Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cheezy Macaroni Casserole or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Eating mac and/or cheese will always remind me of eating mac 'n cheese at my best friend's house before we went to preschool. We would eat it out of these pastel plastic bowls that had a distinct pastel plastic smell. This story has nothing to do with the dish I made a few days ago, so you just wasted your time reading what I have written. Or did you? Only you can make the decision regarding time (time, non-existent).

Cheezy Macaroni Casserole

1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup vegetable broth
up to 1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce of tamari
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 4-ounce can tomato sauce
2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the yeast and the flour in a medium saucepan. Place the mixture over low heat, stirring until lightly toasted. Slowly add the broth, stirring to make a thick batter. Add water 1/4 cup at a time until the sauce is smooth and slightly thick. Add the remaining ingredients except the macaroni, and stir well.

Place the cooked macaroni in a casserole dish and stir in the sauce. Bake for 30 minutes, or until sauce bubbles.

Serves 4 to 6

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes

Recipe courtesy of The Compassionate Cook

Saturday, September 18, 2010

shout out

I just feel like givin' a shout out right now to Meggie Woodfield.

Meggie! Here's a shout out!

Meggie has been a vegan for a couple of years and she has been the one I mainly go to when I have a random question and/or concern. She has been quite helpful. She also inspires me to cook more, be more vegan dedicated, and to eat for HEALTH rather than eating (or not eating) to fit into the latest pair of skinnier skinny jeans.

Thanks, Meggie!

Also, visit her great vegan cooking blog here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

product not tested on owls

Living the vegan lifestyle means making compassionate choices, not just in our diet, but in all aspects of our life. In other words, buy some weird ass natural toothpaste, for PETA's sake. Okay, I will. And I did. Last night. At Sunflower Market. I also bought body wash, chapstick, and vitamins-- all of which do not test on those stupid animals that I hate so much. (That, my phantom phollowers, was a mere joke. I like animals, for the most part.)

I pretty much live in poverty, so I tell ya that it is DOABLE to buy these hippie boner products and not go into the poor house (which is an apartment in Provo with a spiral staircase and poorly painted palm trees on the kitchen wall). You just have to shop wisely, like an owl who likes to shop and has the ability to shop. Shop like an owl and you can get great deals-- compare prices, use coupons, shop at Sunflower on Thursdays to get 20% off (with a student ID card and/or a nice rack), etc. Also, prioritize. Do you really need that stupid shirt from Forever Dark Abyss-- I mean, Forever 21-- or can you spend your money more wisely, like an owl, and throw your cash away on products from companies who aren't douche bags? You'll sleep better at night if you know you didn't slather yourself in Proctor and Gamble products (those animal testing bastards). But then again, you probably don't even sleep at night, you silly, wise owl. Nocturnal, you know? Of course you know. Like I need to even tell you.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

is bison made from tofu?

Being a vegan in Wyoming. Not easy.

More Wyoming adventures coming soon...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

gazpacho gazponcho

While I should have been dancin' in the rain and gettin' all wet and shit, I was INSTEAD chopping an effin' ton of tomatoes for "quick" gazpacho. Not quick, but only because I am a suuuper slow cook. So. Gazpacho. Never had it before, at least not to my knowledge. It was... Uh... Well, along with being a slow cook, I am also not the best cook. BUT I AM LEARNING. Along with learning how to cook, I am also learning that maybe gazpacho ain't my favorite dish. I like everything in it, but just maybe not all at once.

I didn't take a picture of what I made because it looked like this (aka pretty gross and possibly toxic):

But this is what gazpacho is supposed to look like:

If you really want the recipe, I can give it to you. But you have better things to do, I assure you.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010



How can I be a vegan on a tight budget?

my fellow vegan friend Meggie Woodfield gave me some good tips already. One of those tips was to eat a lot more beans, lentils, rice, and potatoes since those foods are cheap and filling.

What tips do you have?

Cuz I ain't gots me a lots of cash, man.

