I love HBO's True Blood, the sexy, often hilarious (the battle-hardened and still swanky Lafayette deserves a spin-off) drama based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries, the serialized novels by Charlaine Harris, set in rural Louisiana. Every Sunday my friends come over, and I cook dinner, usually something southern or French, to be festive. Just as we're about to bite into our chicken pot pies, there's a blood bath on screen, one character ripping into a neck or crushing in a skull and getting bodily goo everywhere. Eating meat and watching True Blood doesn't always sit well, so in the spirit of the conscientious Bill Compton, our Sundays have gone vegan, and no one is complaining. It's actually quite delicious and easy to cook, that after enough trials, you start to notice your taste for meat waning.
"Southern cooking without meat is an oxymoron," one of my usual guests, originally from North Carolina, commented on our Vegan Sundays experiment. "We put meat in vegetables."
To win over my own personal vampire nest, I elicited the help of Lindsay Nixon, the vegan temptress of HappyHerbivore.com and author of the soon-to-be released The Happy Herbivore Cookbook. She shocked me with how many of the recipes on her site are comfort food, in the style of southern cuisine.
Here are a couple:
Watch this video of Lindsay preparing my new favorite dish, for a quick meal or entertaining, Veggie Biscuit Pot Pie. As a pot pie connoisseur, this does the trick and leaves you feeling healthier too, since your digestive system isn't weighed down with energy-sucking meat that can sit there for days. Lindsay says that going vegan has made her feel lighter and has given her more energy that she's now running marathons. The short video shares more cooking tips from Lindsay on the benefits of eating vegan:
True Blood won hearts and ratings by playing up the tensions between vampires and humans to reflect the social intolerance, ignorance, and discrimination that still plague our country. (Why is gay marriage even an issue?) Add one more social fight to the mix: the show is named after a vegan drink for vampires, which uses synthetic blood instead of delicious human blood. Makes one think, doesn't it?
Also, to the show's writers, more history and "time travel" please! That will ensure that the show can go on and on and never run out of material, and be America's Doctor Who !
Happy Vegan Entertaining!