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Archive for May, 2006

Going Vegan

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

Starting today, I am taking my vegan day experiments to the next level: full-time veganism!

As a dairy culture aficionado, it was a decision with which I have long struggled. You see, I am a true believer in the health-promoting properties of the bacteria and yeast of kefir, yogurt, CSY, etc.. On the other hand, I wasn’t so sure about the medium in which they grow.

It has always seemed somewhat unnatural to me that we drink the milk of another animal, and one so far from our own species and its nutritional needs. And, the more I read about casein (The China Study) and the processing of dairy, the less appetizing it has become.

Indeed, until only a year ago, I had gone about nine years without drinking milk. I still ate cheese and eggs, though. It was only after discovering kefir and the joys of encouraging such microbial life to flourish that I reincorporated it into my diet. My solace then became, well, at least I’m not drinking straight milk; it had to be fermented in some way (homemade yogurts, kefir, and cheese). Around the same time, I also got into egg whites as a low-calorie, fat and cholesterol-free, source of complete protein.

Memorial Day weekend was fun, not just for the fight night and my beloved sister’s visit, but also for the cleaning out of my dairy cultures. I finished off my CSY and homemade yogurts by Saturday. On Sunday, I ate the rest of the store-bought yogurt, consuming a full two cups. Delicious. I also ate my kefir grains, so I would no longer be tempted. As for the egg whites, I dumped what remained. And today, I sold a half-gallon of organic milk at cost to a fellow vegetarian at work.

I noticed tonight that a couple of my cold cereals have whey in them. I’m not as concerned about that right now as the overt consumption of dairy (milk, cheese) and eggs. But, I still intend to phase them out. There are, after all, plenty of cereals without whey. :)

As for my probiotic friends, I still have homemade kimchi and tempeh. I’ve also been practicing making soy yogurt in preparation for the switch. And, of course, there’s natto (which I must admit I was only semi-successful at making on my first attempt). Finally, I may again have time to nurture a sourdough starter back to life. I’m psyched.

“Gold Chip” Cookie Bars

Sunday, May 28th, 2006

Fight night was a smorgasbord of vegetarian yumminess. The guys brought the crudites (baby carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower), and of course, a large selection of beers, while I provided the hummus, salsa, freshly baked corn chips, and chocolate tofu cream pie.

Everything was a hit and we were all snacking throughout the night. The hummus’ garlicky lemon flavors and the smokiness of the salsa were much appreciated, and we had fun trying different spices for each new baking sheet of corn tortilla chips. The Jamaican Jerk Blend provided a few laughs as accidental inhalations of the spices set off coughing fits. :)

This time, I didn’t let on to the secret ingredient of the chocolate cream pie until after everyone had scoffed down their pieces. When I told them they had just consumed tofu with no-dairy involved, they were shocked that it tasted so good and rich. My friend Scott immediately pounced on seconds.

Another dessert went well with non-vegetarians at work last week. I brought in a plate of “Gold Chip” Cookie Bars made by tweaking the recipe from The Healthiest Diet in the World by The GoldBecks. It is basically just oatmeal, pumpkin puree, hazelnuts, and chocolate chips. I set them out with a note that they were semi-healthy and may not suite everyone’s tastes. CYA, right? Well, they were gone in a matter of minutes and I received several emails of praise and thanks!

goldchip (141k image)

fight night

Friday, May 26th, 2006

I’m having the guys over tomorrow night to watch the return of the undefeated Royce Gracie to the UFC where he’ll face off against defending champ Matt Hughes. It promises to be a good PPV show and a late night (starts at 10 PM)!

Over the last couple of days, I made up a HUGE batch of hummus, using 2 lbs of dried garbanzo beans, and a hefty amount (28+ oz) of salsa. I’ll be serving them with corn tortillas, baked into chips for the salsa, left soft for the hummus.

I also whipped up another no-bake cream pie. This time I reversed the crust and filling from the one I made for Mother’s Day. So, we have a peanut butter granola base

and a tofu chocolate cream filling

Get the recipe in Vegan Done Light.

my new dinner set

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

As mentioned in a previous entry, my hand-me-down plates are showing signs of wear and tear and hardly make for a handsome presentation on the web. So, I have remedied this with a nice four-place stoneware dinner set ideal for a bachelor. Shipping included, it was only $25 from JCPenney. :)

You’ll be seeing more of these with food on them, but for now, here they are in all their just-arrived glory.


My Cookbook:

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