Monday, August 16, 2010

my little pony wrap

In my attempt to make a vegan lunch today, I took the easy road. No oven, no stove, no microwave, no food processor, no NOTHIN' 'cept a can opener and a knife.

I don't really need to explain this veggie wrap I made or give any kind of a recipe because, to be honest, it ain't that exciting. But it was fairly flavorsome. I just used hummus, spinach, black beans, yellow squash, cucumber, salt, pepper, and basil. Here's where things get eXcItInG!!! I have no idea how to wrap a wrap. I just kinda haphazardly folded it and stabbed it with some toothpicks. It worked, but it wasn't as visually appealing as it could have been.

OH YEAH! I forgot to put a little stupid toy on top of my veggie wrap. I apologize for my error. Here is a picture of a pony to make up for it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

where oh where have those six and a half months gone?


Yeah. You missed me so much, I just know it.

I want to say clever things in this post. I wish I could post some photos of delicious vegan dishes I have made along with a novelty toy placed in the middle of the dish. It would be cool if I had something profound to declare, some sage advice to give. But I'm tired.

So that's exactly what I want to discuss right now: Tiredness. Sleepiness. Xtreme laziness.

I am not typically a lethargic individual. In fact, I have evidence on tape of me as a youngen quite literally bouncing off the walls. I am known to my family and those close to me a ball of energy. I have never been able to sit still (which sometimes proves to be difficult in my meditation practice, no doubt). So it has come as a surprise, disappointment, and cause for concern that lately my energy level is waaay low. I tend to get 7-8 hours of sleep. I get exercise daily. Fresh air, check. Sun, check. I take a multi-vitamin. What's my deal?

There are a few things I know must contribute, whether large or small, to my sluggishness. One being my far-too-much intake of caffeine on a daily basis. I need to quit this addiction, I really do. I am sure this chemically dependency plays a big part in my up and down (especially down) mood. But I also think that my diet has been contributing perhaps just as much to this roller coaster.

In the past few months, my good old trusty friends Depression and Anxiety have been a bit too clingy. And they make me crave processed foods, energy drinks (funny, since it does nothing but increase the anxiety), and late night mindless eating binges. I still eat relatively healthy, but nowhere near the way I was eating when I was vegan. I remember having almost too much energy while on a vegan diet. And food was actually fun, fresh, and flavorful. I miss cooking. I miss caring for my body and what goes in it. And I actually miss nutritional yeast, damnit!

So here's the thing: I start small. I begin by cooking something simple and easy maybe once a day or at least every other day. I ease off on the caffeine and chemically foods. No overwhelming myself here, just slowly starting to steer myself back onto the path of good nutrition and good health. Why? Because I deserve it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

quick-and-easy brown bread, homie

Awhile back, I decided I didn't want to buy bread. Well, at least limit the bread I buy in the store. So that leaves me with either not eating bread or making bread. Since I suddenly have an intense cooking obsession, I decided to go ahead and make my bread (and day). I haven't gotten around to the real bread making... You know, the difficult-yeast-kneading-rising bread making. Instead, I made this incredibly easy brown bread. Pretty flavorful. Here it is.

Quick-and-Easy Brown Bread

1 1/2 cups soy milk or rice milk
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar (or distilled vinegar)
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup unbleached flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup raisins

• Preheat the oven to 325°F.
• Combine the soy milk or rice milk with the vinegar and set aside.
• In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking soda, and salt. Add the soy milk mixture, molasses, and raisins, stirring until just mixed. (The batter will be fairly stiff and sticky.)
• Spoon into a 5 x 9-inch lightly oiled loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.
• Remove from the pan and place on a rack to cool.

Makes 1 loaf

Monday, February 1, 2010

boy, it's (vegan) chili in here

I had a lot of TVP that I wanted to use, so I found this recipe for vegan chili. I am not necessarily the biggest chili fan-- I don't hate it, I don't love it. But this turned out really well! It is just the right amount of spicy and the right amount of thickness. THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID. The "she" being me. Anyway, really easy to make, too. The picture below shows the splatter from the chili attacking me.

