Wednesday, January 13, 2010

this vegan life

Two weeks into this vegan deal--some discouraging moments, along with breakthroughs to cooler stuff.

1. The web remains, as we well know, a dangerous superhighway, pocked with noxious DIY potholes. A good many of the vegan recipe photos I have encountered thus far bear a striking resemblance to indistinct offal or, perhaps more accurately, cud. I pass.

2. I miss honey. Eat some for me. Honey, as it turns out, happens to be on everything crunchy and delicious. See labels. Truth.

3. Rip kale, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, go at 350 degrees for a flash of minutes till just crispy. Jesus, so good. Just like potato chips, I swear.

4. Vegans are magicians in the art of substitution. Not the silly "meats" so much as baking substitutions. Take eggs, for example. Depending on the recipe, you can use bananas, avocados, or applesauce in their place. Also all the synthetic soy and corn products, of course. I am, in fact, making Avocado Brownies tonight. Oh that's what I said.

Anyway, it's not all roses for the beginner. It can be discouraging. Going out to dinner is a joke when you do not know your way around. My most significant encounter was at my local Thai place. I asked if the masaman curry was vegan and she said, "Yes, masaman chicken (pronounced cheeken) and ... ?" (Pause) No, no. Not exactly right.

So most days I venture into establishments, I do feel like Felix Unger, alienated and underserved. But the upshot has been an intense increase in cook-at-home meals, not bad since I'm pretty good in the cocina. All told, it's a hard adjustment, so much to learn, but I feel good, cleaner, for the most part. It's a hard feeling to convey, much like the impact peppermint has right after you breath it in. That kind of thing. And I feel a lot less guilty for complicity in all sorts of things. That's worth a great deal. I've lost weight already. I'll have to watch that. I've been having especially lunatic dreams. Related? Perhaps. It's all becoming part of my routine and I'll just end up rambling about my dog and books and movies in no time at all.

In the meantime, I have to go soak some nuts for a raw pizza. I kid you not.