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Posts Tagged ‘growing florida fruit’

I have now been tiptoeing towards veganism for about 5 months.  While I haven’t made it all the way to veganland as the road is not an easy one, most of my meals are completely vegan.  I have not touched anything that once roamed the land since August 24th, 2011.  Basically if it once had a hoof, a beak, or was a varmint of any kind, it no longer has to worry about me being on the food chain.  However, if it’s rabid, drooling and chasing me, then it may end up with a bullet in the head but I still won’t eat it.  Just making a point that if they leave me alone, I’ll leave them alone.   I love animals and I love observing wildlife.  I just don’t want to end up with any teeth marks in my butt.  Been there, done that, not fun.

I cut out eggs a couple of months ago.  Not an easy thing to do but I have somehow managed to cook everything I need without that added ingredient.  I do miss eggs, even more than meat.

I am now cutting out 95% of my dairy.  I guess this is my next step which I believe is step five on my journey.  Notice I say 95%.  That’s because a few mornings a week, I like to have a cup of coffee.  In that coffee, I place flavored creamer and whip cream.  It’s just my thing and I’m not ready to stop.  I am eagerly searching for alternatives but so far none have tasted near as good.  If you know any, let me know.  I would really like a tasty alternative.  I will not be touching any other dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc…  This will be a really hard one.  I will probably make a few mistakes by forgetting to look at the ingredients of something.  The truth is I have really cut back on this stuff because my cooking at home is completely vegan.  It’s when I go out that I tend to stray over to the dark side.  As I am writing this, I am sipping my coffee (just being honest here).  I just sprayed some whip cream on top.  I am trying to feel the guilt but honestly, there is none.  It’s just too darn good.

I am still eating seafood.  It’s not something I have everyday.  I probably get it about once a week or once every two weeks.  I am still not sure I can ever give this up.  I may end up being a vegan most of the time and a pescatarian vegetarian when I can get a hold of some fresh seafood.  Two of my favorite cities are Savannah and New Orleans.  You cannot visit these cities without eating the glorious seafood available.  Plus, I live in Florida.  Have you seen what surrounds this state?  Florida has some of the best seafood restaurants in the world.

I was having a conversation with some people last night and it’s funny because I always get asked the same thing.  “What do you eat?”  Sometimes I consider answering them  with a detailed way of cooking tree bark.  The vision in their head is that I only eat fruits, vegetables and maybe some roots, leaves and tree bark of course.  I tell them how creative one can become when your diet is limited.  I tell them about my spinach bean patties, couscous, quinoa, soups, homemade breads, coconut “ice cream”and all the different things I now can do with vegetables.  I tell them about all the neat vegetables I have tried that I had never eaten before and all the neat ways to cook them.  Usually their eyes glaze over and I figure after mentioning the spinach bean patties that replaces my meat, I lost them.  Some though stay interested and actually visit my blog.  Others get a few recipes and give something healthy a shot even if they do serve it beside a cooked carcass.  Others ask, “Why would you eat like that?”  My answer is always the same, “For my health.”  If they ask about my story, I tell them.  I have not yet tried cooking seitan and tofu.  I guess I need to venture out a little more.

So far I have lots of favorites about eating vegan.  I thought when I started this journey that I was going to have to give up so much stuff.  Now while I have given up tons, there are so many little things that surprisingly I still get to eat.  When I am having a chocolate craving its ok because that’s allowed.  I just don’t reach for the nearest snickers bar.  Instead I grab some crescent rolls and sprinkle ghirardelli chocolate chips on them.  Then wrap them up and bake.  Ghirardelli chocolate chips are “accidentally vegan.”  My kids like these too.  It’s like eating a chocolate croissant.  I always have these chips in the pantry for desperate times.  Grabbing a few and throwing them in my mouth works too.

Chocolate Crescent Rolls

Another favorite is that I don’t have to give up cinnamon toast.  I was thinking because of the butter that this was a goner.  Little did I know that a wonderful thing called Earth Balance existed right under my nose and it is the perfect butter alternative as the flavor is spot on.  Take some bread, spread on the “butter”, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, bake.  It’s that easy.

Cinnamon Toast

I’ve always been a big fruit eater and I serve fruit with most meals, even dinner sometimes.  We are lucky in that the little spot of land on which we dwell provides us with some fabulous fruit and I can eat it all with no guilt.  My own yard provides me with coconuts, oranges, tangerines, guavas, grapefruit, limes, key limes, lemons, mangoes, avocados, bananas, and loquats.  They all arrive different times of the year.

Some of my tangerines. Very sweet and yummy.

Other favorite things about eating vegan:

-It drives my family crazy.  They now have to think before I come over, “Will Leslie eat this?”

-I feel better.  This is one super bonus and I am not making it up.  I actually do feel better.

-I get to rag on my husband/grill king and he has to laugh.  Also, his meat consumption has greatly reduced.

-My kids are eating more vegetables and liking them.

-So Delicious Non-Dairy Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert “ice cream’.  Try the peanut butter chocolate swirl.  YUM!

-I can always lick the bowl.  No matter what I am fixing, I can lick the batter from the bowl and not have to worry about it.

-I started making homemade bread and it is both easy and scrumptious.

-Discovering new places I can eat at without the stress.

I was recently visiting the East Coast of Florida and happened to go into a restaurant called Little Moir’s Food Shack.  WOW is all I can say.  The Food Shack is a seafood place located in Jupiter Florida.  I need to become these peoples spoke person because their food truly bowled me over with it’s flavors and it’s menu.  Everything is homemade and fresh.  Some of the menu changes depending on what’s in season.  What caught my eye at first was on the menu it said that all their salad dressings were homemade and dairy free.  There were several items on the menu for a both a vegetarian and a vegan.  Embracing my pescatarian (seafood eater) status, I ordered a sweet potato encrusted fish and for the first time got brave enough to ask if the fish was dipped in egg or milk first.  No milk but they did use egg, however, they said they would do mine without the egg.  I nearly kissed the waiter.  Since their stuff is fresh, they can pretty much leave anything out of a dish.  They were so accommodating and didn’t even blink an eye at my request. This place was packed and when I tasted the food it was easy to see why.  I will go there again on my next trip across the state.  They have earned a forever customer.  If you live near or will be visiting Jupiter go to this place.  You will not be disappointed.  Just be prepared to have your palette wowed!!!  Enjoy.

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