Vegan Chili

1/2 large or 1 small onion, chopped
1-2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
Dash liquid smoke (optional)
1 cup TVP mixed with 7/8 cup hot water
1 16-oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 cups cooked beans (black or kidney)
Dash ketchup
Dash mustard
1-2 cups vegetable broth (depending on desired thickness)
• Heat a couple of tablespoonfuls of water in a large, nonstick skillet. Add the chopped onion, chili powder, garlic powder, and pepper and cook until the onions are soft, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add more water, if necessary to keep the onions from sticking. (Use oil or margarine, if necessary.)
• Stir the soy sauce and liquid smoke into the TVP. Add the TVP to the onions in the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes. Next add the tomatoes, beans, ketchup, mustard, and vegetable broth and cook until heated through.

Makes 8 servings

Sunday, January 31, 2010

oatmeal raisin cookies

A few nights ago I made these suckers. They were pretty good, but a little too dry. I would probably add more liquids next time, such as barbeque sauce and vegan ranch dressing. Kidding, I might add some oil or something. In the picture below, you will see that an elephant is standing on one of the cookies. Is that a real elephant and are the cookies ginormous? Or is that a very small elephant on top of normal sized cookies? I will let you figure that out on your own. You need to learn to solve your own mysteries.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1 cup Quick oats
1/2 cup White flour
1/2 cup Whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. Baking soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1/4 cup Granulated sugar
1/4 cup Raisins
1/2 cup Apple sauce
2 tsp. Egg replacer powder
2 tbsp. Water

Preheat the oven to 375. Mix the dry ingredients and the raisins. Mix the
egg replacer with the water. Add it and the apple sauce to the dry
ingredients. Drop onto a non-stick cookie sheet (lightly coated with oil,
if necessary). Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

yeaaaaaaaaaaah blooooog


a no picture post

Uh oh. I lost a reader. I may just lay this blog to rest. Or keep it going for my own entertainment.

this bread is not MADE with horses, but rather BY horses

Even though it was 11 o'clock at night, I really wanted to bake something. Something super easy and not sweet. So what did I make? Soda bread, that's what. It is ridiculously easy and rather tasteless, but the tastelessness is actually okay because it will be perfect for dipping in soups and stews. It's chewy. And I like chewy bread. It's like sacrament bread, but the good kind of sacrament bread (Jack pointed this out to me). Here is the picture and the recipe, uninterested reader(s):

Simple Soda Bread

3 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp oil
1/2 cup sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9-inch loaf pan and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the water, oil, and sesame seeds and gently stir dough until "just mixed." Pour evenly into loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean. Let cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes before removing from pan. Makes 1 loaf.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

buddha quesadilla and dolphin tacos

So I haven't stopped making things. I have just made things these past few days that I have already made, such as that hippie grass smoothie, tofu scramble, and DELICIOUS pumpkin spice muffins. Friday night I was way too wiped out from creating bad puns for captions for the newspaper that I decided to make an easy as vegan pie quesadilla. Whole wheat tortilla with vegan cheddar cheese. I added some spinach and spices as well. Here is the picture:

BORING. But what's NOT boring are the TVP tacos I made for lunch today. Textured vegetable protein (TVP) is made from defatted soy flour that's been cooked, extruded, and dried. Basically, it replaces ground beef. This was an excellent recipe--a little spicy, but nothing I couldn't handle. Really, this was very good.

TVP Tacos

1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 TB. garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1 (14-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup TVP granules
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. tamari
12 corn taco shells
Shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes (or salsa of choice), shredded vegan cheddar cheese (or other flavor of choice), or other toppings of choice

1. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, saute onion and olive oil, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, black pepper, and cayenne, and saute for 1 minute.

2. Add crushed tomatoes, TVP, water, and tamari, and stir well to combine. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring often, for 10 to 12 minutes or until most of liquid is absorbed and TVP is fully rehydrated. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Remove from heat.

3. Meanwhile, bake taco shells according to package instructions. Remove from the oven and set aside.

4. Fill warm taco shells with TVP filling, and top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded vegan cheese, or other toppings as desired. Serve hot.

