I have a fetish for classic recipes. Classic recipes that use classic ingredients. Not that I am such a traditional type, but more than a lot of thought has been given to such a dish. Most of the time it’s the pureness that impresses. Because the taste sensation is exactly right. Totally spot on.
Vegan dishes that are created to be vegan dishes, do not have that taste sensation most of the time. The combinations are often too much invented, lack creativity or knowledge of cooking. At least, that’s how I perceive it. If you are going to look for vegan recipes you will mostly find red lentils, chickpeas, banana bread and more of that type of food. It makes me sad. Don’t get me wrong, I love red lentils en chickpeas. But red lentils used in a classic Thai curry soup for example, or chickpeas used for a houmous or in a tagine. And not simply used as a container of protein in a made-up vegan recipe, like pasta bolognese where the red lentils are substitutes for minced meat. It makes me sad. In a Pasta bolo, there should be minced meat. And if you prepare it with lentils, it will always be second best. And second, best is not what I am looking for. Because then you are not enjoying your meal to the max.
There are many classic recipes that are naturally vegan. Not because they were made vegan, nor because they had to be vegan. No, simply because combining these flavours is the best combination one thought of. And it is. These are the dishes I prepare. These are dishes I also prepared before I chose to be vegan. Because back then I already enjoyed the taste so much. You can imagine how happy I was when I realised this. Vegan eating was not complicated, I already was eating vegan occasionally and enjoyed it very much.
Eating terribly nice is what it is all about. This goes for every type of food or diet. Meals where you do not miss out on anything. Where you do not even realise that you are eating vegan because it is vegan by itself. In the Arab, Italian, Moroccan and other cuisines the dishes are there for you. And thankfully I am creative in the kitchen and make fantastic combinations. But I always take classic principles and combinations as the base of all my cooking.