Sunday, August 6, 2017

Howl To Be Vegan Part I

Update: I'm still a vegan. I feel the need to say this because I haven't posted any food pictures on Instagram in a while (Did it really happen if you didn't tell the whole world on social media about it?). I don't normally post food pictures for several reasons: 1. I'm way too excited to eat my food to take a picture of it. 2. Just because something looks good doesn't mean it's going to taste good, which is why I need to do a taste test first. 3. Lighting really sucks sometimes.

Because I haven't been posting any pictures of food, I feel like I've failed in showing people how to be vegan. I've been sharing snippets of vegan documentaries and books like What The Health and Proteinaholic on Snapchat, but I haven't been sharing my meals. One of my friends responded to my Snaps saying how he's more interested in how to become a vegan. He has this belief that it costs a lot of money and takes a lot of effort to be vegan, and I want to disprove that. At first, I was going to vlog how I prepare a meal from going to the grocery store to cooking it, but I'm too lazy for that, and a blog post seems easier and more my style. I might someday vlog one of my meal preps, but today, I'm going to tell you what I've cooked since moving back to Charlottesville (I've lowkey been struggling in how to show you guys what I've eaten until I thought of this idea today. My move made it the perfect time to start this series).

A couple of disclaimers first: 1. I know people are more drawn to pictures, but this series will be more text-driven like most of my work because of the reasons I mentioned in the first paragraph. 2. The name of this series was inspired by Lost Dog's Cafe Howl To Be Vegan menu, which some restaurant employees don't even know about.


My sister bought some spaghetti sauce with no intention of using it (that's another story), and she had a bunch of leftover pasta lying around. Spaghetti is also a relatively simple dish to make, so the choice was obvious to make spaghetti for my first self-cooked meal in Charlottesville. I usually make spaghetti with mushrooms and onion, but mushrooms were expensive at Kroger, so I decided to replace them with carrots I had in the fridge instead. I actually prefer it over the mushrooms now. Here's the recipe:

Serves 4

Classico Spicy Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce/your favorite pasta sauce 24 oz $1.98 (according to
Spaghetti $1 or $2 at your local grocery store (any type you want but I suggest whole grain)
2 garlic cloves
4 carrots (You can get a bag for a few bucks at your local grocery store)
1 onion of any kind ($2 for a bag of sweet or yellow onions)
Fresh tomatoes

Chop garlic, carrots, onion, and tomatoes to whatever size you like. Heat up some oil (this is an unhealthy step that I will try to avoid in the future). Add the garlic and cook until brown. Add carrots and onion. Cook for 10 minutes or whenever you feel is adequate. Season with salt, oregano, and whatever seasoning you like. Stir in pasta sauce and fresh tomatoes, and cook until the carrots are soft enough for your liking. Add more seasoning if necessary. Cook pasta separately. Enjoy.

Cucumber, Tomato & Hummus Sandwich

My mom gave me some cucumbers and tomatoes from my dad's garden, and before I didn't know what to do with them. Then, I saw a hummus sandwich on a restaurant menu. The rest is history jk this story's a little more complicated because I needed hummus but wasn't going to spend the money (it's expensive) on it at when I've thrown away the last two or three hummuses? I've bought at the grocery store. Because my sister had a can of cannellini beans left over, I told myself I would just make my own because a girl in one of my fourth year seminars brought in some homemade white bean hummus one time, and it was banging. The only problem? I didn't have a blender. I was about to give up, but then I was like eff it-I'm just going to make a "deconstructed hummus" and see how it goes. I also didn't buy tahini because that shit's expensive, but I did have leftover sesame seeds, which I had to use whole too.

Serves ? idk I'm still eating it

1 can of white beans ($0.99 max)
1 lemon (I bought one for $0.79, but you can get one cheaper)
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
1 garlic clove
1 cucumber
5-6  tiny tomatoes (or 1 big tomato)
Bread (I'm using 6 pita pockets aka pita halves, which I got for $2.50 at Kroger).

Rinse and mash beans. Add sesame seeds and mix. Squeeze in juice from lemon and mix again. Make the garlic clove into tiny pieces somehow and add them as well. Mash and mix some more. Maybe season with salt (I don't remember if I did or not). Toast bread. Spread hummus mixture on bread or inside pita. Add some slices of cucumber and tomatoes, and enjoy.

This ended up being pretty tasty. If you recreate this recipe and it doesn't taste good, then I probably left out an ingredient in these instructions. I've also been eating the hummus with some of my sister's leftover sesame rice crackers, which complement the sesame seeds in the hummus really well.

Breakfast & Dessert
Donut from Moon Maiden

For breakfast, I've been eating my sister's leftover almond butter, which she got for free, with whole wheat bread, and for dessert, I eat fruit. This week, I got bananas and two packages of strawberries for only $3, the special deal at Kroger this week so fruit can absolutely be affordable.

That's all for now! I hope you guys enjoyed. Let's see if I can keep this up, but in the meantime, here's a picture of an okay donut I got at the Farmer's Market yesterday. In addition to being vegan, it was also gluten free, which is probably why it didn't taste that good (it was super dense). It was also $5, so it was definitely a treat.

Edit: A previous version of this blog forgot to include fresh tomatoes in the spaghetti recipe.