I’m sleepy on a Saturday night, after a feast of Tamale Pie and Colcannon, as prescribed by the ‘Colour Me Vegan’ cookbook. (I think I’ll be using this book a lot more.  Its format, pictures and ideas are so encouraging.)  The meal was delicious, satisfying, and had both me and my two fellow diners holding out our plates for seconds.

This is great, but it’s been a lot of work.  The last 36 hours have been all about food: talking about it, shopping for it, preparing it, looking up items on the internet, thinking about it…  I feel like I’m using up extra calories in brain processing.

So, how has the first day been?  Well, Friday at the office was fine.  I’d stocked up in advance with non-dairy milk, seeds and apples to nibble on and get me through the mid-afternoon craving for “a little something”, and I’d prepared a lunchbox, so that was fine.  Colleagues were curious, and generally supportive. “Will you be throwing out your shoes then?” asked one.  I replied that I wouldn’t, but, if this becomes a commitment to a permanent lifestyle, I’ll be thinking carefully next time I need to buy a pair of shoes.

Vegan shoes.  Now there’s something else to think about.  If they’re not made from animal derivatives, what are they made from?  If they’re made from fossil fuels, that’s not very sustainable, is it…?  I have so many questions.  Like I said yesterday, I’ll work on getting the food bit sorted out first, and then see what follows.

After work, I took part in a local protest event.  We’re trying to save our local library, which is threatened by government cuts.  Standing outside in the January cold was the first point in the day when I felt a craving that I would normally satisfy with chocolate, or cake.  I munched my way through a few handfuls of pistachios, savouring each one as I prised it out of its shell.  I love pistachios, so this didn’t feel like a sacrifice, but I was conscious of how this food choice was different from normal.

The Day One shout out goes to Dan, my lovely boyfriend, who had improvised a Vegan soup and placed a steaming bowlful in front of me shortly after I got in.  He told me he had looked up at least 3 food ingredients on the internet to see if he could add the Sweet Chilli Sauce from the cupboard to the soup.  Dan’s a Vegetarian, but doesn’t eat Vegan because he feels it would be very restrictive. (He also thinks Almond Milk tastes “like wallpaper paste”.)  I can understand his point of view, realising how much thinking and checking I’m having to do about food at the moment.  The soup was delicious and I ate it with a grateful heart.  Having support on this journey feels brilliant.

Today, Saturday, has been all about food.  It began with reading recipe books, making a list, and shopping.  The local greengrocer is a good one, with shelves well-stocked with all manner of everyday, and more exotic, fruit and veg.  I found all the vegetables I needed and a lovely box of dates (rich in Vitamin B).  Supermarkets, for the dry goods, proved more problematic, and we had to visit two before I’d found what I wanted.  The visit to the second one was for non-dairy margarine and dessicated coconut.

After a break for a walk in a cold, but sunny, woodland nearby, I spent the afternoon cooking.  I think it took about 2 hours overall, and I’m aware that I won’t have this sort of time available on week days.  I feel a bit anxious about this, but I’ll be trying to cook large quantities so there are leftovers, and won’t be splashing out with new recipes every day.

The results of my work were a spicy bean pie, topped with polenta, and steaming mashed potato with garlic and curly kale.  The pie, taking it’s inspiration from a Mexican dish, was colourful and enticing, and the Colcannon, an old favourite, but embellished with fresh touches from the ‘Colour Me Vegan’ recipe, was as delicious as ever.  When food is like this, abundant, creative, sensual, eating is a pleasure.

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