“Are you going to take a picture of this before we eat?”
“I don’t know, maybe?”
“You have to. It’s really involved and super impressive.”
“You can, if you’d like.”
“This might be the best meal, no, well, this is definitely in the top five meals I’ve ever made in my life.”
Silence overtook us as we clicked the shutter closed at a quick pace due to the sunlight illuminating the apartment, pull chairs around a round table set in the middle of the room, and began to cut fork into dough.
“This should be served at restaurants.”
“I think we could serve this to someone and them not know it was vegan.”
“Thanks nootch. Thanks TVP.”
Silence again settled in around us and spoons greedily headed for the bowl of sauce sitting in the middle of the round table in the middle of the room. Bowl, plate. Bowl plate. This happened frequently as did eyes darting from plate to accompanying faces to the counter where the extras sat, glowing in the golden light.
“How can this be vegan? This tofu tastes like cheese. This dough is outstanding. TVP you are an angel amongst ingredients – how do you taste like meat but are vegetables?”
The sauce bowl was full, then half empty, then gone. No more red sauce flavored with Italian seasonings, black pepper, salt, brown sugar, garlic, sautéed oyster mushrooms, broccoli, onions, and TVP. No more sauce that could have been served as a chili, or soup. What remained was on our plates full of homemade stuffed shells. Inside the rolled tube of fresh vegan dough was nestled a substantial serving of tofu, salt, and nutritional yeast all coming together to make a parmesan-ricotta filling, only sans the dairy.
“Should we make a salad?”
“No. This will do.”
“This really is one of the best meals I’ve ever made.”