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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tons of food reviews and some soapboxing

Hello everyone!  I had yesterday off work and it was so nice to spend some extra time with my guys.

I picked up a few new things to try and made some new recipes this weekend.  On Friday I roasted some carrots and made crispy kale--kale brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper, and then baked in the oven for about...well, I think it was ten minutes.  I gave my little guy some carrots and kale, and he poked at the kale and said suspiciously, "Mommy, it's....crunchy."  I informed him that potato chips and veggie straws are crunchy, too, but he didn't buy it.  But at least he looked at it.  I got him to eat broccoli this weekend, which was a big win for me.  The carrots and kale were pretty good, but I have this issue where I always end up dumping too much oil on things.  I can't figure out if I'm supposed to measure it or what.  I look at it and say, "Oh, that's not enough..." and then everything ends up swimming in oil, and I kill a tree in paper towels to soak some of it up.  So if anyone has any tips, I am all ears.

I found Amy's Kitchen Vegan Rice Macaroni and Cheeze at my health food store.  It was....gooey.  It's made with cheddar Daiya, which give it a really cheesy feel, but to be honest, I've been so long without cheese that anything that has a similar texture wigs me out a little.  It was also very, very heavy--22 grams of fat, 520 calories--this was vegan junk food at its worst!  I won't be buying that again.  I just can't handle that much fat in one sitting anymore.

On Saturday we made a trip to a place called Tremont Scoops--they have dairy ice cream and vegan ice cream, so we thought it would be fun to check out.  It's a little shop, very cute, and the owner was nice and explained all her vegan options to me.  All the vegan ice cream and sorbet is kept in a freezer case separate from the dairy ice cream, which is great because it lessens the chance of cross-contamination for those who have allergies.  She had vanilla Tofutti ice cream and a few fruit sorbets.  We usually only get the Trader Joe's brand of vanilla (or cherry chocolate chunk for Mommy) and sometimes the So Delicious brand.  Tofutti tastes way different--definitely much creamier than my little man is used to, with a definite aftertaste.  He once tried a Tofutti milkshake at a local restaurant and he didn't like it--and it was the same with his ice cream cone.  He licked it once and handed it to me, and then we fed his cone to the birds.  I got a sundae with chocolate and peanut butter sauces--so good but, like the mac and cheeze, so much richer than I'm used to.  I think I ate half of it.

Tremont Scoops also does vegan cakes!  I was excited.  We are going to order the marble cake with vanilla icing for my birthday.  Reviews, vegan and non, forthcoming. 

Trader Joe's soy "chicken" nuggets?  Eh.  They were okay.

My changeover to veganism is going really well.  It's been over a week since I've eaten any meat, and before that it was about a week--I've eaten chicken maybe three times in the past month.  I'm reading The China Study and Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating right now, and it's incredibly interesting reading about the extreme health benefits of being vegan.  The Dr. Dean Ornish cardiology trial was amazing!  It makes me want to strongly encourage my loved ones to minimize their animal product intake...but I haven't figured out how to do that without coming across as pushy, preachy, or psycho.  I was reading portions of Vegan to my husband this weekend and he informed me that I was depressing him with all these statistics about meat and heart disease and cancer, and I replied, "I thought knowing these things would empower you to make better food choices!" 

However, I think at first it can be so overwhelming to change your diet.  I have experience with it--I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian for several years, then I added chicken and turkey back into my diet, then I stopped eating dairy and eggs, and now I'm going vegan.  But when you've eaten the same way all your life (and have a picky palate), it's hard to even think of making a change.  Trying out new food and recipes is trial-and-error, too, and it can get discouraging and makes it easy to give up.  I seriously had to eat ten crappy vegan pizzas before I came up with a recipe I liked.  I had to figure out how to cook tofu, and I'm still battling with the kale.  But I believe it's a change worth making--even if it's a little change, it's still in the right direction--and I want to be educated so I can be empowered to make my life, my family's life, and the animals' lives better.


  1. You do know that for every book that claims Veganism is way more healthy, there's several studies proclaiming it isn't? Just trying to keep things un-biased :).

  2. Yeah... There is no way that I would give up fish. Protects your heart too much.
    Have you been counting calorie and fat grams with all of this food? A lot of olive oil is going to bump it up (go a teaspoon at a time, and add when needed). That Mac and Cheese is insane. It's worse than the real thing! (Kraft is 290 cals per serving, and 6g of fat!) Do they have guidelines in the book about being a "healthy" vegan?