Just a few things to report on this week in the continuing vegan journey…
a road trip, a “nope,” and a “yes.”
Last weekend I traveled up north to Mansfield for my Sunday visitation at St James and then over to Wellsboro on Sunday afternoon for the Celebration of New Ministry of Fr. Ed Erb. It was a joy to be in the Northern Tier of the diocese- mountains, rolling farmland, and temperatures that dipped way below 0 on my car thermometer. (In Buttonwood on the way up, my thermometer told me it was -10!). A parishioner at St James presented me with a beautiful set of hand warmers (fingerless gloves) and an infinity scarf woven from wool from her sheep. I’ve been to the England’s farm during lambing season and seen the beauty of birth among the sheep in the paddocks; it was lovely to receive this gift, knowing the long path from sheep to shearing, spinning and knitting. The vegan lifestyle is not keen on the use of animals for human benefit (no leather belts, shoes, silk fabrics, woolen wear) and while I agree that the slaughter of animals for leather is egregious, I don’t really see how the shearing of sheep for the gathering of wool is harmful – unless it is done in an abusive manner. I’m trying on the vegan lifestyle from a dietary perspective, mostly- some hard core vegans would say that you can’t call yourself a vegan unless you subscribe to all its ethical principles, not just its dietary ones… that you need to say, instead, that you are “following a plant based diet,” but I’m still in a learning place with all of this. I have eschewed meat, dairy and honey from my diet.. and gladly received the generous and lovely gift of wool hand warmers and scarf…
In my time up North I attended a celebratory dinner following the service at St Paul’s. This was the event that was in response to last week’s query, “So, just what does the bishop eat?” I was a little anxious, feeling as though I was “putting people out” for the sake of my dietary adventure… and so when they presented me with a plate of vegetables, rice, a vegan-“chicken” cutlet with a vegan red sauce and a fantastic chocolate-avocado-vegan-coconut milk-pie… I was not only well fed, but touched. I felt very cared for. Thank you, kitchen crew at St. Paul’s!
This week we tried soy curls. Big “nope.” I just couldn’t get the weirdness of this food out of my mind. These poor soybeans had been picked, rinsed, soaked, dried, packaged, rehydrated, squeezed dry, and sautéed. That’s a lot of processing for a “not processed” food. They looked weird and tasted weird and the worst part was the texture. It was like eating a bland sponge. Hubby seemed ok with it. We used them in a fajita bowl with roasted onion and peppers, shiitake mushrooms, avocado… all the Mexican yummy flavors… but even after sautéing the soy curls in vegan butter and chili powder and lime, it was still a big “nope” from me.
The “yes” of the week was a return to an old African standard that I’ve made for years- groundnut (peanut) stew, served over quinoa with hemp hearts on top. Colorful, filling, protein rich and nothing pretending to be something that it wasn’t. Here it is:
I’m also trying to dial back the calories, now, and address my Covid-waistline. That’s going ok as long as I can keep my breakfast and lunch modest and enjoy a dinner like the one above. The running is going well, too- I do love a training schedule.
Until next week, be well!