Before I get to the four recipes I made this week, or announce the winner of the #osgcookbook giveaway, I have a cute little story to share with all of you. Because it really made my day and I hope it does for you as well.
Last week I announced my decision to go fully vegan. After months of eating a mainly plant-based diet and only occasionally eating animal products, I decided it was time to take the plunge. I used to say I’d never do it, because there are a lot of non-vegan foods I really love. However, given what I’ve learned about animal welfare, I just can’t justify eating meat and dairy any longer simply because it tastes so good. So I took the next step, and as predicted, it’s been tough. Yesterday I went to Costco, which, if you have recently gone vegan, I would not recommend. It’s just wall-to-wall temptation in the form of giant wheels of Brie, samples of chicken dumplings, and junk food galore. I went home in a pretty lousy mood but did my best to enjoy the veggie burgers I picked up for supper.
Then this morning I got a sweet surprise. As I was trying out a recipe for vegan french toast, Dhiren told me to come to the back door – quick! A giant wild turkey stood a few meters away, right in our back yard! Pretty soon, he was joined by six or seven turkey friends. I joked that they were there to thank me for not eating meat any more. We stood there enjoying the show and taking a few pictures, when suddenly the fat old buggers picked up speed. They very quickly made their way over to our back door, and then kept on going at a rapid pace toward the front yard and towards our fairly busy street! Concerned for the turkeys, I turned off the stove, put on some shoes, and dashed outside in my PJ’s to stop traffic so the birds could safely cross the road. I’m sure I made quite a sight. I felt so pleased to have saved the turkeys, and it made me remember my original reasons for going vegan. No turkeys shall be harmed under my watch! 🙂
So that’s my little story. I hope it brought a smile to your face. I know it’s still going to be hard to give up all the foods I’ve grown up with and loved for years, but the next time I have a craving for a turkey sandwich I’ll remember the feathered friends I helped and I’m pretty sure it will make a nice chickpea sandwich look much more appealing.
Now, for the giveaway contest… drum roll please…. I put all your names in a bowl (hats have been put away for Spring) and pulled out Rachel from Healthy & Psyched. Congratulations! I love your blog Rachel, and based on what I see from your commitment to living well, I’m sure you will make good use of this book. Just post a comment on this page, with your name and address so I can ship the book to you. I will simply refrain from ‘approving’ that comment so that it will not appear on this post and your privacy will remain protected. For the rest of you who entered the contest, thanks so much for your ongoing support! I enjoy reading the posts of all of you who also blog, and appreciate you checking out my content too 🙂 Here are 4 more recipes to inspire you and perhaps motivate you to pick up the book yourself at your local library or bookstore.
Healing Rooibos Tea
I am already a huge tea drinker. Just ask my husband, who is patient and kind enough not to let his eyes bulge out of his head too much when I make my bimonthly trip to David’s Tea and always walk out with an armload of shopping bags. The only reason it took me this long to finally make this tea recipe, is that I’m more of a purest. I sometimes add a little almond milk to my cup, but generally I drink it plain. So brewing a pot of tea with a bunch of added ginger, turmeric, and lemon was a leap for me, but you never know until you try. I did cheat a little, opting to just let all the ingredients steep in my favorite tea pot rather than boiling them together on the stove. I’m not sure what consequences this had, if any, but I can say that it turned out yummy and I drank the whole pot to myself! A word to the wise: peeling the raw turmeric stained my hand orange! Try wearing gloves 🙂
Not to sound overly confident, but I’m usually pretty comfortable in the kitchen. It’s rare that I have an “Oh-crap, what do I do!?” moment when following a recipe, but I did with this. The pumpkin mixture is incredibly thick and dense, and is meant to bubble on the stove for a significant amount of time. This turned out to be problematic in my experience, as there was very little bubbling, and a whole lot of burning on the bottom! I tried to stand over the pot and stir it pretty much constantly, but still, the layer of burned pumpkin at the bottom of the pot continued to thicken while the rest stayed pretty much the same. I finally decided to cut the cooking time short (by about half), and just use it as-was. It was tasty and we’ve been eating it on toast, in oats, and on muffins ever since, but I don’t feel the scrubbing I had to do on my pot was worth it.
Grilled Portobello Burgers
These burgers are fantastic! I would highly recommend making the optional caramelized onions, as they compliment all the other flavors so beautifully. The pesto was great, and I’m glad to have discovered a new and easy way to incorporate more kale into my diet. Long after the burgers were done, I used the leftover pesto on just about every savory dish I made. But back to the main star. The portobellos were juicy, just the right texture, and so yummy after marinating in a very simple sauce. It’s hard to believe, but I think this may actually have been the first portobello burger I’ve ever had, and it definitely exceeded my expectations. I prefer them to any veggie pattie I’ve every tasted, hands-down! If you marinate the mushrooms and make the onions and pesto ahead of time, this is a very quick meal to throw together on a weeknight.
Festive Kale Salad
This was….interesting. I liked it and I didn’t. Have you ever felt that way about something? I liked how unique the dressing was – intensely cinnamon-y and quite sweet. I had to make a few adaptations – replacing apples with pears as raw apple doesn’t agree with me, and omitting the pomegranate seeds because I’m too cheap to pay off-season prices for them. I stuck to the addition of the pecan parmesan because I love the stuff and I already had some made since I’ve started putting it on EVERYTHING. What I didn’t like about this salad, was that it’s sweetness made it an odd side dish to a savory meal. I paired it with portobello burgers and it didn’t work. I think it would go nicely with something else, something that lends itself well to a sweet side, but I’m drawing a blank as to what that something is. Definitely a meal with a Fall feel to it, because this truly is an Autumn, harvest-season kind of dish.