Monday, August 18, 2008

making it all work

NOTE: i have a food porn entry i haven't been able to post yet, because my home computer is a temperamental geezer, and we are one of five people on planet earth who have dial up. i will try again tonight.

we recently returned from a trip up north to kalamazoo. we were there to attend a couple of weddings, and i was slightly nervous about it because it was my first road trip as a vegan. thanks to the book "Vegan Freak: Being Vegan in a Non-Vegan World" by Bob and Jenna Torres, i felt properly armed so i wouldn't feel like a victim. in the book, they list some handy tips to vegans to help them survive away from home. after all, no one wants to eat plain baked potatoes and spaghetti, right?

the most important point i appreciated is that MEEK VEGANS SUFFER. this means i can't be whiny about my choice nor expect/assume others in my life will cater to my eating habits, so it is MY RESPONSIBILITY to either make my needs known or make my own food. it is also important to thank people for being supportive and understanding if i visit them and they do have things for me to eat. i packed plenty of food for the weekend so i wouldn't be stuck without my comfort items. lucky for me, kzoo has an awesome lebaneese eatery called Shawarma King. the name is kind of cheezy, but there are many delectable vegan selections and the price is nice. i have never tasted hummus that was so smooth and light. some middle eastern places use egg with their falafel, and when i asked the waitress if they used egg in their recipe, she sorta stared at me like i had taken a dump on her shoe, then she smiled and said, "no. in fact, if someone uses egg making falafel, that isn't falafel."
i also believe in the vegan power of creativity. i enjoy the challenge of taking a traditional omni dish and veganizing it-(thanks Isa and Tofu n' Sprouts!). while at my father-in-law's house, i was watching an itallian cooking show on the food network. i'm very intrested in making eggplant timbale (supposed to be an italian word for drum). it is a delicious dish made with thin pieces of grilled eggplant that cover a wheel of yummy marinara, ziti, peas, cheese, and meat. i know i can make this vegan, and will try to do so in the very near future. the one she made on her show required the use of a spring form pan, which i don't have. i think i can improvise by making a rectangular one using a loaf pan, or making mini tambales using a muffin pan. cooking has become my new medium for making art.

then there are things that just can't (nor should be) made vegan. like haggis, foie de gras, chitterlings, or the dish made after the eggplant tambale that caused me wince and just shut the t.v. off: veal and lemon slices wrapped in prosciutto ham and fried. call me crazy, but i just wasn't interested in eating that.


Urban Vegan said...

Meek vegans do suffer. And I think it's important to say who you are and what you want--and say it proudly. Helps make veganism just a little more accepted each time.

The food looks fab.

jelymo said...

thanks for saying so! i'm enjoying being who i am and not making anymore excuses.

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Great tips for traveling vegans. Or non-traveling vegans. I can't place you as the "meek" type, somehow I think you'll be fine out there in the omni world. I have to say though, being mentioned in the same sentence as Isa... :swoon: I'm so honored. :)
Keep up the good work.

Mari said...

When I travel I always offer to shop and cook dinner. If it's a gathering like Thanksgiving I always bring a dish that I can eat (and will fill me up). Makes life easier for everyone.

In restaurants I look at the whole menu and if there isn't an obvious veggie item I'll ask if they can combine two things (pan-fried mushrooms and spaghetti... why not?)