Flashback a half dozen years or so, back when I wasn’t vegan. I was an omnivore with serious carnivorous intentions. I ate steak Pittsburgh rare and consumed so many chicken wings in one sitting that the restaurant went out of business the next week (true story).
I also loved cooking. Hosting massive dinner parties that inevitably centered around meat or fish. Was famous for my recipes and I plated like a pro. I was guest chef at a Vermont B&B. Cooking and developing recipes were an almost daily thing for me and all my friends were the beneficiaries of my side hobby. And then I went vegan.
Struggling to survive and stumbling in the kitchen. I was seriously at a loss. How do people cook like this? No meat? Impossible. My recipes were turning out terrible as I kept trying to replicate dishes, as opposed to focusing on the freshness and colors that fruits and vegetables offer. I lost my touch and it was seriously depressing me. I lost my passion.
And then, as with anything, I evolved. Changed my thinking and started to experiment more. Educated myself. Pulling from the natural flavors of the ingredients and combining them with starches and other sources of protein … I was coming alive again. Creating dishes that were, again, beautiful and delicious. Some of which are on the recipe link on this blog (with many more to follow).
Which brings me to this Follow Your Heart recipe contest. Back when I was an omnivore, I was part of an annual cooking contest. I always entered and always came in second or third place until the year the entree was lasagna. I have Italian in my blood. My Nana was born in Italy. I grew up watching her and my mom cook gnocchi and I know how to stack a lasagna. Competing against other Italians, I also knew mine had to be different. Memorable. If I were going to win this, I had to get the judges’ attention. So, I created an amazing, creamy, elegant, (chicken) white Alfredo lasagna. It blew everyone away.
So, with this, I present to you the vegan version of my award winning broccoli Alfredo lasagna. PLEASE take a moment to vote for my recipe at this link. The prizes are great but really I want this to show that … I. Am. Back.