What a strange journey this has been so far…. I have learned quite a bit about myself in the these last three months. The highlights?
- Soy hates me
- I hate nutritional yeast
- I can do this
I am bummed about the soy. It removes more than half of the recipes that are labeled “vegan.” It also makes eating out super hard, but whatever. I would rather ditch soy than feel like a homicidal maniac for the week it takes to clear my system.
I am also a little bummed about nutritional yeast, which is another staple of the vegan diet. Looking for cheesy flavor? Add nutritional yeast. I don’t have anything specific against it, other than it reminds me of my first desperate weeks trying to find things that worked. I made myself a Dijon dressing about 3 days in that was heavy on that particular ingredient and I used it for salad dressing and for veggie dip. Now, whenever I get a whiff of it, I get a knot in my stomach. Brains are weird.
The most important thing I have learned, though, is that I can do this! I have become more resourceful as I go and food choices are becoming easier and less stressful.
Take this evening, for example. Today is my day off, so I usually try to make something a bit more time and labor intensive than on the nights I work. Those nights are the nights I save for meals that take half hour or less, because traffic sucks and I get home later than I would like.
I was planning dinner when my daughter came downstairs and asked if we could dye her hair. She leaves for camp next week and it has become something of a tradition to kick of the beginning of summer by heading to camp with crazy hair. This year she chose a nice shade of raspberry. It takes about 2 hours for the whole process. Dinner be hanged, I have a colorful quest to fulfill!
So now, her hair is done and off she goes to piano lessons and I am stuck wondering what I should make for dinner. I have a bit more than an hour. I hit up Pinterest. I find Creamy French Lentils with Mushrooms and Kale. Perfect. I have Trader Joe’s Lentils in the fridge so I can skip the 20 minute lentil cooking step.
I added some pink Himalayan salt, pepper and a bunch of spices. I didn’t measure but here is an approximation:
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried marjoram
- 1 tsp dried tarragon
- 1/2 tsp crushed fennel
- 1/2 tsp crushed rosemary
- 1/2 tsp pepper
I simmered until the kale was wilted and served it up. YUM! For next time, the family asked me to please leave the kale out, it was a bit too bitter for them but the lentils were good and everyone agreed it could go into the regular dinner rotation.
Ah, it’s good to feel a bit of confidence in the kitchen, again.
Oh, and just for the record, I am down 34 pounds. Yay, me!