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:

download

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:

download (1)

download (2)

download (4)

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:

download (3)

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:

download (5)

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.

 

Advertisements
Food Coma, Life

ThanksLiving: PlantbasedATL’s Vegan Pot Luck

I realize now, more than ever, that I am a lucky girl. Lucky to be moving into a great career (10 years later…but who’s counting?), lucky to have friends and family that support and love me, and lucky to have found a new crew with which to talk about how Whole Food’s vegan crab cakes are the ultimate and the everything. But for real, has anyone tried those? They keep them next to the pizza and cold schtuff and they can be heated up if desired (please desire this). I dare say that meat eaters would also like them because they are the end all be all. If there was a Whole Foods closer to me, I would personally be the sole proprietor of the vegan crab cake section, and all others would bow to my effortless way of saying, “No, really, I’ll take them all. Can you guys make any more while I shop?”

Our Whole Foods hot bar spoils.
Our Whole Foods hot bar spoils.

On Saturday, us veganators had our first ThanksLiving Vegan Pot Luck and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t a smashing success. Our friends Sonya and David were kind enough to host us at their AMAZING Kirkwood home. Holly, Daniel and I drove around town on Saturday morning, gathering supplies and taking an hour lunch break to eat everything the Whole Foods hot bar had to offer. People, if you haven’t tried the chicken fried tofu, you haven’t lived. Poppa Veg-Head, my dad from Mobile that eats meaty meat at every meal, even likes the chicken fried tofu.

IMG_0474

IMG_0475

IMG_0477

IMG_0490

IMG_0491

IMG_0492

IMG_0493

IMG_0494

IMG_0495

IMG_0497

IMG_0498

IMG_0499

We started setting up at David and Sonya’s about 20 minutes before people started arriving and I was sweating profusely, which is quite normal. Soon, 50-60 people started arriving with overflowing casserole dishes filled with homemade macaroni n cheese, green bean casserole, kale salad, garlic mashed potatoes, butternut squash soup, and the like. We had more food than we knew what to do with. We did, of course, stuff our faces.

Daniel, in front of framed pictures of the FCFS animals.
Daniel, in front of framed pictures of the FCFS animals.
Daniel's presentation.
Daniel’s presentation.

Daniel made an amazing presentation about Full Circle Farm Sanctuary, our beloved home away from home in North Carolina. We raised almost $250 for FCFS, which no doubt made Penny the pig flop in the mud and Nemo the llama look completely apathetic, per usual. We ate, we conversed, we met new people and hugged friends, drank warm boozy punch, and were very much alive and thankful.

OMG.
OMG.
I ate so many.
I ate so many.

Krista, of Krissy Sweet Treatz, made the MOST AMAZING cheese-less cheesecakes I’ve ever had in my life. I personally ate 4 as soon as they hit the table, then I took home several more to “sample”. I am currently craving her peanut butter flavor, which is just the right subtle blend of peanut buttery goodness with the crunchy crust. I will be ordered these for any event I am forced to bring food to, so get ready.

Holly, me, and Krista.
Holly, me, and Krista.

All in all, it was a magical event. We raised money for FCFS, we ate, we drank, and we laughed. Because what else is there in life?

Life

10 Things I Love: Friday Edition

Today, I love:

1. South Pacific Plantains from Naturebox. Can we talk about Naturebox for a minute? They rock my hippie socks. They accidentally charged me for two boxes instead of one, so they sent an extra box to me. I will forever love them. Plus, you can customize each order according to what you want that month (Salty? Savory? Sweet? The snack world is your proverbial vegan oyster). Rock on, Naturebox.

2. Dry shampoo. I’m trying to stop washing my hair everyday, now that I have blonde highlights and whatnot. So for two days this week, I rocked a no-poo shampoo. This lead me down a serious rabbit hole of googling to discover how to DIY dry shampoo, which made me sooooo happy. Why spray all of those crazy unpronounceable chemicals into your hair when arrowroot powder will do the trick? Slowly, I’m moving away from the convenience of buying stuff and into the DIY world of making stuff. One should note that I have yet to DIY anything, but I have plans. BIG plans.

