Saturday, April 2, 2011

What DO You Eat, Anyway?

Aaaahhh... so nice to sit down with a cup of tea after a morning of errands, errands, and more errands. I've got more ahead of me too, as well as a "Kitchen Factory" evening planned. I hope this tea will give me the charge I need to keep me going.

Well, we've found our realtors and our house will be listed as of Monday! This is very exciting, but also stressful, of course. This is one of the reasons for a kitchen factory evening. The first couple of weeks a house in on the market are usually quite busy; our family has to be ready to head out pretty quickly as needed. So, I'm trying to put together some easy things for the week ahead. I'm soaking chick peas tonight, so they can cook tomorrow. I want those and pinto beans done before Monday, as I don't see that I'll be able to necessarily be simmering beans on the stove for any length of time once we are listed - at least in the beginning stages. Cooked chick peas and pinto beans go into two of our easy go-to meals. Hummus and refried beans are always quick and easy for wraps and burritos and they are fairly portable if we have to dash out as long as you don't overstuff them.

Super-plump blueberries are in season now at our local, organic farmstand. I picked up a pint and will make blueberry muffins for the morning. I also picked up gargantuan sweet, Florida onions (seriously huge; Maia said, "This one is as big as my FACE!!) that I'll throw into the tabouli that I'm making for our monthly potluck tomorrow at our house church next door. My recipe calls for scallions, but there were no scallions at the farmstand and while I could have picked them up at the grocery store, I decided to use what was available locally. So, sweet onions it is; I'm sure no one will complain!

I was able to purchase a peppermint plant at the farmstand too.  Strangely enough, I've had a difficult time getting the mint plants I've tried in the past to take off. Usually mint just takes over. I'm pretty sure it's that the Florida soil just doesn't hold the moisture and I need to water it more than I'm used to watering herbs. It was in a pretty large container and I decided to try again in order to use mint from my garden for my tabouli, rather than purchasing it over and over. At only $5, I reasoned I'll get my money's worth easily (I LOVE tabouli and make it frequently)... as long as I remember to keep that mint watered!!

Other things on my "To Make" list are: Sunflower Seed Sour Cream (so good as a veggie dip!), a bunch of carrot juice for our "Bunny Smoothies"(that Sara taught me how to make when she and her family visited us a couple of years ago), and vegan mayo. I have breakfast bars on the list for later in the week too. I hope to take these with me on my trip to Ft. Lauderdale next Saturday. My strong, bold, sweet, and sassy grandmother passed away at 94 years of age this past Thursday and I will be attending her gravesite service there.

So, that's a lot of cooking I have in front of me. I may throw in a batch of granola too if I don't feel like keeling over after all that!

My neighbor was talking with me yesterday as I arrived home from my evening run. She was talking to me about running and food, asking me what I eat before I run, and then just asking me what I eat generally. She said, "So... what do you eat?"  I'm always so ill-prepared for this question, because my diet feels as regular and ordinary to me as yours does to you. After all, I have been vegetarian for 23 years and am coming up on my 4-year vegan anniversary.  I became vegetarian at 19, so nearly all the cooking I have taught myself, originally started as vegetarian. In fact, I don't think I've ever cooked an animal other than a fish and doing so would be a steep learning curve for me as well.

So, anyway, I was thinking that there may be others who are curious as to what a vegan eats on a day-to-day basis. I don't claim to be a foodie and there are plenty of gorgeous, vegan blogs out there. I like good-tasting, whole food, but other than these kitchen-factory-type days where I prepare a bunch of things all at once (often in order to preserve and use the fresh food we get from our CSA), I don't like spending oodles of time in the kitchen. I like to keep things relatively simple. My children are old enough too, to make some things for themselves, so they often do that now for breakfast and supper (because of work schedules, our big meal of the day is at lunch). So, I thought I would do a sort of regular feature at the end of my posts for a while, just listing what I've eaten for the day. I know it might seem kind of weird, but it's because I often get asked the same question my neighbor asked me. And, if you're a blog reader, you've obviously got a little bit of curiousity about other people's lives, so I will try this for a while. Perhaps you'll see something you'd like to try or try a combination you've never thought of before. Or maybe you'll see that eating a vegan diet isn't really all that weird... or maybe you'll decide that it is! In any event, I'll create a list that I can at least refer to myself - or refer others to when they ask me that question! :)Lu

The only other thing I would add, is that there are a few staples in my kitchen that are often not in non-veg kitchens. You will likely see them popping up as ingredients again and again. You may or may not be familiar with these foods, but they are readily available in most American supermarkets and/or health food stores these days.  The main ones I can think of off the top of my head are: nutritional yeast, regular and silken tofu, tempeh, and the grain, quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah"). I won't bother explaining what they are here. I know that all that information is only a few mere clicks away on the interwebby, so, I'll leave that to anyone who is interested to go digging on their own.

And now, without further delay:

What I've Eaten Today:

Breakfast: A bowl of "Cheesy Broccoli and Grits" and some store-bought vegan "sausage" patties (wasn't thrilled with these; I bought them when we were struggling to find help for Paul's digestive pain and these were "gluten free", "soy free", "dairy free", etc. I won't get them again), and a cup of Earl Grey tea.

Lunch: Peanut butter, thin apple slices, red-leaf lettuce, and agave nectar on a toasted sandwich. I'm not a fan of regular pb&j. There's not enough crunch there for me, so I usually throw something in with cruch or I toast the bread. In this case I did both, because the bread was fresh out of the freezer! I also took about a half a cup of raw walnuts and pecans sprinkled with salt and mixed with raisins on the road with me while I was running errands. I took a big tumbler of water too with some cucumber slices in it from our CSA farm.

Snack: PG Tips tea and Jello brand pistachio pudding made with coconut milk. Ooo - not a healthy snack, but I'm just vegan - not perfect! ;)

No supper for me today yet. I'm off to run more errands and then back to the kitchen factory. Enjoy your weekend!
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