Laptop Lunches #276

Garlic toast, Rainier cherries, veganized (almost) tater tot casserole, and celery sticks.

There is an adventure to changing your diet. There are lots of new things to try, new flavors, new genres. But there is also a need, to the extent possible, to make transitions as gently as possible. I've eaten a lot of foods from across the world, but I was craving the flavors of classic American "caker" cooking this weekend. What's more stereotypically American than that Midwestern staple, the tater tot casserole?

The funny thing is that I'd never had the original tater tot casserole, but I knew I'd had the basic flavors many times before: layers of ground beef, mixed veggies, cream of mushroom soup, cheese, and tater tots. Given my success with TVP in the goulash I had last week, I looked at lots of recipes and improvised my own veganized (almost) tater tot casserole. (I say "almost" because, as before, I'm still using that beef bouillon I still have.) It was pretty easy, and it soothed some part of my soul. At some point I'll share a recipe with you (I want to try different veggies), but this was pretty great anyway.

I will tag this vegan because one could absolutely make it vegan and the only non-vegan thing in it was the bouillon, which is an easy substitution. Stay tuned for the next time this comes around, fully vegan and delightful. And I'm happy to know I'm finding a vegan groove, where I have the confidence to play around and try getting creative with these new ingredients.


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