“I don’t like vegables” Marius complained. He climbed out of his chair and onto his mom’s lap. Grace didn’t comment but continued eating. Pretty soon, Marius started picking the broccoli out of her vegan dinner . . . to eat. Next he picked out some of the mushrooms, and then the carrots.
Now Marius eats vegan dinners with the best of us, and I think that might be the way most of us react to vegan dishes. We say we don’t like them, but really we do once we try. There’s just a little bit of Sam I Am in all of us, myself included.
For me, it’s been a process learning how to enjoy vegan dishes. I think the first thing is to give up the expectation that they will taste like non-vegan dishes. “Impossible burgers” are close, but not quite the same. Tofu scrambled eggs are NOT eggs; they’re something very different, but they don’t taste “bad” once you stop thinking they should taste like eggs and understand “they’re just different” and also a good source of protein.
I love vegetables. Do you? They’re colorful and have lots of textural variety. They’re high on nutrients and low on calories. What’s not to love?
Not long ago, when we were down on the farm visiting in Kentucky, we had an absolute feast for dinner: fresh boiled corn, fresh roasted asparagus, red quinoa, and a root roast.
Sometimes we make root roasts in a covered roaster just like we’d make a pot roast, only without the meat, but this time we made two pans of veggies on baking sheets. The net effect was especially tasty and visually beautiful, so I want to share what we did (although Mike was the spice master and doesn’t measure anything . . . which he might have picked up from his mama). We made enough for twelve, but I’ll write it up for fewer.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a baking sheet, scatter evenly:
3 large sweet potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
3 large purple potatoes, chunked (could also use red, yellow, or white)
1 cup drained red kidney beans
1 cup drained chick peas
Sprinkle lavishly (but a bit according to taste) the following spices:
If you’re trying to go SOS (no salt, oil, or sugar in your foods), then the following can be omitted, but I think they add a lot of flavor. Sprinkle very lightly with:
Ground black pepper
Bake in the oven uncovered for 40 minutes or until fork-tender and serve right away. (The asparagus was baked at the same time, but only for about 20 minutes.)
Mike and Grace had us eat the veggies in bowls with quinoa on top (which is a full protein source, so similar to but more nutritious than brown rice).
And, for true die-hards, kimchi on the top is excellent! I stopped there, although you can see that Michael is continuing to add extra fun stuff, like soy and pepper sauces. So many taste points! So fun! So full! But, not so fat!
“My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness;
and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips” (Psalm 63:5).