Do you think most American vegan recipes are bland, and if so...why are they like that?

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Replies

  • apullum
    apullum Posts: 4,838 Member
    tlpina82 wrote: »
    Depends.
    You gotta remember that Americans are the ones that put Raisins on Potato Salads.
    Your food may be bland by nature...
    hehehehehehe Just kidding.

    I have never seen raisins on a potato salad. I think that might be just some Americans that you know. It's not a common thing anywhere I've lived.
  • GottaBurnEmAll
    GottaBurnEmAll Posts: 7,722 Member
    "Raisins in potato salad" comes from a Saturday Night Live sketch.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzMzFGgmQOc
  • tlpina82
    tlpina82 Posts: 229 Member
    edited January 2019
    "Raisins in potato salad" comes from a Saturday Night Live sketch.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzMzFGgmQOc

    Thank you... I was about to reply with the same skit.
    I thought more people watched SNL.

    And BTW... My sister in law, from OHIO, makes it with raisins.
    Walmart and Publix sell them with and without raisins.

    This is a common thing... or so i thought.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,878 Member
    tlpina82 wrote: »
    "Raisins in potato salad" comes from a Saturday Night Live sketch.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzMzFGgmQOc

    Thank you... I was about to reply with the same skit.
    I thought more people watched SNL.

    And BTW... My sister in law, from OHIO, makes it with raisins.
    Walmart and Publix sell them with and without raisins.

    This is a common thing... or so i thought.

    I've been watching SNL more lately...since Alec Baldwin became a regular. Never saw that skit though, or noticed raisins on potato salad in Walmart and Publix, although I wasn't looking.
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,840 Member
    tlpina82 wrote: »
    "Raisins in potato salad" comes from a Saturday Night Live sketch.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzMzFGgmQOc

    Thank you... I was about to reply with the same skit.
    I thought more people watched SNL.

    And BTW... My sister in law, from OHIO, makes it with raisins.
    Walmart and Publix sell them with and without raisins.

    This is a common thing... or so i thought.

    It's a common thing among white people in the Midwest, that's the joke.
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,885 Member
    edited January 2019
    tlpina82 wrote: »
    "Raisins in potato salad" comes from a Saturday Night Live sketch.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzMzFGgmQOc

    Thank you... I was about to reply with the same skit.
    I thought more people watched SNL.

    And BTW... My sister in law, from OHIO, makes it with raisins.
    Walmart and Publix sell them with and without raisins.

    This is a common thing... or so i thought.

    Interesting. I live in the midwest (Chicago). My parents were both from the midwest, and I've never seen it, so I don't think it's all that common. I've bought potato salad at various local grocery stores (never looked at food at a Walmart -- it's been years since I've even been in one --and never been to a Publix at all) and browsed potato salad recipes plenty of times (I like German style best, or other kinds without mayo), and haven't seen it. I have seen raisins in chicken salad.

    Googling brought up a few sweeter, allegedly "Southern style" recipes as the first hits for raisins in potato salad (after all the stuff about the skit and the meme). (Looking, Publix seems to be a primarily southern store, and while Walmart is all over it started in the south -- I think this is more of a southern thing or white southern thing than midwestern.)

    Anyway, this article is consistent with how I think of potato salad: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes-menus/how-to-make-potato-salad-without-a-recipe-article

    No raisins mentioned.

    So clearly this raisin thing is a calumny! More seriously, I think raisins in a potato salad sounds disgusting, but more because sweeter potato salad sounds unpleasant to me and they don't really seem to go. But people eat lots of stereotypical things I don't like so shrug. Maybe it's a thing somewhere.

    Bigger issue, sorry for missing the joke, went right over my head! I haven't watched SNL regularly for years, so unless someone shares a sketch with me I won't have seen it.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 31,902 Member
    tlpina82 wrote: »
    "Raisins in potato salad" comes from a Saturday Night Live sketch.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzMzFGgmQOc

    Thank you... I was about to reply with the same skit.
    I thought more people watched SNL.

    And BTW... My sister in law, from OHIO, makes it with raisins.
    Walmart and Publix sell them with and without raisins.

    This is a common thing... or so i thought.

    It's a common thing among white people in the Midwest, that's the joke.

    Also a lifelong Midwestern white person: Never heard of it, let alone saw or tasted it.
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,840 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    tlpina82 wrote: »
    "Raisins in potato salad" comes from a Saturday Night Live sketch.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzMzFGgmQOc

    Thank you... I was about to reply with the same skit.
    I thought more people watched SNL.

