Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bill of Fare - Some Thoughts on Eating Vegan and the Virtue of Plain Baked Potatoes

Assume that's vegan spread on this hot potato

There is something so creative to me, at least at this stage, about cooking without animal products.

I wouldn't exactly say I've lost my taste for non-vegan foods, but I'd also say that the flavors of what I do eat seem so much stronger and cleaner. 
The food I've been cooking (as opposed to making do with when I eat out) has been astounding.  Take today for instance -- portobello mushroom onion soup (made with my good homemade stock) and cranberry bean and dried tomato bean slather on crusty whole wheat bread for lunch (with a small side of leftover kale and bean saute) and sauteed potatoes, onion, garlic, carrots, turnip greens and tomatoes with smoky tempe with lots of spice for dinner.

The flip side is having to almost always find some way to accommodate my veganism when we go out.  Asian and Indian restaurants are the easiest, everything else can be tough.  Do I really want a sorry-looking iceberg lettuce salad and a plain baked potato for dinner?  No.  Have I eaten that, yes. Partly because going out to eat is usually now not about the food but about the convenience (lots of bean and rice burritos have been consumed) or about being with friends or family (lots of baked potatoes and side orders of veggies). 

Since I've always been so food-focused I kind of relish this switch in perspectives and think it is a good thing. Part of my acceptance comes from knowing what I am doing is good for me, part comes from the "game" I'm playing with myself to do it and part comes from feeling like what I reach my weight loss goal I will add in the occasional animal product so nothing will be off limit forever (disclaimer - I still take tastes of dishes with animal products as part of my freelance food writing efforts, although I find that I am creating fewer and fewer recipes that require that compromise).

The truth is I no longer enjoy (nor does my body) eating more than a few spoonfuls of anything non-vegan.  I am enjoying how I feel with being a vegan.

Photo credit: WP Clipart

Thursday, November 3, 2011