Thursday, February 2, 2012

Be My Sweet Potato

I've been at home all week because my spouse is very ill. To keep the house extra quiet, I took the kids out and had them go to child care while I taught my Compassionate Eating class. I brought a camera so everyone could check out the spread, but um--I forgot to take pictures.

We accompanied the rest of the UU congregation with their annual Soul Food Dinner. I thought this would be the PERFECT occasion for my students to practice eating vegan in a non-vegan setting. I made tofu catfish, sweet potato and squash mix, bac-uny greens, mac n' cheese, and smolve pie for dessert.

To our surprise, the cook of the church dinner made a few vegan dishes including black eye peas and a sweet potato dessert! There was a whole tray of the dessert left--guess who got to take that home? Boo-yah. Do people even say that anymore? Anyway, it was really good--very sweet. I am going to freeze a bulk of it and use it to add to cereal, or to make a crumble/crisp on days I don't want to put much effort into dessert. Operation Yank My Sweet Tooth came in without warning--I really thought it was too decadent! I had it this morning for breakfast and had it with some rice and pumpkin seeds.

I thanked Chef Renee for her contribution. I reviewed with my class some tips on getting by in a non vegan setting:

  • Plan ahead: find out what's on the menu and ask if it can be made vegan. If not, bring your own version of the food so you can blend in, or bring a tray of your favorite food so you don't sit in a corner sulking.
  • If you're eating at a mainstream restaurant with relatives or friends, ask the server if they can custom make you a salad, baked potato, and some steamed vegetables. Almost every restaurant has these items. Thank them for their effort and be sure to sing holy praises to the manager. In this situation, I sneak in my own condiments. If you're not comfortable doing that, ask for a simple oil and vinegar dressing.
  • You can always eat before you go out, just an idea.
  • Remember, it's not the _______ you crave per se, it's the flavors and company. Craving cheese? Fat and salt. Bacon? Fat, salt, and liquid smoke. Example: I fried some bacon bitz in canola oil for a nice bacon grease and used it on the kale for dinner. Everyone was impressed.

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