Vis a vis my last post, I have gone vegan for a little while. For bikini reasons, not ethical reasons. We all know I’m not ethical.
In restructuring my diet I’ve been seeking out recipes for some of my favorite foods (burritos, biscuits, tuna casserole) that can be made vegan with substitutions or dropping ingredients altogether and substituting spices. And I’ve run across a lot of what I can only call cheating.
This is really common in things that are labelled “gluten free”. Either it was always gluten free, and the company just realized they could charge more and capitalize on a trend. Or they took something that does have gluten in it normally, and gave a half effort at doing it different, so anyone who really has celiacs will get sick from their “gluten free” products.
It’s also really common in vegan foods apparently. Specifically, I’d like to point out this recipe for Vegan Bread. I found that on Pinterest with the caption, “So glad I won’t have to buy the expensive vegan bread at the store anymore!”
I make bread, as a sort-of-hobby, and the only ingredients truly required for bread are flour, water, yeast, sugar, and salt. My favorite recipe ever, Amish White Bread, only has those ingredients, plus a little oil to make it less crumbly. The $1 loaves of generic bread that I buy down at the grocery store are also vegan, I just checked. Bread is a vegan food unless you specifically buy some fancy kind like eggwash. No one ever had to buy the expensive vegan brand, I don’t even know why that brand exists. Oh wait, yes I do. To make money off of the people who just went vegan and still don’t know the territory. There’s vegan oatmeal and vegan peanut butter and vegan soup, and all of those are vegan in their original form. Oatmeal is oats boiled in water, peanut butter is peanuts crushed with oil, soup is just boiling whatever you can find in your fridge in a pot of water and salt.
And I know what you’re saying, “what about the popular brands that include whey or glycerin?” Read the label, there are a whole lot of brands that don’t, and the generics almost always don’t. Buying a $5 can of soup is just silly when you don’t actually have to.
The other thing I noticed about that bread recipe I linked to up there: it includes a few unusual ingredients. I realize that while vegan I will have to rethink what I stock in my pantry, but I think it’s fair to say that most vegan recipes are an overcomplicated mess.
I looked up lunches earlier, and stumbled on this article that’s supposed to be about easy sack lunches. As a non vegan I would throw a nut bar, applesauce, and ham sandwich in my bag and go, so I was expecting now that I’m a vegan to be throwing a nut bar, applesauce, and hummus sandwich in my bag. Apparently I need to step up my game, because that is weak sauce compared to the Soba Noodles recipe featured in the article. Who the hell just keeps agave syrup lying around the house, and when will I ever use that again? Or this recipe from the article for Cauliflower Rice. I’m sorry, what was wrong with rice? What is so unvegan about rice that I need to have a complicated substitute?
Vegan recipes and vegan prepared foods seem to be a lot of expensive, often namebrand ingredients as a substitute for something that never needed substituting. Yeah, I could use quinoa instead of rice, and ground buckwheat instead of flour? But why do I need to? Why does every salad include sunchoke and durian, when I can just throw some spinach in a bowl with some italian dressing and have an easy, familiar lunch?
I dunno. I guess I get touchy about food. Mama likes to eat, but I’m not exactly made of money, nor do I feel like putting out unnecessary effort.