It Tastes Just Like…..

No. No, it doesn’t.

That Skinny Shake (blend: 3/4 cup Almond Milk, about 15 ice cubes, 1/2 tsp Vanilla, 1-2 Tbsp unsweetened Cocoa powder, 1/3 of a Banana) that’s supposed to taste just like a Frosty? It doesn’t. It’s entirely possible that it was operator error and that I just messed it up – you know, on account of how complicated the recipe is and all. I know that mine had some chunky ice pieces in it since I have just a regular blender and not one of those Ninja blender things – or even a regular Ninja. I’m pretty sure you need one or the other to get the ice cubes crunched down small enough. So, in my experience, you know what tastes like a Frosty? A Frosty!

And I’m sure you’ve seen the faux soft serve recipe where you take bananas you’ve frozen in pieces and put them in a blender or food processor, blending until smooth. Tastes just like soft serve! Nope. No, it doesn’t. However, this one does have a nice texture, great taste and versatility. This one I really enjoyed and will do again. I’d even be comfortable serving this to guests as a dessert. Plus, I didn’t have a Ninja to do it.

In preparing recipes from my Forks Over Knives cookbooks, I’ve used familiar ingredients in new ways and I’ve used some unfamiliar ingredients like nutritional yeast. I was pretty leery of that one. What in the world?! When I opened the container, I saw yellow fish food flakes and I smelled….cheese. Well, not cheese in the deli-case-cheese way, but, cheese in the cheap-store-brand-dried-mac-and-cheese way. It threw me off, I have to admit – much like that time my Aunt Jo made rose petal jelly (it was a beautiful pink color, but it freaked me out to be eating something that had been solely a scent up until then). Back to the nutritional yeast, I made the cheesy sauce recipe for my baked ziti. It’s not bad; but, the jury is really still out for me on it. The texture is a little off and the color is not what I expected – it’s kind of a mustardy color and doesn’t make me think cheese. Prior to making this change, I wasn’t much of a cheese sauce person anyway since my system has never liked it. So, perhaps that’s the source of my indifference with the vegan cheesy sauce. Or, maybe it’s the Frosty thing: it doesn’t taste exactly like it.

In the course of changing my menu choices, I’m bound to run across things I like better than other things. In this initial run, I’ve found that I really like the sweet potato oatmeal (although I had to double the oats since the recipe as printed was WAY too sweet for me), the creamy polenta with wild mushrooms, the Jamaican black beans with pineapple chutney, the red lentil dal and the breakfast crumble. Really, the baked ziti was the only thing I wasn’t crazy about and I’m still working with it to find variations that I do like – like adding stir fried vegetables. I’m working on creating something I like rather than on recreating something I once liked.

I’m still adjusting to my choice to eat a Whole Foods Plant Based diet and I imagine that I’ll be making that adjustment for some time to come. I think it will be easier and a whole lot more fun if I explore and discover foods for what they are. If I spend all my time trying to recreate the flavors of animal-based foods without using animal-based ingredients, I’m pretty sure I’m going to spend a lot of time being frustrated……

……….and wishing I had Ninjas.


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