Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 1- Because You Can Can CAN!

Well, Day 1 "Operation Go Vegan" seems to have been a success. Since this phase is the "Vegan For Dummies" stage, I chose something familiar.

But before I post the results I wanted to talk about the process of getting there.

We made a detailed list for the store and I walked into it feeling pretty fearless...until I got to the bakery. Here's the thing, I LOVE CAKE. I like the smell of cake, I like the taste and texture of cake, I even like that on the anniversary of your birth you GET a cake all gussied up in fire! That's delicious AND badass! What I didn't realize was that by going vegan, cake was out of the picture. Kind of. Store bought cake and pastries are now a thing of the past for this challenge. Why, you may be wondering? Eggs. Those tricky little freaking eggs (and butter!). "The Incredible Edible Egg"? No! How about "The Tricky Little Ninja Asshole Who's Keeping Me From Sweet Cake-y Nirvana"! I texted Colleen, baffled that she hadn't had regular cake in I don't know how long, and begged for answers.

"What do you do for baked goods?! Everything has eggs and butter! Do you just bake your own?" And a part of me feared the answer because I secretly knew it and didn't want to admit the truth but then-
"Yep! I recommend "The Joy of Vegan Baking" or Lovin' Spoonfuls* or Epic has some stuff."

So, I accepted the fact that cake and I would be taking a break, getting our space, if you will. And I moved on. Throughout the store I stared at a lot of food I realized I would have to turn down and I felt the challenge of my decision. "How do full on vegans do this?!" I thought, wandering the aisles lit with different perspective now. It takes some real creativity and care and for that I take my hat off to you vegans out there who do it for more than just a challenge, but for the planet, for animals and ethics or simply for yourselves.

When we got home I pulled out my recipe, turned on my ipod and got to my business. It took about a half hour to prep and a half hour to bake and...

The Eagle hath landed.

My Review (from a usual omnivore)- Went well! The tofu concoction simulated ricotta very closely. I never knew tofu could be so legit! I added a pinch of cayenne pepper, a tablespoon of oregano and an extra clove of garlic but I felt it could maybe use a bit more oomph (I'll add mushrooms, maybe some squash, etc next time) but there was nothing really wrong with it.

Verdict from (the usual carnivore) Husband-

Once he high fived me from across the table the previous feelings of maybe missing my old comfort foods dissolved. I had made my first vegan lasagna, hell, my first lasagna period, and it had satisfied and impressed the person who is most honest (and skeptical) with opinions. I kept my cool though, and smiled and put away our left overs and did the dishes. "Beginners luck maybe," I said as he settled into a post-dinner lounge. Little did he know I was shaking my ass all over the kitchen in a haphazard victory dance.


elb said...

Secret victory dances are the only way to go!
The vegan thing...are you just curious about it? Do you have your own ethical reasons but just can't resist the foods?

Amanda said...

I chose the going vegan for this challenge purely because I was curious and I knew it would be just that- a real challenge.

I have a few friends who are vegan as well and I thought it would be a fun way to bond and to give their lifestyle a try because my friends are extremely generous and accommodating to me, I figured why not show them that I can appreciate what they do by trying it out myself.

As far as ethics, I tend to lean more on the vegetarian scale. I loooove cheese on things and honey is a necessity to my tea. Eggs and butter too (although not in the tea!). But I can respect the ethics behind veganism. I'm a big animal lover so I just figured doing this would be taking it to the next level as well.

I'll actually be interviewing the aforementioned vegan friends and getting their takes on why they chose this lifestyle. I'm really excited for it actually!

beca said...

Girl, I have been baking professionally for years and a vast majority was vegan and/or gluten free. Let me know if you need some vegan recipes for cake or pie or cookies to satisfy the urge.

Molly said...

{and it looks delish too}