Yonni Wattenmaker of Veg and the City
A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to frequent one of my favorite markets ~ the Co-op in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The store has what most mom and pop health food stores offer ~ a variety of seasonal produce, bulk nuts, seeds and cereals, a deli counter, some artisinal and gluten free breads and some prepared items as well. I think their jumbo green olives alone are worth the trip!
As Joni Mitchell’s “Circle Game” played in the background, James Taylor’s twin (not real twin but a sure doppleganger) saw me browsing the vegan section, sifting through sprouted tofu, seasoned seitan, loose leaf lettuce and non-dairy cheese.
He offered his assistance and when I said I was a vegan who loved to cook and experiment with new flavors he pointed me toward a line of Indian sauces called Maya Kaimel.
Not all of the sauces in this brand are dairy free, but between the music, his similarities to one of my favorite musicians, and the general Berkshire vibe, I was poised to listen to what he had to say! I grabbed a pint of Coconut Curry ~ a vegan creamy blend of coconut milk, water, onion, potato, tomato puree, ginger, vegetable oil, salt, and a half dozen other spices ~ and headed to the register. Well, I’m hoping I can find this marinade more locally because it was wonderful. I steamed up a head of cauliflower, cut it into small pieces, and lightly tossed it with some of this sauce, some slivered almonds and a small handful of currants. Cauliflower on its own, once cooked, can sometimes retain too much water to be really flavorful, but this combination worked beautifully. I think combining it with green beans, potato, onion and some chunks of firm tofu is on the short list for next attempts! My husband and son used it as a marinade for chicken breasts, served over rice ~ it was just as great! (Or so the tell me.) Vegan or not, if you have it in your market place, give it a try!