Archive for the ‘What Does This Vegan Eat?’ Category

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Three Day Food Diary.

May 10, 2010

All right, gang.

Here we have a slight variation on the always fun What Does This Vegan Eat series.

It all started when a writer for cleveland.com decided to address that same question for her readers. She wrote out three days worth of her vegan meals for everyone to see for themselves what a vegan eats.

Because her diet is not representative of all vegans (I would starve if I only ate chips and salsa for dinner!) and because it’s always nice to see how much variety there can actually be in a vegan diet, Erik over at vegan.com asked other vegans to follow suit. Of course, he asked us to post our meals on our Facebook, but since I have no Facebook, have never had a Facebook, and will never have a Facebook, well, this will have to do.

And to point you in the direction of a few other options: Elaine at vegansoapbox.com answered the call, as did Sayward at bonzaiaphrodite.com (check out her comments section for more food diaries from her readers) and relatively new vegan Trish at binaryvegan.com (I only point out her newness to demonstrate that it’s pretty easy to make the switch, as soon as you convince yourself you want to!).

And if reading the words aren’t enough to show you that a vegan diet is far from boring, please check out this livejournal vegan food porn community.

But here, behind the cut, we finally come to MY 3 day food diary.

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What does this vegan eat? Part 3.

April 22, 2010

Stir-fry! Slash fried rice! Slash veggies and rice and maybe some beans or nuts, who knows!

I first fell in love with this smorgasbord in a skillet back in the UK when I realized almost every Thursday night that I had a huge box of veggies arriving in my CSA delivery the next day, and I had a random assortment of last week’s veggies still hanging out in my fridge.

So I just put them all together, add some seasoning, and voila. There you have it.

I don’t belong to a CSA here in the Netherlands, though I really should look into that, but I still fall back on the one pot meal pretty regularly. Especially on days like today, when I hit up the Farmer’s Market even though I knew full well that I had a boatload of veggies at home already.

So tonight, I decided to use at least one color of every vegetable in my fried rice. Except for blue/purple. Because I didn’t have any. I did have blueberries, but I figured I’d save those for my cereal in the morning. They’d work better there than in a wok.

What I DID have though is:
shallots, garlic, mushrooms – whiteish?
bell pepper – red
summer squash – yellow
bok choy – greeeeeeen.

Plus some dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Oh, and cashews! Not the most extravagant of meals, but everyone needs an easy, fall-back meal for those days when you just don’t know what else to do.

May I present to you this week’s version of that very meal for the Gorka household:

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Thank you, and good night.

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What does THIS vegan eat? Part 2.

March 29, 2010

Today’s WDTVE segment is all about the two extremes that vegans get accused of being. We have the Junk Food Vegan in one corner and the Beans and Veggies Vegan in the other.

Well, guess what, people. I AM BOTH.

It’s true, I mostly try to stick to beans and veggies, while avoiding too many processed products. But sometimes cravings hit even me, and sometimes, I even give in to them.

So I figured I’d share with you two meals from opposite ends of the nutrition spectrum. BUT what’s actually awesome about these two meals is the common characteristic they do share. And that is the fact that they take about a half hour to make.

I actually love to cook. And given the fact that I don’t go to school and I have no J-O-B, it’s not like I don’t have the time to spend all day in the kitchen. But still, sometimes it’s nice not to spend all day in the kitchen anyway. Like, today. When I spent at least an hour sitting on the couch talking to my family over webcam. Even Lillian participated for about three minutes, showing off her new Dora the Explorer pull-ups.

But enough about underwear you can have accidents in. Let’s get back to the food.

Man, whose idea was it to talk about food and bodily functions in the same post?

I’M MAKING IT WORSE.

Food. Recipes. Two dishes. Okay, I’m recentered.

Let’s address beans and veggies first. So that recipe will be this past Sunday’s meal: Moroccan Couscous from The 30 Minute Vegan by Mark Reinfeld and Jennifer Murray. Because this recipe comes from a cookbook, I won’t be sharing it with you, sorry.

But when it comes to ingredients, we’ve got saffron and parsley and mint and onions, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, chickpeas, raisins, artichoke hearts (swoon), curry powder, and cinnamon. Oh, and orange juice. Which is quite possibly the least healthy ingredient in the mix! And you only use three tablespoons of it! And you could probably just make fresh squeezed orange juice yourself, and then the least healthy ingredient would be what? The salt you add in at the end? The couscous since it’s a carb? Maybe the vegetable broth if you cook the couscous in there, that is if it’s storebought and has extra sodium?

But how nice to have such a problem figuring out an ingredient that could be considered unhealthy.

As for its taste, I have no idea if it’s actually authentically ~Moroccan~ because what do I know about Morocco, but it was delicious. I didn’t have as many tomatoes as the recipe called for, and I do wish I had. Not really because of the taste but because of the look. When I served the dish to Michael, he said it looked good, and I said, “It looks like the desert.” Because doesn’t it?

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But I guess if a dish is going to look like a desert, a Moroccan dish makes the most sense.

