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.
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.
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!