30 day vegan

The 30 Day Vegan workshop officially kicked off yesterday.  I am excited to dive in! Heather asked us to putter around the kitchen over the weekend, sprucing up the pantry and refrigerator.  As mine was beginning to teeter out of control, it felt good to tidy those things up.

I like my kitchen, we gutted it and remodeled it 8 years ago, right as I was finishing up my last rounds of treatment for breast cancer.  People thought it was a crazy time to remodel a kitchen, but it actually was something to look forward to.  I hated almost everything about the old kitchen, and since we moved somethings around in the remodel, it works so much better now.

I know she said to get the cookbooks off the counter, but they aren't in my way, and I can't work out where else to keep them.

Since this is my second time through the workshop, I moved a lot of my pantry staples to glass already.  The jars are a combination of recycled jars from Trader Joe’s, old canning jars, and some larger jars from Ikea.  I could still use more though!

I’m also transitioning to glass to store food in the refrigerator.  I would love those old Pyrex refrigerator dishes, but they are just too expensive for me.  We stopped microwaving in plastic many years ago, so reheating things around here makes a lot of dishes- one from the fridge, one to heat in, and maybe even a plate.  It is nice to store things in glass now.

For my first day on the program, I started with homemande granola, almond milk, and sliced strawberries.  I cooked up a batch of wheatberries for the wheatberry salad- which has become a staple in this house since the last workshop.  (I just realized that she hasn’t given that recipe this time around yet- bet when she does- make it!).  I also made up a batch of brown rice for some sort of grain salad.

Grain salads- that was the single biggest take-away for me from the last workshop. If you cook grains ahead, and keep some staples in your pantry (lemons, olive oil, red onions, green onions, various veggies) you can have something wonderful and nutritious to eat in 5 minutes. I have become quite adept at improvising grain salads, much to the delight to the Husband, who comes home for lunch everyday.

Today is my regular menu planning, pick up CSA box, go to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s day.  I am looking forward to planning the week ahead.

The Girl has decided to join me on this journey, for at least one week.  We call her the Dairy Queen, as she loves all things milk and cheese.  Meat she can take or leave, it’s definitely the dairy that is the challenge.  The Husband and boys went on an overnight backpacking trip yesterday, which left the Girl and I free for a fun and much needed Mom & Daughter Day.  We went out for a pedicure, an at-home manicure, out to dinner and a movie.  We saw The Help, which we both loved.  She hits roadblocks at every meal though.  Being a rather picky eater, it is hard to avoid her beloved dairy.  At the Natural Cafe, for dinner, she ordered a cheese pizza with soy mozzarella.  I was skeptical, but it turned out good.  She said that it didn’t taste like cheese, but it was still a good taste. I will try to get her to be a little more adventurous this week.

Now off to plan menus and make shopping lists!