Day 3 was tough. Really tough.
I’d thought the food that would break me would be bacon, or lamb, or perhaps a nice, meaty, juicy burger. But it was an advertisement for grilled calamari that was my undoing.
There’s something magical about fish. I still remember the first time I tasted calamari. My uncle had taken me out for lunch with his family to the Codfather restaurant, and he ordered a platter which included calamari. I couldn’t understand this rubbery tube that I was being asked to eat. I stuck to the hake. It, at least, looked like kind of the fish I recognized. Hell, I could barely deal with the prawns that still had their “faces” on. On the way home we stopped by to pick up my cousin, who, digging into the doggie bag, exclaimed, “I love calamari!”
I didn’t understand.
But now I do. I love the way seafood tastes like the sea. Drenched in lemon butter, with a touch of chili, perhaps. The yielding of the firm flesh as you bite into it. Mmmh. Let me stop here before I desert my vegan exploration. All I have to say is the first meal I’m having after these seven days are over is going to be a seafood feast.
Back to the pasta. I was craving seafood, but stayed the course, partly because I know some people who are just waiting for me to succumb to the delights of non-vegan foods. I had a peanut-butter-and-banana snack after work before half-heartedly deciding to make pasta with spinach. Totally unadventurous.
I opened up the fridge to yank the spinach leaves out and found two punnets of mushrooms I’d completely forgotten I had. Mushrooms! Umami! Umami was all I needed!
Hmm. Call from my sister Zizwe. I told her about my craving for seafood and she said I should shape tofu like a salmon and eat that. How’s that for familial support?
Perfection! I took some spaghetti and stuck it in a pot of boiling water. While that was going, I finely sliced some red onions, took some corn off the cob, and sliced up some portabellini mushrooms.
I cooked off the mushrooms in a pan with some thyme and finely chopped garlic. Once done I shoved them to the side and dumped in some olive oil, then fried off the red onions until translucent. To that I added the corn kernels, then put in a generous teaspoon of sundried tomato pesto before loosening everything with the spaghetti water.
Once the noodles were cooked I dumped them into the pan and tossed the whole lot. Dinner time!
The verdict: It was absolutely delicious! Unexpectedly satisfying considering my hankering for seafood. It was good enough that once I was done with my serving I went back to the pan and gobbled down the portion I had intended to take to work for lunch the following day. *blush*
What I loved: everything!!! It was soooo yummy!
What I would change: absolutely nothing!
You totally need to try this. Bon appetit!