Variation: You can replace the TVP with 1 cup frozen or refrigerated meatless crumbles or 8 ounces tempeh, crumbled, and only add 3/4 cup crushed tomatoes.

Yield: 12 tacos

Thursday, January 21, 2010

stir pea fry soup

I am sad today, which begs the question, "Then why are you writing a post and not crying in a dark corner, curled up in the fetal position?" And the answer is, "I have obsessive compulsive tendencies and am craving a feeling of accomplishment, so cooking and blogging about it satisfy both of those things as well as my stomach. Besides, I never cry in the fetal position."

Today I made an easy and fast stir fry. Put a little olive oil in a frying pan and add 8 ounces of tempeh. Stir fry it for a few minutes until slightly brown, then add vegetables and sauce of your choice. I chose to use yellow and green bell peppers and teriyaki pineapple sauce. I had an onion I considered using, but I was too lazy. All in all, it's a fairly tasty and quick meal. Here is the poor quality photo:

Tonight I made pea soup. I had no time to make this, but I did anyway because I'm a fucking rebel. And also depressed. And cooking (and--duh--eating) cheers me up a tad. So anyway, the pea soup was simple and good enough. I broke a bowl while making the soup and started bawling. Just one of those days, you know? You do know. We all know. We are all secretly or not secretly depressed. Suffering, man. The nature of existence or whatever.

Pea soup with garlic

2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
8 cups frozen peas
5 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp soy margarine
salt and ground black pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the garlic. Fry gently for about 2-3 minutes, until softened, then add the peas. Cook for 1-2 minutes more, then pour in the stock.

2. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes, until the peas are tender. Leave to cool slightly, then transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and process/blend until smooth (you may have to do this in two batches).

3. Return the soup to the pan and heat through gently. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the soy margarine.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

although the picture only shows a few cookies, this recipe actually made, like, 47,098 cookies.

Okay... So I had my first vegan cooking disaster. Not DISASTER disaster, just not-that-great of a result. I followed the recipe, but I should have read the reviews before I decided to whip up these pumpkin oatmeal cookies. WAY too much oatmeal. And dry. I should have added oil or vegan butter or something. (I am giving these cookies a hard time-- I actually sort of like them in a "these taste really healthy" kind of way. They would also taste good crumbled up in soy yogurt or soy ice cream or, I dunno, soy carrot grass juice.)

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

•1 cup canned pumpkin
•1 cup brown sugar
•1/3 cup applesauce
•3 cups oatmeal
•1 1/2 cups flour
•1 tsp baking soda
•1/2 tsp nutmeg
•1/2 tsp ginger
•1/2 tsp cinnamon
•1/2 tsp ground cloves
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together the pumpkin, sugar and applesauce.

In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, then add to the pumpkin, mixing well.

Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until done.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Someday I promise to post other vegan related things rather than just pictures of what I cook. SOMEDAY.

Today's adventure in vegan cooking: Pumpkin Spice Bread. It is easy. It is tasty. It does not come with doll heads.

Pumpkin Spice Bread*

Wet ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup canola oil (or apple sauce)
1/4 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed well with 4 tablespoons water

Dry ingredients:
1 2/3 cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Oil 1 regular sized loaf pan or 4 small ( approximately 3 1/2 X 5 1/2-inch) loaf pans or a dozen muffin cups.

Combine the wet ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl and blend well. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the liquid mixture to the dry, and stir well. Stir in the nuts, if desired. Pour the batter into the pan(s) and place on the center rack of oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean--about 15 minutes for muffins, 35 minutes for small loaf pans, and 60-70 minutes for one large loaf. Allow to cool before removing from pan. Makes 8 servings.

