Friday, November 26, 2010

Thankful for Food

I spent most of the day yesterday cooking, baking, and doing laundry.

My husband watched football and took a nap. But I am not bitter...not at all.

I had some help, though. I hope Grace doesn't outgrow the desire to help her mommy cook. She is so much fun.

I decided to make myself some sort of seitan "turkey" like thing. I found this recipe and decided to give it a go. Grace helped mix up the dough and knead it. It was incredibly easy to make.

I had some cheese cloth, but I ran into problems there. I had trouble rolling it up and having the seitan fit inside. I also could not find a string to save my life. Eventually I decided to just skip the cheesecloth and let the roll of dough simmer in the water free-form. No problem. After simmering for an hour, I baked it in the oven for 30 minutes. It was kind of crispy on the outside.

Grace and I ate some. It was a little bit blah, so I sprinkled a bit of sea salt on it. We just kept eating it. We couldn't stop! Every time I came into the kitchen, I tore off another piece and popped it in my mouth. Yummy and chewy and delish.

I wanted to make a gravy to go with it, so I tried the vegan gravy recipe from Oh, She Glows Thanksgiving Menu. It was easily the most flavorful yummy gravy I have ever tasted. While making everything else, I kept picking off pieces of the "turkey" and dipping it into the gravy.

By the time we had to leave for the relatives house, I had eaten so much of the seitan, I decided to leave it at home. I made my usual green bean casserole that I just love. I also made the usual pumpkin cheesecake that is to die for.

Garrett had some fun with the whipped cream on his pie.

And Grace was excited about the pumpkin cheesecake that she helped make.

It was a successful meal. I ate my green bean casserole (nobody else touched it). I also had some cranberry relish, pickles, and a bun. The potatoes and corn were swimming in butter, so I skipped them. But I was not deprived. We went to the new Harry Potter movie afterward, and I could barely eat any popcorn, I was so full. We had a good time, though, and there are plenty of leftovers for today. We are staying inside where it's nice and warm, relaxing, and eating. Sometimes, life is good.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thinking Thanksgiving

The more I think about Tasha's post about becoming an omnivore again, the less I like it.

Her post is overly dramatic, and quite frankly, hard to believe.

I don't doubt she was having those health problems. I do have doubts that veganism was the only culprit. And I do doubt that the instant she ate her first steak, she felt better.

It also bothers me that she recently tweeted the praises of bacon and how she can't believe she lived without it. Ewww!

I feel a little betrayed. Whatever. She can do what she wants. As for me, I am busy making myself some vegan pumpkin cheesecake for tomorrow. We are getting together with the hubby's meat-eating, deer-hunting, close-minded, turkey in the deep fat fryer family. Also making my favorite green bean casserole. I really should make a "meat" loaf or something as well. Better think about that...

In the meantime, this video rocks. In a disgusting, horrifying, goddamn good thing I'm a vegan way.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Vegan Thoughts

One of the blogs I follow regularly, The Voracious Vegan, posted yesterday that she is no longer a vegan. She has been suffering multiple terrible health issues for a long time, and she has struggled relentlessly to fight it, but she found health again by going back to being an omnivore.

She has, of course, received tons of criticism. She has been told a thousand times that she is just not doing it right. I don't believe these people. I believe that what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another. Our bodies are all so incredibly different and individualized. The fact that she has found her health and happiness again after suffering so much pretty much means everything for her life.

It got me thinking about my own choices. Are we wrong to think that being vegan helps to save the earth? Are we wrong to think that it's bad to eat meat and products made from animals? It made me think about the fact that I recently ate cheese and I have not been as fussy as I used to be about whether something has a minute amount of milk or eggs inside it. Is it really true that for life there must be death?

I have not suffered any ill effects from my diet. I enjoy being vegan. I love the peace I feel inside when I eat without any animals having suffered. I like the way my body feels when I eat food that is good for my body. I don't want to change any of that for any reason. And I think the diet is good for my body, as well as my mind. My high cholesterol level plummeted to a happy normal level. I think I look better, as a person looks when they are healthy. I also think it's the best thing for the planet, whatever people might say.

I also believe this isn't a contest to see who the best or hippest vegan is. Yeah, I eat honey on occasion, but that doesn't mean someone who is more hard-core is better than me. Everyone makes the best decisions they can at any particular moment in their lives. It's all about me, not pleasing you, or what a label means.

