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Silicon Veggie - Elisa Camahort

Silicon Veggie

The Vegan Wedding, Part Deux

By Elisa Camahort

I'VE ALREADY written about my impending vegan nuptials. But there's always more to tell when it comes to a wedding!

Having decided that we were definitely sticking with a vegan buffet, but taking my mom's point into consideration that we could stand to have a main course that was more substantial in texture and density (and admitting that, yes, many people don't like tofu and would consider risotto, polenta and shitake-eggplant cakes to be side dishes), I asked our caterer, Restaurant O in Campbell, if he had ever heard of seitan.

Seitan is my culinary mainstay. It's wheat gluten, and it has a chewy texture that tofu just doesn't have. If you've eaten "chicken" products at a vegetarian restaurant, it was likely made with seitan.

Our caterer had not worked with it before, but taking it as a challenge, he acquired some, got to work and ended up creating a wonderful dish: Seitan Medallions on a bed of arugula, shallots and tomatoes.

Dilemma solved. Vegan buffet intact. Omnivorous palates more satisfied.

But if you've gotten sucked into the wedding industrial complex, there's one more meal to worry about: the rehearsal dinner.

The rehearsal dinner is for the wedding party, immediate family and out-of-town guests. And it's usually a pretty nice affair. I wanted it somewhere in downtown San Jose, so folks could walk there from their hotels.

Unfortunately, downtown San Jose—in fact the entire South Bay—does not have one nice vegetarian restaurant. I'm not talking fancy. And I'm not casting aspersions on the food at the vegetarian restaurants I like to go to. But there's not one with the ambiance to match Greens or Millennium in San Francisco, or even Café Gratitude in Berkeley. We're talking casual lunch spots that I love, like Garden Fresh, but at which I wouldn't choose to host a dinner for a couple of dozen out-of-town family and friends.

So, since we already knew that the rehearsal dinner would be at a non-veg restaurant, I turned the menu over to my fiancé and my mom. As long as there's something for me to eat (and as long as this is one of the bills that goes straight to them) I'm cool with it.

In the end, compromise and familial harmony wins out, and I hope it's the same for all of you who have also gotten sucked into the wedding industrial complex!

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