I was just thinking about all the fat we consume as a society and how unhealthy it is. Then it occurred to me that I don’t think I could live without some of them. And now that I know cholesterol is largely from animal products including animal fats (excepting tropical fats), I don’t feel so rotten about consuming my veggie faves. My DH is still on this perpetual fat-free trip that he started about 20 years ago but I can’t just give it up so easily.
Besides, some things just aren’t right without the right fat.
For instance, here’s a great recipe for Vegan Mousakka at Heathen and Vegan that only calls for 1/4 cup of olive oil, arguably the best fat. I think, and maybe this is just me, but I THINK that Mousakka would seriously suckka without the olive oil. It just wouldn’t be the same. Not only does olive oil add flavor (the good stuff anyway) but also adds to the creaminess of mousakka.
And don’t forget, Vegan Dad’s recipe for homemade mayonnaise. I probably depend too much on mayo for our daily lunches but I can’t help it. Mayo rocks. If you have bland veggies, mix in a glob of mayo then salt and pepper.
And where would we be without olive oil for Pasta and Asparagus. Sorry I don’t have a photo for this but honestly, it’s so simple you really can’t screw it up and it’s an awesome last minute dish that tastes great:
Simple Pasta and Asparagus
- 1 bundle asparagus, chopped to the length of penne style pasta
- 1 small onion, chopped to length of penne style pasta
- good olive oil
- as much minced garlic as you can stand
- 16 ounces of penne style pasta
- vegan parma cheese, shredded Teese® mozzarella or ground pine nuts to use for topping
- Set water to boil.
- Prepare asparagus while water is coming to boil.
- Boil Pasta.
- While pasta is boiling, heat 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil in really big deep skillet.
- Saute garlic and onion until soft and slightly crispy at the edges, then add asparagus.
- Saute asparagus until just bright green, it will keep cooking so don’t overdo it.
- Drain pasta and toss in the skillet with the asparagus.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Plate and serve with vegan parma cheese or ground pine nuts. I usually pull aside some of the asparagus tips to use as a cooked garnish.
Optional ingredients: 1 cup of halved cherry tomatoes added with the asparagus works well. DH prefers that I make this with anglehair spaghetti but I like the visual design of the asparagus cut diagonally to the same length as the penne. It just looks well thought out even if you’re making it last minute for guests.
In any event, I should probably cut back on my fat intake, it is affecting my jean size. Now that I only have one pair left to fit into, it’s starting to matter more. Although my cholesterol and blood pressure are normal despite the history of my family. I’ve got to attribute this to the vegan diet and good fats.
Anyway, here’s my list of favorite fats that every vegan pantry MUST have:
- olive oil
- canola oil
- peanut oil
- Earth Balance margarine
- and that’s about it.
I realize there are others but if you’re stocking a vegan pantry, you really must have these four. Well, and maybe sesame oil if you can find it cheap.