By Linda Lovely
I’m thankful for…
I’m thankful for…
Given November’s blog theme, I could focus on the truly important reasons I give thanks—a husband who can still make me laugh after almost four decades, warm-hearted and zany family and friends, good health (except for that pesky Achilles tendonitis), a lake view from my back porch, and good books to read by a cozy fire. Instead, I’ve opted for a light-hearted tribute to nuts—the edible kind.
I never appreciated how important nuts were until my husband and I embarked on a vegan diet in early 2013. If we hadn’t been assigned this past January to a new family doctor—a proselytizing vegan—this blog might have been headlined “Thankful for Cheese!” Mom always claimed our family tree included rats given our cheese addiction. She ate every variety and passed along her passion (except for limburger cheese). What’s better than cheese on a pizza? Extra cheese, of course.
So…life sans cheese has been tough. One relative even predicted that no family members would want to visit our home post-diet change. (I do buy non-vegan food items, cheese included, for guests. Don’t think anyone’s crossed us off their lists yet.)
At any rate, this is where nuts come in. Nuts are the saving grace of veganism (if that’s a word). Almost all of my favorite vegan dishes feature nuts—cashews, pecans, walnuts, almonds, peanuts. Of course, chocolate figures in here, too. Chocolate IS a plant-based food.
|Fruit pie with nutty crust|
Want a tasty pie crust? Dust off your food processor and mush together 1/3 cup each of walnuts, cashew and almonds with a cup of dates and a teaspoon of vanilla and press into a pie dish for a refrigerator pie crust.
Licking your lips for an old-fashioned pot pie? Here’s a link to an excellent Cashew pot pie! I have to admit I altered this recipe, but I can’t help myself. I modify almost every recipe. I’m certain it would have been just as yummy if I’d followed the directions to the letter.
But who knew you could make CHEESE out of nuts? Mind you it’s not the sharp cheddar of crackerdom fame or the rich, gooey Velveeta that oozes out of a toasted cheese sandwich, but it’s actually quite good and versatile. I’ve used it in a number of dishes, mostly melted or mixed in to the recipe. Here’s a link to an excellent Vegan Cashew Cheese recipe.
So don’t fret if you’re expecting vegetarian and/or vegan guests over the holiday. Experiment. You might actually find some vegan recipes to add to your regular repertoire or a Meatless Monday menu.
Oh, and did I mention the heroine of my Marley Clark Mystery Series will be a reluctant vegan in WITH NEIGHBORS LIKE THESE, my 2014 release? Be sure to read this next mystery to see how Linda (er…Marley) is faring with her new vegan diet.