That’s a NO from me, thanks…(or, Adventures with Jackfruit)

Vegetarian meat substitutes have come a long way since the last time our family gave meat the boot. And I’m grateful, truly I am. I no longer have to make do with old-fashioned TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein, which is as appetizing as it sounds) or the one vile brand of veggie burgers that our local supermarket carried.

I like to cook. I like to try new things. I yearn for the rare and the different, and I consider myself a fairly open-minded soul with a lust for experimentation.

But holy shit batman, jackfruit sure is disgusting.

I had high hopes for the (absurdly pricey) package I picked up at Pete’s Fine Foods recently. I used to love pulled pork, and word on the street  was that this stuff would make a fairly close approximation.  Ha!

I followed the directions, being a rule-following citizen, and mixed this stuff up with some of our favourite BBQ sauce and water and let it simmer for the allotted time.  To accompany this delightful treat, I fired up the deep fryer and whipped up some sweet potato fries. (Thank God that I did…or I would have been hitting the cereal shelf HARD.)

You know how, when you used to eat a regular hot dog, you KNEW intellectually there were lips and assholes in it, but you tried not to think about it? Yeah. Well.

Eating this stuff was like biting into the dog and finding that the lips and assholes were still intact.

JACKFRUIT BURGER

It was slimy and full of oddly textured “bits” that were incredibly off-putting. They lingered in spite of my vigorous attempts to mash them out of existence.  It also had a “fruity” flavour that I thought would be pleasant in a BBQ environment, but instead was reminiscent of someone taking a shit in a public restroom and spraying tropical air freshener on top of it.

Just LOOK at this shiny, glistening slimy pile….just look at it…I think it will come out essentially in the same state it went in.

jACKFRUIT BURGER 2

Sorry, Jackfruit. I’m voting you off the island. I appreciate that you’re an option for some of us, but I’m personally gonna have to give you a pass.

#whatsnext #experimentswithfood #veganshit #notafan #jackfruitH8r

Once more, into the breach!

~Tracy

Help, I’m lost in my kale patch and I can’t get out!

I don’t like kale.

There, I said it. I know I’m supposed to, I know how GOOD it is for me, IknowIknowIknow. However, eating it raw reminds me of chewing on a mattress cover and is about as tasty. Put it in a stir-fry or a soup, and it refuses to break down, not unlike bits of plastic floating in the ocean.

And yet, I grow a buttload of it in my garden each and every year. It grows like it’s on Viagra, lasts until long after all the trees have ejaculated their leaves off,  and nothing can kill this shit, I swear.  What I have, essentially, is a dense forest of nutrition with questionable ingestion potential. What’s a gal to do?

Kale

I’ll tell ya what I do…I take advantage of the fact that I have nothing better to do than sit on my sofa playing Candy Crush on a Saturday, and use this blessed downtime to dehydrate it in my oven. I can reduce an entire salad’s worth of kale into a tablespoon of inoffensive powder!

You too can make your own green powder. They sell that stuff all over the place for, like, a bazillion dollars per jug, but you can have the last laugh and make your own. I’ve been doing this for a few years now, and I can assure you that the final product stays good for a really long time, and it’s super easy to disguise in a smoothie. Just set your oven to 175 degrees Celsius with the door propped open, and take it out and manhandle it now and then. Run the dried and crumbled kale through a coffee grinder (about ten bucks if you don’t have one yet for some unknown reason.) Takes about three hours.

powdered kale

(Now, your entire house may temporarily smell like a dead body decomposing in a swamp, but that’s a small price to pay for a substance SO NUTRITIOUS it may give you super powers. )

Green smoothies also freak people out. I rather enjoy that part….

Peace and powders,

~Tracy

Dafuq is THIS? (Or, Hating Yourself for half-price..)

Eating a plant-based diet at home really isn’t hard.  Once you’ve rooted through your kitchen and thrown out the crap, and then stocked up on good wholesome shit, throwing a great meal together is a snap. (Not to mention as cheap as you want it to be…it’s a myth that veganism is expensive.)

