So far, so good. It's strange. Only one day into the vegan transformation and I already feel...lighter. I haven't felt the need to remain within 10 feet of the coffee pot all day. Many days I'm ready for a nap around 3:30 in the afternoon. I didn't nap yesterday or today. Even after laundry, I still felt energized. Undoubtedly this is a placebo effect. Either that or I was in worse shape than I thought when I started this process.
|Steamed Vegetable & Rice Medley|
Regardless, I discovered it helps to plan a menu for the week when transitioning to a new diet. It helps me to not only stick to the plan but to know what to cook and when and how much will be available for leftovers. This afternoon I created a new recipe: Steamed Vegetable & Rice Medley. (See the Recipe section.) It was the result of having left over steamed broccoli when I made a salad for lunch. I tossed the remains in a bowl along with a bunch of other steamed and raw veggies, some brown and wild rice, tossed it all with Thai peanut sauce, and shoved it in the fridge to chill for dinner. It was awesome! It was great as a complete meal, and I have no doubts it would be an equally great filler for lettuce wraps. Plus, I have plenty of leftovers for both lunch and dinner tomorrow. Woot!
One discovery I've made is exactly how much I love my green vegetables. Especially broccoli. *Homer Simpson doughnut drool* Not so long ago I hated broccoli. I ridiculed it as a tree trying to pass for a vegetable in the grocery store. (I still think it looks like a tree, and cauliflower looks like braaaaaaaaaainsssss!!!) I know it's not a tree, but I avoided eating it because I didn't like it as a child.
Then I tried it.
And I liked it.
In fact, I loved it!
Now the smell of freshly steamed broccoli makes my mouth water. Add a little vegan butter and I'm good. Toss the steamed or raw florets on a salad and I'm in heaven. Stir-fried broccoli is nirvana. I can't eat enough of it. I would have it with almost every meal if I could. Broccoli for breakfast would be a bit much though.
I've also discovered a fondness for cucumbers. Granted, I prefer them pickled but fresh cucumbers are growing on me. I no longer object to their presence in my salad. It's the same with tomatoes but to a lesser degree. I'm still adjusting to the concept of non-ketchupized tomatoes. I don't mind chunks in sauces or slices on sandwiches, but biting into a ripe tomato like an apple is still beyond my vegan abilities at this point.
Another veggie that's found a new role in my diet is the humble sweet potato. I've always been a potato lover but it was the starchy white variety. I remember with great delight the "taters and white sauce" my mother made when I was a kid. We planted potatoes every year and the first crop was always honored by being the main attraction in a dinner that usually consisted of "new" red potatoes in a white milk-based gravy, fresh green beans, and corn bread. Ooooooooooooooo.....those were some of the best meals. No way would they pass for vegan despite the lack of H.A.F on the plate.
But I never really like sweet potatoes. Once again, I'd tried them as a child and it set up a lifetime of sour faces when presented with the strange orange tuber posing as a potato. My adult taste buds, however, appreciated the subtle flavors once I gave sweet potatoes another chance. Other veggies followed: acorn squash, asparagus, parsnips, beets, radishes... Whole new worlds are opening before me.
|This veggie has the evil.|
There are a few green veggies that still make me a little gun shy. Kale tops the list. Tried it as a kid. Hated it. Turnip greens. Blech. Brussels sprouts. I can look at them without thinking of Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors. Zucchini.
Zucchini falls into a special category. It's the devil vegetable. Mark says that one day I'll like it. I say Hell will not only freeze over but Lucifer will be selling tickets for "Demons on Ice" before I'll eat zucchini.
Demonic veggies aside, the greatest lesson I've learned today has been that you can't say you'll never like something unless you try it. I recently learned that it takes approximately 12 times of introducing a new food to a baby/small child before they accept or reject it. I'm like a small child right now. Exploring this new green world one small bite at a time.