A vegan feast (and a moment of weakness)


Despite the pain I managed to finally cook my most ambitious dinner yet: Orange Ginger Baked Tofu with a side of Ginger Roasted Winter Vegetables and Garlicky Greens.

It was a very experimental dinner because all three recipes were previously untried. The verdict: the roasted vegetables were very nummy, kinda caramelized and a little sweet, though the parsnips were easily my least favorite of the group. Will probably leave those out next time and just double the sweet potatoes.

I made my garlicky greens with kale, which is a very strong tasting green but it worked with the garlic and the red pepper seeds. That turned out well also.

The tofu was the only part of the meal that didn’t score well for me. The marinade didn’t flavor it as much as I had hoped – and I would have preferred it chewier. If you make it, I’d recommend the broiling finishing touch if texture is a big thing for you. You might also cut it up into cubes so that it has more of a crust. (This is what I’m going to try to salvage the rest of the tofu I cooked.)

So I’d probably make the meal again but I’d find another “meat” alternative to take the place of the tofu. That was a lot of work (with the pressing) for something I wasn’t sold on. I didn’t even eat that second slice I dished up on the plate.

I think I need to rethink my “not buy any meat alternatives” guideline. Tonight I could have benefited from a meat replacement, as I had my first real pang for meat and cheese.

I blame Rosa’s Cafe. They have a Mexican salad I’ve always loved (which is so super bad for you I can’t even begin to count the ways) and right now they’re having a sale. I saw it and a had a pretty strong urge for it.

I think it was more that I was feeling so poorly I didn’t want to have to make the meal (it was a lot of work), I would have rather had something take-out, but there’s not too many vegetarian options around these parts. There’s a place called Jason’s Deli, but even their vegetarian options have cheese.

So I opted out of that while the guys got McDonalds, and while I was waiting the couple of hours to prepare everything all I wanted was an easy solution.

Boom, here comes the devil incarnate – fast food commercials. I saw that salad and boom, strong strong urge and the thought, “aw man… wish I could have that.”

Steven tells me it really wasn’t a moment of weakness as I didn’t act on it, but it felt like one because the temptation took real strength to fight.

I haven’t had that problem up to now.

I think it has to do with two basic issues. One, the way the weight is falling off is probably wigging me out a lil bit… tapping into those issues of vulnerability that have always plagued me. Two, I think I’m still processing some elements of that dream I had that brought up some old feelings that thrust me right out of my comfort level.

Combined with the lingering frustration with the pain and how it limits my every day mobility and you have a recipe for returning to old, familiar behavior that intellectually I know is bad for me but is easier than the new lifestyle I’ve chosen.

I just have to remind myself that it’s easier for the time being, but ultimately it’s going to work out like a funnel… easy habits all end up bottle-necking and creating a big mess to fix later on.

Like my weight now, and the back problems it exacerbates.

Rewiring the brain is harder than changing some eating patterns, but it’s not impossible. These are all steps in the right direction.

And I’m going to celebrate these victories with the attention they deserve.

The Chatterbox gets knocked flat again by a well-deserved Atta Girl.

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7 thoughts on “A vegan feast (and a moment of weakness)

  1. That meal sounds delish! I’ve been a vegetarian for years now, and I definitely recommend looking into some meat alternatives. Especially if you’re looking for easier than tofu stuff. It’s a good way to get protein without all the work (I’ve never been very good at cooking tofu). And, if you’re just starting out, those fake meats might be a good way to get rid of those cravings slowly.

    • I think you’re right. I was trying to keep it as natural as possible with less processed food but I think it would be okay to have three meals a week with a substitute. Definitely looking into some recipes for the shopping list.

      Any suggestions?

      • I like (or liked—I’m gluten intolerant and have had to give up my fav substitutes) Tofurky because it’s organic and has a fairly minimal ingredients list. And Yves “ground chicken” because it’s just so yummy.

        But, if you’re trying to go even more natural, you could try using TVP or some dehydrated soy. If you get them seasoned up, and mix them into something (like in spaghetti sauce) it’s like making your own substitute (and will only have soy and whatever you add)

        You could also check out this blog where she documents her month of vegan eating (she knows more about health stuff and protein than I do!) http://www.livingintherealworld.net/healthy/?m=200909

  2. WTG with fighting the cravings! I had a similar triumph. I wanted SO badly to order pizza yesterday, but I didn’t. I ate food I have at home. It’s going to get harder this weekend as I usually shop on Sundays and the weather is too bad and dangerous to drive in, but I’m going to fight hard anyway.

    Commercials make it difficult and a commercial for pizza was what tempted me. One reason I DVR everything is as a way of keeping temptation out. I’d recommend trying that for you, too. I mean, yeah I see a commercial now and then (like I did the other day), but I DVR EVERYTHING so I don’t get tempted.

    Thanks for the link, Em. I have tofurkey in my fridge but have been a little scared to try it.lol Too many people have told me it’s gross, but I’ll get brave soon.

    • Congrats on your triumph! That’s a good idea about DVR – but this was just stuff on in the back ground so I wouldn’t have DVR’d it anyway.

      Damn Nick@Nite.

      They kept showing it too, but after dinner I wasn’t nearly as tempted.

  3. Thanks! What happened to me was I had DVRed something but let the commercial go so I could do something else during it and ended up getting tempted.

    I’m waiting for my vegan shredded cheese to come in the mail so I can make my own pizza. I would’ve bought some from Central Market last Sunday, but I’d already ordered it online when I realized they had it at Central Market. I hope it doesn’t spoil; I couldn’t afford to get it sent to me in a cold pack. It would’ve been $40!

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