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The title says it all. At a yard sale I found a copy of La Dolce Vegan, How it all Vegan, The Garden of Vegan, and Skinny Bitch in the Kitch. Anyone of those books would sold for 20 bucks new, but I got all four for eight bucks total. And they are as close to brand spanking new as you get. No stained, or dog eared pages here. Burn with envy all of you. And then you could recommend some recipes for me.

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Transitioning to a vegan diet is a wonderfully uplifting experience that transforms your palate and leaves you wondering why more people don’t do it, and why you hadn’t decided to do it sooner.  Except those times when it isn’t.   Lately I’ve been a culinary rut.  The last three recipes I’ve made have been duds.  First there was a sweet potato quesadilla that was okay, but wanted something savory to balance out the sweetness, than two tofu dishes that well…..look at carnage for yourself.

 

Even though dumping my old eating habits is exciting and that trying new stuff gives me a thrill, making a dish that bombs discourages me almost as much success uplifts me.  Which is weird.  When I was first learning how to cook, I made pancakes the hue of charchoal and afterward the smoke lingered in the air for hours.  My omelets became scrambled eggs, the toast caught on fire, my muffins could double as baseballs, and I once had to dump out an entire plate of fried chicken because it burnt on the outside and was raw on the inside.  Yet I never once became discouraged and rarely became frustrated.  I plodded along.  Soon I could actually cook pretty well and had a pretty nice cooking reputation in my family. 

So what’s so different now?  Well for starters I suppose I had my father.  He’s the kind of dude who would eat a fried pleather shoe if you served it to him and have something nice to say about it.  So if a dish didn’t work, he would just there chewing and insist “No, it’s good, sweetie.”  I’m not living with my father anymore, and when I’m cooking nine times out of ten I’m cooking for just me.  So if I can’t find redeeming quality in a dish, no one will.  As they say you are your sometimes your toughest critic.  Second, since I’ve already gained some talents there’s a sense of going backward that just galls me.  I mean if a guy came along and took away your diplomas and inform you that you had to repeat school from kindergarten on up ‘cuz you had learned all the wrong things wouldn’t you be pissed?  That’s the feeling I’m getting.  Third, when I make a recipe I’m not quite sure if a recipe failed because I screwed up, if the recipe itself is screwed up, if I just don’t have the taste for the dish, if I don’t have the taste for it yet but might later….see my issue? 

Despite the fact it irritates me to think that I am starting over culinarily  speaking, it seems to be the very method I might have to use.  Start with the most basic of vegan dishes.  Baked tofu, bean soup and work my way back up.  Ultimately, I will regain my kitchen mojo.  Ariel will be back and when she’s back she will better than ever.

My aunt has two vegetarian cookbooks.  One is a Weight Watcher’s book, the other is an old diet book entitled Eat More Weigh less.  The book is about as old as I am and advocates a nonfat vegetarian diet.  No oil at all and only uses nonfat dairy and egg whites.

The book has some recipes I wouldn’t mind trying out, but there was this thing in the preface that confused me.  After going on about how meat didn’t contribute to your diet, yada, yada, it says this: If you can’t be a vegetarian than eat one.”  It went on to explain about how animals that eat a vegetarian diet are lower in fat and cholesterol and are therefore better for you.  Hence, it you can’t be a vegetarian than eat one.

That confused me.  I mean, cows are vegetarian and they were just ranting about how unhealthy beef was and I have never seen a pig eat meat outside a PETA advertisement. 

I myself was a huge meat eater up until a couple of weeks ago, and even I have given up meat without too much trouble.  I have a new slogan for them: if you can’t be a vegetarian then obviously you haven’t been trying very hard.”

I’ve been looking for some recipes to make for the blog but I’ve recently made a big batch of chickpea cutlets and want to eat those up before I make anything new I’ve decided to give you a little anecdote on how I decided to become vegan.

I was a sophomore in high school.  Our biology teacher wanted us to do a paper on a “controversial biological issue”.   My paper was on evolution versus creationism but what I got out of that research is something in itself and has nothing to do with veganism.  My friend (we’ll call her Daphne) did her paper on animal rights.  I was really interested in the stuff she was researching so I went to look at the PETA website.  I didn’t leave with anything other than the typical omni response of “you people are insane!” but I suppose that something stuck with me.

