Sunday, January 1, 2012

I love Mark Bittman

Here is a new Mark Bittman article on vegan cooking and its merits in the NY Times, including some recipes  that look easy and tasty. I have a big ol' crush on Bittman and love reading his stuff--just don't read the comments.  Well, some of them are fine, others will make you want to reach through your monitor and throttle someone.

Happy New Year, friends!!!!


  1. Great stuff! my mom actually called me this morning to tell me about this (among other things). I love Bittman too, though I know other vegans are not fans. I agree with some comments (yes I dared read a few) that they are some basic recipes but that is his modus operandi and the best way to win omnis over. No one is going to run out and buy something called "nutritional yeast" on a whim.

  2. Thanks for the link. It's always great to see vegan food getting some mainstream coverage. The term semi-vegan makes me laugh reminds me of one time when I was having dinner with a group of work mates and one guy said: "I'm half vegetarian." Kind of funny...maybe you had to be there. But, I get it, meaning someone who tries to eat vegan meals at least part of the time. And if people can begin to change their ideas around what constitutes a meal that's a good start.

    Happy New Year Stacy!

  3. Hey Maud, do you know what other vegans dislike about him? I assume it's just the fact that he's just not a vegan? Like you, I say baby steps for the omnivores.....he makes vegan food seem accessible, convenient, and delicious so how can that be a bad thing, eh?

    Rose, "semi-vegan" is a weird term and kind of misleading. At first I thought the recipes would be all vegan, but then garnished with melted lard at the last minute, but thankfully they are ALL vegan :). I agree with you that anything that gets people moving in the right direction is a good thing.

    Shen, I know, I know. Actually, the comments that were "recommended" by the NYTs weren't bad at all, but the general ones were, well, ignorant at best, belligerent at worst.

  4. I'll read the article in a minute when I'm in bed!

  5. Stacy, yeah, I find a lot of people picking at his locally sourced meats, etc. maybe it's not widespread but I've seen a couple complaints.

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  7. Over 500 comments! Yeah, I'm definitely not even going to glance at them. The article was very good and hopefully will influence some people to try to add more vegan meals. The recipes themselves look healthy and good. Thanks for sharing this link!

  8. Oh my god, I meant "ethical" not "ethnic." I'm getting a cold, which clearly started in my brain. Here's the post again with correction:

    Do any of you have his How to Cook Everything Vegetarian? Quite recently I acquired a copy, and I love its informality, all his lists ("20 things you can stuff inside cabbage leaves", etc.), the many variations on individual recipes ("for a French twist, delete the raisins and cinnamon and add thyme and celery along with the onions"). Very liberating! Don't even get me started on how much I admire that a self-taught home cook has his own column in The New York Times.

    Re the article itself, why not advocate eating less meat and more vegetables? Less meat is...less meat. Many of us are ethical vegans, so for us the all-or-nothing approach simply makes sense, but I can tell you from having quizzed many, many omnivores, that most of them just don't get ethical veganism at all, they're honestly bewildered by it. I tend to think this is because they're part of the culturally brainwashed herd or are repressing their better instincts, but maybe that's just me justifying my own choices and they have complex well-thought-out arguments for how they live which are too subtle to articulate. The whole "flexitarian" thing makes me laugh too, but what it really shows is that vegetarianism/veganism is swiftly heading mainstream and omnis are thinking about it enough to want to adopt some of its cache. That a perceived authority like Mark Bittman is nudging his millions of readers in this direction can only be a good thing, IMO.

    So the upshot of this comment is that I love Bittman too!

    P.S. I did not read the comments.

  9. Molly, you are welcome!

    Zoa, I saw your previous comment and knew that you meant "ethical." :)

    Anyhow, yes, I do have that book, as well the other big one called something like The Best Recipes in the World (omni, but lots of veg and vegan ethnic cuisine), AND Food Matters, which I totally, totally love. In the latter, he really spells out the rationale for reducing meat/dairy consumption on SO many grounds. I know of at least one omni family that was deeply influenced by this book--they are not vegan but they now regularly use nooch and make their own seitan! Progress, people!!

    I know that if I occasionally ate meat or dairy, it wouldn't significantly impact my health or the environment. In fact, when I first started eating vegan, that was the diet I had in mind for myself (i.e., vegan at home, but more flexible when eating out, visiting relatives, etc), so I kinda understand most people's bafflement by the perceived "extremity" of this lifestyle. But once I educated myself, finally eliminating dairy (I was a vegetarian long before going vegan, and was one of those people who was like OH MY GOD I cannot live without cheese, how do you do it, etc etc), I realized three things: 1) any reason you have for being a vegetarian (ethical, health, environmental) applies to dairy just as equally and 2) it's actually not THAT hard to be a vegan, esp if you like to cook anyhow and 3) I felt great and lost some weight w/o even trying. And that is how I ended up becoming a vegan extremist!!! Soooooo.....I guess my longwinded point is that maybe Bittman's writings will set other people down the same path. If they just cut back on meat/dairy, that's something, but that often leads to people educating themselves further and making even better changes for themselves, the animals, the planet, etc.

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