Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday Eats & My Crazy Packing List

My bus trips to work today were awkward. In addition to a giant suitcase with Christmas gifts for my whole family, I have a smaller food/clothes/cookbooks suitcase, which contains two 32 oz. jars of salsa, ready to ride the train with me up to my Grandmothers this evening.

I know it sounds odd, and I guess it is, but I want to make one of our favorite and onmi-friendly dishes, the Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas from Vegan Planet, and sub-par salsa just won't do. I am trying hard to make omni-friendly dishes that I can share with others, and I don't want them thinking 'oh, this is vegan food, its really not that good'. Especially with this recipe, it would be extra sad because with good salsa, it is really, really good. (Okay, so I have never actually tried making it with bad salsa, but this would not be a good time to start).

In addition to the enchiladas, I am making Snobby Joes from Veganomicon, spaghetti and gimme lean meatballs (I'm even bringing breadcrumbs in that suitcase, breadcrumbs are often not vegan from the normal stores), and finally, "tuna fish" sanwiches made from Vegan Planet. Okay, the final one is not really that accessible to ominis but when I made it last time for my Mom she LOVED it and asked for the recipe. And she eats real tuna! So of course I had to toast and grind some dulse (kombu) and bring a small container of that. And three boxes of silken tofu.

For my Uncle's gift I will be making him JOVB lemon bars. Given that my Mom would have tried to pressure me into using that bottled lemon juice "its easier! it tastes just the same!", and the fact that my Grandmother does not possess an electric juicer*, Jon kindly zested and juiced the required lemons for me and placed them in my new adorably small tupperwares for transport up North.

*I too, made fun of Jon for owning an electric juicer, but it is lightning fast and does a top-notch job - no muscle required. Its a very classic style (probably 15 years old).

What else is in my suitcase? Well, nutritional yeast (of course, I am vegan after all), tahini, earth balance buttery sticks, a tiny sample pack of parma, a tiny sample pack of Chreesy mozzarella sauce. Joy of Vegan Baking, Vegan Brunch, and a bunch of printed-out recipes from other cookbooks. Ground psyllium husks for egg replacer, Energ-G egg replacer powder, gluten flour, vegetarian beef broth cubes. I know you are thinking holy heck, what DIDN'T she pack. Well, the answer is: espresso powder, high quality soy sauce, and miso. I gave those some strong consideration, but in the end I felt I could probably live without them.

Just to sum up my weirdness in a list format, the vegan packing list:

2 32 oz. jars high quality salsa
1 strip toasted and ground kombu
3 TBS ground psyllium husks (as egg replacer)
4 TBS Ener-G Egg replacer
vegan breadcrumbs
gluten flour
vegetarian beef broth cubes
parma (vegan parmasean cheese substitute)
Chreese Mozzarella style packet
3 boxes silken tofu
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Lemon Zest
Gimme Lean Ground Beef Style
Nutritional Yeast
Earth balance buttery sticks
2 bags vegan chocolate chips

In my defense, I will be there 12 days, I won't have a car for the first five, and the walkable grocery store is very traditional. Also...I'm a weirdo.