Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Vegan project: What am I eating?

So far this whole eating vegan thing has been going great. Perhaps that's because I'm not killing myself to be perfect: in the month of February every meal but one has been vegan, but only four of the days have been 100% free of animal products. Mostly the slippage is things like a piece of chocolate, or a fruit bar I ate one afternoon - it's got a bit of a crust and the crust includes butter, and maybe eggs.

It also helps that I've only eaten out a couple of times. On Saturday I went to a mac & cheese restaurant for a friend's baby shower, and yep, ordered the vegan mac. It wasn't dreadful but let's just say I won't seek it out...ever. I did sample a couple of the macs others had ordered, so that was yet another imperfect day. I'm also glad I don't feel compelled to eat vegan forever - wow, talk about limited menu options! I am going to make a point of seeking out a vegan restaurant this month, if only for the sheer pleasure of knowing I can have ANYTHING. 

So what have I been eating? Breakfast is easy - I make a big pot of steel-cut oats and then take portions of it to work in a jar with some pomegranate molasses. Nuke for 90 seconds and I've got a great breakfast I eat at my desk. For lunch and dinner I've been making pretty big batches of food and enjoying it over several days. I've always been leftover-tolerant, and pity the person who isn't, especially if they are cooking for one like I do!

About a week ago I made a version of Mark Bittman's autumn millet bake (pictured above). I made it with wheat berries instead of millet, and it wasn't the best substitution. The grains didn't really seem fully cooked - or remained a little more firm than I think the recipe called for. Still, it was flavorful and filling, and the wheat berries were a nice contrast to the sweetness of the butternut squash and the tartness of the cranberries. Definitely a keeper! 
I really liked Joy the Baker's carrot ginger coconut soup. I went wild and used full-fat coconut milk, and used more ginger than it called for. It's a gorgeous flavor-filled combination, with the sweetness of the coconut contrasting nicely with the spicy ginger. That's another recipe to hold onto!

The last picture above is of a combo I enjoyed several nights in a row: lavosh, white bean hummus, shredded carrots, a few leaves of arugula, and several chunks of perfectly fresh avocado. MAN is that a good sandwich. I'm kind of looking forward to the next time I get to have one - later this week, I think.

As far as the things I was specifically worried about: I opted to skip my monthly wine group dinner party, and I've been drinking soy milk in my coffee - and it's admittedly vastly inferior to cream. 

All in all I call the vegan project a success thus far. I don't feel markedly different, but perhaps that will come with time. Either that or I was already so bursting with energy that there isn't any room for improvement!


  1. even though i am an omnivore, i eat vegan 70% of the time w/o thinking. it really isn't as hard as everyone thinks! mark bittman can do no wrong, either...

    1. I so agree, Mark Bittman is awesome. I'm going to get his book from the library for more inspiration.

      I'm thinking of sticking to a primarily vegan diet even after the month is over, I just want to sort out the parameters.