Since adopting a plant-based diet in April 2007, my cooking repertoire has changed a lot, as I’ve alluded to in a previous posting. Generally, our food is simpler with fewer ingredients, much less (if any) oil, mostly containing unprocessed ingredients and of course no butter, cream, cheese, eggs or pretty much anything which Escoffier or Julia Childs would have used in a sauce.
Experimenting with new ingredients and new combinations has produced mixed results. For example, we have discovered that black or pinto bean burritos (with any number of other fillings such as salsa, brown rice, mushrooms, grilled red peppers, freshly steamed corn), with a home-made chipotle sauce, is now our new family favorite. Yes we miss the taste sensation of the lamb chops and the pork stir fries but our bodies are doing quite well without the saturated fat and cholesterol, thank you very much.
Ever so often, I run into an untried – vegan - recipe which does not turn out too well. There was one a while ago which did not make the ‘keeper’ list. It involved TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein), which is a meat substitute and lots of kale. If I were trying to punish people I would serve them that. And then there are the all-time bombs such as the recipe for ‘Kutia’ which I attempted last week. In retrospect, I should have suspected that something which sounds like it needs a dermatologist’s attention, might not be a good idea. Also, the list of ingredients was odd, to say the least: wheat berries, almonds, raisins, poppy seeds and agave nectar. Hmmm… The best that can be said for this ‘salad’ (as it was billed) or pudding, is that it was edible. Barely. It looked extremely weird with the poppy seeds clinging to the raisins like ants on a dying insect. I subsequently did some Googling on the topic and it appears that kutia is often served at funerals in Russia. If you’re not feeling glum before the funeral, trust me you will after a good solid helping of Kutia.
Other than one 4-mile attempt last Thursday which had to be abandoned, and a Sunday morning ‘run’ which turned into a walk, I have not run since the San Antonio Half Marathon due to calf strain. Both calves are tight with some tender, painful knots. The mistake I made was to run the half in racing flats. Let’s face it, I am too old, too slow and too heavy to be using racing flats in anything other than a 5K... I think it is time for an appointment with the neuromuscular massage therapist.