Cooking with Bwog: The Vegan Challenge

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In the past, we’ve covered the spectrum of cooking all the way from the cooking essentials to Morningside’s exquisite dishes. Last week we showed you how to whip together a mean white wine pasta. For our third installment of  Cooking with Bwog’s dorm chef challenge, we sent our campus-trotting chef Matt Powell to the kitchen of Bwog contributor Briana Last.

We’d like to extend an invitation to all readers to participate in Cooking with Bwog. Do you only believe in eating blue foods? Own a microwave but not sure how to use it? If you’d like Matt to take on your kitchen, argue for your eligibility with an email to [email protected]

I have always been one to firmly oppose veganism. As a meat lover, I praise the taste and proper preparation that comes with such an essential component of the culinary experience. My ideological adversary Briana began with vegetarianism and later graduated to veganism. The email I received this week said only that this week’s kitchen belonged to a vegan, and “that’s all you get to know. She’s also very nice.” I braced myself for what I hoped to be my biggest challenge yet. As my one weapon of choice I brought a caldero (a Spanish paella pan that I often use for stir-fries). For my ingredient, delicious butternut squash oil.

Luckily, Briana is quite a food lover, even if she is vegan. That said, my guess for a stir-fry was spot on. Supplementing my supplies with some fresh produce from the Farmer’s market, Briana and I created this flavorful dish in a dimly-lit Nussbaum kitchen.

Dandelion Stir-Fry with Leeks

Serves 1


1 large bunch of fresh dandelion greens, cleaned
3 leaves of mustard greens, clean and torn
2 tbsp. butternut squash oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 ½ tbsp. honey
2 leeks (white and light green parts only), chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced


1. Fill the caldero (or a large pot) with water. Bring to a rolling boil, and add a large pinch of salt. Allow salt to dissolve. Using a colander (snatched from a nearby cupboard), quickly blanch (a word for dropping in hot water) the greens in the water, about 15-30 seconds. Transfer to ice water to prevent further cooking.

2. Rinse out caldero and dry. Place the caldero over medium-high heat and warm the oil. Add the greens and stir-fry 3 minutes. Add vinegar and honey, and stir-fry another minute. Add leeks, and sauté until softened, which is about 2 minutes. Finally, add garlic, and stir-fry for 30 seconds more. Season with pepper and more salt if necessary.

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  1. blub

    you "firmly oppose" other people's eating habits? it really bothers you so much that others eat what and how they want?

    btw nice split infinitive LOL

  2. Anonymous  

    you're missing a key ingredient: the meat.

  3. Anonymous

    Every vegan I know has done a complete 180 and gone back to eating steaks. Something about malnourishment I'd guess.

  4. Anonymous  

    if you are responsible and smart about how you eat, you can get everything you need from any diet. a diet with meat doesn't equal health just like a diet free of all animal products doesn't, either. by being moderate about how much you eat, and trying to incorporate more raw fruits and vegetables, you'll generally be just fine. a hamburger won't kill you, but neither will being vegetarian, vegan, or even a raw-foodist.

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