Vegan Madness in RI, and Pasta con Broc-occoli

GUYS. Get this – according to Go Dairy Free, the world’s first vegan ice cream truck is based out of – wait for it – Rhode Island. For serious! I’m swelling with Rhody pride for my little Ocean State. Why wasn’t I aware of this when I actually lived in RI?! Not only can RI vegans get their ice cream fix from a bangin’ purple truck, but they can also satisfy sugar cravings at a vegan bakery and juice bar that opened recently. When my mom visited me in February, she brought a bag of their cookies for us to share, and they were yummy! Admittedly, they needed a turn in the microwave to restore them to optimal softness, but they’d traveled 1200 miles across the country, so can you really blame them? I’ll ask Mom to buy me a fresher cookie when I go back home in May for my little brother’s college graduation (eek).

Speaking of my mom, she has a weird little habit of saying “broc-occoli” instead of “broccoli.” Not all the time (that would be annoying), but fairly frequently. So sometimes, when I cook with broccoli (more than fairly frequently), I call it broc-occoli in my head. I definitely did that a couple night’s ago when I tried one of the recipes from Appetite for Reduction recipes that’s garnered the most attention – Pasta con Broccoli.

Now, lemme just clarify something here. I do not actually have an appetite for reduction. I am not trying to lose weight. Being a bit on the skinny side, I’m a bit hypersensitive about those sorts of misunderstandings; I don’t want anyone to think I’m unhappy with myself and am on a diet. I was even a little hesitant about buying AfR because I felt like people would see it on my cookbook shelf and make silent assumptions. :( But a good cookbook is a good cookbook, and I am not going to deprive myself of delicious recipes just because someone might silently assume things. Pshaw.

Anyway, Pasta con Broccoli. It’s gotten rave reviews from many of my bloggy friends, so I decided to give it a whirl a couple nights ago. I’ll admit that I had my misgivings; it seemed a little… boring. And, honestly, it doesn’t look extremely exciting.

PCB

It’s pretty, sure, but it doesn’t look like a dish that’d send you into throes of culinary ecstasy or make you starry-eyed with gastronomical pleasure. And honestly, I was a little underwhelmed at first. Now, I’ll admit that I omitted the balsamic vinegar because that shit is nasty (sorry, 99% of the world), so probably I lost some flavor there. It was tasty, sure, and the broc-occoli itself was excellent, but overall I didn’t quite get what everyone had raved about. But I had extra, and despite my distaste for leftover pasta, I ate it for lunch the next day. And you know what? Because the pasta had soaked up the leftover sauce, it was so much more flavorful! I can totally see why people add this to their regular dinner rotation; it’s easy and yummy. If I made it again, I’d let it sit in the pan for longer to let the flavors really get it on. Rawr. Nothin’ like hot broccoli-on-pasta action to spice up your night. ;)

Do you have AfR? Have you tried the Pasta con Broccoli? What do you think? And more importantly… how awesome is RI for sporting a vegan ice cream truck!?

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7 thoughts on “Vegan Madness in RI, and Pasta con Broc-occoli

  1. I think Toronto needs a vegan ice cream truck. I’m willing to work on my scooping technique to make that happen.

    I love Appetite for Reduction – so many delicious recipes. I haven’t made the Pasta Con Broccoli but I’m sure I will.

    xo

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  2. I don’t have AFR, but I sure do want it. It’s going to be the next cookbook I buy. Like you, I don’t need to loose any weight, but the recipes sound so good. Everyone seems to have that cookbook but me. :)
    That is so cool about the vegan ice cream truck….I’m very jealous of that! Jackson, TN has nada!!!!!

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  3. You know, I’ve just started cooking from this book now as well and am finding some of the same generalized sort of blandness you describe. Maybe it’s just that Isa and her testers have less of a spice tooth than we do, but you can flavour up a dish like this one very easily without adding significantly much in the way of additional calories, if you are looking at that sort of thing. This dish, for instance–I haven’t tried it specifically but IMO it needs to have the broccoli chopped up very fine and be made with small chunky pasta like orecchiette. Forget the balsamic vinegar and add lots of lemon juice and some capers and it becomes a dish for the ages! Or start with more broth and make a bit of a reduction before adding the broccoli. Or just do what I generally do to, well, pretty much everything I cook, chuck in lots of Thai chilis and extra garlic! Just my $.10 or $.15!

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