Have you been wanting to eat more vegetables but don’t know how to make them taste good?

I found Veggie Rose on YouTube one day soon after making the decision to go meatless. I was feeling frustrated out of my mind because I had no idea of how to make veggie-based meals taste as rich and delicious as the wonderful meaty meals I’ve been so accustomed to preparing.

The first few weeks of going meatless were pretty much hell. I knew I didn’t want to eat meat, because I was so freaked out about the cruelty stories that I had become aware of that exist in the food industry.

So I just trolled the supermarket and bought all the crappy vegan frozen boxed foods I could find. Blech!

One day it hit me that I would have to re-teach myself how to cook to make vegetables taste amazing. Having a daughter who graduated from The Culinary Institute of America, I’ve had the honor of tasting some amazing foods at her school events. I still remember how my head spun at Cara’s orientation day when I sampled a mushroom stew that Admissions Faculty Instructor/Chef Freddy B had simmered for 38 hours. That’s not a typo.

And last year for Cara’s graduation from Culinary, we celebrated by going to American Bounty, one of the restaurants at Culinary. I ordered the trumpet mushrooms thinking it would be a lovely sauteed mushroom dish, but I was blown away to discover that the mushrooms actually tasted like steak with fat!!! So from those two experiences, I knew it was really possible to make miraculous meaty-tasting meals out of vegetables.

I went to YouTube for inspiration, and I started doing searches for all the types of food I love. After my parents divorced when I was a kid, they both re-married partners who were hispanic. My step father, Jorge was Cuban and my step mother, Rosie was Puerto Rican. And my husband, Angel of 28 years is also Puerto Rican. So I have a deep passion for Spanish food.

Imagine my surprise and joy when I found Veggie Rose preparing Puerto Rican style vegan recipes. Rose was the first vegan chef who I learned about through watching YouTube. Just watching one of her videos made me realize that if I was going to commit to going meatless, I had to think much bigger and broader about preparing vegetables in ways that really tantalized my taste buds. Big thank you to Veggie Rose for expanding my vision to truly embrace plant-based eating. The first meal I made using her instruction was to prepare steaks using vital wheat gluten. It was such a close match to the Spanish style steak my husband is so famous for cooking.

A few weeks ago I made Rose’s recipe for BBQ Cauliflower. In the link shown she prepares it as a sandwich. I chose to enjoy it as the ‘meat’ portion of my meal and I added corn on the cob, farm fresh tomatoes, avocado, and lettuce. It was fabulous.

My son, PT tasted it and he said, “Wow, this is crazy. This tastes so much like chicken. It really messes with your mind.” I know. I agree. I love the recipe too, but I want to make it more like the old baked chicken that I used to love. I’ll tweak the spices a bit more and marinate the cauliflower before breading it and putting it in the oven. This recipe is definitely one you may want to try.

Even if you are looking for lower fat ways to prepare meals, this is an amazing dish to try. Enjoy!

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