"Why do vegans insist on recreating meat meals and calling them 'vegan this' or 'vegan that'? Why are sautéed mushrooms 'vegan scallops' or grilled portobello 'vegan steak'?"
Question posed to me by my meat loving guy.
I considered this and realized he has a few good points. For vegans and vegetarians, it's my opinion that it's fun to try to recreate meals in a plant based way. It's nice to have andouille sausage made of beans and mushrooms or cheese made out of carrots and potatoes.
But for meat eaters?
Calling a portobello mushroom a steak sets the bar unrealistically high. That portobello mushroom will never live up to the sense memories called to mind. My vegan ricotta may be delightful, but if the recipient of the lasagna made with cashew ricotta, eggplant, and vegetables recently savored lasagna with REAL ricotta and meat and melted mozzarella... it simply can't compare.
Which isn't to say that these vegan and vegetarian foods aren't amazingly delicious in their own right.
Why not, if you're creating a WHOLE new recipe for something, name it something magical?!
Like... Butterfly Soup or Unicorn Casserole.
And so, when posing the idea of making a vegan pho for dinner, armed with the knowledge that he LOVES pho (made with bone broth and filled with meats galore), I said: "I'm going to make a vegan pho, but don't think of it as pho. I'm making Butterfly Soup."
Yields 2 servings
For the Broth:
1 qt vegetable stock (low sodium)
1 jalapeño, sliced thin (seeded if you don't want the soup spicy)
2" ginger root, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp miso
1 tbsp coconut aminos/tamari sauce
For the Soup:
1 zucchini, spiralized
1 carrot, sliced thin
2 shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin
1 leek, julienned
1/4 cup corn, off the cob
green onions or cilantro for garnish
Note: feel free to add as much to this as you want! You may want to add some roasted sweet potato slices, eggplant, or any other seasonal vegetables. Want to add shrimp? Okay, why not?!