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| The New Hope Journal
The Poetry, Essays and Personal Journals of Larry L. Dill
| February 2011
Confessions of A Vegetarian
Everything you ever wanted to know about what I ate in January 2011
by Larry L. Dill
In the January issue of the New Hope Journal I published my prepared notes for a presentation I made on vegetarianism in the Vanderbilt Apartments on December 8th. During the question and answer period one of the attendees said, "I understand more or less what vegetarians eat, but my question is, What do YOU eat?" For some reason I found it difficult to say much more than, "Just about anything that is not meat or did not come from an animal." Well, actually, of course I COULD eat that way. But I don't. There are very few vegetables that I would not eat. In fact I can't think of one right now. But the truth is that I have preferences and so I tend to eat similar meals with similar vegetables over and over again. Especially now that I live alone and must deal with a lot of leftovers and especially in the winter when the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables is somewhat diminished.
Sometime around the first of January of this year it occurred to me to keep a food journal, at least for one month so that once and for all I could fairly answer the above questioner's fair question, "What do YOU eat." I have done that and publish it here now. I do not believe that is any kind of model diet. But it is an almost completely accurate account of what I did in fact eat in this particular month of this particular year. I did not plan menus or do any thing out of the ordinary because I was keeping a journal. Because it was so cold this January I probably ate more soup and chili than I do in the warmer months when I am likely to eat more salads and fresh local fruits and vegetables. But that's about it.
A further note on my eating patterns. Until I was nearly 60 years old (even including my early years as a vegetarian), my breakfast diet consisted of fried or scrambled eggs, toast and potatoes or grits. Before I became a vegetarian 20 years ago it also included bacon or sausage. When I became a vegan 5 years ago I gave up the eggs as well and more or less just gave up eating breakfast. With time I came to a point where I sometimes have what I call a continental breakfast of toast and fruit. Occasionally oatmeal or cereal with vegan margarine and or soy milk. I drink exacty 2 cups of coffee every morning religiously, each with about one teaspoon of sugar, maple syrup or molasses. My friends continue to chastise me for what often appears to be a diet of only 2 meals a day. Actually, it is sometimes more like one. I can now feel vindicated about this pattern because of General Stanley McChrystal, the recently retired 4 star general who claimed to eat only one meal a day.
One final note. I usually have a cocktail or two before supper and drink beer or wine with my evening meals and have several more before I go to bed.. This is certainly not inconsistent with vegetarianism since the production of alcoholic spirits does not usually involve animals (there are some exceptions in some processing procedures that involve some animal products that are of particular concern to some vegans.) I do not promote or in any way suggest that the consumption of alcohol should or should not be a part of a vegetarian diet (or any other diet). But any substance you put into your stomach is going to have an effect on your overall body chemistry and eventually on your health. With this final disclosure I believe I can safely say that I am presenting a fairly complete accounting of my food and fuel consumption for one complete month.
Larry L. Dill's Complete Food Journal for January 2011
Jan 1 Brunch: toast with margarine, Soy milk*, banana.
Supper: Black eyed peas and collard greens cooked with garlic, jalapeno peppers, home fried potatoes, fruit salad with tangerines, apples, raisins, kiwi, mango, pineapple, cornbread with earth balance vegan margarine.
Jan 2 Brunch: leftover fruit salad from Jan 1
Supper: Leftovers from New Years day supplemented with corn on the cob and fresh sliced tomatoes.
Jan 3 Same as Jan 2
Jan 4 Lunch: Tempeh* salad sandwich with dill pickle relish, onions, olives, mustard, Vegenaise (vegan mayonnaise) on seeded Jewish rye bread with lettuce, tomato and jalapeno peppers.
Supper: fresh pole beans with potatoes cooked with garlic, onions, pepper and olive oil.
Jan 5 Brunch: whole wheat toast with earth balance margarine and a banana.
Supper: Spaghetti with tomato sauce with tempeh* crumbles, shiitaki mushrooms, red and green bell peppers, onions, garlic, celery, tomatoes, chili peppers, basil, oregano, olives, black pepper and nutritional yeast for garnish.
Jan 6 Lunch: home made soup with leftover black eyed peas and pole beans plus potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, chopped tomatoes, olive oil, black pepper and salt.
Supper: oven baked French spaghetti made from leftover spaghetti, chopped and mixed with leftover sauce, topped with nutritional yeast and baked in the oven.
Jan 7 Lunch at Greenlife Grocery: Tomato soup with whole grain seeded roll ($4.00).
Supper with vegetarian friend: Garbanzo beans and rice with garlic and hot peppers, tabouli with Bulgar wheat, onions, cucumbers and tomatoes.
Jan 8 Lunch: Tofurkey sandwich (processed vegetarian sandwich slices, Vegenaise, lettuce, tomato, onion and jalapeno peppers on Whole wheat toast).
Supper: Curried lentils with carrots, garlic, celery, steamed rice. Collard greens cooked with olive oil, garlic and pickled jalapeno pepper juice.
Jan 9 Brunch: Whole wheat toast with margarine, soy milk *, banana and apple.
Supper: Pinto beans, whole wheat bread, salad with lettuce, carrots, celery, onions, carrots and tomatoes.
Jan 10 Same as Jan 8
Jan 11 Brunch: Toast with margarine, fruit salad of banana, pear and blueberries.
Supper: Pinto beans, Mexican rice made with leftover steamed rice re-sauteed in oil and mixed with canned enchilada sauce, chili peppers, green and red bell peppers, green onions, and served with soft corn tortillas (heated)
Late night snack: homemade popcorn.
Jan 12 Breakfast: toast, margarine and a pear.
Lunch at Greenlife Grocery: split pea soup ($3.25).