I think Voracious Vegan was brave to post her experiences the way she did, and I wish her the best.

Thanksgiving is next week and I am going to look through some fabulous recipes for this vegan to bring with her. Because this food is delicious, satisfying, and makes me happy. And that is really all that matters.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cooling Rack Full of Love

It's cold here. It's 41 degrees (Fahrenheit) according to my computer. I haven't ventured outside to feel it, because 1) I don't have to, and 2) It's raining.

I bought groceries yesterday and stocked up one some canned pumpkin. It's a generic brand, but I think it will be okay. So after eating my soup for lunch, I decided I needed to do some baking. And wa-la - I Stumbled Upon this website, which has this recipe.

Ah, pumpkin and chocolate. One of my all-time favorite combinations. Does this call for some afternoon coffee? I believe so...

Next time I am leaving out the almond extract. The almond flavor should be more subtle than it is. But they are still great muffins, perfect for the oncoming of a Minnesota winter.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Vegan Meme

What is one food you thought you’d miss when you went vegan, but don’t?
Cheese. Despite my recent digression.

What is a food or dish you wouldn’t touch as a child, but enjoy now?

What vegan dish or food you feel like you “should” like, but don’t?
Raw tomatoes :( They would be so beautiful on a salad.

What beverage do you consume the most of on any given day?
Coffee and water

What dish are you “famous” for making or bringing to gatherings?
In the summer- the Mexican pasta salad. For the holidays - the vegan green bean casserole. And cookies.

Do you have any self-imposed food rules (like no food touching on the plate or no nuts in sweets)?
I really don't like nuts in my sweets. But that's it.

What’s one food or dish you tend to eat too much of when you have it in your home?

What ingredient or food do you prefer to make yourself despite it being widely available prepackaged?

What ingredient or food is worth spending the extra money to get “the good stuff”?

Are you much of a snacker? What are your favorite snacks?
Big snacker. Have I mentioned my love of cookies? But my favorite snack is probably pistachios.

What are your favorite vegan pizza toppings?
Mushrooms are a must. Pineapple. Black olives. A bit of Daiya vegan cheese.

What is your favorite vegetable? Fruit?
Broccoli. Avocado. Strawberries. Nectarines. It's hard to pick just one.

What is the best salad dressing?

What is your favorite thing to put on toasted bread?
Peanut butter!

What kind of soup do you most often turn to on a chilly day or when you aren’t feeling your best?
Chickpea noodle soup

What is your favorite cupcake flavor? Frosting flavor?
Mmmm...probably the S'mores cupcakes from VCTOTW. Frosting? Maybe chocolate. But I'm thinking about something coconut right now.

What is your favorite kind of cookie?
Chocolate chip. Or oatmeal pumpkin. Or chocolate chai.

What is your most-loved “weeknight meal”?
Tacos. Plenty of guacamole

What is one dish or food you enjoy, but can’t get anyone else in your household to eat?
Tempeh bacon. But then there's more for me!

How long, in total, do you spend in the kitchen on an average day?
1-2 hours

How many fingers am I holding up?

What kind of things are you doing for VeganMofo?
Reading lots of awesome blogs.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I have not been a very good vegan lately. I don't know what it is. Laziness? Depression? Apathy? Addiction? Whatever the reason, I had a hand in helping my kids finish off their Halloween candy. Even the non-vegan chocolate that contained milk.


This stuff used to not even tempt me.

I knew that if I put something bad into my system, I would feel bad. I had no urge.

Now it's like I want to make myself feel bad. Like I don't deserve to feel good and healthy.

And then the ultimate sin. Last night we had pizza in the house and I was craving a piece so bad that I just ate one. With cheese on it. Real cheese.

OK, OK, I ate TWO!

It was like eating despair.

But it did something good anyway. It made me feel so yucky that I no longer have the urge. I need to remember all of the reasons I became vegan in the first place. I need to think about my health, and about those animals. Especially the animals suffering for their entire pathetic lives so that we can order a pizza and drink the milk and stuff ourselves with ice cream and cheeseburgers and cholesterol and death.


I am not perfect. Not even close.

I do care. Enough not to fall into what is easier and more convenient and more socially acceptable. Enough to say what I think and do what makes me feel like me. Eating that pizza did not feel like me.

Now, if I could get my hands on some more Daiya vegan cheese, that would be me.