You say Vey-Gan, I say Vee-Gun

Beans and greens

So, as an experiment, Karen and I decided to try going completely vegan (no dairy and no animal products) throughout the month of November and I must say that it is going surprisingly well.  Neither of us has felt deprived or that we are eating “healthy tasteless” meals.  Beginning in the  mid 70′s we started to consume a mostly vegetarian diet that did include poultry, fish and some meat and, like most vegetarians, we did include dairy and eggs.   I would say that prior to moving to Montana it was around 85% vegetable product and 15% animal protein.  Since we have been living here it has changed to include somewhat more fish (especially salmon) and way less meat and poultry.  Having already had a background in preparing and eating vegetarian meals along with having a good-sized garden, I think it was way easier for us to take this step than if we had been big beef eaters. 

Black bean and corn pie with a chipotle crust.

One thing I really miss that I didn’t think I would are our neighbor Darlene’s fresh eggs.  One of her  chicken’s eggs, fried and dotted with sriracha sauce and slipped between two pieces of good, chewy,  homemade toast is to die for!!  I thought I would long for good

sharp cheddar, or smokey sweet gouda, or sharp tangy blue cheese but life is still good without them.  Karen misses cheese AND ice cream.

Our experiences in the past with “fake” meats and “faux” mayonnaise etc. designed for the vegetarian or low-fat market left us feeling like we did not want to even try them and anyway the whole month was to be about eating wonderfully tasting real food.  BUT, the food world has changed in all these years.  We found a wonderful company Wayfare in Bozeman, Montana (see we’re not so backward around here) that makes a very, very, good tasting cheese spread.  Tis a bit pricey but it was nice to have in the house to spread on crackers for those afternoon hungers.  And, also, in Walmart of all places we found a soyrizo vegan product that turned out to be great also.  Since we can’t even find fresh chorizo in the markets around here, this one will probably always be in our food basket.  One night I fried it up with potatoes and spread the mixture along with jalapeno peppers, tomatoes and cilantro over taco chips and served it alongside the “best margaritas” in theworld.  The next morning Karen scrambled some more with tofu and I almost didn’t miss Darlene’s eggs. 

Thanksgiving dinner 2009.

With Thanksgiving also in this month, we decided to keep to the traditional idea of turkey etc. for the holiday.  We still don’t know whether dinner will be at our house or at one of our friends places but either way, we didn’t want to impose our choices on others.  And so, we find ourselves at the halfway point in our little experiment with both of us thinking that so far it has been great and tasty but maybe, just maybe in December, we could add a little dairy and a few eggs back in.  Our food lifestyle has never been a “religion” for us and the bottom line is…Good food, Good friends, Good wine and fun!

Not tofurki.

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6 Responses to You say Vey-Gan, I say Vee-Gun

  1. Always interested to read of others’ adventures in veganism. I am working to find the right balance for me. Dairy is OUT. But I still eat some eggs, poultry and fish. The more research I do, and the more recipes I uncover, the easier it is to eat a mostly vegan diet. I also think moderation is important, and I too will be eating a turkey for Thanksgiving. ;)

    Good luck in your journey, and at the very least I’m sure you will learn a lot about what works for your body and your lifestyle.

  2. Karen says:

    Hi This American Diet,
    We, too, were quite (pleasantly) surprised at the wide variety of vegan foods (and made up a 30-day listing beforehand). We had dinner in Kauai two years ago at a vegan restaurant called Blossoming Lotus. EVERYONE recommended this place – and always with the caveat that it’s vegan, BUT it’s really good – and ohmygosh, was it good! Sadly, the restaurant there succumbed to the economy, but I believe there’s still one in Portland, OR. Anyway, it was so good, I bought their cookbook called Vegan Fusion (http://www.veganfusion.com/index_new.php). I’m also looking at The Artful Vegan (http://www.amazon.com/Artful-Vegan-Flavors-Millennium-Restaurant/dp/1580082076) from The Millenium Restaurant (in New York, I think?). Those recipes look a little fussy, but I don’t mind a little fussiness, if it’s good.

    We enjoyed your website, blog!
    Karen

  3. I used to live in Portland, OR (born and raised), where veganism or other diet/lifestyle choices are embraced in mainstream culinary culture. It is easy there to find a gluten-free cookie, or a vegan restaurant.

    Now I live in a small city along the US-Mexico border. Our dining options here are limited, as are our shopping options. I find the more I cook, the better I feel! We have a great farmers’ market, too. ;)

    I’ll have to check out those cookbooks. Always looking for new recipes!

    • Barbara says:

      TAD, where on the mexican border do you live these days? i live in mexico pretty much without fear, but i’m not sure i would live on the border! where i live in mexico, pretty much every market is a farmers’ market! if you go down into the center of town early in the morning, there are pickups everywhere unloading their produce.

  4. Jennifer says:

    Black bean and corn pie looks delish! Will have to try it.

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