    And BTW... My sister in law, from OHIO, makes it with raisins.
    Walmart and Publix sell them with and without raisins.

    This is a common thing... or so i thought.

    It's a common thing among white people in the Midwest, that's the joke.

    Also a lifelong Midwestern white person: Never heard of it, let alone saw or tasted it.

    Well possibly your friends have good taste!

    My husband’s mom is from Indiana and it’s a thing there. A very bad thing.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,878 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    tlpina82 wrote: »
    "Raisins in potato salad" comes from a Saturday Night Live sketch.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzMzFGgmQOc

    Thank you... I was about to reply with the same skit.
    I thought more people watched SNL.

    And BTW... My sister in law, from OHIO, makes it with raisins.
    Walmart and Publix sell them with and without raisins.

    This is a common thing... or so i thought.

    It's a common thing among white people in the Midwest, that's the joke.

    Also a lifelong Midwestern white person: Never heard of it, let alone saw or tasted it.

    Well possibly your friends have good taste!

    My husband’s mom is from Indiana and it’s a thing there. A very bad thing.

    I have an adventurous palate and like raisins in savory food, but the thought of them in potato salad makes me shudder.
  • shaumom
    shaumom Posts: 1,003 Member
    edited January 2019
    Lounmoun wrote: »
    Can you post an example of some American vegan recipes you thought was really bland?

    Sure. :-) I'm just gonna grab a couple I've tried in the last couple of months. Both my son and I found these bland enough that it just wasn't that great. Edible, mind you, but just...kinda bleh.

    1. coconut lime tofu with soba noodles - https://www.chefdehome.com/recipes/691/buckwheat-soba-noodles-with-coconut-lime-tofu (can't copy and paste the ingredients from the site) Seemed like it would have a lot of flavor, but it really didn't.

    2. Or thai red curry with vegetables
    Again, I looked at the ingredients and thought it seemed like it would be nice, but it was just kind of bland, like there wasn't nearly enough flavor for all the veggies involved. :-/

    Ingredients

    3 Carrots
    2 cloves Garlic
    1 tbsp Ginger, fresh
    1 1/2 cups Kale, packed
    1 Orange or green bell pepper, yellow
    1 Red bell pepper
    1 White onion, chopped (about 1 cup), small

    1 can Coconut milk, regular
    2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
    1 Pinch Salt
    1 tbsp Coconut oil or olive oil
    1/2 cup Water
    1 1/2 teaspoons coconut sugar or turbinado (raw) sugar or brown sugar
    1 tbsp Tamari or soy sauce
    2 tsp Rice vinegar or fresh lime juice

    serve over: 1 1/4 cups Jasmine rice or long-grain brown rice, brown


  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,840 Member
    shaumom wrote: »
    Lounmoun wrote: »
    Can you post an example of some American vegan recipes you thought was really bland?

    Sure. :-) I'm just gonna grab a couple I've tried in the last couple of months. Both my son and I found these bland enough that it just wasn't that great. Edible, mind you, but just...kinda bleh.

    1. coconut lime tofu with soba noodles - https://www.chefdehome.com/recipes/691/buckwheat-soba-noodles-with-coconut-lime-tofu (can't copy and paste the ingredients from the site) Seemed like it would have a lot of flavor, but it really didn't.

    2. Or thai red curry with vegetables
    Again, I looked at the ingredients and thought it seemed like it would be nice, but it was just kind of bland, like there wasn't nearly enough flavor for all the veggies involved. :-/

    Ingredients

    3 Carrots
    2 cloves Garlic
    1 tbsp Ginger, fresh
    1 1/2 cups Kale, packed
    1 Orange or green bell pepper, yellow
    1 Red bell pepper
    1 White onion, chopped (about 1 cup), small

    1 can Coconut milk, regular
    2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
    1 Pinch Salt
    1 tbsp Coconut oil or olive oil
    1/2 cup Water
    1 1/2 teaspoons coconut sugar or turbinado (raw) sugar or brown sugar
    1 tbsp Tamari or soy sauce
    2 tsp Rice vinegar or fresh lime juice

    serve over: 1 1/4 cups Jasmine rice or long-grain brown rice, brown


    Hmm. Looking at the recipe that looks like more than enough spices and aromatics for the volume of other food, plus vinegar and lime for sourness, salt and soy for salty, and tamari plus soy for umami. Not a whole lot of oil, which carries flavors... how it's prepared could make some difference, but honestly I'd be surprised too if this turned out bland! I guess it must depend on how it's cooked.
  • apullum
    apullum Posts: 4,838 Member
    shaumom wrote: »
    Lounmoun wrote: »
    Can you post an example of some American vegan recipes you thought was really bland?

