This week has been incredibly busy. I know that's no excuse, but it has gotten down to crunch time with the college-work, and in the next few weeks it will likely get even worse. I can't wait for the summer so I can try a whole ton of new recipes with more pictures and adventures! For today you might just have to settle for another blog-electronic interview.
What is one food you thought you’d miss when you went vegan, but don’t?
Definitely cheese and yogurt. I wasn't really a big milk drinker so that wasn't a big deal at all. I really thought being vegan was going to be difficult but it has turned out to be shockingly simple. The alternatives out there are plentiful, but I've surprised myself by not feeling the need to lean on them.
What is a food or dish you wouldn’t touch as a child, but enjoy now?
Kale maybe? I was never a terribly picky eater (I'm like a dog...I'll usually eat anything) but there are things I can guess I wouldn't have eaten but don't know if I had even had such an opportunity. Up until recently I reallllyyyy didn't like tofu.
What vegan dish or food you feel like you “should” like, but don’t?
Eggplant. I try, and I'll eat it if I'm served it but I would never seek it out. It feels like I am chewing on a sponge. Also...the dreaded dinosaur kale. I LOVE red kale, green kale, etc. but dinosaur kale? Yuck. I have to choke that stuff down.
What dish are you “famous” for making or bringing to gatherings?
I'm not famous for anything, but I know my mom really likes my stir fried buckwheat soba noodles and Boyfriend really loves my homemade pico de gallo. Generally my brother enjoys my cookies, and my sister likes things that I make that don't taste nasty.
Do you have any self-imposed food rules (like no food touching on the plate or no nuts in sweets)?
I loveeeee when food touches. Besides the obvious lack of animal products I can't really think of any, except sometimes I get obsessive about my need for color balance in a meal. It's kind of weird. I also like most sauces on the side. I'm a dipper- it makes me feel like I'm more of an active participant in my meal.
What’s one food or dish you tend to eat too much of when you have it in your home?
Definitely green peas (I go through at least 2 bags a week on my own), granny smiths, sweet potatoes, and granola. The answer used to be pasta but I feel like I've been leaning more towards other things lately...
What ingredient or food do you prefer to make yourself despite it being widely available prepackaged?
Hummus and salsa/pico de gallo. Also, a lot of desserts. Beans, too! I like to buy them dry and soak/boil them myself. Oh oh and oatmeal. I really don't like the texture instant oatmeal. I feel like I'm eating rubber.
What ingredient or food is worth spending the extra money to get “the good stuff”?
Refrigerated miso (dried miso doesn't have the live enzymes in it), Veganaise, Field Roast sausages (I don't get them often though...super pricey), agar, sea vegetables, and brown rice/maple syrups. Certain vegan brands can cost less (e.g. Smartfood vs Field Roast) but I've found that, generally speaking, the more expensive ones make up for the price in flavor, health benefits (shorter ingredient list, active cultures, no preservatives, etc.), and they actually last longer because I ration them. Also, cheapy sea vegetables can be super gross.
Are you much of a snacker? What are your favorite snacks?
I love snacks. I seriously dig a big bowl of peas with some sea salt and pepper. Same with a plain baked sweet potato. I LOVE dates, carrots or pita chips with hummus, and last (but definitely not least) SOUR PATCH KIDS. those clearly don't fit in well with the rest of this list.
What are your favorite vegan pizza toppings?
My mom raised me with sauteed garlic and onion on my pizzas. I also really love salad pizza, which is basically what it sounds like. A cheeseless pizza with salad on top. It sounds weird but is super tasty.
What is your favorite vegetable? Fruit?
Toughy. These are my two favorite food groups so... I guess my favorite vegetable would have to be peas? I really love sweet potatoes too, though. Oh and tomatoes! Gah! Favorite fruit if I had to choose would be raspberries, I think. Maybe strawberries. I love berries!
What is the best salad dressing?
My mom's balsamic vinaigrette. It's homemade and delicious. Sometimes I like to mix umeboshi plum vinegar with mustard, maple syrup, and soy sauce. It's fantastic.
What is your favorite thing to put on toasted bread?
Hummus with sprouts, hands down. I do also love a good open faced peanut butter and jelly sandwich or guacamole.
What kind of soup do you most often turn to on a chilly day or when you aren’t feeling your best?
Barley and mellow miso with daikon, mushrooms, broccoli, shredded carrot, and soba noodles.
What is your favorite cupcake flavor? Frosting flavor?
Chocolate with vanilla frosting that is dyed pink.
What is your favorite kind of cookie?
Gah! Oatmeal chocolate chip! It has to be soft though. If this is a hard cookie I would have to say cranberry orange oatmeal or peanut butter cookies.
What is your most-loved “weeknight meal”?
When I'm home it's my mom's pizza. Every Friday night growing up she used to make homemade pizza (even the dough!) and we got to choose our own toppings. Then we would watch a movie together as a family. It was the best!
What is one dish or food you enjoy, but can’t get anyone else in your household to eat?
Probably sea vegetables.
How long, in total, do you spend in the kitchen on an average day?
Well I have specific days of the week I dedicate to cooking since I get very busy, so on average I would say about 3-4 hours a week at least.