About a month ago my husband and I started eating a plant-based diet, mostly vegan, with a few spectacular exceptions. Coffee is a ritual for me: fresh beans, ground each morning ( a signal to the kitties to line up like little soldiers for their treats), a mellow breakfast blend, but brewed strong with a generous dose of half & half until it’s the perfect caramel color and the perfect temperature for sipping. I don’t see that changing any time soon.
Also, sometime in the next week or so, I anticipate a perfect, fabulous BLT–thick-cut, salty bacon from S Clyde Weaver, a beefy tomato and deep green lettuce from Brook Lawn Farmer’s Market, and 14-grain bread from Ric’s Bread, because it makes the perfect toast for a BLT.
Then there are the occasional work receptions or breakfast meetings, or gatherings with friends, like my book club, where the host made fantastic blue cheese burgers on the grill. Not blue cheese as a topping, mind you, but throughout the burger. Perfection!
But, most days we are trying to be heathy and mostly vegan, in an effort to feel better, boost our energy levels and lose some weight. And truth be told, I really do like eating this way. Growing up on a farm in western NY, summers were marked by the garden bounty that came into season and had to be canned or frozen. My mother’s diaries contain checklists: 110 quarts of corn, 75 quarts of peas, 50 quarts of tomato juice, 25 quarts of shredded zucchini to be used for frittatas or baking, quarts of NY blueberries picked locally, and grape juice from grapes grown along the Finger Lakes. We put away copious amounts of food, because that’s what we lived on all winter. I didn’t know at the time how remarkably different vegetables and fruit are when brought straight from the garden to the freezer within hours. We were living “Farm To Table” long before it was a thing.
On days when we were preparing food for the freezer, that’s what was for dinner. We would time meals with the next hot batch of corn ready to be cut off the cob, and sit down to piles of corn and thick slices of tomatoes. So I like eating this way- food still warmed by the sun, washed and sliced fresh on my plate, or sautéed with a bit of fresh herbs.
My husband is the chef of the household, mixing herbs & spices, or altering recipes to suit his palate. He’s good at changing out ingredients and inventing tasty creations. Today’s offering was a tofu hash, which was delicious. It was loosely based on an on-line recipe, and included potatoes, tofu, black beans, red onion & local tomatoes & jalapeño peppers. Avocado on the side added the perfect creaminess.
Sometimes nothing sounds better than a hot slice of pepperoni pizza, oozing cheese. But after we talk ourselves out of that and get creative in the kitchen, we’re ultimately happier with the fresh flavors and local fruits and veggies on our plates.