Friday, May 13, 2011

I Vow No Cow

It's been a week since I've declared myself insane, and drifted over to the wacky world of hippy. I was outside hanging my cloth diapers on a laundry line mentally writing this post - what in that sentence does not scream "Just finish her off with a Prius?!"

Since I verbally committed myself to becoming Vegan, we have definitely had some triumphs AND complete FAILS! Admittedly, we haven't descended completely into Vegan. I still have 2 gallons of milk in my refrigerator, along with a tub of sour cream, 18 pack of eggs, and real mayo (as opposed to vegan-aise). My freezer shouts carnivore, stocked full with sausage, bacon, family packs of chicken, ground beef and turkey, hot dogs, ice cream sandwiches and then some.

We had our first fail the FIRST night when I made Pasta and Green Beans with Peanut Sauce from Colleen Patrick-Goudreu's cookbook The Vegan Table.Originally I was pumped because the recipe called for Peanut Butter, and we have some peanut butter-holics in this house, plus the recipe noted that this was a kid-friendly favorite. Ah hem. Not in this house. In fact, Rocky's review sounded something like, "know how you're (Jake) worm-phobic and lizard-freaked? Well this pasta brings about similar feelings in me." WOW! That's a horrible review! And that was night ONE!

Night two: Simple Stuffed Bell Peppers with raisins, brown rice, almonds, and fresh mint from the same book. Okay, not a complete fail, but it didn't knock my socks off.

Prior to committing to the process, and somewhere in our week long discussion of transitioning to Vegan we noticed the amount of meat Georgia eats (she's a meat head), and her growing resistance to veggies. Our 1st two nights of vegan meals, Georgia didn't eat anything other than frozen peas and corn. Prior to vegan, I could at least count on her consumption of meat if she refused to eat anything else. But without meat, now what?What mother doesn't worry about the nutritional well-being of their child? Slightly panicked, I e-mailed an up & coming Raw chef whose blog I recently began following, Chef Amber Shea Ford of (who I found through another man-friendly website), asking for references for raw recipes or cookbooks for kids (might as well go straight to the basics!). She gave me a whole bunch of great resources, but specifically, offered the advice of not to rush into the process (she was inside my head at this point).

Feeling inspired (and mostly enraged over my mother's day disaster), on Sunday I did what all crazy wives do, and pulled out all the stops on a fabulous recipe that I knew my family would love: 3 Bean Soft Tacos with pico de gallo, sliced avocado, shredded lettuce, lime, and a side of roasted corn on the cob and watermelon. The wanna-be Mexicans in my house gobbled it up (note: this also made bomb lunch leftovers for 3 days, including breakfast today! lol). Georgia ate like a trooper - success!

Monday we went out for dinner to make up for Rocky's bad mother's day. Rocky had a MAN-burger, I ordered chicken fried steak because I knew he would like to eat half of it (aw, such a good wife). Yup, we fell off the wagon.

Tuesday I made up for it with Pasta Primavera loaded with asparagus, green & yellow squash & whole wheat pasta - accompanied with a side of roasted garlic parmesan cauliflower (parm - not vegan, but we're trying!), and garlic bread (vegan butter to be added to our fridge soon!).

Wednesday I rocked the house with No-Tuna Tuna Salad Sandwiches (easily made from chickpeas) on toasted wheat buns, with fruit salad, and  broccoli salad (the yum kind with walnuts, sun flower seeds, and raisins). I lace my no-tuna salad with shredded carrots and celery - none of which Georgia could taste - which is especially fun because she despises carrots. She ate a whole sandwich by herself and I was beginning to feel VICTORIOUS!

I believe tonight is left-overs, in which I will finish the peanut butter pasta with a smile on my face. Today I'm also planning my recipes and grocery shopping trip for Friday. I'm thinking Eggplant Parmigiana is somewhere on that menu? Now that I have batteries in my camera, hopefully I can start posting pictures of my craziness.

I'm beginning to love this process of vegan. Not defrosting meat, or having to worry about spoiling expensive groceries is so liberating. Rocky has lost a couple lb's (which is kinda hot), and admits to feeling better (I love men with sensitive stomachs that won't admit to it). It's been easy for Rocky to maintain vegan at work because I make his lunch everyday, and wouldn't you know, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are vegan? I swear my grocery bill is the same, if not less. Okay, LIE! I saved $30 last week WITHOUT coupons. Say what?! You don't need coupons for fresh produce, we are eating less processed crap. I'm beginning to understand the passion behind vegans, much like the passion of cloth diaperers. Doing good for yourself and the environment is such a freeing experience, no matter the reasons behind why you are doing it. I encourage you to try at least 1 vegan-ish meal in your kitchen this week (something other than meatless lasagna!). See if you can trick your family. If nothing else, at least the cows, chickens, turkey, and/or fish will thank you!

What's life without a challenge, right?

References and Inspirations for any Wanna-Be Vegans (even if you're just a little curious!):

Chef Amber Shea Ford - young, inspirational, up & coming, GREAT PICS! Makes me want to eat Raw.

No Meat Athlete - mantastic blog focused on how non-meat consumption can raise energy levels (author Matt is a marathon runner).

1000 Vegan Recipes - great EASY book, allows for mostly healthy, but also indulgent recipes.

Happy Meatless Day!

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  1. grooooan, I feel tired just reading about your effort, LOL! I don't see vegan anytime soon in my future, but you go girl! I definitely 'get' it, it just wouldn't work for us.

  2. Jessica, what a great post! I think YOU are inspiring, for leading your entire family in such a healthy direction. I'm SO glad I could help with part of that :D The road to veganism may have a few potholes along the way, but it's a beautiful drive!

  3. Wow - this is great - and very inspiring! I'm going to have to get that book!

    I ate a McDonald's hamburger today for lunch and I am STILL feeling not only physically ill from it - but horrible for having eaten all that meat!

  4. Wow... good luck. From the sound of it, I don't think I want to watch Food inc (I hopped on back to your "becoming a vegan" post). All the more power to your though. I think hubby would divorce me if i brought the subject of vegan up... lol.

    Thanks for stopping by my post on the bath rack :) Glad it got a laugh! I'm a new follower.

  5. mmmmm....3 bean soft tacos sounds delish right about now! You're doing good mama!

  6. I'm so excited for you. I agree with Amber Shea - don't feel like you have to be 100% from day 1 if that's just going to make you feel overwhelmed and fail. I know people who "give up" being vegan because it was "too hard." It's not too hard if you just give it time and find out what works for you guys. I'm sending you an email in a bit. :)

  7. Thanks for the support! Working to promote a vegan life style in my household has really opened a new wave of passionate people. I don't know which I like more...vegan? or passion? lol