Bingo 18: You Are Here
I’m taking this bingo spot as an opportunity to look at a place I am at intellectually and culinarily with a certain type of trend; I’m kind of over the culinary fascination with plant-based meat, and the cookbooks this has spawned. I pre-ordered Bosh! Meat quite a while ago, and now that I’ve got it, I’m kind of over the main premise before I started; however, it turns out that a good chunk of the book actually doesn’t really deal with making your own plant-based meat. Both an annoyance and a blessing in some ways.
I have to say I think it thoroughly unnecessary to open this sort of book with 20 pages trying to sell the concept; someone who was not in favor of plant-based meat or plant-based cooking in general would not be opening something like this. Preaching to the choir much? I do like that there’s a look at the different options, and which ingredients to look out for in terms of ‘eat mostly’, ‘eat some’, and ‘eat less’. The more processed something is, the more likely it is to be in the some or less categories. Nearly all pre-made plant “meats” (Impossible and suchlike) would fall under the some or less categories.
The how to make plant meat yourself section is actually pretty short, and only covers sausage, chicken, beef, tuna, and bacon. Also, there’s milk and butter and cheese recipes. Some of these actually do look pretty good and do-able; I definitely like the look of the seasoning in the sausage recipe, more breakfast and not loaded with spices I’m not fond of, like fennel. The odd thing is, that a lot of recipes call for pork, shrimp, and ground beef or pork, and these are specific meat types you’d probably have to buy commercially if you can find them (no recipes here at least); but then again, most of these pre-made items are on the less than idea end of the healthy spectrum according to the introduction of the book itself. Counterintuitive much? It figures one of my least favorite meats, lamb, is actually the one that you can make in several applications involving either tempeh or jackfruit (and of course a bunch of spices and seasonings).
I’m not sure what a dessert section is doing in this book, but some of those recipes do look pretty good, and same goes for the Cheese section. For example, there’s a tofu-based grilled halloumi salad, as well as a cashew-based cheese curd component for poutine. Those look more like something I’d wan to try. The lasagna that relies on 4 different plant based cheeses I’d have to buy, when this is the one vegan thing that still doesn’t quite reflect the dairy original very well, not so much. The crème brulee that uses cashew and silken tofu? Mostly likely.
I’m pretty sure I’m at a point that I’m moving past this whole plant-based meat as a new thing trend; I’ll still eat it and probably make it on occasion, but I’m just that into this anymore as reading or eating material.