I wasn’t much of a cook until I went vegan. I was really lazy. I lived off pasta and jarred sauce for years. That’s no exaggeration, I could have it night after night, and I did in fact have it night after night for most of my 8 years as a vegetarian.

Then I went vegan, and for some reason, even though I could have continued having pasta and jarred sauce (most of both are vegan, after all) night after night, it suddenly seemed important to cook. I had actually started cooking in the six or so months before, which I think shocked my mom more than me going vegan. The cooking really took off after going vegan, along with the ever growing collection of cookbooks. Including one that is wholly dedicated to vegan cupcakes.

I rely on recipes, mostly, when I cook. I have a lot of cookbooks, and I am compelled to browse through the vegan cookbooks at every bookstore I’m in. When I traveled to Argentina, where they eat even more meat than in this country, and stumbled across two vegan cookbooks, I had to get them. Even though they’re in Spanish, and I can just barely order food and make travel arrangements in Spanish. Motivation to learn the language, right? Right.

Recently I’ve been able to just throw things together, and be pretty pleased with how they turn out. Last night I sauteed some onion, garlic, purple peppers (they were organic, locally grown, and cheaper than the rest of the colors!) with olive oil and cumin, and then I added a can of fire roasted tomatoes (sorry Rich and Leanne! I know how much you love tomatoes), chickpeas, a chipotle pepper, some potatoes and some seitan…I think that’s it. I let it simmer until the potatoes were cooked.

It is pretty good! Not something that I’d expect to find in a cookbook, it isn’t that good, but it is filling, nourishing, and quite tasty. Especially the next day, somehow.

I still love making things from cookbooks, but it is so nice to know that I can take the random contents of my fridge and pantry and come up with something that is pretty good!

joyful brownies