My favorite meal is almond ricotta stuffed shells, veggie balls and salad with “ranch” dressing.
The stuffed shells recipe is from Artisan Vegan Cheese from Everyday to Gourmet by Miyoko Schinner
The veggie balls recipe comes from Plant Pure Nation Cookbook by Kim Campbell
“Back at the Ranch” salad dressing can be found in Salad Samurai written by Terry Hope Romero
This is my go to meal when having company that is not vegetarian, vegan or whole food plant based. It tastes very much like the dairy, meat versions – I believe, truly believe it is because the texture is the same. The key to cooking this way for non-vegans is most definitely texture. As well as keeping in mind that we eat with all of our senses. This meal looks exactly like its meat/cheese/dairy version, the smell is of pasta and sauce and dill in the dressing, the texture is the same and the taste is similar.
But for a recipe to be successful, like these, it takes painstaking trial and error. The women who wrote these recipes each have their own unique story that transformed them into either a vegan or whole food plant based. They spent much time in the kitchen measuring, adding and subtracting ingredients.
In the past I was always in a rush, never time to prepare dinner let alone think about what I was preparing or what was in it. But, once I decided that this was important for health and mind, I slowed down, thought through my meals and carved out real time to prepare them, I suddenly began to enjoy the process. I found my rhythm. I found joy in the process, and in eating the food. Through numerous apps, cookbooks and websites I have learned about how to season and make my own recipes. It has taken time and work but feeling comfortable in the kitchen can be freeing. I feel blessed to have an opportunity to prepare the recipes that these women and the many others that have walked the path to healthy eating have constructed. And I am hopeful that the more comfortable I get in the kitchen that I too can construct meals that everyone will love and appreciate.
Now all I have to do is find joy in the grocery shopping. It may be a bit longer before I get there.
Grace, Peace & Healthy Living,
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