Today is my first vegan Thanksgiving. I don't really have anything incredibly profound to say on being a vegan during this holiday. But the one thing that I would like to say is how frustrating it is for people to make assumptions about me and the way I choose to eat.
I decided to stop eating land based meat (I still eat fish every once in awhile) around Christmas time last year. Actually, the last "meat" I ate was on Christmas-it was a pork roast and beef tenderloin. Yum! I was still loving and enjoying cheese. I made this decision because I wanted to be the healthiest that I could be. I had been reading a lot about the health benefits of a plant based diet and wanted to make a positive impact on the environment. If I ate locally and seasonally I would help cut down MY contribution to global warming/pollution/etc. At first it was a little scary and frustrating to find food and cook at home. I started eating foods that I never thought I would have, like kale. I LOVE KALE! I became more interested in what exactly I was putting in my mouth. I started making my own granola bars and soups and being careful about processed foods.
About four months into becoming a quasi vegetarian I eliminated dairy. It was an incredibly sad day for me. I loved butter and cheese and ice cream. But dairy HATED me. After a two week elimination diet I felt more alive and vibrant and lighter. I literally lost about a pant size, due to the fact that I was constantly bloated from dairy.
So, six months later I am still dairy, gluten, meat free and loving my life. I eat fresh, local flavorful foods. I bake sweet, moist, orgasmic treats. And I am healthy and happy. I experiment daily and love the food I put into my body.
All of this is partly the reason why I do this blog. I want to show people that you can eat vegan/gluten free meals and have them still be delicious and filling. I want to give people a different option. I want people to start doing things for themselves-cooking for themselves. Nearly my whole kitchen is filled with unprocessed, must be cut/chopped/peeled and cooked before eating foods. I have to spend time and energy on what I will put into my body. I love it. I feel more connected with my food and I have this immense pride after I finish a meal. [Here is a great example. I have a friend at work who juices. Love her do death because she brought me in some freshly juiced juice yesterday. She also brought me the pulp! I decided to make juice pulp crackers. Mix the pulp, some seasonings and flax meal together, press onto a pan and bake at a low temperature for 3 hours. I now have really freaking good, healthy, nutritious crackers.]
So yes, I might not eat meat or dairy, but that doesn't give people the right to assume things about me. I am tired of people saying sorry for eating meat in front of me. I am tired of people saying that "to a vegan this must be gross." I am tired of the connotations that go along with saying that you are vegan. I don't care if you eat meat. I don't care if you order your steak rare. I still love the smell of bacon and will probably eat it one day. I dream about the steaks I used to eat in Hawai'i. Meat is yummy. I am not doing this because I want to save all the animals in the world, although I do think that most farming practices are quite disgusting. I am doing this for ME. I just hope that one day more people will do things for themselves.
Okay, so enough ranting for the day. Onto the most amazing brownies in the whole world. I need to give a serious shout out to Terry Walters. I swear she has made the transition into eating a plant based diet a piece of cake. Her recipes are always mouthwatering but also incredibly nutritious and easy.
Please make these and share with everyone, I promise no one will know they are gluten free and vegan.
Courtesy: "Clean Start"
1/2 Cup grated apple or apple sauce
8 Pitted dates
1 Ripe banana
1/2 Cup maple syrup
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Cup brown teff flour
1/2 Cup almond meal
1/2 Cup cocoa powder
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
1/4 Teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease 8x8 inch baking dish.
In food processor, combine applesauce, dates, banana, maple syrup and vanilla until almost smooth, but with some chunks of dates remaining. In separate bowl, combine teff flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix as briefly as possible to incorporate all ingredients. Transfer to prepared baking dish and bake 25 minutes or until top appears slightly dry. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool completely before cutting and removing from pan.
|Doesn't do it justice. I made them to bring to a Thanksgiving party so I couldn't eat all of them!|