Quite a few years ago I took a contract job cooking for a self-proclaimed ‘meat, potatoes and sometimes ice cream guy’ who wanted to try a vegan, raw food diet. He admitted that he didn’t love most vegetables but was interested in improving his overall health (he didn’t have cancer). I love a challenge, but this was really challenging. I only had one frustrated (and colourful) juice pulp-throwing incident (thrown by me) before I started thinking with my meat brain. What would my Dad eat? I figured out ways to tickle that umami part of the brain, using different spices and veggies.
Smoked paprika helped a lot. In general, smoked foods aren’t great for our health; they can contain toxins that come from the burning matter creating the smoke. We’re not talking about eating smoked meat here, or smoked fish, you will only be getting a small amount of the paprika, but the flavour will remind you (or your meat and potatoes buddy) of that chorizo-filled trip to Spain.