Posts tagged vegan
Posts tagged vegan
So I’m trying to eat a little cleaner this week and cut out starch/gluten for some cleansing. This means eating a great deal more of earth-tasting food - like kale!
To my husband’s great delight, I busted out the rice cooker last night (for the second time since buying it several months ago) to steam some veggies. It was easy peasy! Put the kale in the steamer part, filled the bottom with water, added some olive oil, balsamic and sea salt, and voila! Kale that was mildly digestible(can you tell I can only somewhat tolerate kale). Anyway, I topped that with a Don Lee Farms veggie patty (you can find at Costco, delish). I cooked that in a nonstick pan with a couple of spritzes of olive oil from the Misto.
The Misto is my new favorite thing because it gives me the option of creating a nonstick spray out of whatever oil I want (olive, peanut, grapeseed, oh my!), plus the added bonus of not using the fake, processed stuff. You know who you are - product that rhymes with Sam!
Anyway, with all that said - a satisfactory meal with minimal hands on time. Perfect for a Sunday.
Long time no blog! I’ve been traveling like a nomad, but I’m back and here to present my Saturday morning protein smoothie! This recipe was inspired by my absolute new favorite blogger Fitnessista. I seriously want to print every one of her posts and make a little book to keep referencing. Fitnessista also recommended my new glass straws, which are perfect for smoothies. I have to say, I’m getting pretty good at the smoothie thing, and I love that it’s a quick and easy way to get most of my servings of fruit for the day (not a fan of eating them whole, it’s a texture thing). Now, all I need is a Vitamix and I’ll be good to go!
Now, onto the recipe!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Vegan Apple Chunk Banana Bread
You guys!! Ari baked. Talk about role reversal! Though I read the recipe to him and instructed him on mixing strategies and adjusting baking time based on our lack of correctly sized loaf pan, it appears that he did a good job.
I snagged this recipe from FitSugar and the prep time was literally 10 minutes, with 40 or so minutes of baking time (would be more if we had the correct sized pan).
We’ll let you know how it turns out!
Sweet Potato-Pear Tzimmes with Pecans and Raisins
Last night, Ari made the above titled dish in a continued effort to make me be in love with having a teacher with summers off as a spouse. I’m loving this meal. Being the most reformed of Jews who grew up on shrimp and cottage cheese, I’m unaware of such Jewish delicacies as “tzimmes,” “cholent,” “challah” (okay I lied about that last one).
I was pretty happy about this meal. And my gluten-free comrades can enjoy this one too! Normally I’m not a sweet potato nor pear person, but warm these bad boys up together and call me a convert. It could have been the maple syrup added, along with the raisins and pecans. I mean anything that sugary and fattening has got to be tasty. Right? Of course right!
Midsummer Corn Chowder with Basil, Tomato and Fennel
So last night, as the title suggests, we made Midsummer Corn Chowder with Basil, Tomato and Fennel from Veganomicon. If the title seems like a mouthful, that’s because the dish was. Both to make and eat. Preparing this took about 2 hours, since you had to meticulously cook each ingredient before adding the next, then letting the whole thing simmer for 45 minutes and THEN adding the tomatoes and basil to simmer for ANOTHER 10 minutes. Good thing we didn’t have much going on yesterday.
It was really good, like… REALLY good. But for something titled corn chowder, I would have expected it to taste more “corny” and less “tomato/basily” not that tomato/basily is bad, but just was unexpected in this case. If we had used their recipe for “Corn Stock” as opposed to being lazy and using vegetable stock/water, then maybe we would have thought differently. But seriously, adding another two hours onto the meal prep time just wasn’t what we had in mind.
Will we make this again? Probably, but most likely when we’re bored and not because we’re craving it.
Last night I met up with my sister-in-law at Cafe Green, the more souped up “restaurant-y” version of Java Green - the veggie lunch place I’ve started to frequent during my many (MANY) DC trips. I’ve been wanting to eat there for a while, but it was a tad outside walking distance from the hotel I usually stay at while in DC. With the hours I typically work when I’m in DC, I’m always too lazy to make it up. Since my usual digs were sold out, I scored a spot that happened to be near Cafe Green. Finally! After all this time.
