[Okay, okay. I know. You probably are wondering who won the vegan weight loss challenge. You will soon know as I will announce the winner and runner-up the early part of next week (promise!)…Look forward to some pics and read more about their stories. Thanks for your patience!]
Warning: This a completely random post. But it’s been awhile. And there are lots of things on my mind.
I’m enjoying [delete] LOVING [delete] relishing (every moment of) spring.
I live in a place, where, maybe it’s all in my head, but our winters have only been getting longer and colder, and more unbearable. Especially the snow in April. But it’s better now because it’s (finally) warmer. Which has pushed me and the kids outdoors. And I’m faced with the fact that my garden is a wasteland. Not quite. It was. Now it’s a wasteland with potential, since we’ve already planted the cool weather veggies (radishes, peas, kale, spinach, lettuce. beets). But I have a question for the universe: Why does it seem to take FOREVER for that little seed (I know it’s small, but…) to actually look like something that is even close to edible?! I think everyone should plant a garden. We could all use a lesson in patience. Or maybe that’s just me. Anyway. I’m learning these little sprouts take their sweet time.
Other things. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m working on cleaning up my diet (which I know may sound ridiculous to some who already see my choice to be vegan as extreme), which includes learning to really LOVE my veggies. I used to think I loved them…but realized I could be doing better. So a few things I’ve been working on: 1) Keeping it simple–no elaborate meals, at least most days of the week (do I really have time for that anyway??), but just simple veggies and starches that, if allowed, can stand on their own two feet and are deliciously simple and satisfying. 2) Make veggies at least half my meal. 3) Cut out the salt. Rely on herbs and other natural flavor enhancers as well as the food itself for flavor. I’ve noticed I retain water like crazy when I have too much sodium (which is VERY easy to do).
Here’s what I had tonight for dinner:
Sauteed kale (sauteed in cast iron skillet with 1-2 TBS. water, seasoned with liquid smoke, balsamic vinegar, a dab of horseradish and Dijon mustard, a splash of Tabasco, and some no-salt herb blend) & Mashed Cauliflower and Potatoes (half boiled potatoes, half steamed cauliflower, seasoned with Italian herbs, a small amount of plain almond milk, mashed lightly). Some people might not consider this a meal because it is so simple, but that’s something I’ve realized, part of our weight problem in America stems from this cultural idea that every meal must be a feast or a buffet (or include some sort of cooked piece of animal).
It was my birthday. My husband made me this:
Isn’t it lovely? He actually made the cake, I decorated it. He made one of my favorite cakes, wacky cake. It’s actually a dairy-free recipe (shh, don’t tell your non-vegan friends!), dating back to Depression days when people couldn’t afford eggs and such. My grandma used to make it all the time. Loved it then, still love it. There are a lot of versions of this recipe–all egg/dairy free, so no need to “veganize” it, but if you wanted to make it lower in fat, without sacrificing taste, you can replace all oil for half the amount of prune puree (a puree of prunes, water, and a little agave). I find this works better than applesauce (I actually like applesauce as a replacement in some cakes, just not chocolate cake…). So say the recipe calls for 1 c. oil (yikes!), you could replace that with 1/2 cup prune puree OR if you’re a scaredy cat, you can replace 1/2 the oil with 1/4 c. prune puree and still use 1/2 c. oil.
Yes, there IS something different about me…
Spring rolls, I’ve learned are very inexpensive to make, but take a wee bit of skill, such skill that I don’t think I possess (yet). But they are DELICIOUS.