15 October 2007

Saturday Cooking

On Saturday, a friend of mine (Erica) called me over to her house to get together to cook. This is probably going to be the only chance I'll get to go over there before I move next Saturday, so I figured it'd be a great opportunity to show her and her daughter how to get down the basics of cooking for vegans. Their food is mostly centred around a meat main dish, and a couple of sides, so I don't know what they expected when Steve and I came over!

We got in, and I immediately set a pot of lentils to start simmering, so that by the time we got back from the store, they'd be at least mostly done. We went to this place called the Fruit Emporium, where they had so many different kinds of fruits and vegetables, that I was running around like a kid opening presents on the day of his birthday. Kale, collard and beet greens, swiss chard, bok choy, cabbages as big as your head, cocoanut, yams, tiny little baby potatoes, yucca, cassava, pumpkin, butternut squash, eggplant (both Japanese and Italian), and so many others that I can't even remember them all. We piled the trolley full of vegetables, and went to pay.

Everything totalled up to $50.

She was quite shocked at that, because she's used to paying so much more for her weekly grocery bill. We lugged everything to her house, and started cooking. I showed her daughter how to do everything, from start a fresh soup to roasting vegetables in the oven with a spice rub. I kept the steps really simple, so that she could come back and try things out on her own.

All in all, we turned out 14 dishes. 3 of them were soups, there were four varieties of oven roasted vegetables, and the rest were random sides we composed on the stove top. Our friends who came over to help us eat all that food were raving about how it was so much fun to try out the different things we came up with, and enjoy everything so much! The star of the programme, however, was the lentil soup. For some reason, no matter how many times I make them, they always get big raves from the people who eat it.

Unfortunately, we lost our camera, so I can't upload pictures of all the food. :( I'm sure it'll turn up at some point when we get everything set up at home to move.


  1. Geez, I wish you could come over to my house for a cooking sesh! The pesky little fact that I live in Alaska might be an issue though ;D

    I actually was wondering if you would be willing to share some of your recipes for black eyed peas? You mentioned them in your interview on vegan freak, and I picked some up and mine were tame at best. I'm trying to pack in as much nutritionally dense foods as possible, and making big efforts to avoid processed foods as well... any suggestions for some more foods that pack a nutritional punch would be greatly appreciated!!!! Thanks!

  2. But Dino, vegan food is sooooo expensive, right? Haha. No.

    It's great to see people so surprised to learn the vegan cooking isn't as alien as they thought...you know, since many of them usually prefer "natural food" like Burgers, Steaks, Eggs, and tall glasses of Moo Juice.

  3. You're welcome to come cook up a storm in my kitchen anytime you'd like. It sounds like you did a great job of expelling some vegan myths--that it's expensive, bland, and hard!