LOL. A fast an easy vegan. :)
No one would ever accuse me of being a fast cook because in most scenarios I am not. Most occasions, I want to take my time. I like to chop things with precision and care. I like to measure and weigh and have everything mise en place.
The trouble is that books that say they are quick and easy have the exact opposite effect on me. I get cranky only because I can’t achieve the 30-minutes-or-less promised by the recipe. I rush. I make mistakes. I burn myself on a pan. I wail and gnash my teeth. It’s quite dramatic.
So that would be the first reason I was dubious about this next book. It would not be the last time I’d question something either…
The book: The McDougall Quick & Easy Cookbook by Dr. John McDougall and Mary McDougall.
Why do you have it? Looking over the past, my tendencies are with the McDougall school of food. I’m fairly likely to severely reduce or even exclude oil in recipes. I prefer whole grains versus processed ones. Am I super religious about it? Maybe I should be but I’m not… though given many years of low fat cooking and eating prior to my vegan conversion, it just tends to be the way I am. If I use oil, I can usually taste it and it tends to make me unhappy. Same with eating out… the more oil, the less I usually enjoy things. It’s just a me thing. This book speaks to the kind of cook I tend to be.
Well, why hadn’t you cooked from it yet? It is possible I’ve cooked from this book prior to owning it, as I believe a McDougall recipe I used a while ago for sloppy joes is the same recipe from this book (I could not confirm as of this writing), but otherwise I just haven’t gotten around to it. It should be one of the first things I reach for when I am feeling too lazy to cook and yet there is no middle ground between the desire to make an elaborate meal versus being too lazy to boil a pot of water…. yet I don’t. Go figure.
Did you have difficulty deciding on a recipe? Well, yeah, but I think it was because I had difficulty decided what I wanted. Beans? Grains? Potatoes? I was pretty wishy-washy about it until one title really caught my eye.
What did you make? Black-eyed Pea Scramble. I read on to find this also had potatoes in it, so I thought this would be fabulous. Then I read the instructions.
How did the cook go? I read the instructions 8 times. I wasn’t sure I wanted to make this after all. I really, really struggled because this was essentially asking me to drown potatoes, black-eyed peas and onions in water to cover and cook and then drain them. I almost backed out, but I didn’t. Draining the mixture proved a little challenging as well… but all in all it came together quick and with minimal mess.
Did you modify? Because we know you can’t help yourself. Gracious, I wanted to. I decided to plunge forward with this recipe as is. I was really sure this would be a nasty piece of work, and boy would I blog about it.
How did the eat go? Incredible! This was actually a very tasty meal! It was quick (as promised, and I really was able to get this to the table quickly while cooking something else!) and it exceeded expectations because I was not expecting such a tasty meal. The beans, onions and potatoes, soaking up BBQ sauce, were so tender and tasty!
And The Husband? A big hit! ”It tastes like you slow cooked this for hours,” he declared between munches. And there you go. That is why they say to cook it the way they do. If somewhere in the text of this recipe they would have mentioned that, I think I would have been a little less hesitant. Just a little less.
Will you cook from this book again? Absolutely. If I have learned anything is that I need super fast meals for those days I’m too lazy to be… well, me. This would be the book that makes the grade, being low fat, high flavor… I just need to be willing to take risks when some of the recipes sound… strange.
So, are you a quick and easy vegan? No. not sure that I ever will be, and I think that is okay. I really do enjoy cooking, even when I don’t want to. There’s something warm and comforting about it, and deeply satisfying in the end. I made this. I know what’s in it. I know it’ll feed me and my The Husband and even if it takes me longer than most other cooks it just means it’s filled with that much more love.