Friday, October 2, 2009

parmesan-crusted pork? no, thanks

Yesterday was the first day of my favorite month. I love October for many reasons:
1. the weather is perfect
2. it starts smelling and tasting like fall
3. the leaves in Pennsylvania are at their peak of beauty
4. people start lighting fires in their fireplaces (I love that smell when I'm out taking a walk on a crisp autumn night)
5. we're coming up on another wedding anniversary (I love that!)
and now,
6. because of all the wonderful posts to read (and write) for Vegan MoFo III! I am so excited to be a part of this!

I was previously unaware that this day even existed, but yesterday was also World Vegetarian Day, which I celebrated in grand style...because nothing says, "we love animals" like a Brazilian steakhouse featuring a "parade of meats." Not exactly how I imagined observing World Veg. Day or kicking off VeganMoFo2009, but long story short it was my boss's fault.

As I mentioned before, we recently added about 100 new agents to our staff at work. My colleagues and I make up the management team of the sales department and the Vice President wanted to thank us all for hiring and training these new staff members, as well as hitting projected sales goals in August, so he took us out to dinner. Fortunately, the salad bar was really good - hearts of palm, chunks of cantelope, tabbouleh, herbed cucumbers, steamed asparagus, and a really good mixed greens salad. The greens were so fresh and spicy there was no need for dressing. Also, on the table were fried polenta and bananas. Despite the continuous parade of servers carrying 12 different meats on 12 different skewers for my dining partners to pick off with little tongs, I thoroughly enjoyed my salad (to the great amusement of two male colleagues who had two of every meat). I also especially enjoyed two conversations:

Vice President to female colleague: "Why isn't she (me) eating?" as he observed me passing on all the meat presented to me.
Female colleague to VP: "Because she's a vegetarian."
Evidently, no one told him this earlier.

A server presents a skewer of parmesan-encrusted pork loin to my Jewish colleague who has just finished observing Yom Kippur.
Her: "Ooh, what is that?"
Me: "Parmesan-encrusted Pork."
Her, to server: "No, thank you."

In case you missed that, the combination of Pork and Cow's milk cheese is not exactly kosher.

So that was how I kicked off World Vegetarian Day and the first day of Vegan Month of Food.

Tonight I made Two-Bean & Kale Soup without the cheese toasts. The kale is really a mouthful! I think I need to chop it smaller next time...the pieces were way too big. I feel like either I should know this, or I did something wrong, but kale is really....sturdy. It doesn't wilt like other greens. It looks like it does, but it doesn't, it just turns greener. It's a very hearty green and I enjoyed having to chew it so many times before I could even consider swallowing, but I definitely think I need to cut it up a little smaller next time. It's a good soup for a mildly chilly night, getting a little touch of creaminess by blending cannellini beans with vegetable broth - I love that trick!

Anyway, due to good times and good wine*, I was way too tired to start my MoFo blogging last night, so I may do a "double issue" one of these days to make up for it. Enjoy and please feel free to leave me comments if there is anything you'd like me to write about this month.
Possible topics:
1. Why aren't you vegan?
2. What's wrong with honey?
3. Why isn't your cat vegan?
4. How did you make a cupcake so good someone wants to make love to it? (funny story)
5. What makes some sugar vegan and some not?
6. Amazing egg substitutes
7. Insert interesting topic here______

*Crios Malbec, Argentina - sooooooo good. Soooooo smooth. It was like drinking velvet.


  1. hi! I'd be interested in your #1 and #3 topics.. I've been vegetarian for 9 months now, and was previously for 7 years a while back, but I've never considered veganism. I go back and forth with it now, and often make vegan dishes but haven't committed to a vegan lifestyle. Also, I have a cat and sometimes get confused/guilty about feeding him cat food (ha) and would like to hear the opinion of another vegetarian pet owner.

    Also, great tip with the cannelli beans + broth combo to make a creamy base for soup! I'm so going to try that this weekend!!

    ~Natalie B.

  2. I have never tried kale in soup although I have wanted to. The only way I eat kale is actually in green smoothies- so I have a lot of learning to do!

  3. Zoey - I've only cooked with kale a few times, but I'm trying to expand my horizons regarding dark leafy greens. It's great - good for a hearty soup, but be sure you cut it up into bite-sized bits because it doesn't really shrink when you cook it.

  4. Thanks for the link to the soup recipe. I just added it to my electronic cookbook and it will be great to make, once Florida cools down for winter. I need to get more kale in my diet as well.