This is a communal blog to share recipes, meal ideas, questions, support and knowledge about eating and living a meat and/or dairy free lifestyle. It's also a place for omnivores to learn more about healthy ways to cut animal products out of their diets. Submissions encouraged!
We're two sisters and lifelong herbivores (one vegan, one vegetarian). We promise not to bicker too much.
Back in January I was given an amazing cookbook called “Big Vegan”. It’s huge, and beautiful, and full of delicious recipes that are not only meat and dairy free, but also largely gluten-free and low-fat. When I first got the book I would often peruse it and drool, but I wasn’t cooking from it a whole lot, although I did make this scrumptious Indonesian Noodle Salad.
Then, a few weeks ago, my doctor nonchalantly informed me that I should probably cut all gluten out of my diet. Like, all gluten. She said it wouldn’t be a big deal, babbling cheerfully about all the gluten-free options in the Bay Area. I stared at her, stunned, as my gluten-y life flash before my eyes: Acme bread, Zachary’s Pizza, cranberry scones, Tofurkey Beer Brats, Seitan, Veggieburger buns, warm chocolate chip cookies…
Needless to say, I’m not ready to quit gluten altogether. However, I am trying to cut down on it, and to find other ways to satisfy my perpetually hungry belly. Instead of going at it with an attitude of deprivation (“No gluten for you!”), I’m trying to frame this in a more positive light (“Let’s make a recipe that just happens to not include gluten”). For instance, Hot and Sour Broccoli Salad:
And that’s where Big Vegan comes in. The last few weeks I’ve started to actually cook lots of Asbell’s coincidentally gluten free recipes. Instead of lamenting what I can’t have, I’m focusing on what I can. Like New Potato Rendeng, pictured up at the top of this post.
Now here comes the meaningful life lesson (uh oh I really have become an obnoxious blogger): I think this is the only way to make a real dietary change. Don’t try to do it all at once. Don’t stress about little slips ups here and there (I’m talking to myself right now; I just ate a cake pop). Don’t torture yourself with weak imitations of whatever food you are no longer eating. DO find a cookbook, or a website, or a person who will give you oodles of recipes featuring your target food groups. And go buy Asbell’s cookbook- you won’t regret it!
Sauteed Breakfast Potatoes with Spinach and Black Beans
As a vegan, I don’t like going out to breakfast. Your choices are between a 5 dollar cup of fruit-that has spent 3 weeks traveling from every corner of the earth, only to arrive as a mealy flavorless pile of gush-or if you are somewhere with a little consciousness, a tofu scramble. I’m sorry if I offend vegans everywhere, but I do not like tofu scramble. Tofu was not meant to be scrambled. Curry powder or whatever they use does not make it taste like an exciting flavorful party in my mouth, it makes it taste like an overeager 6 year old just cooked me a mud pie.
However, this morning I woke up wanting a nice hearty breakfast, so I decided to make things happen for myself. I used all locally farmed veggies: an irish butterball potato, a white onion and some spinach, sided with trader joes black beans. It was quick and easy to make, tasty, and had a balanced combination of veggies, proteins and carbs. Best of all, it felt like I was eating at a restaurant without spending the money.
One large potato
1/3 white onion
2 large handfuls of spinach
1/2 can black beans
Canola or olive oil
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
Optional: ketchup, hot sauce, lemon wedge
Chop your onion into bite size pieces, and put in a large frying pan with some oil
Chop your potatoes into thin bite size pieces (if you cut them too large they will take a long time to cook)
Sautee potatoes and onions together ,adding oil as needed
Cover with a lid and let it steam for a few minutes
Add your spices
Meanwhile, heat up the black beans
When your potatoes are pretty much cooked through, add the spinach and cover again
Remove lid, let any moisture cook out, and serve with beans on the side
Squeeze some lemon on your potatoes or add ketchup and hot sauce on the side