Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Creamy Pasta, Valentine's Cake and more

It was round 2 from Vegan Express tonight, with the Creamy Pasta with Asparagus and Peas. We were thinking this would make a good Valentine's Day dinner but then we decided to go out on Valentine's Day so we made the pasta tonight. This one was a snap to make too - sautéed garlic; steamed asparagus, yellow squash and peas; sun-dried tomatoes and parsley; and a simple sauce of Silk creamer, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Tossed with pasta, it was divine.


And since it's almost Valentine's Day we broke out the heart pans again for a special dessert treat. This is essentially the Sexy Low-Fat Vanilla Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, but baked in the heart pans. We didn't have enough powdered sugar for the icing but there was enough for a nice dusting and that was all we needed. We've got two more of these for tomorrow night too!
Now for some thoughts on veganism in the news. Why is it that any article about vegans or vegan food has to take a subtle (or often not-so-subtle) swipe? Last night we were thrilled to find our blog mentioned in an article in our local alternative weekly. It was cool enough to read about local pizza joint Mellow Mushroom adding vegan cheese to their offerings (we really must go back there soon). Then lo and behold there's our blog mentioned, along with a list of local restaurants taken mostly straight from our restaurant post. It's really a nice article, but still they have to get in a little dig at the end by dissing cheese-less pizza. I know... it's all in good fun, so I'll move on to a much worse example.

I thought it was cool to get a mention in a local weekly, and then I see none other than the Urban Vegan with her picture in the New York Times. The article, about dietary differences in relationships, is interesting but there are some choice tidbits. Like the mention of a quote comparing vegans to militant terrorist organization Hezbollah, then enforcing that ridiculous notion by suggesting that vegans wouldn't kiss "someone who has even sipped honey-sweetened tea".

Then there's the “picky eaters are remarkably unsexy” quote too. It's not necessarily aimed straight at vegans but I've seen that suggestion made elsewhere as well. To me anyway, there's nothing more unsexy than eating wild game and foie gras.

14 comments:

Ianqui said...

Thanks for pointing out that article. This quote is similarly annoying (if not more so) and unenlightened:

Another concern was whether she would be able to cook vegetarian meals that would meet the nutritional needs of everyone in the family, including their teenage daughter. “I wanted us all to eat the same thing for pragmatic, household economy reasons, but also because that’s part of being a family,” Ms. Benson said.

So, she cooks vegetarian dinners and makes lunches for herself and her daughter that include meat. She and her daughter have “meat parties” when Mr. Benson goes out of town, she said.


Please. Infants can be vegetarians, so can toddlers, teenagers, and adults. This is the kind of thing that makes me want to write a nasty letter to the Times.

springsandwells said...

huh.
I hadn't seen that NY Times article. It often strikes me how unimaginative some newspaper articles can be. Duh. Who couldn't think of those same old comments. It's frustrating because these issues of balancing food preferences are real issues in relationships... with some more thoughtful analysis and commentary, it could have been much more interesting. Poor vegans get so many cheap shots. What's the problem? It's not like we're tormenting anyone... just blogging away peacefully!

Meat Parties? Offal? Fois Gras?

ICK!

Anonymous said...

Well, the rude militant comment was actually from Anthony Bourdain, so take it out with him not the newspaper. I actually read that article before reading your blog and I found it portrayed vegans quite respectfully, especially compared to most peoples' opinions on us. What I did love most about that article was the term "vegangelical." THAT made the whole article worth while.

robiewankenobie said...

off topic, but i'm pretty sure that mellow mushroom's soy cheese has casein. i sent an email to the company to doublecheck. i'll let you know...

Urban Vegan said...

I'll have a slice of that cake, please. Happy V Day!

Actually, regading the NYT article, picky eaters annoy the hell out of me, to be honest! It seems so childish to nto be open to try new things--not even a bite.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Mmmm, those heart cakes look so delicious with all the raspberries on top! Even better that you have dessert already made for tonight!

I agree with your comments on the articles coming out lately. IT's nice to have veganism in the news, but why can't it just be postive?

Chris said...

ditto ianqui & Amey...

anonymous - I think we can agree that this Bourdain chap is no friend to vegans, and maybe even that the article is generally positive but it was the writer's choice to use such an inflammatory quote.

robiewan - I've heard that about the soy cheese at the Raleigh location - not sure if they're using the same thing here. We actually ate their tempeh hoagies for lunch right when they got the soy cheese and we asked the server if the the soy cheese was vegan. She went to the kitchen to check and came back and reported that it was vegan. The casein issue is one that many folks aren't aware of though...

OK urban vegan but you'll have to come here to get it ;-) I tend to agree about picky eaters, just not with the assumption that vegan = picky. But maybe I'm reading too much into it.

Thanks vegan noodle! What gets me is that even if it's a mostly positive article there can be these little digs...

aTxVegn said...

Pasta and heart cakes are so romantic....

I found both articles very interesting, with the same ol' stereotypes and uninformed writing and weird comments from meat eaters.

Pleasantly Plump Vegan said...

i am gonna make a version of that pasta soon. and man, that cak looks so cute and yummy!

VeggieGirl said...

ugh, another "great" article from the NY Times - I'm sick off all the vegan-bashing going on!!

such mouth-watering dishes, as always!! aww, I too made a heart-shaped cake for Valentine's Day - just posted about it :0)

sophia said...

totally agree about the vegan-bashing. even here in portland, home of many truly awesome vegan restaurants, every time one of the local papers prints a vegan restaurant review they have to preface it by saying "unlike typical vegan food, this actually tastes good." you'd think that after eating at five vegan restaurants and finding them all to be so "atypical," one might reconsider what "typical vegan food" is. but no.

Allie B said...

First off, that pasta looks delicious! I love pasta dishes that forgo the typical red sauce (though that is good too.)
The cake also looks delicious, I just made some chocolate cupcakes with an adapted recipe from that book.
And

And I agree with the vegan bashing. Its becoming quite annoying. When my blog was featured in a local paper, I was lucky not to be bashed too much. The article about my blog said that many of my favorite foods were processed, which isnt actually true. It just so happened that at the time of their viewing, I had posted a review of many vegan premade products. And they took a swipe at my "casual phraseology", for calling using the term "dead animal aftertase". Well, hello! I'm vegan for a reason, aren't I??
But all in all I was impressed with the review (it helped my traffic!), and it was nice written, but still.

Allie
http://aveganlife.blogspot.com

Here's the article if you were interested:
http://www.sevendaysvt.com/food/side-dishes/2007/virtual-vegan.html

Happy Herbivore! said...

I am really excited to hear mellow mushroom is adding pizza and that veganism is getting press in your area! However, I really want that cake!!

Madhuram said...

Another lovely pasta recipe. Very good cake too. I have not gone through VCTOW book yet. So far I have made recipes from The Joy of Vegan Baking and Sinfully Vegan.