3. Popcorn. Ok, I love popcorn every day. Why? Because popcorn is appropriate every day of the week. Need a snack? Pop it. Want some dessert? Keep it popping. Lazy and can’t possibly make anything the resembles dinner? Pop that shiz. I have also been known to make popcorn for breakfast. DON’T JUDGE ME, people. If you make it yourself, ya know that old school way with actual kernels, you can pop it in a small amount of oil and add a tiny amount of salt. Or, go crazy and melt that vegan butter to pour on top or add some soy sauce. Microwave popcorn has never tasted this good, plus you don’t get all of those crazy chemicals. Viva la popcorn!

4. Stone Mountain. For something ridiculously small, like $30, you can have an annual parking pass to this great mountain. What does this mean? It means you can go and get your walk on in a safe place with a ton of other like-minded peeps. The big loop around is a rocking 5-mile track, with some nice hills thrown in. I’ve even seen a deer once while walking! Yay for wildlife. If you’re really adventurous, hike up the mountain itself for insane views and a prideful feeling. It’s a pretty decent 1-mile hike up, and the hike down will test the depths of your thigh muscles. Crazy folks jog up and jog down, but us quasi active people will just marvel at them as they fly by. One day, maybe.

5. Big Organic Garden. If you live in Georgia, this organic garden service is amazing. You can choose a box size, and if you want a fruit box/veggie box/mixed box, and then pick that delicious veg-head heaven up and consume said goodies. Such a cheaper deal than going to the store, and you’re an awesome person because you are supporting local farmers. Go, you! A new service that I will be checking out is Fresh Harvest. Same idea, but they deliver to my place of employment (bonus!) and you get to sub out veggies/fruit that you don’t want for something else (double bonus!). Check them out here: http://freshharvestga.com/home.php & http://bigorganicgarden.com/

6. Gluten & Allergen Free Expo. Do I even need to say how excited I am to be going to this on the 18th? I have no one to go with, yet I will haul my arse to the Cobb Galleria to wander through booth after booth of delightful yummies. And let’s be honest, I will be mainly excited for any FREE vegan  goodies. I will report back.

7. Wellness Mama. I am apparently SUPER late to this party, but at least I showed up. Wellness Mama is a wealth of knowledge of awesomeness. Today, I learned that I can use coconut oil in my hair to lower frizz and as a body lotion. WHAT? Amazing. I may even start talking Astaxanthin. You’re going to have to go to the site to learn why: http://wellnessmama.com/15283/benefits-astaxanthin/

8. Vegan Overnight Oats. Angela from Oh She Glows is one of my all-time favorite veg-heads for a plethora of reasons. Mainly, I just want to be her friend IRL (that means “in real life”! I’m hip now). I have tried so many of her recipes and they have found their way into my vegan routine. If you are looking for an easy (read: mix ingredients together, put in fridge, eat for breakfast in the morning; that kind of easy) new breakfast idea, please try this: http://ohsheglows.com/2011/06/04/blueberry-banana-pie-vegan-overnight-oats/

9. Whole Foods. My love for Whole Foods runs concurrent to my hatred for Whole Foods. Why is it so damn expensive? Because it can be. Why are they so far away from me? Because it can be. I love it, I hate it, I can’t live without it. Where else can I go to get my seitan bacon and my wheatgrass shot and my vegan Earth Balance popcorn? Sigh. I wish I could quit you, Whole Foods. Who am I kidding? I wouldn’t even if I could.

10. Spotify. For a measly $10/month, you can jam out to an endless amount of music. No one can judge you for your crazily titled playlists, such as “Fun” or “Mellow”. Not that those are the titles to my playlists or anything. Because they’re not. I would come up with something much classier and awesome. You can also find new music, which is super fun. Right now, I’m listening to Beyonce’s “XO” which followed Better Than Ezra’s “Cry in the Sun”. Side note: I hate that I sometimes like Beyonce. I also like to pronounce her name like “Bee-yawn-say”, as if I was born in Eufala, Alabama in 1919.