Monday, April 18, 2011
I ate vegan on purpose
Everyone I knew had the same reaction when I mentioned I was going to the Harlequin sales conference back in February: "Give Fabio a hug for me." I have to admit, even I was a little disappointed that I didn't meet even ONE bare-chested, long-haired, gym-muscled playboy while I was in Tampa. In my ordinary life, the closest thing I have to that is my friend Jesse--
-- and, since I know he's really a computer repair guru, the magic is gone. The Men of Harlequin, as far as I can tell, look more like Adam the Editor--
-- and while he's pretty cute, you can see there's not much resemblance to Fabio. I had really been hoping the advantage I'd have over my friends who are getting published by Crown and Simon and Schuster would be the selection of men at company events.
And as if that weren't getting punk'd enough, one of the two other authors they invited to the sales conference was Sarah Matheny, blogger and author of the vegan/veggie family cookbook Peas and Thank You. I didn't even know Harlequin had a nonfiction line, but I was just as caught off-guard by how warm, down-to-earth, and incredibly funny Sarah is. It's very unnerving to meet a vegan who, when it comes to talking about her diet, doesn't have that deeply earnest, slightly superior vibe. I really need that vibe to be there so I don't inadvertently feel like I could identify with this person. I eat plenty of vegetables, after all, and I particularly like them stacked on a Five Guys burger.
I've been following Sarah's blog ever since. What finally swayed me last week was this recipe she posted for Mmmmm Sauce-- a sauce you can drizzle on rice bowls or wraps or whatever you like. It involved a product called "nutritional yeast." I know what yeast is-- they use it in the buns for those Five Guys burgers-- but this seemed to be a product you could add directly to things and didn't even need to cook. It frightened me, but the sauce looked so good that I decided to be daring and just go for it.
You can see the results at the top of this post. That sauce is amazing. Pictured is the rice bowl I made after I had already eaten some of it on a wrap. I have more in the fridge that I'm going to use tomorrow. It's opened up a whole new world for me of lunch food ideas that don't come packaged with a packet of ketchup and ten napkins. I'm so appreciative of Sarah's delicious inventiveness that I won't even make a joke about how good it would taste on a Five Guys burger.
So thank you, Harlequin, for delivering something yummy after all.