At the sanctuary, I encourage people to rethink their food choices. I can forget how challenging it was when I went vegan 10 years ago (I went vegetarian nine years prior to that). Navigating this meat- and cheese-loving world by myself was not easy. I was the only vegan I knew! That changed when I joined Animal Place, but for those first few years, it was tough.
Also, I am not a cook. True story, I nearly blew up a microwave trying to cook a cup-o-noodles. I have mad skills with two appetizers (tapenade and bruschetta) and vegan cheesecake (seriously, it’s so awesome you might die). Complex recipes with strange-sounding ingredients and directions a mile long give me anxiety. Double also, I am a fan of throwing stuff together and hoping for the best. I promise not to share with you my disastrous attempts at creative cooking.
I like easy and simple. Storebought is nice too, in my opinion. Thus, I am starting a weekly Vegan Eats (aka Food): Insert Vegan Food Item Here posting! You will either be duly impressed or horrified by what I deem appropriate food items.
-Marji Beach, Education Manager
This is pasta with a cheezy sauce I made up, but that is based on the time-honored tradition of putting nutritional yeast into everything.
Nutritional yeast, by the way, can be found at pretty much every major grocery store. I get mine in the tiny bulk department of the natural food aisle at my local Raley’s supermarket.
Here’s what I did: I took 1/4 cup of almond butter (try different nut butters for different tastes) + 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast flakes + 1/2 lemon’s juice + 2 garlic cloves (one if you are a garlic sissy) + 1/4 cup water.
Then I throw that all into a pot and put it over medium-high heat, stirring until it makes a sauce. I’ll add water until it is the consistency I want. VERY IMPORTANT: you must be constantly taste-testing and stirring. I often add more nutritional yeast, but maybe you will want to add more lemon juice. My personal belief is that the moment you want to eat the whole thing out of the pot, then you have found the perfect blend of ingredients.
Also, at this same time, I am cooking pasta per the instructions found on all pasta boxes. I like macaroni-style pasta for this dish, but you can do whatever makes you happy (or whatever is lying around in your cupboard).