Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A story in photos

I ran across these pictures the other day while looking for a photo of myself (don't ask). They are from 2009. I guess I was trying to fry up some veggies?

Oh, I see. It was eggplant. Hm. I don't really remember eating eggplant...

Or cutting it up. Or getting it all over the floor, although that's pretty common in this place, as I don't have a ton of counter space.

It appears that while I was cleaning up the above mess, the contents of the frying pan got out of control, because...

This happens more often than I'd like. So I usually have to open the window and turn on the fan. Guess this dinner was ruined.

Or maybe not.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Like, day 1000 or something

How long have I been doing this? I want some cheese.

I went out to dinner Friday night, and was hoping for some wine. The restaurant had a bunch of their menu items marked "vegan", so I thought maybe they'd have vegan wines. I asked.

"All wines are vegan," the waiter answered. I didn't really explain to him why they aren't, but he pointed out a kosher wine on the menu. "That would probably be good for you," he offered. "Ok," I said, "I'll have that." "Oh, sorry. We're out of that. Can I get you something else?" I said I'd just have a Heineken, then. "Oh, we're out of Heineken," he said.

So I ordered a slushy thing instead.

Last Thursday I got invited to the Jazz Foundation concert, which had a dinner afterward. The waitstaff walked around offering wine. The woman had two bottles, and asked my friend Meredith if she wanted red or white. "What kind of wine is it," she asked, meaning the type of grape. "Red or white," the lady answered. I figured then and there that it was probably fairly useless to ask if the wines were vegan or not.

Erica came out to my desk the other day and announced "Ok, fine. I'll go eat vegan with you."
Now, I'm not forcing anyone else to eat vegan with me. If people want to go out, I'll go with them and try to eat or drink vegan within the confines of that restaurant. But it is really nice when someone is willing to go try out a vegan place with me. We went to Candle Cafe where EVERYTHING is vegan. Even the wine. Hooray for vegan wine!

I had the sprout salad. It had a lotta sprouts. But it was yummy.

I just saw a commercial for Kraft macaroni and cheese. Whimper.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 4

Alright, this is the vegan deliciousness I've been eating:

At Benny's Burritos, I had nachos with soy cheese and tofu sour cream. I was sure the soy cheese would be gross, but it was really good!

This is a lunch I have often, from 'Wichcraft, a Tom Colicchio (from Top Chef) restaurant. Marinated chick peas, with green olives, red peppers and preserved lemons. So delicious. It is one of my favorites.

Chocolate layer cake from Cocoa V. Blay's cupcake is vegan, too. Really, really satisfying.

Oh, that cake was good.

Today was a tough day. We had a celebration at work where there were two of my very favorite things - champagne and, well, cupcakes, but it's not the cupcakes that I love, it is the frosting. I love frosting. And even though I had that cake last night (see above), I still really wanted a cupcake. And champagne. And also a Big Mac.

But I didn't have the champagne or the frosting or the Big Mac. I had a banana and Pop Chips instead. On to Day 5.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Last night I dreamt of butter and frosting...

When I decided to do this, I knew that some of my friends and acquaintances would be against it. "Why would you want to do that to yourself?" one of my friends asked me not too long ago when I discussed being vegan. Yesterday, Scott told me that his vegan cousin looked unhealthy, Joe told me that I'd probably be tired, since I wouldn't be getting any protein, and that everyone he ever knew who was vegan was sickly looking. Erica started questioning me about why I was doing it, "Is it because of animal cruelty or for health reasons?" she asked. "I don't really want to know, I just want to be in your blog." (Hi, Erica! Your wedding was pretty!)

I expected all this, because people tend to have very strong feelings about food. I remember this from the time in my life when I was a vegetarian. In Texas. Cattle country. I got lots of comments about how my body needed meat or I would get sick, that I wasn't getting enough protein, that I wouldn't be healthy. I didn't believe it then, and I don't believe it now. I won't spew a lot of vegan propaganda at you, but I do believe you can get all the nutrients you need from nuts, beans, grains, fruits and vegetables.

Now, while some of my friends wouldn't be caught dead at a vegan restaurant, there are a few who will go along for the ride. I had vegan dinner with Clay tonight. Whoops! I promised I wouldn't mention his name. Let's call him Blay instead, to keep his identity secret. (He says he doesn't want the paparazzi following him around again.) So anyway, we met at a cheese restaurant (?) because the vegan restaurant we were going to go to was booked solid. Clay - I mean Blay - was having a glass of wine, which looked delicious. I sat down on the squeaky swivel stool and the waitress came up to me. "What can I get for you," she asked. "Do you have any vegan wines?" She stared. "All wines are vegan," she announced. "I'm sorry," I said, "but that's not really the case." "Hold on," she replied. "I'll check." She brought over the manager, who is vegan, and we discussed vegan wines and beers. It took me about 15 minutes or so of discussions with the manager and my iPhone apps (Veg-Out and iVegan) and barnivore.com to decide to drink a Brooklyn Lager while Blay and I swiveled on our squeaky stools like 5 year olds.

I hope that was the right choice. I might have already made two mistakes today. I went to the doctor for a physical and she gave me a tetanus booster. I know that sometimes they use eggs in vaccines, so I wonder if my shot wasn't vegan. Then I got a salad for lunch. I ate all the good stuff off the top - hummus, couscous salad, butternut squash - and then put my regular balsamic vinaigrette dressing on the greens and took a bite. Then I looked at the ingredients in the dressing. Honey. Honey, which is a no-no for strict vegans. "Oh, crap," I said, out loud, and I threw the salad away. My lunch ended up being lentil soup and a bunch of fruit.

Dinner was good, though, and I got a piece of vegan chocolate cake at Cocoa V, a vegan dessert place, afterwards. It was delicious. And satisfied my butter/frosting craving from last night's dream.

a note: Blay said that I need to post the pictures I've taken of the vegan meals I've been eating. Tomorrow. I promise.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fear not , for Grey Goose vodka is vegan

So...I've decided to go vegan for 30 days. I don't think it's going to be that big of a deal - I've been eating vegan a lot lately, so the only food I had to throw out last night was the rest of a stick of butter and the last whole wheat English muffin. Who knew it had buttermilk in it? There's gonna be a lot of label reading around these here parts for next 30 days, at least.

I started today, and so far so good. A friend asked me for dinner this evening, and my first question was "do they have vegan food?". Then, because it is a mexican restaurant, I panicked. Are margaritas vegan? Jose Cuervo Tequila is for sure - I looked it up on Barnivore, which tells you if a particular brand of alcohol is vegan or not. You'd be surprised at how many animal products are used to filter alcohols. Stuff like egg whites and fish bladders. Now you know.

I think the trickiest part is going to be sugar. Regular old refined white sugar is either made from cane sugar or beets. Now, cane sugar is sometimes filtered through bone char, therefore making it non-vegan. Beet sugar never is, so you know you're in the clear there. And raw sugar is fine, too (I think). I bought a small bottle of cranberry juice cocktail, and it said that it either beet sugar or cane sugar, so it might be fine, but it might not. And I think for my purposes, unless I know for sure, it's not ok.

And so it begins. Stay tuned for more vegan adventures!