Friday, September 30, 2011

October is Vegan MoFo


It's Vegan MoFo time again. I'm a little excited for the challenge this time.

Last November, going mostly vegan was a little daunting. I discovered the difficulties of creating truly vegan meals. There really are eggs or dairy in so many foods that you would not suspect. On the other hand, it's really not that difficult to cook vegan, or at least be more "vegan-ish". There are so many resources out there for putting together a perfectly healthy and satisfying vegan diet, many more than there were just a few years ago. It's easier than ever, but it still requires a good deal of determination and will-power. Although I didn't stick to a vegan diet, I learned so much, and adopted plenty of good habits.

Since the last MoFo, I have become less dependent on fake meat products. They are still a staple in our home, but less so. I will tell you, however, that I've never had better finger nails than when I was chowing down on wheat-gluten, whey and soy protein regularly! I can't tell you that I've adopted the vegan diet. Or even a fully vegetarian diet. But each day that I eliminate meat or dairy from my meals, be it by choice or by chance, I know I have improved my health and longevity. If we could all just be a little more vegan-ish, a little more frequently, we might all live a little longer and happier.

I'm not going to preach to you about any animal rights. I have hunt-and-gather heritage, married into a vegetarian Hindu family, and love all animals very much, including my babycakes Mistypants. For me, it really comes down to the science of the body. Eating animal products is just not good for the body. The fats just do all sorts of nasty things to your cells, that in turn, do nasty things to your health.

Misty wonders what it would be like to go vegan. She doesn't even like vegetables!
Eating a vegan diet greatly reduces your chance of getting Type-2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood-pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis and several forms of cancer. Don't we all know someone, probably close family, that takes medicine every day for one of these conditions? What if you could reduce your chances? Or even stop needing medication for one of these problems? And all you had to do was eliminate a few things from your diet?

If you're thinking about being a little bit more vegan, for whatever reason, check back here often this month. I have a ton of vegan recipes already in the index, and I'll be creating more all month. I try to keep it simple, satisfying and interesting. Fake meats like Gardein chick'n or Smart Dogs fill in when I don't have enough time to cook. Bigger meals might be more intense, but usually leave leftovers that are great for reheating later.

Here are some recipes to get you started:

 My new favorite salad to accompany pasta: Fennel and Apple Salad

 A hearty soup that makes great leftovers: Lentil Soup with Leeks and Carrots

Satisfying Protein and Pasta: Crispy Chik'n with Wild Mushrooms

If you want to invest in a cookbook to get you started, a great one is How To Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman. It teaches you all the basic techniques and gives vegan variations. I started with The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen, and found it quite interesting to read through all the information he gives aside from recipes. The recipes tended to have too many fancy hard-to-find ingredients like pea shoots and dulse, but I did get some really great ideas from it. The Chick'n Piccata is my go-to recipe, totally vegan, and my husband requests it all the time.

Happy Vegan MoFo everyone!


3 comments:

bitt said...

Dogs indeed can be healthy vegans! I have a vegan dog who lived until 14 and a healthy almost 12 year old vegan pup. There are plenty of appropriately supplemented and balanced vegan dog foods out there. One of my other pups does not eat many vegetables but still eats the vegan kibble. Not pressuring you to make your dog vegan, but please don't say they can't be, because I have living proof otherwise!

libraloves said...

That's great to hear. Point well taken!

Molly said...

I agree with bitt, they can definitely be healthy vegans! This is a great site with lots of resources for vegan dogs- http://www.behavetech.com/vegandogs.html

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