Supper: Same as Jan 11
Jan 13 Lunch: Crispy tacos (homemade "meat" made from TVP*, chili powder, comino, garlic, onions, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, pinto beans ) served with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, green onions and salsa.
Supper: batter fried okra and potatoes, pinto beans, green salad same as Jan 9.
Jan14 Brunch: toast, margarine banana, blueberries.
Supper: Taco salad (left over taco meat from Jan13 served over tortilla chips) with lettuce, tomato and green onions on top.
Jan 15 Lunch: Peanut butter sandwich. Soy milk*. apple.
Supper: Chili made from left over pinto beans, left over taco meat plus corn, garlic, onions, mushrooms, canned tomatoes, fried tofu*, chili powder, jalapeno peppers.
Jan 16 Lunch at the Greenlife Grocery: Baked tofu*, steamed broccoli, kidney beans, oven roasted sweet potatoes, rice. ($5.50)
Supper: Chili left over from Jan 15
Late night snack: fresh strawberries and mixed nuts
Jan 17 Breakfast: oatmeal with raisins, mixed nuts and maple syrup.
Lunch: Peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole wheat bread, tortilla chips, soy milk*.
Supper: Fresh string beans with red new potatoes. Sauteed Cabbage, onions, and fresh apples. Tomato, cucumber and onion salad with vinegar and olive oil.
Jan 18 Breakfast: Whole wheat toast with margarine banana and apple.
Lunch: tomato, cucumber, onion salad with ritz crackers.
Supper: Breaded fried okra, leftover green beans with new potatoes, leftover cabbage and apples.
Jan 19 Breakfast: toast with banana.
Lunch: Tofurkey sandwich (same as Jan 9).
Supper: Pinto beans with salsa, corn tortillas (heated)
liquid truffle at the Chocolate Lounge.
Jan 20 Brunch Multigrain toast, margarine, banana, pineapple chunks and mixed nuts.
Supper: Lima beans cooked with onions, garlic, celery and vegetarian bullion, kale with garlic, turnips and jalapeno peppers. Sliced tomato on the side.
Jan 21 Breakfast: carrot cake with soy milk *.
Supper: same as Jan 20
Jan 22 Lunch: Tofurkey sandwich (same as Jan 9) with homemade french fries.
Supper: Black bean soup with onions, garlic, celery and shiitaki mushrooms. Served with Ritz crackers.
Jan 23 Lunch at Greenlife Grocery: Oven baked tofu*, vegan shepherd's pie (with mashed potatoes, peas and seitan*), steamed broccoli, roasted yellow and zucchini squash. ($6.00)
Supper: Vegetable soup with green peas, carrots, potatoes, corn, banana peppers, garlic and onions.
Jan 24 Brunch: Toasted foccacio bread with margarine and fruit salad of strawberries, oranges and apples.
Supper: Crispy tacos ( homemade "meat" made with TVP*, onions, garlic, chili powder, comino, leftover vegetable soup from Jan 23 supper) plus fresh shredded lettuce, tomato and onion.
Jan 25 Brunch: Toast, strawberries and pineapple chunks.
Mid afternoon Movie snack of popcorn
Supper: Same as Jan 24 supper
Late night snack: Ritz crackers and bread and butter pickles.
Jan 26 Lunch: Tofurkey sandwich (same as Jan 9)
Supper: Okra gumbo (made with garlic, onions, chili peppers, flour, oil soy sauce, vegetable bullion, fresh tomato chunks, beer and cracked black pepper). White rice on the side.
Jan 27 Brunch: toast, strawberries, pineapple, banana
Supper: Canned organic chunky tomato soup with added potatoes, green onions, carrots, fresh basil. Served with oven heated focaccio bread with margarine.
Late night snack: unsalted mixed nuts.
Jan 28 Lunch: Peanut butter sandwich with strawberries and pineapple.
Supper: Chili made with leftover taco meat from Jan 24 plus an added can of pinto beans, fresh tomatoes, green onions, chili powder and vegetable bullion cube. Served with heated soft corn tortillas.
Jan 29 Brunch: toast with fruit salad of banana, apple, pineapple, strawberries, tangerine.
Supper: Red beans (gift from a friend) over tortilla chips with carrot, celery and cucumber sticks.
late night snack: unsalted mixed nuts.
Jan 30 Brunch at Greenlife Grocery: Tofu* scramble (with onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and bell pepper), vegan sausage patty, potatoes, biscuit with vegan gravy, watermelon and honeydew melon. ($6.50)
Supper: leftover chili Jan 28 plus carrot, celery and cucumber sticks.
Jan 31 Brunch: Toast and fruit salad from Jan 29
Supper: Spaghetti and sauce with squash, onions, garlic, shiitaki mushrooms, focaccio bread, green salad of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, carrots and cucumbers with vinegar and oil.
SOY MILK: A milk substitute made from soybeans that contains about the same protein content as milk and when prepared properly can have the texture and taste of cow's milk.
TOFU: A versatile, high protein substitute for meat made from coagulated soy milk in much the same process as cheese is made. Tofu is low in fat and high in protein and has little flavor of its own. It absorbs the flavors of the spices and sauces around it.
TEMPEH: Fermented soy beans that create a cakelike product that can be used as a meat substitue. Popular with many vegetarians who have an intolerance to the traditional soy based meat substitute--tofu.
TVP: Textured Vegetable Protein. A high protein product made from soy flour into crisp cereal like crumbles that can be used in vegetarian or vegan dishes to simulate the texture of meat. Often used in spaghetti sauce, chili and hamburger substitutes.
SEITAN: Basically a wheat based gluten product that when properly prepared is a popular alternative to soy based meat sustitutes and generally considered superior in its meat like texture.
|January 2011 New Hope Journal
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