A couple extra tomatoes might have helped give it more color. I also didn’t have as many raisins as the recipe called for, and again, I do wish I had. When I had the occasional bite with the raisin, it gave the flavor such an interesting tang. And I’m not even a big fan of raisins!

Also, that is a very good eye you have. I did use quinoa instead of couscous. Because it’s what I had! I took a second pic of the food once I had mixed the vegetables with the quinoa, but it kind of looked a mess, so even though it tasted like they were meant to be paired, I’ll spare you the visual evidence.

Oh, and speaking of visual evidence, I know you can’t see the mushrooms, but that is because I’m still in the chop-’em-up-tiny phase. I’m getting better at cooking with them regularly, but I still need to hide them from myself in order to swallow them down. I hope to be a master mushroom eater by 2011.

In the meantime, I did promise you a Junk Food Vegan masterpiece.

So now for the less healthy dish! Where my other tomatoes went! This is Saturday night’s meal: chilaquiles. Now I admit I had never even heard of chilaquiles before I found this recipe, and as far as I can tell, it’s nowhere near an accurate representation of the real deal, but I don’t really care.

It is so freaking good.

But it is so not freaking good for me.

I use an entire bag of tortilla chips. And whatever storebought salsa catches my eye that day.

And sure, I add lettuce and fresh tomatoes and homemade guac, which is really just avocado and lime juice and salt and pepper, so that it’s almost like I’m cooking real food.

But any dish that relies on a bag of chips and a jar of salsa cannot be praised for its health factor.

So I only make this like once a month. But how happy it makes us when I do.

Just look at it!
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So there you have it. More information about what this vegan eats. Not a meat substitute in sight! Just beans and veggies and grains and beans and, that’s right, chips and salsa.

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What does THIS vegan eat? Part 1.

February 24, 2010

I was going to name this segment, “What do vegans eat?” but then I decided that I didn’t like how it sounded like I was speaking for all vegans everywhere. So I figured I’d just name it what it was. A description of what *I* eat. Melissa Conrad.

My pictures are going to be no prettier than the last time I shared pics of food. Still using the same flashless iPhone. Still using the same talentless eye. But pictures of food are usually exciting nonetheless. That is three times I used the suffix “-less” in this paragraph.

Last night’s dinner came courtesy of my friend, Eagle (real name: Rosie – well, real REAL name: Rosalia). But I call her Eagle. She decided to give up meat for Lent, yay! And she also shared with me (and her entire Twitter audience) that she had made a lovely vegan chili. This one, to be exact: Emeril Lagasse’s Vegetarian Chili.

I actually have a love-hate relationship with chili. I love the idea of it, almost always hate the execution. Now I have a love-love relationship with white bean chili, but that’s because I never put anything remotely tomato-like in my white bean chili. So I think it really is the tomatoes that cause me to not enjoy regular chili so much. And no, it’s not just that I miss the meat in regular chili. Because I didn’t like that execution any better. Back in the day.

But I am continually drawn to chili recipes. I’ve tried chili with TVP, chili with chocolate and coffee, chili with fresh tomatoes, chili with canned tomatoes. And it all tastes like chili, and I say again each time, “I’m not really a fan of chili.”

So when Eagle mentioned she made vegan chili, I of course had to ask for the recipe, and I of course had to make it. In Eagle’s honor. Ha. Sounds like I’m a Boy Scout.

But I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. Didn’t put sour cream of course. I suppose I could’ve gone out of my way to purchase some Tofutti sour cream had it meant anything to me, or to even make my own from one of the many recipes on the web, but…I didn’t. I also didn’t use avocado, though I will next time. I need to start purchasing avocado in bulk is what I need to do. (I know that isn’t grammatically correct, but it’s so how I wanted to say it. You know, for emphasis.) And finally, I didn’t bother with all of that Essence seasoning creation. I just used the spices that would’ve gone in the Essence and figured it was good enough. Oh, and I can’t find canned black beans anywhere, and sure I could’ve used dried, but instead I used 2 cans of kidney and one of garbanzo. To keep things interesting.

Oh! And the best part. I forwent the rice and instead added sweet potato to the chili. YUM. SWEET POTATO.

I wish I had taken a picture of the During. There was a moment, before the beans and tomato sauce went in, in which my massive soup pot was 3/4 full of ONLY vegetables. Sure, one of the vegetables was corn, and another was that sweet potato, so those were starchy, and I’m not sure mushrooms really count as vegetables, since they are a fungus, but they all still have stuff that benefit us! So it was still a beautiful picture.

Alas, I have no During. Only an After. And here it is:
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I feel like it looks a little bulky for chili, and when I reheated leftovers for today’s lunch, I decided it looked a bit more authentic – the liquid had higher viscosity and jut completed the look a bit better. But I didn’t take a picture of it then. And that’s not the point!

The point is that this is the best chili I’ve made in recent memory.

And as long as this is the chili that I’m going to be making, I can finally say that I am a fan of chili.