I suck at cooking. There, I said it. I love it but I hate it so much. My husband and I don’t eat meat because of his allergy to it – his throat will close shut – and honestly, even though it has been 4 years, I have no idea what I am doing still. You would think that after 4 YEARS I would know what the crap I’m doing in the kitchen. I would have a crap ton of recipes to make and knowledge to share…I don’t.
I have a Pinterest board with around 700 recipes, I’ve maybe made 10. Because of how limited our budget is I am terrified of cooking because we can’t afford mistakes that waste ingredients. Then there is the fact that I still think like a carnivore. I still think in terms of meat as my main course. I have tried thinking “Well, I could cook my tofu/seitan/tempeh/whatever just like I would the fish/beef/chicken/pork – ” but it never works out.
I don’t like the taste of raw vegetables but the Hubby does, as long as it isn’t dry skinned vegetables (like squash). It sounds weird but I honestly don’t like the texture of beans and legumes. I have tried, oh have I tried, and in the winter I can eat them because of the warm factor but other than that I try to stay away from them as much as possible.
I can’t cook seitan from scratch. My goodness but my recipes turn out HORRIBLE when I try. They are too dry, too squishy, or tastes insanely like gluten and nothing but gluten. One time I actually made a tiny seitan loaf that was black on the outside and chocolate-y brown on the inside….it tasted horrible. I will keep trying though because I want that recipe, I want seitan to be a staple…mostly because I can imitate some meat recipes with it.
Because I can’t cook, and some of the recipes I find online are either too pricey or just sound nasty to me – quinoa, I’m looking at you because your texture is kind of off putting to me – the Hubby and I signed up for Gathered Table. This little website makes you a weekly menu of dinners, compiles a grocery list, and then you shop and cook. There aren’t a lot of vegan options so I put in vegetarian since most things can be omitted or switched out to make it vegan.
One of the nice things about this is it is 99% homemade. Not all of it, I found a recipe for dinner rolls that involved buying dinner rolls. This will allow me to become more confident, hopefully, in the kitchen and allow me to branch out in our meals. I wish that I could stay the weekend with some experienced vegans and learn to cook and try new things with them but no such luck in wonderful cow country.
If you have a favorite recipe from a family cookbook or the web you can add that to the menu and collections list so that is nice. I will add the mac and cheese from Epicurean Vegan (My favorite mac and cheese so far) and a few other recipes I know we actually like. I’m going to keep making things outside of that website though, mostly because they don’t have a lot of options, and if they work then I’m going to add them.
I will have to work through my prejudice against beans, legumes, and quinoa though because those are staples in the plant based lifestyle. I have to get my head out of the slaughterhouse and into the field, which is so much harder than it sounds for me. I hate to admit these things, because it feels like failure, but the Hubby tells me it isn’t failure. We are struggling to be plant based but we aren’t giving up (because he will die…and we love animals and the planet but the beginning reason was because he would die), and we will keep cooking. Whether or not the food will be edible is still up for debate.