).
- Time. I had time to cook, but not time to learn to cook, preferring to rely on cafés and takeaways where my new diet was understood better by their chefs than by me.
- Stress. Cooking requires some trial and error, some tweaking, and some knowledge-building (planning, shopping, actually cooking…). I didn’t want to start this process when my head was already at its capacity, as I stuffed it with quotations and Intelligent Insights about Literature. (Apparently I also picked up on Swift’s Satirical Capitalisation of Certain Phrases).
Anyway, finals are over, so now I turn myself to my promised cooking project.
Fortunately I found a good guide:The Stonesoup. Jules Clancy posts amazing recipes, mostly with 5 ingredients or fewer!
The above photo is my first Stonesoup experiment: Cashew & Cauliflower mash. Weird, right? And also so easy and so delicious. I sprinkled allspice on top and added some steamed carrots and sugarsnap peas for a contrasting crunch.
And for dessert?
The hardest part about cutting out dairy and eggs for me was my love of baking. I spend nearly all of my Christmas vacations in the kitchen experimenting with recipes to make the perfect cookie box, and jump at the chance to make special birthday cakes for friends. I had sampled some vegan baking, but it was never quite the same…
Until I tried Charlotte White’s cupcakes (Restoration Cake!) at the Blogcademy. Her peanut butter cupcakes were not just the best vegan cupcakes I had ever tried, but the best cupcakes ever. (Seriously, I call myself a cupcake connoisseur, ranking cupcakeries around the world, and these are the best). Better still, she has some vegan cupcake recipes online! I tried her dairy-free banana cupcakes for a dinner party, and they wowed carnivores and herbivores alike. The best part is, they’re healthier than normal cupcakes, using the sugars from bananas and oranges to sweeten and enrich the flavour, but they still taste as fluffy and cake-tastic as ever!
The education continues.
These first successes on my cooking journey got me addicted to good yummy cooking. I’ve been a lifelong super-keen student , and without coursework, I’ve been studying farmers’ markets, vegan recipes, and books about ethical living (Can’t put The Good Life down!).
Do you know any good simple recipes? Send them my way!