First things first. It’s always lovely to be able to go to a restaurant where I can order everything and anything off the menu. Though I’ve cheated a bit with dairy recently (damn you Ari and your bagel and cream cheese!), I’m still 90% vegan and on my way to making a more permanent change. That being said, onto the review:
Mac and Cheese
As expected, I was skeptical of anything vegan that says “cheese.” While daiya cheese has been decent, any mac and cheese version I’ve thought tasted just strange. I was actually pleasantly surprised with Cafe Green’s take on it. It was creamy without the strange taste. The closest thing I’ve had that resembles cheese in both taste and texture. The pasta was cooked perfectly and the scallions added a good kick.
Lemony Sauteed Kale
Kale is one of those greens that I eat occasionally, because apparently it’s awesome for you and has important things like iron, calcium, fiber, etc., but I’m not in love with the taste. It’s a little bitter and I feel like I have to chew it for five minutes. The Lemony Sauteed Kale at least got rid of that issue, and as much as I like lemon, it was a little overpowering here.
You can tell the light changed and it was now dark when this photo was taken because it’s so blurry. That’s because it took literally 45 minutes for this to come out (the service was painfully slow there, my biggest complaint). Anyway, this was something that the first bite was “eh” but as you keep at it, and add a crap of Earth Balance to it, you are pretty sure it’s tasty. It actually tasted like it had Matzo Meal in it - which who knows, maybe it did. Wasn’t the best thing in the world, but it hit the spot.
I’d go back just because I barely made a dent in the menu and I’m curious what else they got. Overall it was a mixed bag. I’ll go again, but will make sure that I have a good year to eat because I was definitely there for 2.5 hours (which was fine because I had great company!), but if alone would have been irritating.
This morning I made a delicious smoothie for breakfast consisting of the following:
Still working on making the consistency just right, but am getting there!
Solo dinner night #3! Tomato soup w/ vegan pepperjack grilled cheese. Tomorrow maybe we’ll avoid the fake cheese.
Not from Veganomicon, but aren’t we all proud I cooked dinner all by myself. It’s whole wheat linguine with cilantro onion olive oil, basil and cherry tomatoes. Ari is out of town until next Monday night so I’m to fend for myself. My goal is to actually cook myself a meal every day. Do we think I can do it?
Imagine Potato Leek Soup. Not exactly cooking vegan, but delish nonetheless.
Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions and Spiced Pita Crisps
Last night we invited some delightful friends over for dinner to continue our journey through the Veganomicon cookbook. And we served them crap. This was not the way to show them how delicious and fabulous veganism can be. Our polite friends tried to find some positives to share, but overall it was pretty much a disaster.
Despite cooking the lentils and rice in a myriad of spices and a happy aroma during the cooking process, what resulted was a mush of bland, flavorless, oddly textured lentils and rice with pita chips that were way to spicy. The balance was totally off. Though one would rightly assume that this disaster was my fault, Ari can attest that I followed the recipe to perfection.
This was the first meal we’ve made from the cookbook that we are certain we’ll never make again, and that we disliked immensely. Unfortunately for our dear friends, they were there to join in our misery.
Just found the perfect post-run recovery food/drink (aside from my beloved bagel and cream cheese tear). Please meet the Banana Nut Smoothie from the Daily Juice. It contains banana (obvi), apple, peanut butter and chocolate brown rice protein. Delish.
Below is a review of Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Eating Animals” that I just posted on Goodreads:
When I first became mostly vegan (I still use the “mostly” qualifier because I occasionally partake in dairy), I swore I wouldn’t become one of “those” types of vegan/vegetarians. You know the type, the one that forces a holier than thou opinion that what you are putting in your mouth is murder, and thus makes you a horrible person for doing so. I was of the mindset that just as no one could have an opinion of my decision to forgo eating animals, I was in no place to judge.
After reading “Eating Animals,” while still in no place to judge, I am in a place to offer some casual, albeit unsolicited, advice on what are exactly the ramifications of eating animals. I’m never going to tell you what you should eat, but I CAN ask you to educate yourself on how you are nourishing your body, and how that impacts your health, the environment and animals.
I want everyone I know to read this book. I want them to learn, like I just did, that when eating one of the 99% of animals that are factory farmed, they are literally eating shit. That their ability to be helped by antibiotics is ever decreasing because the animals they eat are pumped full of them not even to make dinner more enjoyable, but simply to make it cheaper.
