Friday, March 19, 2010

Lent Status Report, Version 2.0

Hey ho folks! Still working on that camera issue. Plan on buying one next week, since I've pretty much close in on and identified the one.

I thought I'd do a little fessin' up about Lent. Well, that sounds like I've broken totally and utterly down and broken all good form here, which happily, isn't the case. But I have veered a bit. Just a smidge.

I'm still keeping myself mentally vegan on a daily basis, and even though I may pop an animal made product in my gob, it doesn't feel like I'm sinning. The main thing here is that I now thoughtfully consider every thing I put in my mouth. It may sound a bit obsessive, and I can totally see that, but it's not. When I was an omnivore, I didn't even consider myself as such, because I didn't think about everything I put in my mouth, despite striving for organic fare for the important stuff (fruit, veggies, meat). As a result, I would mass consume processed foods, candy, snacks, whatever, without really thinking about it. Now, I think. Not obsess. Just think. And it feels REALLY good.

As I mentioned before, I lost 2 kilos (5lbs) right off the bat. They're still off, no more, no less. Though I continually feel skinnier, and I think that's down to not feeling as bloated as I previously have. I'd love to lose more, but that's not my main objective at this time.

I have been eating goat's cheese to satisfy that craving, and if I ran out of soy milk, I'd use cow milk. Tastes awful, when you're used to the other stuff! Really bad after taste in fact. I also went to a belated Christmas/early Easter party with some girlfriends, and I did eat tuna salad, pickled herring and eggs, since I didn't want to make an issue out of it. My mom being here added some cow milk cheeses to the menu, plus a little ice cream and again, I didn't sweat it. But just today, at the office, my office mate fried up some bacon. Wow, did that ever smell bad! Death. Fried death. He asked if I wanted some. I declined, politely. Yuck!

So, I haven't been strictly vegan, but my diet has changed. I have fewer craving for either specific foods, or just stuffing my face in general. It's been a relief actually. Although I know it's restrictive, strictly speaking, to eat this's actually liberating.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Rooty Coconut Chowder

I really really wish I had a picture of this. Alas, I have yet to find a replacement for my kaput camera (tips on better versions of the old point and shoot welcome), so an enthusiastic description will have to do.

I had yet another box of seasonal veggies staring me in the face, daring me to make something tasty out of them. Unfortunately, the biggest offering this time was a rutabaga! Wtf. Well, I actually enjoy the challenge of making anything tasty, but when you're pressed for time and have a hungry brood waiting small droplets of sweat form on your brow, and the nagging question of "what exactly am I doing" plagues you. Luckily, it went well. Really well.

1 rutabaga (by nature a large creature), peeled and cubed
.5 - 1 kg sunchokes, peeled and halved
1 large onion
1 tsp dried ginger
1 can coconut milk
sprinkling of cinnammon
1 tsp herbamare

- Start off by boiling the sunchokes and rutabaga together in a pot of salted water until soft. Drain, and set aside for next step.
- Finely chop the onion and fry it up in a little bit of coconut oil with the dried ginger until soft and fragrant. Add the boiled rutabaga and sunchoke, coconut milk, plus the herbamare. Let bubble, maybe adding a bit of water if it's too dry. When the taste is about what you want, take about half of the contents out of the pot, and blend them until nice and creamy. Add to the pot again, adding the dash of cinnamon. Stir well and serve with homemade bread.

Really really lovely chunky, creamy soup here. Enjoy!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Creamy Vegan Potatoes

Dude! It's been a while, huh? Well, between testing this vegan thing and my studies and my trip to Berlin, and now my mother being here for a get the idea. My camera is out of commission, for ever, so until we acquire a new one, I'll make do with old snaps of dishes I just haven't blogged about, and then second hand tales of decadent vegan meals, or something.

I made, actually invented, this warm potato salad as a side to an Indian dish I made recently, and it was good! And easy! And vegan!

I simply boiled some cute small potatoes, with skin, rubbing them gently off after they'd cooled a bit.
Then, I fried a small amount of finely chopped onion with light and dark mustard seeds and nigella seeds. When they'd released some of their flavor, I added the cooked and peeled potatoes again for a quick swirl, before turning the heat off. Then, as the creamy dot over the "i", I added a few bid spoonfuls of the white coconut cream that rises to the top of the canned coconut milk*. It was the perfect touch. And the dish was eaten with great fervor by all, young and older.

* Coconut milk has been a lifesaver in this vegan adventure of mine. Can't imagine not having its creamy goodness on hand.