UPDATED! Menu Monday Was Meatless Monday as They’re Keeping Me Vegan
Eat Local Vegan
UPDATED BELOW – Huge haul in our CSA box this week of Spring greens. See pic. Expect stir fry.
A lot of families participate in Meatless Mondays, having a weekly vegetarian dinner. They return to the table on Tuesday, Wednesday and beyond with chicken, fish or maybe a nice juicy steak. Not myself and the rest of the Local Family. It was meat-less on Monday, sandwiches of local portabella mushrooms and Tomato Mountain* red rain mustard greens, sided with carrot-chickpea salad. It was no different from such recent non-Monday meals as the “big salad” with tofu pictured; tacos with sauteed spinach and refried Breslin Farms black beans, and, well it’s escaping me, yet I imagine it had tofu or beans. Honestly, it’s a lot of tofu or beans being vegan. They lured me in when the tofu was wonderfully hidden within chocolate mousse. Since then, it’s been very front and central. The only saving grace. Between the high quality local ingredients and the careful cooking of the Condiment Queen, it’s all tasting very good. Is it that hard being vegan?
That was the question my daughter wanted to know. She agreed to challenge herself to veganism the way George Plimpton challenged himself to attend Detroit Lion’s training camp. It might not be easy, but it would make a good story. In my daughter’s case, it was for the TV show she produces. Originally, the piece called for one week of plant based eating. She felt that too wan. A month she would do. In sympathy, my wife declared she would too. In reality, this way of eating brought my wife directly back in time; maybe not to days when she only at raw, but certainly to happy times of sprout and seeds. Yes, she’s that kinda woman. And she did go to Antioch. Three weeks in, they’re quite content. There are no signs of veganism abating in the Local Family. At best, when April is over, they want to go to some system where they will allow animal substance over the weekend and then get back to the vegetables during the week. They both claim weight loss already, and they both also claim increased vim and vigor on the V.
I’ll tell you one thing you quickly learn about veganism. It’s hard. The difference between veganism and vegetarianism is almost as vast as the difference between vegetarianism and eating meat. Think about it. Not just the burgers; the vegans forsake cheese, eggs, and milk and other dairy products. That’s a lot of satisfying potential meals left off the table (in my book). The daughter actually misses cheese more than meat. My wife ate a lot of eggs before but is not minding the lack of dairy. Me, I shave cheese on my greens. I put feta on my plate at lunch. I escaped once for a gyros sandwich at Mickey’s in Oak Park only to be confounded by utter dreck. Anyone want to ship me a salami.
Looking ahead, the advanced word is that the CSA this week will contain Asian greens and even more carrots. I may never look at carrots as a luxury item again. I expect at least one stir fry. There is also supposed to be vegan chili for my daughter’s birthday, but don’t worry about the latter. I plan on making my own too.
Last week we feared the end of onions, a worry short-lived. Going into this week, we have a bunch of vegetables already roasted, as Tamar would do as well as the same old bunch of end of season produce:
- turnips – 2 kinds
- radishes – only a few watermelon left
- mustard greens – a bit left
- onions -very few left
- Leeks – found some we did not know we had!
UPDATE: Here’s what came in our CSA this week:
Clockwise from the carrots it’s Komatsuna; Red Russian kale; ”Vitamin Green” (hey, thank the seed company not Tomato Mountain for the names); Spinach (how banal, I know); Yukina Savoy, and (even stranger) carrots.
What’s local on your menu this week?
*Disclosure: My wife works for Tomato Mountain.