*recipe taken from blog.fatfreevegan.com

Monday, January 18, 2010

chris manor's mac and cheese and zine

Tonight I made Chris Manor's vegan mac and cheese. It was really, really tasty. It turned out better than expected and is super easy. Here is Chris' recipe in his own words:

The "Cheese" sauce
1 Tbsp Earth Balance
1/2 Cup Nutritional Yeast
1 Tbsp White Flour
3/4 Cup of Soy milk
1 Tbsp of Yellow Mustard
2 tsp of Braggs(or Soy/Tamari sauce)
1 tsp of Salt

First, in a sauce pan, on low heat add the Earth Balance, Nutritional Yeast and Flour. Let that Earth Balance melt and mix with the Nutritional Yeast and Flour, stir it around. Then add the Soy Milk. Do it slowly, adding a cold liquid to a hot pan will cause some sizzling, so do it slow. Stir it around and get a nice consistent mixture. Then add everything else. The Mustard, Braggs and Salt. You can raise the heat a little bit and let it cook until it starts to boil/bubble and spit at you. Add the pasta, I like elbow noodles the best for this. Stir it up and serve. You can add more salt, maybe garlic, your favorite hot sauce. It's up to you.

Nutritional Yeast is great on just about everything that you want to add a cheesy flavor too, just sprinkle it on whatever. It can be found at the bulk bin sections at most Health/Natural food stores(Good Earth, Sunflower Market, Whole Foods).

Earth Balance is a vegan butter substitute. You can find it at the above stores in the refrigerated dairy sections. It comes in stick form, or in a plastic container.

Braggs can be found at most stores. This is a staple of my diet. It's like soy sauce but it provides crucial, essential amino acids. Great stuff.

That "cigarette" in my mouth is a pen. A PEN, people! I do not advocate smoking. I just thought the image of smoking while baking muffins was funny.

I must have been in the vegan cooking mood yesterday, because I decided to make some muffins as well. The muffins are made entirely of twigs and dead leaves. Actually, not really. They are called JUNGLE MONKEY MUFFINS and they are quick, easy, and delicious. Even my non-vegan mother liked them!

Jungle Monkey Muffins

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. sea salt
2 medium bananas, peeled and cut into 2-in. pieces
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
3 TB. olive oil or safflower oil
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup raw cashews, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup vegan chocolate or carob chips
1/4 cup plus 3 TB. unsweetened shredded coconut

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil 8 muffin cups.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
3. Place bananas in a small bowl, and mash them with a fork until smooth. Stir in water, agave nectar, olive oil, and vanilla extract.
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and stir until just blended. Stir in cashews, chocolate chips, and 1/4 cup shredded coconut.
5. Fill prepared muffin cups 1/4 full, sprinkle tops with remaining 3 tablespoons shredded coconut, and press it in gently with your fingers (which is considerably less sexy than it sounds). Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Variation: You can replace the cashews, chocolate chips, and coconut with an equal amount of fresh or frozen berries, chopped fruit, or other nuts or seeds. Easily adapt this muffin recipe to prepare a banana bread by pouring the batter into an oiled 8x4x2 1/2-inch loaf pan and baking for 30-35 minutes.

(I left out the chocolate chips and coconuts and added frozen berries instead. Also, it says it makes 8 muffins, but I easily made 12. I suppose it depends on the size of your muffin cups... Yes, that also sounded unintentionally sexy...)

A post people may be grossed out by...

Yesterday for breakfast I made a Green Power Smoothie, also known as "lawn clippings in a glass." Okay, that's a joke. It just LOOKS like lawn clippings. It actually tasted... fruity. That's because most of it was fruit. It only had one "scary" ingredient, which was a kale leaf (which gave it the green coloring). I had to adjust the recipe a little because I don't have any green food powder yet (instead I used rice protein) or raw hemp seeds. Also, I didn't add any broccoli, but probably will next time.

Green Power Smoothie

1 green kale leaf, stems removed, and torn into small pieces
1/2 or 1 large banana, peeled and cut into 2-in. pieces
1/2 cup water or fruit juice (I used cranberry juice fortified with calcium)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen broccoli florets
1/4 cup ice cubes
2 dried dates, pitted
2 whole raw almonds
1/2 TB. fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
1/2 TB. raw hemp seeds
1/2 TB. ground flaxseeds
1 tsp. green food powder

1. Put everything in the blender and blend for 2 minutes or until completely smooth.

Smoothies like this are a good way to pack in a lot of nutrients and to "sneak in" veggies for picky eaters (of course, the color might not help).

