I have recently transitioned from trying to be semi-vegan, to trying to be fully vegan. I guess that still makes me semi vegan, but now I putting more effort into making my meals all animal free instead of planning to eat meat with dinner or when eating out. I truly believe it is the healthiest option, but I still struggle from time to time. I also don’t want to become a preachy, “extreme” vegan. Its everything that I hate about Christianity, so I’m not going to become that kind of vegan. My husband is on board with “trying it out” he tries and likes most of my vegan cooking and is open to having more vegan meals, he is not committed to becoming fully vegan and I have no intentions of forcing him. We were visiting our home town before heading off to Otakon in DC, so I decided to show my family that being vegan can be delicious and not a sacrifice.
I discussed my reasoning for being vegan. I get into a civil discussion with my dad about how veganism is beneficial for diabetics. He is all about keto and low carb. I informed him that I diet rich in whole grains, and whole food carbohydrates in moderation is good for everyone including diabetics. He refused to believe myself or the science based research I presented to him. He also discredits his argument because he doesn’t want to eat pasta, corn, or potatoes, but enjoys chips, candy, and ice cream. That’s his idea of moderation. He also drinks sugar free energy drinks. UGH! So instead of diabetes, he gets cancer. But, there’s no winning because we are one in the same and will argue our point to the death before admitting the other is right. He did agree to try to soup and appetizer part of the meal. He did not eat the entree or dessert, because it would be “too many carbs”.
These are the dishes I served for my cousin, sister, aunt, mother, and father:
This was the first dish I served and the unanimous favorite. I cooked chopped potato, celery, onion, and corn in the crock pot with vegetable stock. I took 2/3 out and pureed with almond milk then return to the pot. Those swirls you see in the bowl is smoked paprika, the ingredient that made the dish, no bacon required.
This was the second favorite item on the menu. I made this from hearts of palm and jackfruit. There is also lemon juice, chives, mustard, vegan mayo, bread crumbs, and old bay seasoning in them. On the side is a vegan remoulade.
This dish started out as a lasagna, then a skillet lasagna, then just baked pasta, because it can’t really be lasagna without lasagna noodles. It was my least favorite dish because the cashew cheese was not as smooth as a wanted. Before being vegan and allergic to dairy, I was a cheese-a-holic. Now I’m finding when you’re using vegan cheese less is more. But everyone else who ate it enjoyed it ( no pasta for Mr. Low Carb diet). There was eggplant, mushrooms, and zucchini with the pasta, sauce, and cashew ricotta and mozzarella cheese.
Key Lime Pie
Last but not least, you gotta have desserts. Learning that I was allergic to eggs and dairy is kind of what got me thinking about being vegan in the first place. I was having to search for vegan desserts, side dishes, and snack so it seemed a common sense transition. The filling for the key lime pie is avocado, cashews, and almond milk. Agave nectar, vanilla, lime juice, and zest are added for flavor. The crust is made from walnuts, almonds, and dates. The purple swirls you see are blackberries pureed with some of the filling. Making this again I won’t use as much milk. This will stop in from being so icy when frozen, and hopefully stop it from melting quickly into a puddle due to the high liquid content.
I served this meal with the most love I have ever put into food. My hope is too get people thinking that this is a way of life that will be beneficial for their bodies as well as their taste buds. I’m using the ol’ “catching more flies with honey than vinegar” tactic. Hopefully it will catch on, if not I’ll continue leading by example, and at least taking the animals out of one meal every once in a while.