Sunday, June 12, 2011

Vegan "Meat" and Potatoes

When I think about it, I have to say that it is nothing short of a miracle that John and I became vegans and stayed that way for any amount of time.  With me, the biggest issue was dairy products--the more unhealthy, the better was my philosophy.  I loved cheese and ice cream, and even after knowing how much better I felt without them, and after knowing how many problems I had to go through in my detox process, I craved them for a long time.

For John, the problem is a little bit different.  It's not just a certain food that he "misses" or craves.  It's more like the idea of hearty comfort food-style dinners, which for him have always been based around meat and starch.  Even now when I ask John if he has any requests or suggestions for dinner, he asks for something like meat and potatoes.  He's always asking for chicken parmesan and potatoes, or meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  He has been working non-stop with acting jobs lately, so when he asked for something meat and potatoes this time, I turned to Vegan Comfort Food by Alicia Simpson to find a way to fulfill that request.  I used both the meatloaf recipe and the mushroom gravy recipe, adapted out some of the oil in the meatloaf, and made a delicious, fairly healthy, extremely filling comfort food meal.

The "meat"loaf is made out of TVP, and the green beans are canned (which is the only way I like them, since I grew up eating), but there is hardly any added fat in this meal, aside from the gravy, which is roux-based.  Most importantly, John loved it.  It made him feel like he wasn't missing anything at all.  Vegan eating does not have to be about what is not on your plate, and I think that is something that people who haven't tried it don't realize.  I certainly didn't!  I've said it a million times, and I'll say it a million more--I knew nothing about food before I left animal products behind, and becoming vegan is the best decision I ever made!


  1. Care to share the mushroom gravy recipe?

  2. Sure, John, I'll email it to you. I didn't want to post it and have the cookbook author hunting me down :)

  3. Psst.... me too? I promise I won't tell! :-) I luuurvs me some mushroom gravy!

    I've never cooked with TVP, but on our recent Colorado trip I had some awesome South American food made with it and decided I must start to use it. And now here you are with your yummy-looking TVP loaf. I'm betting I'll come across another favorable mention of/delicious use for TVP in the next day or two, since these things seem to occur as trifectas!

    I'm glad your latest comfort food meal was such a hit! Sure looks and sounds wonderful! And I'm glad John is so busy with acting jobs!

    Oh, and your last sentence? Totally describes my own experience and so I couldn't agree more!!! :-)

  4. Recipes have been emailed! Also, I do have to say, if you're in the market for a vegan cookbook, I would really recommend picking up Vegan Comfort Food. (I get nothing for recommending it, I just really like it and the recipes are very omni-friendly.) Most recipes include oil, but it's not that hard to substitute something else to make it a bit healthier.