Today is the 10th day of my vegan stint (with the exception of that one moment when I accidentally/tipsily ate popcorn from Cornucopia drizzled with milk chocolate). Here is what I have learned so far:
- Veganism requires planning, which is good. At the beginning of each week, I have to make a bean salad, a big vegan entree, and chopped veggies to have on hand. But sometimes I didn’t, which led to the following discovery…
- You can find veganism in unexpected places. For example, a dinner at Taco Cabana for $2.50 consists of two black bean and rice tacos with lettuce, tomatoes, pico, and salsa. Other vegan surprises? Oreos. Also Bac-O Bits.
- It’s not that hard.
It really isn’t. So sometimes I have to have more time to plan/shop for/cook my meals. And I’ve had to turn down some free food. But altogether, cutting out dairy, eggs, and meat has led me to consume healthier whole foods, which to me is more important. Will I be vegan forever and ever amen? No, but I’m considering some sort of negotiation between veganism and vegetarianism for the way I eat after this month. More on that next week.
The last lesson that I’ve learned thus far? Salad. Lots of veg*ns subsist on frankenfood made in factories roll genetically modified soy derivatives and shredded Japanese newspaper (literally) into veggie “hot dogs” or “chik’n patties.” Regardless of whether you’re a vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian, or omnivore, you should be eating mostly plants in their purest form. Which, for me, means big salads with healthy fats (olive oil, nuts, and seeds), protein (beans, tempeh), and leafy greens.
Tahini Sriracha Dressing. My go-to dressing is a great vegan option for taking your salad to the next level. It’s creamy, flavorful, and has a spicy bite. When it chills in the fridge, it gets creamy and thick.
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. tahini paste (in the peanut butter aisle)
1/3 c. apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp. soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic, minced
a squeeze (~2 tsp.) of Sriracha hot sauce, optional
Combine ingredients in a glass mason jar and shake it like a Polaroid picture.