Sunday, June 12, 2011

How To Eat Like a Vegan (and love it.)

Things I never, ever ate before going vegan:

Swiss Chard

Things I love with all my heart in the present: 

All of the above. Edit: Ok, if I'm completely honest I don't love turnips :) I kinda like them.

Side note on beets: My godmother forced me to eat them when I was 6 or 7. She really, really regretted it. She'd be thrilled to know how much I love them now. But certainly they were canned, or maybe I would have liked them (unlikely.) All I remember is the horrified look on her face when said beets didn't stay long in my veggie hating belly. Dear Marsha, I love beets now. Wheeeee!

In other news, I realize that some of this meal looks Autumn-ish. Strangely, after it was 100 degrees last week, I woke up to a Fall like breeze here in Kansas City. This is probably the last time I'll be able to roast anything. Our tiny house gets super hot when I use the oven in the summer. I thought I'd take advantage of the weather and cook up some of my last finds at the market. I love that a plate of veggies is completely satisfying and filling. I often hear from others who find out about me and the whole vegan thing that they feel that if they gave up meat they wouldn't be "satisfied." I'm finding myself more and more leaving my leftovers to my own personal garbage disposal (i.e. Nate) because a plate of veggies is SO filling. It took me a few months before I didn't miss meat, but I don't miss it at all anymore (and I certainly don't miss the drawbacks of eating meat.) I've learned that when you push away from the table that if you are leaving with regret, you probably didn't choose what you put on your plate wisely. I love seeing all that color on my plate and realizing I did my body good and not harm.

Today, I grabbed almost everything I had in the fridge to make all this. I love Sunday afternoons. We go to the best church on the planet (that also gets out at 11:15 or so which gives me plenty of time to prepare a lazy Sunday meal.) Roasting veggies is so simple. I loved having beets to throw in the mix this time. I added less olive oil than usual. Anyway, this is how I made the above:

Roasted Root Veggies

4 Medium Carrots, peeled and cut in half (Ohhh....I just got a new veggie peeler that actually works. Squeeel!)
6 Small Potatoes, quartered
8 Small Beets, peeled and cut in half
5 Turnips, peeled quartered
4 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1/4 t. Sea Salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
1 t. Basil
1 t. Thyme
4 t. Olive Oil (Starting to realize how wayyy too much olive oil I used on stuff.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour oil and spices over veggies in a 9 X 13 pan. Toss it all together with your hands. Roast for 40 minutes. Perfection.

Super Easy Vegan Braised Greens

1 Bunch of Swiss Chard, cut into strips. I save the stems and cut them up too :)
5 or 6 large Collard Leaves, cut into strips
1 Red Onion, cut into half moons
3 T. Water
1 T. Balsamic Vinegar
1 T. Tamari

Heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until tender. Add chard stems and saute a few minutes. Add greens and toss with the onions and oil. Add the water, balsamic and tamari. Cover and cook about 5 or 6 minutes until done to your liking. I like pulling them out when they're still green. Don't overcook your veggies like Julia Child (God love her.) They're so much better for you if you don't. The baby portobellos were just sauteed in a little Earth balance, salt and pepper. Voila :)

Nate's Two Cents: I give my parents credit for the fact that I'll try anything.  But I give Tara credit for routinely making things that test my open-mindedness; fortunately, she makes everything so well that I don't really worry I'll have to pretend to like something horrible.  So, how to describe the personality of these roasted vegetables she made today? Something like a good spy novel, maybe: Snappy, mildly textured, satisfying, and capable of provoking questions long after the last bite. I know I like roasted potatoes, and I know I love carrots and beets. I think I like turnips.  But what I really love is feeling some connection to my European ancestors who huddled in cold houses during the dead of winter in the Middle Ages and ate every last vegetable they had stored up.   That last statements sounded really weird.  Sorry.


LittleHouseofVeggies said...

I always get asked "what DO you eat?????" Or... "Your Vegan? YOu can't eat ANYTHIGN then!" and I am always like "huh?, I eat a ton, and LOTS of variety too! " Being a vegan really opens your eyes to so many foods that most look over. Like lentils, jicama, BEETS, etc.!!

Prairie + Sky said...

So true! I feel like I eat far more interesting food than before for sure :) I just had jicama in my salad the other day. Yet another thing I didn't eat much of before. And I love, love lentils!

Sarah E. Hoffman said...

I love the beet story! So cute and so yummy!

Rhea Parsons said...

That looks delicious. The list of foods I didn't like (or thought I didn't like but hadn't even really tasted) before I went Vegan is huge!!

There are even foods I didn't like in it's non-vegan state that I do love Vegan like feta or sushi.

But I have to admit: I still like beets best the way I had them as a kid - out of can and cold, the whole little balls, not sliced :)

chelsea said...

I love the recipes you post. I have recently gone vegan and I am really loving it. What I am probably loving the most is that my husband (who loves meat) is the one who found your blog and decided to cook some of the recipes from it. Breakthrough! I am so excited to try these roasted root vegetables, though, beets and I are not besties yet. I want to like them, but whenever I eat them they taste like soil. Maybe I haven't tried the right recipe yet.

Prairie + Sky said...

Hi Chelsea :)

My hubbie wasn't sold at first either. Once he started having a better basketball game, and dropped down to his pre-marriage weight he was sold. Beets weren't first on my list of new veggies to love. I think they definitely have an earthy taste now that you mention it. The sweet overcomes most of that.

I've learned to love more simple plates though. It took a while. I wish I had more to post. Everything I have made lately is so simple. I tend to cook more complicated things in the winter. Best of luck to you on your new journey! Thanks for visiting :)

Rachel said...

This is awesome. I recently blogged about Okra.. All these veggies are totally under appreciated. Hopefully people will start to see there are good recipes out there and start cooking these veggies more! Thanks for blogging.

VeganLinda said...

I definitely eat a wider variety of foods since going vegan, but I was in my early 20's so maybe I would have learned to love all these veggies either way, but I doubt it. It is so silly when people think being vegan is restrictive.

Out in Them Sticks said...

I just found your site but realized it hadn't been updated in a while. Are you still going plant strong? I just started.

Connie said...

I'm not a vegan, but very interested in pursuing a healthier life style. Just lost 55 pounds this last year and I am determined to never see those pounds again. Your newest follower, Connie Come on over and visit my blog, there might be something of interest to you too . . . I love making new friends.

Anonymous said...

Try boiling the beets whole like potatoes skin on and everything. When fork tender, drain and peel with a clean dry kitchen towel. (this will destroy your towel but the peel will come right off.) let cool then dice and season as desired.

Anonymous said...

Please dont boil beets unless you're going to chill and drink the liquid! :) I roast beets in the skins, let them cool then peel. Theyre SO sweet! I just put on kitchen gloves to peel them.

Mr & Mrs Vegan said...

Love your candid sharing! We hated beets too but now it's a regular part of our diet since turing vegan:)