Saturday, March 07, 2009

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Leftovers with benefits

Last night we reheated Indian leftovers and I added a couple of dishes to fill it out, all from Bittman. Thanks to Layne, I used whey to make chapatis, a rustic, tortilla-like Indian flatbread that made a sturdy platform for dal and nut chutney. I don't know if the chapatis were better because of the whey, but they were delicious.

Also made the brussels sprouts with coconut milk, a recipe I'd been eyeing since I first opened this book. It goes to show how food combinations can surprise you. I love coconut, I love brussels sprouts, but they have no chemistry. It was just a wrong marriage, the coconut wanting to be all unctuous and tropical, the repressed sprouts unable to loosen up. And why should they? They're nice and dignified the way they are; everyone doesn't have to dance the samba.

So, we're at the end of our successful How to Cook Everything Vegetarian experiment, though I'm going to make a few more straggler dishes from the book over the next few days. (The summation will come when we're done done.) Meanwhile, there was a piece introducing a new vegetarian column in the New York Times that caught my attention last week. The author writes that vegetarianism is having its moment whether because of "health, ethics, concern for the planet or pure whimsy."

Is it true vegetarianism is having its moment? There are certainly fewer in my world than there were twenty years ago, but that could be age and suburbia. What really stopped me, though, was her list of reasons. She doesn't mention economics. I get bent out of shape when chickpeas cost more than $1.79/pound but think $20/lb. salmon is a steal. I'll never be a vegetarian for any of the reasons she cites, but I think we'll be eating a lot of meatless meals in the near future because of the price. 

1 comment:

  1. To me, the word vegetarian still sounds abstemious. I don't like to feel abstemious, in terms of the food itself, when I eat. (I do like the penny-pinching part, though).