Thursday, December 6, 2007

culinary loves and dislikes

I have seen some of my favorite vegan bloggers in the past post about things they love love love and things they rarely cook with or eat. I haven't been making anything too interesting lately (except bread with my new bread machine) so I decided to list things that I couldn't live without and things I could always do with out.

Starting with the loves:
1. Avocado- when I was a kid, I thought I hated avocado or more specifically, guacamole . . . this hatred ran deep even though I never tried it. Finally when I was about 23 my friend Katie (also a vegan!) made her famous guacamole and I decided to try it. She single-handedly changed my mind about avocados and I fell in love with them instantly. Its full of fat, flavor and believe it or not, fiber!
2. Potatoes- I have never ate a potato I didn't like. I like them roasted, baked, fried or in a soup or stew. Before I was vegan, I was trying not to eat dairy for an elimination diet and decided that I actually love a plain ol' baked potato with sea salt. Its kinda cool to taste something like that so simply. My favorite way to eat a potato though is hash brown style fried in canola oil with garlic salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, sweet onions, soy sausage and maple syrup. That's right, maple syrup.
3. Tomatoes- Growing up, I spent a LOT of time with my Grammie and Poppie. They always had a garden and in the summer time always had tons of tomatoes. Being from the south (they spent half the time in Tennessee/Appalachian Mountain area, and the other half in Florida which is technically in the south) we had tomatoes at every meal. My favorite was having biscuits, gravy and slices of tomato with just salt and pepper on them for breakfast. I still to this day eat sliced tomatoes with salt and pepper . . . they just don't taste as nice as my Grammie and Poppies.
4. Watermelon- If I wasn't allowed to eat any other fruit for the rest of my life except watermelon I would be okay with that. I love the sweetness, juiciness (so juicy it quenches a thirst!) and I like that it is it's own bowl. In fact one of my fondest memories as a kid was my dad getting a watermelon from a guy's pickup truck on the side of the road, coming home and having him cut it in half. He'd stick a spoon in each half and we'd eat it as if it was in a bowl. He'd always have to finish mine off though, so he'd get 3/4ths of a huge watermelon . . . luckily he loves watermelon as much as me. I bet I could finish a whole watermelon off now all by myself.
5. Coconut Milk- As a vegan, I appreciate coconut milk now more than ever. Thai has always been one of my favorite cuisines and we all know that coconut milk is a predominant base for all of their lovely sauces. My favorite coconut based Thai dish is red curry peanut sauce. Oh man. I also love coconut milk in smoothies and rice puddings. Yum!
6. Onions/Garlic/Shallots/Chives- Sweet onions, such as the Vidalia, are my favorites, but I also love red onion and green onions. I am not sure what food would be like if I never knew of onions. Imagine a world without ONION RINGS!!! Leeks are pretty rad too, especially in soups. There are few dishes I make without garlic and few vinaigrettes I don't have shallot in. I also couldn't see a dip or baked/roasted potatoes with out some chives snipped in. Ironically, I use to hate onions as a kid.

Dislikes. I wouldn't say I hate anything (besides the obvious non-vegan items) but I do have strong dislike for a few items, even though at times I will suffer through a meal if they have these items.
1. Mushrooms- I've tried really hard to like mushrooms. I've had grilled portabella caps, stuffed mushroom caps, on top of pizza, in pasta dishes and in salads but I just can't like them. Funny thing is, I like the flavor, I just can't stand the texture. My brain thinks of them slimy and rubbery. The only mushrooms we usually have in the house is if Jared does the shopping (he loves them) OR we do have some dried shitaki mushrooms for when I am making an Asian veggie broth, which of course they would be strained from. Sorry, I just can't like mushrooms.
2. Olives- Like mushrooms, I have tried over and over to like them. I LOVE olive oil, I like the flavor of a briny olive juice but I just cannot like the texture of olives. I will eat olives if they are in something, but not a whole lot of them. Canned black olives are an absolute NO though . . . the kind they put on nachos and pizza. Those just gross me out.
3. Artichokes/Artichoke Hearts- I'm not sure why I don't like artichokes. There is something texturally I don't like. They seem chewy and that is not something I like in a veggie. Pre-vegan days, I was known to partake on the famous spinach artichoke dip at parties (you know, the dip in the big bread bowl) but I went out of my way to avoid the chunks of artichokes. My dad made artichoke dip that he blended very, very well and it wasn't bad. I will not eat them in a salad, pasta dish or on a pizza. I might try a fresh artichoke boiled and then the leaves dipped in melted Earth Balance, but that is a big maybe.
4. Brown Rice/Whole Wheat Pastas- The difference with this dislike is that I will eat these things if that is what people make for dinner but you'll never see my buying or serving such things. Jared loves these things but I just never got into them. Growing up, we just never had brown rice or whole wheat pastas and my palate is just really use to the sweet, starchiness of the white varieties.
5. Raisins- One of the very few dried fruits I can't stand. I just can't get past the thought that they were once grapes. I know and love the taste of grapes and it just seems wrong to make them all wilty and make them not taste like a grape. Again, I would eat raisins in very small amounts but you won't see my oatmeal cookies with them or my celery peanut butter snacks with raisin "ants."

What are some of your Loves and Dislikes?


Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Iiiiinteresting! I think we have opposite tastes, hahaha.
I like potatoes, watermelon, coconut milk, & garlic, but there's no avocados, tomatoes (well, there's sauce), or onions/shallots/chives in my kitchen!
On the flip side, I'm down with all of your dislikes, although I just started liking (some) mushrooms a month ago!

Sam said...

I agree with the mushrooms. I don't care how "meaty" they taste, I've never been eating a portabello and thought "Hey, is this a steak?!" Ick...