You can substitute other varieties of greens (such as spinach) and other types of fruit, nuts, or seeds.

Green food powders, by the way, are made from a mixture of green plant-based foods and can be found in most natural food stores and online.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I am NOT doing this to be trendy.

I made tofu scramble this morning. I was SO proud of myself. A cook I am not, but I am slowly trying to get rid of that "not." Tomorrow I am going to whip up a green power smoothie, jungle monkey muffins, and mac & cheese (all vegan, of course). I am going to make this work, I swear.

Simple Scrambled Tofu

8 oz. firm or extra-firm tofu
2 tsp. nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. turmeric or curry powder
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Lightly oil a large nonstick skillet and place it over medium heat.
2. Crumble tofu into the skillet using your fingers. Sprinkle nutritional yeast flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, and turmeric over tofu, and stir well with a spatula.
3. Cook, stirring often, for 3 to 5 minutes or until desired doneness. Remove from heat, season with salt and black pepper, and serve.

Yield: 2 servings

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

she's baaaaaack and she's blaaaaaack. not really. she's caucasian. but she is back.

So I've been on hiatus for just a little under four months...


Have you not been able to sleep for 120 days because of sudden disappearance of Her Soy and Beans? If so, I apologize again. But now that I am back, feel free to sleep all day long with a relieved smile on your (maybe) vegan face.

Now where do I begin?

I was vegan for about a month or two. And then I became un-vegan from October-right now. I have decided on veganism again, much to the distress of my sweet mother and possibly a few other carnivorous loved ones. Why did I stop?

Hmmm. A few reasons. Well, mainly one reason. If you are a devout (ha) follower of Her Fog and Pearls, you will know that I have some deep rooted eating issues. Namely, I have an eating disorder. It reared it's seductive and cuckoo head in the recent past, which scared me for obvious reasons. I did not want to be anywhere near as sick as I was two years ago, but I didn't know how to stop it.

So I read a book.

A few books, actually. On eating disorders and, well, how to stop them. The books were surprisingly quite intelligent and helpful (despite the poorly designed covers featuring butterflies and daisies). One thing in particular stood out to me: Don't restrict food choices.

I initially went vegan sincerely for ethical reasons. It is fairly common for those with eating disorders to become vegetarian or vegan because it is just another way for them to unhealthily control and restrict their diet. I questioned myself if this was why I was vegan. But I insisted (and still do) that ethics lead me to veganism.

But I found that I became really upset and disappointed in myself if I would slightly stray from veganism, such as using a tiny bit of half and half in my coffee or eating bread made with honey. I have issues with guilt, especially when it comes to food. This guilt only fueled my eating disorder and added to my already low self-esteem. I started forgetting why I became vegan in the first place and instead used my diet as a way to restrict--and frankly punish--myself.

So I decided to experiment. I decided to "go on vacation." I decided that I wouldn't restrict myself of any foods and instead learn to take care of and love myself.

Well... It worked. Kind of. I still have (and may always have) issues with eating. I'm not completely in love with myself or even that nice to myself on a daily basis. But I learned to listen to and honor my body (on most days). What do I really want to eat? What is my body trying to tell me? How can I give my body what it needs? Is it okay if I "mess up" once in awhile? Of course. And what does "mess up" even really mean? I had to throw out some pretty cemented rules in my brain. As obvious as it sounds, I'm human and I can only do so much.

One thing I decided I can do is to live my life according to what I believe is right. And I believe that for right now, veganism is right for me. I need to be careful, though, to not let veganism disguise itself as that bastard Ed (my convenient nickname for my eating disorder). I need to be nicer to myself and not so strict. I need to remember that the world probably won't end if I accidentally eat a drop of honey.

But you know what will cause the world to end? OPRAH GOING OFF THE AIR. Psych. Anyway, happy tofu eating to you and I hope to talk to you soon.