Monday, April 30, 2012

TNG & Vegan Cashew Queso

meat, earl grey, hot
Question of the day: in the Star Trek universe, is replicated food vegan?1 I say yes, since it's not technically an animal product.  R says no, since it's indistinguishable from animal protein. Google tells me this is a hotly contested issue whose arguments fall along the same lines currently dividing our own household.   I definitely get that if one is accustomed to avoiding animal protein, one would want to avoid artificial animal protein as well - however, this doesn't change the fact that replicator "meat" isn't derived from animal sources.  Or. . . is it?  The original blueprint for space bacon had to come from somewhere, right?  So this facsimile couldn't exist without the death of one final sacrificial pig.  VEGAN NERDS, PLEASE GIVE ME YOUR OPINIONS.

(Nacho & vegan queso discussion under the jump.)

Since we're on the topic of veganism: a couple of months ago, I got a hankering for vegan "cheese" nachos, something I used to eat fairly regularly back in my youth. What a disappointment!   The main flavor was oily nutritional yeast, which reminded me that at the point in my life when I loved this stuff, I was also living off a nutritious diet of coffee, cigarettes, and frozen veggie burger patties, and so my memories of "good" food are highly suspect.

In my subsequent search for a less-horrifying vegan nacho, I found the above recipe for a cashew-based queso dip.  This, friends, is what vegan dreams are made of!  Of course, it doesn't have the elasticity of melted cheese, or that singular butterfat mouthfeel2, but it also doesn't wreck your inside parts with lactose.  (I'm uncertain of how the environmental degradations/economic predations of cashew-farming match up against the degradations/predations of dairy-farming so you'll have to work that out on your own.)  What it DOES have is a really great flavor, no weird chemicals, plenty of protein, and a delightful creaminess.  Post Punk Kitchen, bless your dang heart.  

1Hat tip to our recent dinner companions for their very important input on this matter.

2I hereby dedicate all instances of the word "mouthfeel" to my dear R, whose disgust at every usage is both palpable and hilarious.  MOUTHFEEL, R!  Also, the phrase "butterfat mouthfeel" makes me want to die.

1 comment:

  1. How did I miss this post Aly? I think it's not vegan... and we all might be put to the test soon. Artificially grown (from stem cell) meat is closer to the grocery aisle than we think. What will us meat avoiders do then? Aside from potentially being very 'fake' and processed, which are things we usually avoid anyway... will these test-tube meats be meats? (again, ages ago one sacrificial animal was required to isolate the stem cells...)



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I'm working on some stuff! For now, it is just about vegetables.