It is more important now than ever to avoid pesticides
Interesting read over at the NY Times about organic food and pesticides. How much of this is real science?
I have found myself shopping at the new Earth Fare in Louisville for groceries more and more. They have a reliable supply of fresh fruits/veggies. Yes, it is a bit more expensive than the the local, “nicer” Kroger, but the quality is superb. In fact, I’m heading there today to re-stock our fridge with yummy fruits and veggies.
Lots of Shopping! While we have not been 100% vegan and have had our ups/downs during this entire experiment, we have maintained mostly a Vegan household. However, that also means frequent trips to a fresh market. Even with our weekly Green Bean delivery, I usually have to go to the market an additional 1-2 times per week to keep fresh produce stocked in the home. It takes dedication to have good, fresh ingredients available in your kitchen. And, we HATE waste. We both have this overwhelming feeling of failure whenever we have to throw away something that has spoiled or not been consumed. It is a constant challenge to balance our freshness and variety with a minimal of waste.
Lists are a necessity! I am lost without at least a basic list of what is needed, especially speciality, not frequently bought items. Certain items are “staples” and can be assumed to be needed in fairly regular frequencies, including Almond Milk, blueberries, bananas, salad base makings, KIND bars and a few others.
One final quick thought. Working at home allows me the freedom to plan my trips during the day, when the crowd is minimal. During the AM, after rush hour..and before kids get out of school, in the middle of the week, are the best times/days to get in and get out with what you need, quickly and without hassle.
The CSA brought us a bag of tomatillos this week. They are these little green tomato type things wrapped in a husk. I know 99% of you already knew that, but I sure didn’t. After sitting there for a few days, the tomatillos cried out, “eat me before I go bad!” I peeled back the husk, cut into one and tried eating it raw. It was a cross between apple and tomato in texture, but had a strong sour taste. I wasn’t so sure about all that, so off to the interwebs i went. One quick search later and my world was changed. These little suckers are the source of salsa verde! Who wudda thunk it?
Per the instructions, I dehusked them, washed off the slime (hrm, didn’t even notice the slime when eating it raw), and boiled them for 10 minutes. I combined cilantro, onion, red chili peppers, olive oil and 5 tomatillos in a blender. It could have used some garlic and lime, but i didn’t have any, so eh. That was blended into a yummy salsa that will now accompany my spinach nuggets on “junk food” night.
I never thought I’d say this, but I actually prefer that to my regular Sriracha/Catsup mixture for nugget dipping.
We picked up some portobello mushrooms the other day but weren’t sure how to use them. We marinated them over night in pomegranate balsamic vinegar, honey ginger balsamic and olive oil. We flipped them a couple times and squished them down a bit as they became saturated with the marinade.
Because it is approximately 8,000 degrees out, we didn’t dare go near the grill. We baked them for about 10 minutes at 425, which worked out well. We both agreed that grilling would probably taste better.
Once they were cooked, we threw those suckers on a thin bun with onion, cucumber, guacamole and hummus. Since we forgot to add sriracha to the mix, we put it on the side. We highly recommend that you give these a try.
Oh, and all that for about 200 calories, score!
We are approaching our 4-month Vegan anniversary. While we have had a few slip-ups, both intentional and unintentional, we have remained mostly true to our original diet/lifestyle goals.
It is “natural” to return to our Vegan diet after we have a bite of cheese or a taste of an offered morsel. I no longer have any cravings, from Pizza to beef. In fact, only Eggs and Cheese have any real appeal for me. An occasional bite of an oyster, clam or other seafood will probably always have a place in my diet…saved for special occasions or travel. We remain extremely experimental in our desire to sample all types of cuisines, and that frequently requires us to cross over the Vegan line. However, our first instinct is always to try the local or regional Vegan offerings.
We will continue to post great Vegan food that we either run across in our travels, or that is made in our kitchen…along with our progress.
Vegan coucous/pear stuffed squash
Mel had a conference in Nashville this week, so I decided to run a vegan mission of mercy. I brought her an over-order of Heart and Soy, which was a welcomed break from granola bars and bananas. Did you know that Greens and Beans from Cracker Barrel are only partially greens, and partially beans, and mostly just meat? Melanie now knows. ;)
The Wild Cow - Nashville, TN
Our smart phones saved and with the use of the Happy Cow app, we were able to find The Wild Cow, which was awesome.
We were greeted by a strong presence of hipster and the friendliest staff on the planet. They helped us navigate their extensive menu and made some great suggestions. After some struggling, we settled on the Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos and The Wild Ruben. As an appetizer we also got the Queso Dip (no photo, sorry). The cheese dip was what it was, but the salsa it came with was a
mazing. I strongly recommend this establishment to meat and plant eaters alike.
Roasted Beets and Baby Red Potatoes served with Collard Greens and Bean Soup.
Beets and Potatoes:
Wash and slice potatoes and beets but keep them as large chunks. Coat in olive oil, salt, garlic and parsley and bake at 350 for 45 minutes (until a knife slides through easily). Just before the beets and potatoes are done, start your greens. Take garlic, olive oil and spices and heat in a pan, add the collard greens and mushrooms w/ a little veggie broth, cover and cook until tender. Place the beets and potatoes over a bed of cooked greens.
Crock pot 1 box of veggie broth, onion, spices, and salt/pepper. Add a healthy portion of collard greens and 1 can of garbanzo beans, 1 can of kidney beans, and 1 can of butter beans (with bean juice from can). Cook until done, every crock pot is different.
All of our veggies were from the local farmers market and absolutely delicious.
Pineapple and Tofu Fried Rice. Yummy.
Brown rice cooked with snow peas, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, celery and onion. Combine with pineapple and Sriracha/Soy Sauce marinated tofu. Serve in pineapple bowl and top with some fresh green onions. Sweet and spicy perfection.
Need motivation to lose weight? This is a new site (VisualizeFit) that will show you others that have lost similar amounts of weight as you have, or would like to. Fun to check out success by others to help motivate yourself.
Last night was “Vegan Junk Food” night at our house (See image).
This usually involves us making some unhealthy Vegan junk food and taking in Nurse Jackie, Mad Men or our other Sunday night favorites.
This consisted of Spinach Nuggets and Tater Tots, with Sriracha/ketchup. Certainly not the healthiest dinner, but even Vegan’s need a night off, so to speak. Our local Kroger actually carries a decent selection of Vegan options.
Tonight, we are going to try The Grape Leaf on Frankfort Ave here in Louisville. We will try to snap some pics and post our thoughts afterwards.