The book covers on all this and more. It goes into detail on what pigs, chicken, fish and beef endure to make it to the dinner table. As someone who is not considered an animal lover (except for my cat of course), the torture/slaughter part didn’t resonate with me until I read this book. It’s not easy to read, but I resigned myself to push through - because if animals have to endure what they do to service the appetite of millions, certainly I can read about it. My apathy toward animals and how it really shouldn’t impact my vegetarianism was punctuated an analogy Foer makes at the beginning of the book. How, in this country, did dogs and cats escape our forks, but pigs, chickens, turkeys did not? How did that relativism come to be?
Foer acknowledges the complexity of forgoing meat in our culture. He addresses the nuances of how food is not only nourishment and sustenance, but the foundation of family interaction, culture, and perception of success. He offers a case and examples of the good that family farmers contribute and that it is something to work toward, which I think avoids alienating the contingency who would go into reading this book with skepticism and a preconceived belief that their eating habits and practices wouldn’t change.
Anyone who reads this book would be hard pressed to come out of it thinking that their meat is the exception to factory farming, no matter the quality of the grocery store or five-star restaurant. It’s impossible. This book drove home this fact into a real-life scenario when I was at dinner last night with colleagues and clients, though at a lovely place, the food that surrounded us consisted of animals that are so far from their original genetics and purpose that they can no longer reproduce naturally or even stand up on their own. That I wanted not to change their minds and behaviors, but to have a dialogue about the facts so they can decide on how to eat in an informed matter.
One of the things that most resonated with me was an elaborate discussion of Thanksgiving, a holiday incredibly important to my family, and the culture of our feast on that day. This discussion drove home the fact that for my Thanksgiving this year, I’m going to prepare several meatless options for not just myself, but for my family to underscore that this tradition can be preserved without the slaughter, shit, antibiotics and environmental toll. This book gave me permission to speak up more about the facts of eating meat.
I am more convinced than ever that I will never eat meat again and am continuing to strive to completely eliminate dairy. If, after reading this book, now knowing what you know, you still choose to not change even a little of your eating habits (even establishing Meatless Mondays makes a difference), then so be it. But for the sake of your health, the environment and your morality, you owe it to yourself and loved ones to read this book with an open mind. It’s never too late and you are never too stubborn to change, if you have the will to do so.
Fear not! I have not mysteriously hopped off the vegan bandwagon. I’ve just been ridonkulously busy. So we’ll just recap our veganism over the last two weeks in reverse chronological order. There’s not much to post, since cooking hasn’t really happened much, but we’ll start with my work trip to NYC last week.
Obviously, there’s no shortage of options in New York, but we (my colleague and I) stayed close to our company’s office just for ease. Enter in Souen in SoHo - 98% vegan (except for seafood) and gluten free. We started out with some delicious edamame (I mean, really, when is edamame not delicious).
Then, for dinner, I had Vegetables and Tofu in Pesto Sauce. And because I hadn’t had enough soy, I topped that with a bit of tempeh.
I have to say, most of the time I can make do in any restaurant. Chefs and wait staffs are usually accommodating on adjusting a dish to ensure that it’s vegan. The one area that’s nearly impossible to do is dessert. I miss dessert. These days, you’ll find me in the corner of my kitchen eating dark chocolate chips instead of the delicious apple crisps w/ ice cream I used to enjoy.
Enter - the Cocoa Creamy Parfait, with cocoa mousse with vanilla soy cream and granola. Needless to say, the waitress barely dropped this on the table before it was obliterated and in my belly.
A lovely meal was had by all.
We neglected to post our Saturday night meal, so you are getting two days worth of yumminess in this post.
Sauteed Seitan with Mushrooms and Spinach
This one was kind of weak. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t awesome. It was both our first time eating seitan and it’s kind of weird, fake meaty. It was the first meal that we cooked that was just fine. Really easy to make, but the taste was kind of average.
Effort to Taste Ratio: 7 - easy to make, but nothing great about it
Linguini Spaghetti with Cilantro-Basil Pesto
This kicked ass. It was flavorful and creamy and yummy. Wheatsville didn’t have spinach linguini, so we subbed with the spaghetti. Also, the recipe called for artichoke hearts, which were good, but didn’t really add anything to the recipe. There were also crushed almonds in the pesto, which makes anything awesome. Lastly, this technically counted as two recipes. Double score.
Effort to Taste: 9 - Think we have a new weeknight staple!