So I know I haven’t made a new post in like a million years. And I could give you a bunch of excuses, but whatever let’s be real. What’s really the most important thing for you to know is that since we last spoke, I’ve gone vegan.
Yes, vegan. As in no meat, no dairy, no eggs. As in, I only eat stuff from plants (and honey, because I’m not that hardcore). People always seem to ask, “BUT WHY!?” with a look of horror on their face (or occasionally a look of disgusted curiosity). And I don’t really have a great response, so I’ve been answering, “Because I want to see how it makes me feel.”
Before this journey into veganism, I ate vegetarian about 80% of the time. I shop at Rainbow Co-Op (a grocery store that doesn’t sell any meat), and didn’t often buy dairy because it went bad before I could finish it. Eggs and yogurt were my only constant dairy purchases. My meat intake was limited to eating at restaurants, which was cut back substantially when I was unemployed. A few months ago, I realized I wanted to take the leap into veganism to see what that change felt like. I was already so close, I figured it wouldn’t be too much of a shift.
And for the most part, veganism hasn’t really been that different, or difficult. I have a vegan roommate and many vegan friends, and access to really amazing vegan cookbooks/blogs (like The Post Punk Kitchen- or really anything by Isa Chandra Moskowitz). I also live in a city where veganism isn’t frowned upon as some sort of crazy cult- most restaurants understand what I mean when I ask if a dish is vegan- or can be made vegan- and there are many really epic entirely vegan restaurants here in San Francisco.
The biggest difficulty (other than missing chocolate ice cream), has been breakfast. I used to eat an egg EVERY MORNING. It was an awesome little chunk of savory protein that made me feel full and energized and only took 5 minutes to cook. But going vegan has made breakfast a bit trickier.
I know there are tons of fake meat options, but they all have contents that have been processed within an inch of existence, and it kinda creeps me out. I like to know what’s in the food I’m eating- which is luckily usually easier on a vegan diet.
I’m still struggling to find a breakfast that hits the spot like eggs used to, but I have re-discovered the joy of making my own granola (something I used to do in my hippy co-op days). And there is really nothing as satisfying as homemade granola. Check out this recipe I’ve tweaked from “Big Vegan” by Robin Asbell. Granola is pretty easy to make (10 minute prep, 1 hour in the oven). The most difficult part is the oven babysitting to make sure your granola cooks evenly. Check out the recipe below, and be sure to let me know if you have any brilliant vegan breakfast ideas (bonus points for savory options!).
Chai Spiced Granola
6 cups rolled oats
¾ cup flour (whole wheat or all-purpose)
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup apple sauce
½ cup oil (coconut or canola or other mild tasting oil)
½ cup of sweetener (brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, or ¼ +1/4 cup combo of any of the above)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cardamom
1 cup walnuts (or pecans)
1 cup currants or raisins
½ cup coconut flakes (optional)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, and the wet ingredients together in a medium bowl. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until they’re well combined. Spread the granola in an even layer onto two parchment paper covered cookie sheets. Cook granola for one hour, stirring and switching the positions of the trays every 20 minutes.