Vegan_Noodle said...

What fun reading this. We have similar tastes as well. I never tried avocado till I was well into my twenties, thank goodness I tried them before the decade is over! Watermelon was one of my great loves as a kid too. Onions I am learning to appreciate, though I used to hate them.
Mushrooms I despised for the longest time, but I actually do like creminis and portobellos. Many of the fancier or wierd varieties have textures that are too wierd for me.
Some of my loves: peanut butter, blueberries, quinoa, sweet potatoes
Dislikes: truffle oil (and now I have a whole bottle of it!!), bok choy (baby is alright),celery

Kumudha said...

I like onions, tomatoes, beans, lentils, mushrooms, and tofu.

Dislikes sunflower seeds, and tempeh.

the pleasantly plump vegan said...

melisser- hehe. through going to yr blog, i have noticed we have some opposite tastes. i really wish i liked mushrooms though cos people make some beautiful things with them.

sam- i never got the "meaty" slogan mushrooms have.

Vegan Noodle- i like yr loves. i am still getting use to quinoa though. I have to say though I love bok choy, especially with soy sauce and sesame oil on it. maybe if i made them for you you'd like them better.

kumudha- i have recently just tried getting into tempeh. its for sure not my favorite protein

Calimaryn said...

Honestly, I love everything on both lists except coconut milk. That I have never really used much so it doesn't fall on either for me.

Isn't it fascinating how people enjoy different things? Just think of all the recipes that would never have been created if we never thought "Gross a mushroom, what I can I exchange that with?" hehe

Of course, I am usually putting mushrooms in things, not taking them out.

Pink Theory said...

great post! I pretty much like everything on your like list AND your dislike list. haha! I racked my brain trying to think about what I dislike...and ya know, I can't think of anything right now. Hsauce is the one who has a list of dislikes...olives, avocadoes, dijon mustard. And yeah, I don't get the whole "meaty" mushroom thing either....i lurve mushrooms, especially shitake!

reiskeks said...

Thank you for the cool survey :D I just answered it in my blog

Anonymous said...

Artichokes and watermelon are my two favorite foods in the whole funny that they were both on your list (although artichokes are on your dislikes...)! I am with you on the olives--I have tried to like them too, but I just don't get it! Ewwww.


reiskeks said...

About the Sheese and Cheezly: Yes, that is true *sigh* Actually still affordable for me, at least for cooking and not eating cheese sandwiches all time, but I read recently, that some people had to pay more than 20 dollar for 2 small packages Cheezly ordered online :O I pay 5,40 Euro (= 7.90 dollar) for 2 packages (2 x 6.7oz) around here and the Sheese is only 1 Euro more!

VeggieGirl said...

quite a list (or listS) there! I like so many different ingredients, that it's hard to pick some to list (just check my blog for ingredient "likes"). as for dislikes, that would include olives, potatoes, okra, green bell peppers (I like the red/orange/yellow variety, but NOT the green - blech), coconut, etc.

bazu said...

I've tried and tried to come up with something I don't like. The only answer I can come up with is that I don't love steel cut oats (but I'll still eat them) and... I'm too chicken to try kombucha. I pretty much like everything else, though! Pre-vegan, I used to hate beef stroganoff, pumpkin pie, and lasagna, but as a vegan, I'm completely in love with them! Oh, and when I was a kid, I hated olives, olive oil, avocados, papaya, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, all of which I adore now. I'm with you on canned black olives, though... that stuff is nasty!

Ooooh, I'm glad you liked the nuts- I'm addicted to them!

shaun.marie said...

This is always a fun topic. I agree with you on the raisins... I like almost everything (within the vegan sphere) but raisins get the thumbs-down. The only time they are tolerated is when they're plumped up in something baked, and even then - i'd rather not!

Theresa said...

I love this post! I think a lot of people agree with your dislike of mushrooms and olives. I love them myself, but can understand why people don't.

Wendy said...

We're rather fond of onions, too. By the way, Julie Child's quote (which is on all my business cards and stationery) is very similar to your comment, "It's hard to imagine life without onions." Take care, and we'll see you back in stores this spring.

W. Brannen
Executive Director
Vidalia Onion Comm.

Mathilde said...

How strange! I also hated avocados until I was in my twenties, then something happened and i just switched. To the point that I eat avocados every day and my husband has nicknamed me the 'Avocado Queen'. Literally, one day I loved it.
I used to love mushrooms and aubergine, and now they both make me ill.... mushrooms I can about handle, but aubergine I get nauseous.
I hated tomatoes until my twenties, then changed and adored them and now I am going off them again. Isn't it strange how your tastes change!

Ashasarala said...

No love for the artichokes? I can understand olives and mushrooms, but artichokes? ::sigh::

The only kinds of pasta I will eat are whole wheat and brown rice. I don't like the thought of 'glue' clogging up my innards. Then again, I do love a good slice of cake. Ah, well, we do good where we must.

Jan Scholl said...

I personally hate bananas, dislike coconut unless its fresh and moist and am horribly allergic to mushrooms. But I could live on peanut butter and homemade breads. And I put garlic on everything-raw minced spread on peanut butter and toast. Yum!
Love black olives but not green or those weird purply red ones they give you at Italian places.

Just about any fruit or veggie is good if I can afford them, but the Whole Foods market is an hour and a half away and I am not buying that skanky stuff from Kroger.

Jess - The Domestic Vegan said...

This is too funny! Everything you dislike, I LOVE! Mushrooms, olives (ESPECIALLY canned--haha), and artichoke hearts are 3 of my favorite foods! :) I do like your "likes," though, too.