Food Coma

The Lunch Diaries: Part 1

I was tasked with grabbing some new lunch ideas for my homie, Mow. Mow is a new momma and wants to eat less meat overall. Starting slowly by decreasing your meat/dairy intake can sometimes be easier than going balls to the wall I’M A SUPER VEGAN I HATE EVERYONE NOW WHERE’S MY CAPE? Believe me, I was an angry vegan when I first started, and no one wants to be that stereotype (or be friendless). I salute those that want to enjoy Meatless Monday or have lunches without meat. Let your meat-free flag fly and try these lunches on for size!

Mow wanted something easy to prepare (see: new momma), super hearty, and something that could stick to her ribs. The first thing that popped into my head is one of my go-to lunches: the tuna salad.

I don’t exactly have a recipe for this, but here’s the deal: grab a can of chickpeas and drain and rinse those little boogers. Mash those bastards up as fine or as chunky as you prefer. Add some Just Mayo (or your favorite vegan mayo of choice), chop up some sweet pickles, add a splash of yellow mustard (the condiment of the Gods), maybe some garlic powder, and salt and pepper. This is totally customizable according to your tastes and needs. Make this stuff on a Sunday night and keep it in your fridge at work. This will last for about 3 lunches for me, especially if I don’t make a sandwich but instead dip it up with these chips:

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Holy shiza, these are good. They are hearty and delicious and tasty as hell! Dip dip dip til your heart’s content.

Mow also eats a ton of lunch meat. I actually never got into the vegan lunch meat world because I never ate a ton of lunch meat when I ate meat. But here are some suggestions for you and Mow to try:

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We are SUPER lucky to be living in a world of vegan lunch meat. Get thee to your grocer’s “healthy and cold” section, near the tofu and tempeh, and get some delicious vegan meats. If you hit up the Whole Foods, be sure to peep their selection of dairy free cheeses to go along with your meats:

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Field Roast is the Cadillac of the vegan meat/cheese world. Get a hold of some Chao and get to cooking some grilled cheese sandwiches and wipe away your happy tears with the bread. It’s that simple. ALSO! We are lucky to live in a place where a friend of mine makes her own vegan cheese and sells it to the masses. It’s delicious and sold all over Atlanta.

I have never made a vegan chicken salad but I’m dying to try these new recipes from Peta, Beyond Meat, and The Sensible Vegan. In fact, I’ll make one (or two or all) of these and report back.

Sometimes though, not all the time, but sometimes, you need something really meaty. Sometimes you need to bite your teeth into a burger and wince from the beauty of it all. If this is the lunch you desire, and you have a microwave at work, buy this shit immediately and keep a stash in your freezer:

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Yes, these are from Kroger. Yes, these are the best frozen veggie burgers I’ve EVER HAD. Bring some bread to work and have everyone at work ask, “What are you eating? Damn, that smells delicious. THAT’S VEGAN?” as you cackle and slap them all in the face and sashay your way out of there.

 

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Food Coma, Life

My Favorite Vegan Cookbooks

Let me start by saying: I have a problem. Hello, my name is The Veg Abides, and I have a serious problem. I am addicted to vegan cookbooks. There, it’s out now. I feel SO much better. Whew! In the past 6-7 months, I have bought approximately 20-30 vegan books. I read cookbooks much like I read all other books: bringing them to work to read on my lunch breaks; reading them at night with the light on in my bed, all covered up and cozy, and dreaming of one day making these amazing recipes. You see, I am not a chef. In fact, I’ve only recently been cooking like a maniac, furiously whipping up cheese sauces and peanut butter cupcakes. I am not, as of now, creatively prepared to think of my own recipes. It’s on the cusp, this creativity, somewhere in the back of my brain. One day I will come home with a recipe that will wow the vegan community. Parades will be held in my honor, articles written about this one recipe that EVERYONE must try, and Oprah will scream out “You simply must try ITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT” as she throws new cars at unsuspecting people. Until then, I will replicate what others have already made. I mean, these amazing people have already paved the way for little ol’ me, so I owe it to them to rock the shit out of their recipes. I present to you the ever growing list of cookbooks that I treasure.

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(yes, my cat's tail made it into this picture)
(yes, my cat’s tail made it into this picture)

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Just seeing them makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, like seeing 40 of my long lost friends. Let’s get to it!

Decadent Gluten-Free Vegan Baking by Cara Reed. Cara is sarcastic, dry witted, and an evil genius with many talents. Check out her blog for Halloween inspired goodies for Vegan MoFo!

Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr. Kris Carr is a cancer survivor and an inspiration to us all. She also doesn’t mind talking about poo, which I can certainly appreciate.

Vegan Cooking for Carnivores by Quentin Bacon. This book had me drooling!

Mayim’s Vegan Table by Mayim Bialik. Mayim is warm and wonderful. There are tons of recipes for kids, too.

Vegan Vittles by Joanne Stepaniak. Inspired by the animals at Farm Sanctuary!

Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. And she keeps doing it. She rocks. Buy all of her books immediately.

Forks Over Knives, The Cookbook by Del Sroufe, et al. The perfect accompaniment to the original book.

