The Semi-Vegan Plunge

My vegan daughter has been around for dinner more frequently lately, so I have definitely had to adapt. I don’t want her feeling like she’s got the “special” plate and everyone else is eating a different meal, frequently something she would have liked a lot prior to going vegan. So we’re adapting. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes there’s a meat or a non-vegan thing on the table, but I try to make the overall meal something everyone can eat.

In adjusting to this, I have learned a few new things and have experimented with a few recipes and ideas to come up with a wider variety of things we can all enjoy. For example, I made a black bean and barley soup and veganized my corn casserole recipe. I’ve also experimented with jackfruit. So far, my favorite with it was black bean and jackfruit enchiladas. They would have been decidedly better with cheese, but they were pretty good.

Did you know flax seed or chia seed can be used to make an egg replacement? I wish someone had told me that years ago when my Katie was allergic to eggs. She outgrew it, but for years I was ordering egg replacement from some store online. I’ve only tried this once in the corn casserole, but it seemed to work pretty well. And even the youngest ate a good bit of it, which is the equivalent of a rave these days.

I’ve been experimenting with roasting whole cauliflower like it’s a chicken. So far, it’s not quite right. I can never tell if its done enough in the middle. So far, I have “undercooked” two for my taste. I do like the simplicity and that it kind of cuts into slices like a steak. I may try once more to see if I can have the patience and not fear the top burning enough to get it the way I like it.

This is store bought and not my recipe, but we found a nice mushroom pasta and some wild mushroom burgundy pasta sauce. This was from River Valley Ranch, and it made a delicious meal. I picked up some bread from La Boulangerie. It made an awesome dinner, and I don’t usually care as much for mushrooms. I’m pretty sure I’d eat that sauce on just about anything!

I experimented with making my french toast casserole vegan. That’s gonna need a second pass. I tried replacing the egg and dairy with a vegan almond nog. It did not set. We had a soupy, pudding-like mixture. However, when it cooled down, the vegan daughter did eat it. She said it tasted good, even if it wasn’t anything like the dish it was meant to replicate.

Oh, here’s a hot tip that I’m sure I’m not the only one blonde enough not to have realized. Most margarine is vegan. Seriously. How did that take so long for me to figure out. Finding one without palm oil is pretty impossible, but if you’re not just covering everything in it, I think its okay…maybe. Please tell me I’m not the only one who never thought of that?

At some point, I’m going to have to try making the potato cheese I keep hearing about, but so far, this little experiment is going well. Don’t worry, I’m never going to convert, but I’m enjoying having dinner with my daughter more frequently for now!

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