There are two things that I really miss so far in eating a plant based diet, bacon and goat cheese. Bacon reminds me of my dad, of Sunday morning brunches when I was a kid and scallops wrapped in bacon on New Year's Eve. You ask any of my co-workers and they would say that I was obsessed with bacon. I always said that bacon made everything better, and I even had this picture on my screen saver on my work computer:
I haven't experimented with any bacon substitutes yet because well, I know it just won't be the same. I also think I need to give it some time and just break the obsession.
My love of goat cheese started when we went on a family vacation to Salt Spring Island. I had never tried goat cheese before our trip, and my grandparents told me to definitely try it there because they have so many sheep and goat farms and make it locally. I fell it love instantly. We found some that had been infused with basil and garlic and it was the perfect thing on crackers or in a salad.
A couple of weeks ago I was making a salad to bring to our friends' for dinner. I wanted a salad with a lot of stuff in it. I started with greens, then added sliced up apple, carrots, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds and dried cranberries. The dressing was made with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic and basil. As I was preparing the salad a thought popped into my head that goat cheese would be the perfect finishing touch for the salad. I then got very sad as I realised that I would not eat goat cheese again.
Well, last night I tried a recipe for vegan 'goat cheese' that may have saved me from vegan mourning. I found a fantastic recipe on Spabettie's blog. It is a nut based cheese and very easy to make. You soak the nuts for a couple of hours and then blend the nuts in the food processor with apple cider vinegar, water and lemon juice. Then, you let the 'cheese' culture in a sealed container in a dark warm cupboard overnight.
I tried my goat cheese on an english muffin this morning and it was really good! The texture consistency was spot on. Next time, I've going to add some roasted garlic and fresh basil to the mix before set it aside to culture.
I'm so excited about this. That's one of the things about this new path. Everything is like a new adventure. I get so excited when I am grocery shopping and I find something new that is plant based and I am trying all these new recipes and cooking more than ever before.
While I may mourn the loss of foods from the past, with all their sentiment and emotional attachments, I would never in a million years have been trying and experiencing all these new things if I hadn't given up those foods.