The China Study Cookbook by LeAnne Campbell, et al. Great healthy recipes that really rock your socks off.

Happy Herbivore, Light and Lean by Lindsay S. Nixon. Lindsay is awesome, and this book proves it. Delicious and oil-free light and healthy meals. Check her blog out, too!

The Happy Herbivore Cookbook by Lindsay S. Nixon. Clearly, you have to buy all of her books.

Eat and Run by Scott Jurek (not pictured). Such an inspiration for a vegan athlete.

Meatless Meals for Working People by Debra Wasserman and Charles Stahler. An old standby.

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman. Seriously, the oldest cookbook I own. I will never part with this.

Skinny Bitch in the Kitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. Great recipes from the crazy ladies that brought the original Bitch out.

The World Peace Diet by Will Tuttle. Such an amazing book, for many reasons.

Farm Sanctuary by Gene Baur. I cried several times while reading this book.

Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr. This book includes a 21-day reset diet which is truly amazing!

The Lean by Kathy Freston. This taught me to start out by leaning into veganism until I was ready for the full leap.

Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats by Allyson Kramer. If you’re trying to eat less gluten, give this book a peek!

Thrive by Brendan Brazier. Vegan athlete inspiration at its finest.

Forks Over Knives by Gene Stone, et al. Read the book, see the film, do it all.

Main Street Vegan by Victoria Moran. This book was extremely influential in my becoming vegan. I will never part from it.

Raw Energy by Stephanie L. Tourles. Delicious raw yummies.

The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. One of the first vegan books I read, Alicia really imparts great knowledge to us all.

The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, et al. Do I even need to mention this? Read it. Now. It will change your life forever.

Whole Grain Vegan Baking by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes. I’m excited to bake from this book for Vegan MoFo!

Pandora’s Lunchbox by Melanie Warner. Tremendously great book on processed foods.

The SimplyRaw Living Foods Detox Manual by Natasha Kyssa. Comprehensive book on the benefits of eating raw and living foods.

Sugar Salt Fat by Michael Moss. Such a game changer…you will never walk into a grocery store the same way again.

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows by Melanie Joy. Very powerful book on specieism.

In Search of the Lost Taste by Joshua Ploeg. This book takes you on a journey with recipes and amazing drawings…so creative!

The Conscious Cleanse by Jo Schaalman and Julie Pelaez. Truly a great cleanse and book.

Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina. This book helped me tremendously when becoming vegan.

Becoming Raw by Brenda Davis, Vesanto Melina, Rynn Berry. Details in great depth the amazing advantages of living raw.

The Vegan Cookbook by Parragon Books. Bought this on a whim for $5…I win!

Great Chefs Cook Vegan by Linda Long. The first vegan book I ever owned, which includes very advanced recipes.

The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook by Murdoch Books. An oldie, but a goodie.

Happy Herbivore Abroad by Lindsay S. Nixon (not pictured). International vegan meals!

Everyday Happy Herbivore by Lindsay S. Nixon (not pictured). Just buy her books already.

Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. This book RULED my brain for about a month when I first got it, for good reason.

The Veggie Burger Cookbook by MorningStar Farms. Inventive ways to use their veggie burgers.

Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin (not pictured). The OG of vegan “smack you in the face” books.

Veganist by Kathy Freston (not pictured). A great vegan book, designed to ease you in to the world.

 

At last count, I still have 89 books on my “vegan/cookbook” wishlist on Amazon. Clearly, I need to have a part-time job just to support my vegan cookbook habit. It’s not a problem, though…I mean, I can quit anytime. Seriously.

Book Love

Mayim Bialik’s “Vegan Table”

This is the newest book that I’m currently obsessed with. Am I the only one that, when you decided to go all veg-head and crazy, you bought approximately 80 thousand vegan books? I can’t be the only one, right? I am still sifting through cook books, printing off recipes daily (free printing at work FTW), and trying new ones out. It would seem like an overwhelming task, but those that know me know I’m up for a challenge. They also know that I don’t have much else going on. I digress.

Mayim’s book is cowritten with Dr. Jay Gordon, a pediatrician. While the book is aimed mostly at veg-heads that have children, veg-heads without munchkins can also love this tome. Her french toast will be made and eaten by yours truly this Saturday, and I’ve been looking forward to it all week long. The book offers some great advice for new veg-heads about stocking your pantry, information about substitutions for meats/dairy, and essential vitamins and the like. I find the “voice” of the book to be warm, as if Mayim herself were telling you “We don’t eat much processed foods in our home, but I love a white pasta Mac ‘n Cheeze just like the rest of ’em!” Apparently the Mayim in my head has a southern accent and uses chewing tobacco. A disgusting habit, Mayim.

I do wish there were more pictures. (Yes, I’m a small child and like books with pictures. Sue me.) There’s a section in the middle that has certain recipes and their delightful pictures, but sometimes I like to make sure that my recipe looks like it does in the book; which it never does, but still. Safety blanket, and whatnot.

Many many recipes will be made from this book, as opposed to other veg-head cookbooks that give recipes for 5-star dishes that no one in their right mind would make at home. I have a feeling that this book will doggy-eared and spattered with love in no time at all.