Alright folks, this past weekend I started my deep dive into Julie & Julia-ing this cookbook. If you're not familiar with Julie & Julia, it's a charming tale of a Texan living in New York who decides to go through every single recipe in Julia Child's cookbook the Mastering the Art of French Cooking. This will be a tale of a Texan living in Los Angeles who decides to go through every single recipe in Jessica Murnane's cookbook One Part Plant. Sure Julie Powell had to cook 524 recipes and I have 100 but who's counting? I wanted to try something new, and treat my veggies with the same reverence as I used to with meat. I'm hoping to be enlightened about cooking vegan plant-based recipes and learn some new kitchen tricks.
This is a vast departure from my old diet. I've had multiple forays into vegetarianism, some even lasting years. When I tell my family I'm going veggie, they just sigh and say, AGAIN? Cooking meat is romantic! The sizzle and the char, the satisfaction of a perfectly cooked steak. I get it, it's delicious! I got really good at making meat too. I can spatchcock a full chicken in under a minute. I come from a family of great home cooks. Really, really, really, good cooks. We take our food very seriously. That beautiful knife is from my brother who sent it to me cross-country after I mentioned that my dad accidentally chipped my trusty Wusthoff hacking a coconut. It came with a VERY intense set of instructions and some sort of a leather paddle for sharpening. A very foreboding, "don't worry if you break it, I can fix it" text followed it. No pressure.
But something keeps drawing me back into vegetarianism, now bordering veganism. Maybe I've read one too many books about our meat production practices in the US, maybe I cried during Okja, maybe I've lost one too many friends at a young age and I want to figure out how to remain healthy for my kiddo? Either way, back to vegetarianism I go. I'm aiming for a 90% plant based diet with a wee bit of butter and cheese thrown in, BECAUSE I'M NOT A SAINT!
These were pretty tame recipes to begin with, recipes I was comfortable with already. Nothing was too time consuming, which is great! The only thing I had trouble wrapping my head around was nutritional yeast which was supposed to be sprinkled on top of the pasta. I went round and round Sprouts until I found a sad little bag sitting next to the bulk foods aisle. I didn't put it directly on, but I made vegan "parmesan" with raw cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic powder and a pinch of salt (link in picture above). You guys, it's kinda delicious! Don't think of it as cheese, but as an additional seasoning. So far, so good! If you y'all have any tips, send them my way!