A few weeks ago we purchased a 93 Eurovan from a lovely couple in Santa Fe (pictures of the van should appear in future posts). He had recently had triple bypass surgery and now they have an extremely restrictive diet in the hopes of reversing his heart disease. This diet is vegan, except it excludes nuts, avocado, and any oils. She was sharing what a challenge it has been, yet how much better they both feel. After sharing some favorite vegan spots (Mint Tulip, Thai Vegan and Annapurna's) we said we would stay in touch about food in our lives.
This inspired Lane and I to change our diets. While not as extreme as that of our Santa Fe friends, we're moving toward healthier eating. Although we don't consume many animal products, we're trying to cut them out and live a plant-based life. I can't deny that last week I looked longingly at some cheese my colleague was having for lunch, but I do feel like things are changing for the better. It helps that I picked up Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian from the library. I love his writing style and his recipes have never steered me wrong. Many of the dishes are vegan, or can easily be made so (by not including cheese, for example). I'm also rediscovering my love for Japanese food. I've made a few soba noodle bowls with miso broth and vegetable maki. The last week has also seen two batches of mole sauce from scratch. I used them to make roasted butternut squash enchiladas. They were downright delicious, if I may say so.
Other tricks I've been trying to be sure our lysine levels are ok (word has it vegans have trouble getting enough lysine) are to include some type of legume at each meal: miso in the salad dressing, or sauteed and crumbled tempeh on salads.
I haven't been on the totally straight and narrow, however. Yesterday I needed to whip up a dessert for a neighbor who was helping us with a project. What was the quickest thing I could come up with? Chocolate chip cookies. With butter. And eggs. I only made half a batch but that didn't stop me from scraping the dough out of the bowl, licking the spoon and stuffing two cookies into my mouth.
They were the best cookies I've ever eaten.