I haven’t announced a new chapter of my occasional series, It’s A Vegan World, for a few months now because I’ve just been too busy at work and home. So when Graziana of Erbe in Cucina offered to host it in April, and even suggested a cuisine– French— I jumped at the chance to revive it.
I had considered a French edition of IAVW before but hesitated because veganizing French cuisine can seem a huge challenge to anyone. When I picked up a copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking at a yard sale years ago, I thumbed eagerly through it hoping to find at least something that I might be able to veganize. I gave up because, honestly, it seemed almost impossible to pare down all the animal-rich ingredients in there.
But now I think I am ready to dust it off and thumb through it again.
I might not be alone in my fear of cooking French food. Although often simple and stark, the cuisine of France seems daunting to any cook who’s new at it, perhaps because it occupies such a hallowed place as one of the world’s most luxe cuisines. Just the minute attention to detail and technique is enough to drive an otherwise accomplished but time-pressed cook to throw in the apron and call for Chinese takeout.
Besides, it does seem to include a lot of meat and dairy products. But it also includes lots of fresh vegetables and lentils. And when you think back on all those French recipes you’ve run into, you’re bound to think of something that can easily be veganized or is even vegan to begin with. Ratatouille, for instance.
So toss aside those inhibitions and all those ideas about doing things just so and get cooking. We are not trying to win the Michelin stars here…we are just trying to make some healthy, wholesome, delicious food that we’d love to sit down to after a day’s hard work. And have some fun while we’re at it.
Here are some Web sites to help you get started:
I also came across this book of vegan French recipes, in case you want to check it out of your public library. And one of my favorite TV chefs to watch, Jacques Pepin, often demonstrates French recipes that are both simple and vegetarian or easily veganized.
Don’t forget to look up the event announcement page at Graziana’s blog with the guidelines, and to send her your recipes. The only thing you need to remember is that it has to be vegan– if you have any concerns about whether a certain ingredient qualifies or not, think about whether it involved some animal or insect. Honey, fish, milk, eggs, gelatin are NOT vegan, and not allowed.
I’ll see you around.
(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.