Later, out of sheer morbid curiosity, I googled vegan recipes and found fatfreevegan.com.  I was really impressed by Susan’s blog.  The pictures are pretty, the recipes have great reviews and she never used the words “cruelty free.”  After checking out the fatfree vegan store, I bought Veganomicon and Vegan with a Vengeance.  I really liked them so after that I bought Vegan Planet, Vegan Express, and the Voluptuous Vegan.  As time wore on my parents really began to worry about this new found obsession of mine.

Fast forward a few years.  The year after high school I was living with some new found friends in New London Wisconsin.  The guy’s worked in a lot of different industries and has a certain liking for grossing people out.  I was more inclined to believe his meat horror stories than PETA’s because he’s actually worked in these industries and as he is not a vegetarian himself he had little reason to exaggerate.  Then he told a story about some dude that got caught masturbating while with his hand up a cow’s butt.  One need not be a vegan to think that’s repulsive but what came next shocked me even more.

“Isn’t he out of prison?”

“Yeah, I think he lives around here.”

And that’s I decided I wanted go vegan.  I was already moving out to live with my aunt and uncle in New Hampshire and decided there was no better time to make a change.  I couldn’t drink a glass of milk anymore without thinking of cow-masturbator-dude.

The weekend was lots of fun. Saturday, my aunt’s mother, father, and brother (no relation to me) were over. Her dad help me set up my blog. We spent the day painting the kitchen, and had sushi for lunch. My aunt, who is perhaps the most supportive in my decision to become vegan, made shrimp nori rolls and then made several avocado and cucumber rolls for me. I took a picture of them but still am unsure how to upload photos onto the blog.

We had a little discussion on veganism. I was complaining about finding a recipe for cheese fondue when looking up vegan recipes on the food network (I’m sure all you veteran vegans are just shocked to learn that they don’t have too many of those there). My aunt’s mom was like: “What’s wrong with that? What is a vegan any how?”

“Vegan is unhealthy,” My  older cousin interjected.

“No,” my aunt’s dad said. “Vegans don’t eat animals products. No meat, no eggs, or dairy”

“Or gelatine,” I added. I was going to mention how most vegans don’t eat honey either but my younger cousin asked: “What’s wrong with Jell-O?

“Jello-O is made from horses’ hooves.” My uncle said.

“And animal bones,” I continued.

“I will never eat Jell-O again!” She declared, repulsed.

I don’t know the reaction most people get when they announce that they’re vegan but my reactions have been mixed. My mom, who I still haven’t told about my decision, would be very leery but supportive. My older cousin, the one who made the above comment about veganism being unhealthy responded with a very uncomfortable “Oh.” My aunt had said, without even missing a beat, had said:”Oh that’s no problem!” She proceeded to hand me some paper to make a list of the food I wanted to get. My aunt’s dad had lauded me to sky and remarked how he wished he was able to go vegan and her brother was respectful but made several smart remarks about the glories of bacon. I suppose this is something, like the taste of vegetables, I will just have to get accustomed to.

Today, in between updating my quizilla account and chatting with people on Facebook, I looked up easy recipes, and vegan chatrooms on the internet. I figure that in 0rder to make this transition I’m gonna need a lot of moral support and of course I’m gonna need good food!

With luck, my next post will contain a good recipe and a picture. *Crosses fingers hopefully*

I’m so excited about starting my first blog. I’ve wanted to start one for a while, but I don’t exactly have a lot of technical savvy and assumed it would be a overly complicated and difficult task. Not so!

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ariel. I love to read and hope to go to college as an English major.  My plan is to write fantasy and science fiction novels. I love music, taking walks, and art.

I’m slowly converting to veganism, on an enviromental/ health basis rather than an ethical one. I say slowly because I have two main ( soon to be three) problems. One: I haven’t really gotten to like the taste of too many veggies over the years and I’m having trouble adjusting my palate. So part of my blog will focus on recipes for the veggie phobic like myself. Two: I’m living with my aunt and uncle in rural New Hampshire and pickings are slim. Not much in the way of vegan products. The local IGA has some tofu and one or two faux meat products along with beans and soymilk and that’s about it. The store where my aunt usually shops, in Lancastire, has those aforementioned products, in addition to soy creamer. I haven’t found any tempeh or nutritional yeast ANY WHERE around here. My third problem is I’m going to college soon and I don’t know exactly how vegan friendly it’s going be. I think I’m probably going to be eating a lot of peanut butter and jelly sammies through college. But we’ll burn that bridge when we get to it, right?

Since I’m going vegan on an enviromental basis, you can guess that I’m interested in the enviroment. Part of the blog will also be about enviromentally friendly living and cooking.