And then you leave the confines of your own home and realize that most of the people that you meet seem to dislike themselves, or at the very least, are indifferent. What else could explain the fact that folks will put vile shit like canned “luncheon meat” in their pie holes?  (I mean, this is essentially jellied pink vomit in a can, now on sale for the bargain price of $1.49 in my tiny town. Land of origin? Don’t ask.)

 

One of the most priceless lessons I discovered when I gave up drinking five months ago is the ability to not only figure out who I actually was, but then to realize that I rather liked that person I discovered. (Hey, why be modest…I’m Da Shit!)

Love

That’s why I’m back to eating an overwhelmingly vegan diet.  I only want my loved ones to have the very best, and that includes my lovely self. I can’t completely feel at peace when I’m fueling my body with substandard food, or supporting a system of agriculture that is poisoning our planet and our people.

Not only that, but tofu is not only hella tasty and good with like, EVERYTHING, it also goes on sale ridiculously often and lasts a good long time in the freezer. The fact that it seems like the majority of people would rather eat the canned vomit than the soybean product is incomprehensible to me. C’mon people….love yourself just a little bit more than that.

Tofu

If you need help with that, feel free to drop by and I’ll cook you up some tofu while I tell you how damn awesome you are.  (Have I mentioned how fucking HOT you look today?)

Peace and paradoxes,

~Tracy

 

The more things change….

Once upon a time, in a sleepy redneck slice of heaven in Nova Scotia, Canada, a new vegan was born.

(Or, mostly vegan. Maybe 95 percent. Just enough to make life manageable in a region that is a dietary wastleland for those who didn’t eat meat.)

It was maybe 2004-ish, and my  then 12-year old daughter was encouraging me to take the veggie plunge, due to her sudden fascination with the documentary Supersize Me.  At the time, I felt bloated, fat, pasty, unhealthy AND in need of a pet project. Her request came at a fabulous fucking moment, and starting on January 1st of that year, the entire family agreeably gave up animal products in one fell swoop.

Thus began a very interesting slice of our family history that lasted, (for three of us at least,) until life circumstances made it suddenly very difficult long about 2011. (The above-mentioned daughter has stayed mostly vegan to this very day.) I channeled my creativity and need to share into a blog called A Veg*n for Dinner.  The blog ended up being modestly successful, and I loved being able to share our struggles and successes with a like-minded group of people.

meatballs
I still live on, at least on Pinterest!!

 

And then, shit happened. Life got busy and complicated, circumstances changed and priorities shifted. My kids grew up and headed off to university. All of a sudden, I found myself in a very unhappy place.  I felt like I was drifting through life without a purpose, and found myself asking the very important question, WHO AM I?

Turns out, I didn’t know any longer, and years of being whomever everyone else wanted me to be had caused my soul to get lost in translation.

Time on my hands this year enabled me to finally face head-on the lingering results of a very unhappy childhood. In fact, I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, (PTSD.) After some amazing and intensive therapy, which included yoga, meditation, and a focus on self-care, I came to the conclusion that I needed to go back to a way of life that fills my cup, rather than empties it.

tree pose

That includes not drinking or taking any kinds of drugs, because as my therapist says, “you can’t heal what you can’t feel.” (I haven’t had a drink since April 3rd, thank you very much!) Part of my recovery is to always face, name and feel both the good and the bad that comes along in life, and not to chase those feelings away.

It also means I make time every day to do things that I love, like exercise and reading. (And painting badly…because you can suck at something and still love it!)

And it also means I’m going back to eating a plant-based diet, because IT MADE ME FEEL AMAZING DAMMIT, and I’ve never been so healthy as I was during those vegan-ish years. This time around, I don’t care how many people decide they need to mock my choices, make disparaging comments or feel the need to remind me how delicious bacon it.  (I was very sensitive to these types of criticism, and yes, outright bullying the first time around.)

This time, I just don’t give a fuck. And I’ve spent the last few weeks dusting off my meatless cookbooks and stocking up on gluten flour, and I’m prepared to embark on a journey back to my a time when I loved myself just a little bit more.

I started with some seitan. I do loves me some seitan…

Fake meat

Join me, won’t you?

~Peace and piggies,

Tracy

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