    Sure. :-) I'm just gonna grab a couple I've tried in the last couple of months. Both my son and I found these bland enough that it just wasn't that great. Edible, mind you, but just...kinda bleh.

    1. coconut lime tofu with soba noodles - https://www.chefdehome.com/recipes/691/buckwheat-soba-noodles-with-coconut-lime-tofu (can't copy and paste the ingredients from the site) Seemed like it would have a lot of flavor, but it really didn't.

    2. Or thai red curry with vegetables
    Again, I looked at the ingredients and thought it seemed like it would be nice, but it was just kind of bland, like there wasn't nearly enough flavor for all the veggies involved. :-/

    Ingredients

    3 Carrots
    2 cloves Garlic
    1 tbsp Ginger, fresh
    1 1/2 cups Kale, packed
    1 Orange or green bell pepper, yellow
    1 Red bell pepper
    1 White onion, chopped (about 1 cup), small

    1 can Coconut milk, regular
    2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
    1 Pinch Salt
    1 tbsp Coconut oil or olive oil
    1/2 cup Water
    1 1/2 teaspoons coconut sugar or turbinado (raw) sugar or brown sugar
    1 tbsp Tamari or soy sauce
    2 tsp Rice vinegar or fresh lime juice

    serve over: 1 1/4 cups Jasmine rice or long-grain brown rice, brown


    Hmm. Looking at the recipe that looks like more than enough spices and aromatics for the volume of other food, plus vinegar and lime for sourness, salt and soy for salty, and tamari plus soy for umami. Not a whole lot of oil, which carries flavors... how it's prepared could make some difference, but honestly I'd be surprised too if this turned out bland! I guess it must depend on how it's cooked.

    It could depend on things like the brand of curry paste you used, or the amount of salt, or how long the aromatics were cooked, or how fresh the veggies were, and of course your own tastes and what you're used to eating. A "pinch" of salt plus a tablespoon of tamari wouldn't be enough salt for my husband. I would be eating happily and he'd be going back for the salt shaker!
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,885 Member
    edited January 2019
    They both look okay to me. I'm willing to make them within the week and report back on how they taste or modifications based on taste (with the understanding that I am a white person in Chicago, so may inherently have no taste).

    Agreed it could have to do with veggie quality, and it's out of season for everything.
  • shaumom
    shaumom Posts: 1,003 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    They both look okay to me. I'm willing to make them within the week and report back on how they taste or modifications based on taste (with the understanding that I am a white person in Chicago, so may inherently have no taste).

    Agreed it could have to do with veggie quality, and it's out of season for everything.

    I would love if you could do that try these recipes out and let me know - both my son and I are from the southwest, and also spend a lot of time in California with friends who are from various parts of Asia (and used to feed us) and are used to eating foods with a lot of spices, so...maybe that has something to do with it too? Perhaps I just need more flavor/spices for personal preference and never quite realized.

    Because, like for the second recipe, the veggies were fresh (I tend to go to organic grocers or farmers markets) and I tried to cook the aromatics longer, but the other veggies just enough to be a good texture and color. I always use tamari for soy sauce, so that's a bit more intense, get a rice vinegar that's imported from Japan, use that Thai Kitchen brand red curry paste (added a bit more than requested in the recipe), cooked the curry paste a little bit early on in the oils to give it more flavor, etc...

    But again - it was really just kinda bland tasting to me and my son when we were done. We ended up adding enough salt until it was more tolerable, but...yeah, just wasn't great. :-(
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,885 Member
    shaumom wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    They both look okay to me. I'm willing to make them within the week and report back on how they taste or modifications based on taste (with the understanding that I am a white person in Chicago, so may inherently have no taste).

    Agreed it could have to do with veggie quality, and it's out of season for everything.

