Day 5 – Conversion Meal

Converting an omnivore. It seems like quite the insurmountable challenge. It seems that so many people are set in their ways, that nothing is ever going to change, that we’re completely helpless. If you think that’s the case, remember this – most of us were omni once. But you know what, here we are, enjoying Vegan Mofo, swapping recipes, sharing stories with our vegan counterparts. We got there once, and I think we can convert even more folks. Here’s how we’re going to do it!

It all starts at the Farmer’s Market. Thursday afternoons in Lake City are Farmer’s market days, and even though today was the last market of the season, we were determined to find the best our local growers have to offer.

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Garlic and zucchini blossoms – does it get any better than that?!

Our first stop was at El Chito tamales. Their sign proudly proclaims “best tamales in Seattle,” and boy, are they not wrong. El Chito produces seasonal tamales using produce from many of the other vendors at the market, and they always have a vegan option. This week’s vegan tamale had bell peppers, eggplant, tempeh, hominy, and sweet potato in it. Since this week is the last week of our neighborhood’s market, we picked up a cool dozen so that we’d have some extras in the freezer for another time.

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The sign does not lie!

I know that you’re all saying, “Wait a minute – I thought this was taco week?!” Well, you’re right, but a tamale is just a taco where the tortilla hasn’t been flattened yet! After all, it’s a filling wrapped in corn masa. So, for the purposes of this post, we’re calling tamales an honorary taco.

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V for Vegan.

For our next item, we picked up some fresh fruit. Our favorite fruit sellers at K and C Farms grow the most amazing “Flavor Grenade” pluots. We love them so much that we bought an entire 20 pound box today! Once again, we’re stocking up. We plan on putting some in the freezer for when we’re stuck in the middle of winter with no access to fresh, local fruit. In the meantime, a few pieces of pluot are the perfect next piece of the conversion puzzle.

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That is some beautiful fruit.

Some perfectly ripe cherry tomatoes from Mariposa Farms and a few beautiful sugar baby peppers from Alvarez Farms need no other preparation other than cutting them up and putting them on the plate. There’s nothing quite like crunching into a perfect medley of vegetables!

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Red and yellow.

Now, we knew we had to include something really special for converting our omnivore friends. And what’s more special and enticing than something stuffed, breaded, and fried? Oh, that’s right, we went there. Squash blosoms (also from Alvarez Farms), stuffed with kale cream cheese (we roast kale until its crispy and crumble it into Kite Hill cream cheese!), and then coated in a beer batter (made with Sierra Nevada Otra Vez and some whole wheat flour) and fried until they were crispy! Holy goats, were they ever good!

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Look. At. It.

So, don’t despair everyone. There’s hope for anyone yet. After eating a meal like this, there’s no way anyone could ever accuse us of living a deprived lifestyle. And who knows, maybe we’ll even make a few new vegans!

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I love it when a plate comes together.

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