Fair Warning: This is a slightly longer post than usual. It contains Recipes, Rants and ‘Rithmetic. Ok. Not so much of the 3rd one.
Today I’m thankful. Why, you ask? For many things being OVER. Vegan Month, Super Bowl, and the pressure of January to make myself a better person. Now I can coast through the rest of the year like the slacker I’m meant to be. I’ll just wing it, like Left Shark. I’ve watched the video a few times since the Super Bowl and I crack up more every time.
This weekend, I ended up hosting two casual get-togethers. I tried making beer can chicken in my oven which was kind of a disappointing bust. We also made smashed potatoes with a DIY toppings bar, which was surprisingly fun. Note: Sriracha powder + Sriracha + Red Pepper Flakes = a not-so-shockingly totally hot potato (Ha! ‘Rithmetic FTW!).
For years, I’ve wanted to host a Superbowl party and gorge myself on buffalo wings, potato skins and tortilla chips. I’ve been interested in everything else except the game. And the halftime show. And even the ads I only half care about. So basically I just wanted to eat.
After deciding that I wasn’t going to cook, I cooked 5 different things. Along with friends bringing Pizza, Wings, and a Veggie Platter, I made Shrimp, Bacon & Corn Chowder, Hummus, Guacamole, BBQ Beans in Bacon Cups, and Sriracha Mac + Cheese.
Recipes for the Chowder and Mac & Cheese are in the links below.
I’m not gonna lie. The vegan lifestyle is freakin’ HARD. Serious props to those of you who are vegan, and while I admire your perseverance and commitment to that choice, this diet on a regular basis isn’t for me. Although vegetarian month last year was simple and cleansing and something I could see myself doing almost permanently, this was unexpectedly harder than that. At times, I felt downright terrible.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed eating the extra veggies and fruits, and there are some vegan dishes I absolutely, positively love. I enjoyed splurging a bit on my favourite veggies and trying new recipes, but I’ve learned that if you don’t want to live on curry alone, the vegan diet is a fragile thing over here. The unavailability of one ingredient sends the whole menu plan tumbling down faster than a drunk cheerleader with a weak knee at the bottom of a human pyramid.
I found myself cooking constantly, and the breakfast and snack parts were by far the hardest. I’m so over sweet stuff in the morning and my savoury breakfast choices start at cheese sandwiches and end at eggs. I generally like bananas and certain fruits, but feeling forced to eat it was like Ron Swanson eating a Banana. See reference video below.
It also sucked looking through my recipe books and having to eliminate a recipe completely because it has butter or cheese and I don’t have access to the vegan alternatives.
There were also cooking fails. I tried Socca, a chickpea flour flatbread and although I took some great pictures, it tasted terrible. I also found myself relying on potato dishes a lot, and felt the constant panic that comes with wanting to use up your veggies before they get wilted or spotty or slimy.
Plus, I don’t think anything can make me stop loving cheese. I tried nutritional yeast and vegan parmesan cheese, and I am yet to taste the cheesy flavor people write about. I tried liquid smoke, which is basically a smokier BBQ sauce with the consistency of soy sauce. I haven’t seen tempeh over here, and I’m not a fan of soya chunks.
Physically, I didn’t feel much improved overall either. I felt ridiculously energized some days, but when I was tired and cranky, I was TIRED AND CRANKY. Harry Potter DVDs were put on more than once, and those are usually reserved for my dark PMS-ing days or moments of intense self-pity (sorry if that’s TMI but I’m TIRED AND CRANKY). I also felt sick of cooking (so you know that’s serious) and felt like what I was eating was more to avoid meat / eggs / dairy than to focus on the nourishing things I actually was eating.
Eventually I started feeling like a snobby jerk for even thinking of the word ‘vegan’. I even felt like I was placing a burden on friends by telling them about it. Also, thank goodness I won’t have to ask “is this vegan?” for any meal I eat outside again.
I hope I don’t sound too hateful. I’m happy I tried the diet and that I’m figuring out what works for me and for Rabin. Again, congrats to you vegans who have made the commitment and stuck to it.
Thanks to you wonderful friends who invited me over during the month and made the conscious effort to have vegan stuff available for me and Rabin. I will send the eggy-est, buttery-est, dairy-est cakes your way soon!
I’m also linking up the monthly Celia’s In My Kitchen party over at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial. I haven’t been there in a while so Hi ladies! Looking forward seeing what you’ve been up to this month.
Well. That was a mouthful. In case you didn’t watch the Superbowl Halftime show, enjoy this video of the two greatest sharks ever. Left shark is the embodiment of my year so far. LOL. Have a great week!