    I would love if you could do that try these recipes out and let me know - both my son and I are from the southwest, and also spend a lot of time in California with friends who are from various parts of Asia (and used to feed us) and are used to eating foods with a lot of spices, so...maybe that has something to do with it too? Perhaps I just need more flavor/spices for personal preference and never quite realized.

    Because, like for the second recipe, the veggies were fresh (I tend to go to organic grocers or farmers markets) and I tried to cook the aromatics longer, but the other veggies just enough to be a good texture and color. I always use tamari for soy sauce, so that's a bit more intense, get a rice vinegar that's imported from Japan, use that Thai Kitchen brand red curry paste (added a bit more than requested in the recipe), cooked the curry paste a little bit early on in the oils to give it more flavor, etc...

    But again - it was really just kinda bland tasting to me and my son when we were done. We ended up adding enough salt until it was more tolerable, but...yeah, just wasn't great. :-(

    Totally forgot about this post, sorry. Will make them soon.
  • MikePfirrman
    MikePfirrman Posts: 3,307 Member
    edited January 2019
    I find that a legit Thai curry paste (from Thailand) will make a huge difference in a curry like this. Quite frankly, the one in most grocery stores, Thai Kitchen, is quite bland compared to some other ones that are more authentic, like Mae Ploy brand. Also, authentic Thai uses Palm sugar, not brown sugar or Turbinado. Also, Galangal doesn't quite taste like Ginger. They are different and similar. Even the lime juice is an Americanized version of distressed Kaffir Lime leaves, which you can get online or at some specialty grocery stores.

    I'm pretty serious about my curry. I also like Choakoh Coconut milk better than Thai Kitchen, that makes a big difference. Actually, Kroger's canned Coconut Milk is even better than Thai Kitchens.
  • shrinkingletters
    shrinkingletters Posts: 1,008 Member
    Short answer: No. I season my food.
  • mbaker566
    mbaker566 Posts: 11,233 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    tlpina82 wrote: »
    "Raisins in potato salad" comes from a Saturday Night Live sketch.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzMzFGgmQOc

    Thank you... I was about to reply with the same skit.
    I thought more people watched SNL.

    And BTW... My sister in law, from OHIO, makes it with raisins.
    Walmart and Publix sell them with and without raisins.

    This is a common thing... or so i thought.

    It's a common thing among white people in the Midwest, that's the joke.

    Also a lifelong Midwestern white person: Never heard of it, let alone saw or tasted it.

    same
  • MikePfirrman
    MikePfirrman Posts: 3,307 Member
    edited January 2019
    I also wanted to mention (my daughter is vegetarian but not vegan) that some curry pastes have shrimp paste, so you have to really read the labels. You might be able to add Vegan Fish Sauce instead to give it some more seafood saltiness.
  • shaumom
    shaumom Posts: 1,003 Member
    edited January 2019
    I find that a legit Thai curry paste (from Thailand) will make a huge difference in a curry like this. Quite frankly, the one in most grocery stores, Thai Kitchen, is quite bland compared to some other ones that are more authentic, like Mae Ploy brand. Also, authentic Thai uses Palm sugar, not brown sugar or Turbinado. Also, Galangal doesn't quite taste like Ginger. They are different and similar. Even the lime juice is an Americanized version of distressed Kaffir Lime leaves, which you can get online or at some specialty grocery stores.

    I'm pretty serious about my curry. I also like Choakoh Coconut milk better than Thai Kitchen, that makes a big difference. Actually, Kroger's canned Coconut Milk is even better than Thai Kitchens.

    Hey, thanks for letting me know how it compared; that is very helpful. Sadly, I cannot use other curry paste that I have found so far. :-( We have folks in the family who are celiacs and so we can't use processed sauces or pastes that aren't gluten free, and the Thai kitchen curry paste one is the only one I've found. And coconut milk, we've got some sulfite allergic folks, so we have to go with brands that don't have added sulfites, which knocks out a lot of the true Asian brands.

    I think I'll have to try and make it myself sometime, but phew, there are sauces that go IN the paste that I'll likely have to make myself, too. One has to suffer for good flavor, LOL. But at least I can get a better gauge of how flavorful I can try for, so again, thanks.

    Thankfully, we have a handle on the veggies and fresh seasonings, at least! Have an enormous Asian market here where you can get palm sugar, galangal, lime leaves, and so on. Just can't use much of their processed stuff, like many of the noodles, dried and ground spices (most cheaper imported versions have wheat processing issues), most of the pre-made sauces of any kind...