Meat-Free for Six Months!

After taking part in Meat-Free May earlier this year, I’ve been vegetarian for just about six months! Honestly, I didn’t think I would still be vegetarian, but once you stop eating meat, it’s a little weird to go back to eating meat. I still don’t miss it, and I have not craved it at all. I have lost six pounds in the six months, but note I was not specifically trying to lose weight, and also note I still eat potato chips. I did have a physical last month, and was told I am pretty anemic. This was not unexpected, as I was anemic before I stopped eating meat too. My cries of, “But I eat kale every day!” fell on deaf ears, and my doctor insisted I start taking an iron pill a day, in addition to my B12 pill.

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This insanely good and decadent lunch consisted of a Creole Grilled Tofu baguette and a dulce de leche doughnut.

In exciting news for me, I found out that every Wednesday the vegan food truck The Cinnamon Snail is parked two blocks from where I work! I used to work by their shop in the Pensy and was sad when we moved offices. But now I have it almost every Wednesday!

What have I eaten these past six months? I’ve eaten at home a lot more, which is good. I’ve gotten in the habit of having the same things on repeat, which the kids actually like (since they like knowing what they will be eating based on what day it is). This also saves a ton of money. Some stuff we have about once a week are: pasta and veggie meatballs, tofu with curry and vegetables, tacos or burritos with beans and rice and cheese, and  frozen pizza (I get regular for the kids and dairy-free for me and my spouse). We order sushi about once a week, and we usually eat out once a week.

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Go soak your oats, as the old saying goes!

I have been trying to eat less eggs and dairy to further reduce my environmental impact, and to that end, I made oat milk! Oat milk is one of my favorite non-dairy milks, but I think the ones for sale in stores are overpriced. Oats are pretty cheap, after all. There are a ton of oat milk recipes to be found online, so I’m not getting into that here, but what I will say is, I didn’t have an advance strainer or cheesecloth, so I just used my colander, and that worked exactly as well as one would expect. (Not that well.) The result was a little too thick. It was okay in coffee, but very good in cereal. I will definitely try again once I invest in a cheesecloth!

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The resulting oat milk, still frothy from the blender!

 

Meat-Free May: It’s Over (or is it?)!

Today is the last day of May, thus the last day of Meat-Free May! All of my meals in May have been vegetarian, save one fish meal, which I ate because my favorite fish restaurant is closing and I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to go in June before it does. I realize that I don’t miss meat at all, and if possible, I think I might like myself a little better as a vegetarian.

So, with that, I’ve been thinking about extending this meat-free month into June, July, and maybe beyond. For now, I’ll see how June goes. I have the intention of eating mostly vegetarian. However, I do want to clean out my freezer, and I know I have some chicken in there that I didn’t want to eat in May, so I will probably eat that in June. I am also traveling a lot in June and the beginning of July, so it will be more challenging than if I were to just be staying in vegetarian-friendly NYC. Either way, I’ll report back at the end of June.

This week, I didn’t eat out that much. The one place we did go to was an Ethiopian place in the Village called Meskerem. I had the vegetarian combo, which is a little of everything. I wish I could name all the items on the plate. I know the upper left was cabbage, and next to that is green beans and carrots. Everything else was sort of pasty and maybe either lentil or chick peas or both. And the injera bread it’s all served on is a perfect utensil as well.

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Everything looks mushy in this photo but it was all great!

We also ate a lot at home. As I said, I’ve been trying to finish food that’s in my freezer. I do this about every three months and I think it’s a good practice to avoid food waste. We ate a lentil stew that I made about four months ago. It was really good, and I wish I had a recipe, but it was mostly just red lentils, kale, carrots, garlic, and garam masala cooked in vegetable broth. I’ve also been cooking more in general. In fact, I followed an actual recipe! That recipe was tofu and mushroom stroganoff.

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Yummy and filling and mushroomy!

It seems complicated, probably because of the soaking of cashews. But don’t let that put you off–they practically soak themselves! Some changes I made to the recipe were substituting elbows for fusilli pasta (I don’t know why I hate fusilli, but I do). I left out the wine because I had already drunk all the available wine. And I didn’t add the parsley garnish. It was yummy, and my kids didn’t realize it wasn’t real cheese in the sauce.

Meat-Free May: Week 4

Week 4 of Meat-Free May included a lot of eating out, and, to come clean, one of those times I ate fish. I found out my favorite fish restaurant was closing, and I was planning to go there for my birthday in June. So I went this week. I feel like I failed in that I ate fish, be succeeded in that I didn’t let in get me into a spiral of continuing to eat meat.

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BBQ Tempeh Bowl from MTHR Vegan was a terrific lunch in Midtown NYC!

One day, I forgot to bring my lunch to work, and was depressed at the thought of eating in my office cafeteria, so I wandered out to MTHR Vegan. I originally wanted a sandwich, but changed my mind and got this BBQ tempeh bowl. Fortunately/unfortunately the restaurant is only a few blocks from where I work, so I’ll be back.

We also went back to the Queens Night Market, and managed to eat only vegetarian things, and none of the things we ate the last time. We had a guava and cheese empanada, spicy fried masala noodles, samosas, mozzarella arepa, radish puffs, and some fried cinnamon cake.

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And it is/was Memorial Day weekend, so we had BBQ! I marinated some eggplant in olive oil, tahini sauce, garlic, and lemon juice, and had it on fresh Italian bread with some kale and a cashew cream sauce (that I made for something else, but didn’t have time to make yet, so I’ll make it tomorrow). Also, grilled corn, which is always a favorite!

read about what i eat and how much i like geckos

Nothing much going on at this blog, but I will say that I have now officially finished the second draft of Witch Blood. Comments are back from almost all of the beta readers, and I am digesting them and incorporating changes.

Speaking of digesting, I do write another blog, which you can find here: The Indolent Vegan. I tend to update that a little more frequently because, let’s face it, I eat more than I write. And yes, I am a vegan writer of vampire fiction. I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere.

In other news, New Blood just got another great review, and I also did an interview in which I attempted humor. You can read it here:  New Blood Comes to Town!

I have a headache from video-game withdrawal

Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you intended. I thought I would be done with the first draft of Witch Blood by time I went on vacation last week, but I was only about 3/4 of the way done. I told myself I would write every day while my son was napping and after he went to sleep at night. But somehow that didn’t happen and instead I read or took a nap of my own. In fact, on the entire vacation, I got just over 1,000 words written! But I was so disappointed in myself that the day I came back I immediately wrote over 3,000 words in one day, which for me is pretty good. Another thing that’s helping is I have told myself that I’m not allowed to play any video games until I’m done. Sadly, this is probably my biggest motivator!

One productive thing I did do while on vacation was plan and outline the rest of the Vampire in the City series! I don’t want to give away any titles just yet, but it looks like it’s going to be six books. S0me other things of moderate productiveness include a guest blog of mine on ParaYourNormal about getting the right beta readers for your novel. Also, I sold my soul to KDP, so Prime members can now borrow my books for free.

Finally, in personal news, I became vegan a few months ago, and have many options on vegan food that I can’t keep to myself.