I had lots of leftovers from my meals this week and decided to combine them into a delicious dinner. Southwestern rice salad, lentil salad and pita! x this plate by 2
While I was walking on Broadway today I saw an interesting window display at Bloomies! Thought I would share: HAaha! Loved that guys signs on the left “I swear this is legal” and “Think of me when you’re sad”. Amazing.
Lunch today was a chopped chickpea salad sandwich. I think this has to be one of my favorite vegan sandwich combos! Smitten Kitchen has a great recipe for it .
~Interview with a Vegan~ Today’s vegan blogger is Janessa from Epicurious Vegan !
How long have you been vegan for? I was born and raised a vegetarian–I’ve never had red meat. To me it was always clear that animals aren’t for us to eat. There was a blurrier line between animal products though. I started eating more of a vegan diet about a decade ago, when I was 21. I would choose soy milk over dairy, margarine over butter, and skip cheese as often as possible. I fluctuated wildly for a few years–I would never buy eggs, but I would eat the whip cream on my Spanish Coffee. I wouldn’t dream of using cream in my coffee, but I’d have a chocolate chip cookie made with eggs and butter. I was doing the best I could, and I don’t remember ever getting mad at myself for not doing enough. We all follow our own path, and I knew I was doing the best I could. I identified as a mostly-vegan. Finally, about two years ago, I was reading John Robbins Diet For A New America and had my AHA moment.( http://epicuriousvegan.blogspot.com/2009/11/vegan-part-one.html ). I threw out my Quorn freezer products (they contain egg) and have not been tempted by ooey gooey cheesey pizza or ice cream again.
Why do you eat a vegan diet? A vegan diet makes sense, for me. It is nutritionally sound, ethically comfortable, and the best environmental choice out there. To me, it seems the only reason not to eat a vegan diet is taste and familiarity. Most people don’t go vegan because they think bacon is gross or cheese is disgusting. I get it. Those things taste good. And we grow up learning how to cook them. So to learn a whole new set of skills with a whole new set of food is overwhelming. Especially if you are already healthy and eating a local and environmentally-conscious diet. Everyone is on their own personal journey; my journey into choosing not to eat animals or their ‘secretions’ (gross word, I know) is the best way for me to be healthy, for me to do my best at impacting our world as little as possible, and to make new connections with people and learn more ways to make this world a better place.
Do you think that a vegan diet is “healthier” than a vegetarian or omnivorous diet? I think any diet can be healthy. Or unhealthy. You can be a vegan and eat oreos and spaghetti and drink soy milkshakes all the time. You can be a meat eater who eats salads and lean meats and fruits all the time. We choose our own level of health. I think, and this comes from the crazy vegan mecca of Portland, that it can actually be kind of hard to eat healthy. Here we have so many choices–tofuffalo (like buffalo wings, but with tofu!), vegan soft serve, vegan doughnuts, vegan cheese pizza, vegan Spanish Coffees, vegan bagels with cream cheese, etc. It can be so tempting to go out to dinner and have quite a few options that aren’t a simple green salad or some hummus and pita. (I want to state that I’m definitely not complaining–it’s AWESOME living here, but there are definite traps to be aware of falling into.) Overall, however, eating a diet based on whole grains and fruits and vegetables and seeds and nuts and plants is very healthy. I’d rather fall into an occasional vegan doughnut trap than an occasional bacon cheeseburger trap. And the nice thing about a vegan diet is it’s all cholesterol-free!
Do you take any vitamin supplements? In theory, yes. In theory I take Vitamin D, Omega 3s, and Vitamin B12. In reality, I get some sunshine, eat some flaxseeds and walnuts, eat loads on nutritional yeast, and think about buying supplements from time to time.
Do you miss anything about not being vegan? I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it like this. Occasionally I miss the lack of options.(I realize this in direct opposition of what I just mentioned above, but bear with me; humans are nothing if not complex and sometimes hypocritical. ;P ) I was at a coffeeshop the other day and starving. There were some fairly healthy vegetarian options (granola, seedy bagel) and only one vegan option–a dense chocolate brownie. I ate it. I guess that relates more to my own planning though. If I had planned better, I could have had a healthy breakfast before I came to the coffee shop. Being vegan has introduced me to loads more people, opened up the door to learning more about the environment, workers’ rights, processed foods, local and sustainable foods, and a little bit more spring in my step.
Do you think you will be vegan your whole life? Who knows? Every day I wake up and like being a vegan, I will continue to be a vegan. If one day that changes, that’s okay. I can’t imagine right now that changing in the future, but part of the beauty of life is never knowing what direction we go in.
What are some of your favorite vegan dishes? Joaquin Phoenix. Oh, not that kind of dishy vegan?
Smoothies (banana, spinach, ice and almond milk) Hummus (delicious in wraps, with pita, on veggies, or just by the spoonful) Burritos/Wraps (a great way to eat a lot of veggies and a way for me to eat my favorite food–beans!) Carrot Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Icing from Back to Eden Bakery Big ol’ Salads with veggies, nuts, fruits, tofu, beans, whatever. Sandwiches Vegan Sushi Soup! Anything with basil, dill, or garlic Chocolate Chips and Almond Butter
Thanks Janessa! I loved reading your answers! And carrot bundt cake with cream cheese icing sounds pretty amazing right about now!
Not sure what dinner will be tonight, I don’t have too many things left in the fridge!!! I may have to improvise! We’ll see what happens.
But later tonight I’m going to a comedy show (my first ever!), should be exciting, hopefully someone famous shows up! Have a great Saturday night!
Question: What are your thoughts on meat substitutes like veggie dogs, seitan, tofurky etc. Do you eat them? Do you like them?
I usually don’t eat them because most have soy in them. But I actually don’t mind the taste of some of them. When I was younger I actually preferred the taste of veggie dogs to real hot dogs even though I wasn’t a vegetarian! Weird!