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Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson; 2003; Harvard Common Press
The Flavor Thesaurus: Pairings, recipes and ideas for the creative cook by Niki Segnit; 2010; Bloomsbury USA
My recent switch to vegan eating has made a huge difference in my life; mainly positive, as I feel the good changes in my body, soul, and mind; sometimes difficult, as I realize there will be meals and places I’m now shut out of (including the amazing variety of Louisiana seafood and Cajun, Creole, and French entire-stick-of-butter-in-every-meal awesomeness). But really, people, stop asking me if I crave cheeseburgers, because the answer will always be NO!
(As a side note: my friend, the Beast, has let me know that I will forever more be one of “those people” who talk about being vegan constantly with inveterate herbivore smugness, but I personally think that’s just carnivore insecurity.)
Any time I wonder if I can make a vegan version of something that I love- quiche, breads, any kind of dessert- I find I can turn to these two books and my heart sings again. The best thing about these terrific tomes (one a world cookbook, one a true thesaurus- which makes them twice as splendid) is the cross-referencing that will lead to endless possibilities. Is anyone in the mood for wild mushroom lasagna (page 381 of Vegan Planet)? Did someone say that adding blueberries to mushroom lasagna is the shiz-nit (page 336 of the Flavor Thesaurus)? Who the hell would miss meat after eating that?
And this endless experimentation is at the heart and soul of what makes eating in New Orleans so impressive- herbivorous smugness and carnivorous insecurity alike.