People are always surprised to find out that my mom and dad eat vegan, but they actually started eating vegan before I did.
I grew up on cube steak and meatloaf, but salad was an essential part of dinner (my dad would sulk otherwise): big chunks of tomatoes, chopped carrots, onion and lots of lettuce. When I went vegetarian, my dad would make special salad-tortilla wraps for me and my mom would buy TVP-chili box mixes from the co-op.
And so when I went to live with them for a summer after college, I knew I had to make them as many great veggie (and usually vegan) dinners as possible, so they could see how much I’d learned about the variety and the ease of cooking healthy and filling vegetarian meals for myself. They kept eating that way after I moved to Scotland and then went completely vegan when I was still eating yogurt a few times a week (that’s when I knew I had to go for it).
Like my mom said, it was a totally natural step for old hippies to take.
This is a variant of a Mark Bittman recipes that I made for my dad in the beginning of his first vegetarian summer and he said (one of my favorite things to hear): “I didn’t know vegetables could taste like this.” Now he knows better than me.
This is a super simple recipe that completely transforms standard red radishes. Begin by braising the radishes in veggie stock (or white wine if you like) until tender and then boil off the liquid and glaze them in the olive oil, soy sauce and pan juices. It’s great on toast for lunch but also for dinner as a savory side dish.
- 1 generous tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound radishes, tops trimmed
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or (gf) tamari
- black pepper
- fresh parsley & fresh lemon juice
- 4 slices toast (optional)
- sea salt to taste
- In a medium-sized pot (with a lid), combine the veggie stock, radishes, olive oil, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or until the radishes are tender. Remove the lid and increase the heat to a boil and cook until the liquid is gone.
- Serve hot as a side with chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice. Or lightly mash on toast with parsley, lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt to taste.