Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Being Vegan Is the Best

What We Had For Dinner Last Night

Adzuki Bean Stew

1 C uncooked adzuki beans, approximately 2.5 C cooked
1 C TVP rehydrated in 2 C boiling water
1 onion, chopped
1 shallot, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 red peppers, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 potatoes, quartered and sliced thinly
2 T hot paprika sauce
1 T dill
3 T olive oil
1 t salt
pepper to taste

Boil your water (I nuked my 2 C in a 2 C Pyrex measuring cup for 5m in the microwave) and dump in the TVP. Let this sit while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.
Chop your veggies. Drain and squeeze out your TVP (I used a mesh strainer).
Saute the onions, then garlic. Add the TVP, peppers, carrots and paprika paste. Mix well and saute a few minutes. Add your adzuki beans, potatoes, pepper, salt and dill and cover with 4 C water.
Simmer for 30m or until potatoes are done.

This was really good, but I think I used too much dill, or else to our American taste buds dill=pickles. Next time I'll just use a little.
The adzuki beans were quick to cook and the stew turned out great, I was really pleased with how tasty it was without using vegetable broth!

This month is Veganmofo which is Vegan Month of Food. I suppose there are themes and such that I should be doing each day, but I thought I'd just take a moment here to talk about why I think being a vegan is so great!

I know some people might consider veganism limiting, and I can definately understand that, but for me, being vegan works as a nice way to create some parameters within which I can roam freely. Really, when you think about how much food there is out there and the myriad ways to prepare it, it's overwhelming. Being vegan creates boundaries (ethical ones, to boot) within which I can experiement and combine to my hearts content. I think cooks naturally do this (limit themselves) and I can rest more easily as a cook knowing that nothing I eat comes from animals and most of what I eat is truly healthy and good for me!

Of course, part of the creativity of being a cook is to try new things (note the combination of paprika and dill above which I would have never tried before, let alone adzuki beans) and, again, veganism wins, because there are always new things to try even within this so called limiting diet. In fact, I would argue that I try more radical things than I would have otherwise because I am vegan.

Frankly, without being vegan, I would never have tried all the different kinds of lentils, beans, spices and so forth (yes, I'm looking at you, nutritional yeast) that I have. Oh, and vegetables, let's not forget all the veggies! And I would have never tried baking my own bread or cakes, either. I would still be eating Hamburger Helper with Boca crumbles, that's what.

So in conclusion, veganism, I love you!


evestirs said...


elizabeth said...

Thank you!

J mom said...

I have to say that though I am not Vegan I do appreciate the new ways you have taught us to eat. We now eat homemade hummus and whole wheat pitas. That would never have happened without you! We also have neighbors who are Vegan and I made them some too! Our Stillwater trip was totally last minute but if we come your way again we will let you know!