Before our apartment filled with the overwhelming aroma of slow-braising pork, most notably in the form of cumin’s warmth, I spent my morning hours with the lingering scent of bacon from a pretty alright breakfast sandwich—as telling evidence as the plate of scattered crumbs by the sink. I’m telling you this to remind you of my firm position as a meat eater, and so that when I tell you this next part, you’ll know you can believe me: I hosted Mother’s Day lunch, and served an entirely vegan meal—and it was good.
My mother, who, as far as I can tell, lives off of buttery baked goods, cheese, and apples, is not vegan. But my sister is. And though my mother spent many years washing BBQ sauce/mustard/any form of seasoning off of baked chicken breast for me, it was my sister who braved the wilds of craigslist for us and found someone to take over our old lease so we could afford our new home. Memories fade, but not having to pay rent on top of a mortgage lasts forever.
Lest you think I’m unappreciative of a mother’s unending service to her children, I did keep my own in mind while menu planning—so much so that she accused me of an early attempt at campaigning for my birthday. As if I would! (June 13th—please contact with any questions.) She was very taken with a shaved asparagus salad a made for her last spring, is a known lover of mushrooms—and wine—and has been talking about making a coconut cake since 2010. And so a menu was formed:
- Shaved asparagus salad, avocado, almonds, mustard/balsamic vinaigrette
- Roasted mushrooms in shallots and wine
- Sliced carrot, cucumber, and radish on baguette with pesto (sans parm)and hummus
- Vegan cake with coconut oil frosting (and a splash of bourbon—for luck?) and toasted coconut
The one item with a distinct “vegan” aspect was the cake. I found a recipe that used flax meal as an egg substitute, which was extremely painless, and shockingly turned out a real cake.
From my vast experience of hosting this one vegan event, I can say that it’s not hard to make a meal vegan—tips include: oil for butter, lots of seasonal vegetables, and a little research.
I’m sure you’re glad I shared. Keep in mind that you’re reading a food blog written by a person who spent most of her life eating microwaved cheddar quesadillas, hard-boiled eggs (no yolk), and peanut-buttered toast in the desperate avoidance of anything that could be considered “sauce.”
This is learning. This is progress. This is lunch.