Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

07 April 2021

Unsolicited Pro Tip #1: Learn to Cook Vegan

Last year, just before Covid confinement descended, I decided I should finally learn how to cook, and bought a giant bundle of vegan cookbooks. 

I am not vegan. I bought the books because there was cheap deal on Humble Bundle, and also out of some vague idea that vegans who write cookbooks are people who enjoy eating, and, given the constraints of veganism, likely have interesting and creative strategies for making tasty but also nutritionally-balanced everyday meals.

I did not regret this choice. One of my favourite things about learning how to cook vegan is how much more diverse your meal options become. To start, I know how to do tons of stuff with vegetables now, and don't just have this vague, depressing idea that all vegetables are basically just salad. Veggies can be savoury, lush, textured, juicy, fleshy. Learning to cook them seasonally has become one of my greatest pleasures.

Vegan cooking is insanely creative. There are replacements for all kinds of stuff that frequently goes missing in the kitchen, like eggs or milk. If you want macaroni and cheese but are having a bad dairy week, some nutritional yeast will sort you out. Missing milk? Oat milk is a 20-minute make, and most of that is soaking. This is especially helpful in lockdown times, when your ability to shop is limited. 

It's also just nice to have this skill on-hand. If you can cook vegan, you don't worry about most guests with eating preferences. You can quickly prep something nice for them, instead of just serving side greens or extra leftover rice, and people are really grateful for that.

Today I had a hankering to make oatmeal raisin cookies, but had no eggs. Not a problem! Who doesn't have an overripe banana, or some cornstarch and water? I used an overripe banana, was pretty goddamn proud of myself, and my resulting cookies were not only pillowy but also softly banana-bread sweet.

So yeah. Learn to cook vegan. You won't believe how much you learn, and how much more possibility you'll see when others just see the need for a shopping trip. Plus, meat is expensive.

Yup. That's the post. 

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