The triumph of meat guilt.
After somehow carnivorizing (definitely a word) my way through a food culture that doesn't really utilize a whole lot of meat, the yen for authenticity finally got the better of me. And I didn't just go meat-free on this one. Misr wot and yataklete kilkil are straight-up vegan.
The unavailability of meat in one's diet demands that an alternate source for protein be exploited. That's where pulses -- beans, legumes, peas -- come in. Misr wot is a simple spiced lentil stew flavored with berbere. It's spicy, earthy, and all kinds of tasty.
It's worth noting that pretty much everything I've prepared this month has been spiced with berbere, but the flavors vary significantly depending on the substrate.
The yataklete kilkil -- insensitively mangled in the headline in the name of obscure cultural references -- has a decidedly Indian flair to it, owing to the cumin and turmeric, and green beans and lime juice add freshness to the starchy, savory dish.
So yeah: vegan cuisine getting it done. And it seems silly to write about vegan cooking and eating as exotic or surprising, given that most of the world's diet is primarily vegetable-based. But it's an inevitable consequence of crafting our food culture around meat.
That, and heart disease.
Photos and recipe (poached without shame from Eats Well With Others) after the jump.