What I got rid of this week, and how to make anything vegan not vegan

This week I got rid of:

  • half a bottle of Pinesol after reading in Cat College that pine oil is highly toxic to cats – apparently they can get sick just from the fumes (via Freecycle)
  • a gallon glass jar (via Freecycle)
  • a 5 X 7 ft. blue cotton rug that would crumple up and slide across the floor every time a cat ran across it (via Craigslist)
  • 4 books (via Ebay)
  • a pair of shoes (via Ebay)
  • a Cannondale handlebar stem (via Ebay)
  • a necklace (via Ebay)

I also made a dent in my oversupply of nutritional yeast. I like the stuff on popcorn, but a while back I accidentally bought the fancy organic kind and it didn’t taste right. I mean, it tasted like nutritional yeast, but it just wasn’t the same as my usual habit. So it’s been sitting in my cupboard ever since because I refuse to use it on my popcorn.

So today I broke out my 20-year-old copy of The New Farm Cookbook, a hippie vegan cookbook I used a lot back when I lived in housing co-ops, and looked up the recipe for vegan mac and “cheese.” I used to make this for my fellow hippie co-opers on occasion and I had a recollection that it actually tasted pretty good. This time, I decided to make it even better by substituting butter for the margarine and milk for some of the water. I looked through the boxes and boxes and poasta in my pantry and opted for rotini as the noodles.

The butter was definitely the right move. The mac and cheezy was delicious. No, it doesn’t taste like mac and cheese exactly, and I probably prefer baked macaroni and cheese with sharp cheddar and homemade gnocchi. But it definitely tastes better than Kraft macaroni and cheese.

I still have enough nutritional yeast left that I’m thinking about variations for next time. The sauce has a slightly mushroomy taste, so I’m thinking it might go well with buckwheat or as a Stroganoffish sauce. Or I might add tahini to the sauce. I seem to remember making it that way back in my co-op days, but the New Farm recipe didn’t call for tahini. I’ve got LOTS of tahini in my cupboard so it might not hurt to find a recipe that uses it. The only other things I use tahini for are hummus – and I don’t eat much hummus – and the not-really-ayurvedic cookies I wrote about in this post.

Speaking of which, I made another batch of those non-ayurvedic cookies today. It’s my fourth or fifth. I only have enough psyllium left for one or two more batches; I wonder if, by then, I’ll have become so accustomed to these cookies that I’ll go out and buy more psyllium just so that I can continue the habit.

Naw, I’ll probably just adapt the recipe to some other ingredient I find in my pantry.

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