Sunday, October 18, 2009

a short fall off the vegan wagon

Today was a vegan fail. Obviously, it didn't happen on purpose, but I want to start out by restating a point I made at the beginning of VeganMoFo - I am not actually vegan, I'm just trying to be as vegan as possible this month for authenticity and to see if I could commit myself to this lifestyle. This may come off as a cop out or an excuse for not "sticking to my guns" today, but there was a lot on the line. There was definitely a point where I knew I had to give up for just a moment, but tomorrow is a new day. I'll start from the beginning, where initially, our heroine (me) battled temptation and won...then the deterioration.

Today, Mister and I were going over to my parents' house to see my sister, meet my baby cousin, and see the rest of my (little) family. My mother had asked me to make cupcakes and next weekend is my dear father's birthday, so I made Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. There was a bit of hemming and hawing, though, as I started to gather the ingredients and discovered that I did not have 1/3 cup of oil, nor did I have a full cup of sugar. While I weighed the merits of Earth Balance buttery spread (cold) and vegetable shortening (room temperature), I also tried to figure out what to do about the sugar situation. I'll admit - my very first thought was to substitute honey, because I have been in the habit of using honey in my baked goods. Given my current internal conflict about honey, I ended up using the half cup of sugar I did have on hand and adding 1/4 cup of maple syrup. I figured the maple would complement the pumpkin and cinnamon anyway. So, battle #1, I win.

We took the cupcakes (and my sister's tent) to my parents' house, which was a veritable shrine to cows (and not in the way PETA would endorse). There was a big bowl of provolone cheese cubes on the table, next to red pepper-encrusted asiago wheel. I stuck to the red pepper hummus and bruschetta. The light meal included roast beef and melted cheese sliders and spinach-cheese squares. My mother has worked very hard over the past several years to accommodate my wacky decisions. I am very sure of two things: I do not think I shared my October Vegan Experiment with her, and I do not think it occurred to her that cheese is not vegan because we have never really discussed what it means to be vegan. So, I could not turn down these spinach cheese squares that she made because my husband and I don't eat meat. She also made a very tasty pumpkin spice cake and went through the trouble of whipping her own cream to put on top... I cannot allow my mother to do such a great job without recognizing that.

After a trafficky, 35-mile ride home, Mister and I were ready for a more substantial dinner, so I set about making the Ginger Cakes with Garlic Vegetables.
It was so good and look how pretty and colorful it is!

I've already posted the recipe here, so if you like what you see and would like to try it, go for it! I made a couple of changes this time, upon which I will expound now.

I used MorningStar Farms Asian Veggie Patties this time, instead of the Ginger Teriyaki veggie cakes I used last time. They are wonderfully flavorful and spicy, and when you cook them on the skillet, they get all crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. They pack only 100 calories per patty and only 4g fat with the 7g protein. So far so good! Then we take a closer look at the ingredients and find egg whites, whey powder, and a bunch of sneaky ways animal products find their ways into vegetarian food. So, that was the second vegan fail, though it was really quite by accident.

When I started to saute the veggies for dinner, I was awestruck by how vivid and beautiful the rainbow colors of the vegetables were, so I took a picture!
broccoli and peppers and carrots, oh my!

As I may have mentioned the first time I made this, I am falling in love with miso. It is the most delightful combination of subtle and flavorful. I could eat miso rice all by itself. I will most likely be experimenting with miso gravy in the near future, as I have a big happy tub of brown rice miso in my fridge right now.

I'll leave you with one last picture of my very tasty dinner - it kind of looks like a star. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I think it's awesome that you are trying out veganism for the month, no one's judging you, so just keep on keeping on.