Thursday, January 31, 2008

Best Vegan Food Sites

I have to say, that in an effort to get back to the healthyness that I was striving for at the beginning of this month, I have to re-innundate myself with vegan cooking and recipes.
The auther of Vegan With a Vengeance said that if you're doing it for health reasons you are not nearly as likely to stick to being vegan as you are if you do it for ethical reasons...and I think she's right. Health is great and all, but it takes constant vigilance and awareness to think about the suffering of animals.
I can't remember if I already talked about this, but before Jan 1st, I joined PETA and got their starter kit (no, I won't be throwing blood on anyone any time soon) and I was pretty shocked at how animals are treated...but when you're so used to eating meat and cheese it's really hard to think about everything that you put in your mouth (especially when it's -4 degrees and your in Sundance and your tired and you forget your New Year's resolutions and order prime rib).
Here are some sites that I really like for vegan recipes and info:
Everyday Dish
Karma-Free Cooking (okay, this is vegetarian, but there's lots of vegan stuff)
Notes from the Vegan Feast Kitchen

Happy vegan site surfing!
Last night Rachel and I went to dinner at PT in Williamsburg. It was delicious. I haven't spent a lot of time in Williamsburg. I tend to get lost there. The streets are all crazy. Why would S. 3rd run parallell to N. 3rd. The whole layout just doesn't seem logical to it's one of those areas where the cool hipsters hang out, you know, one of those places where you question if you're cool enough to be there. There is a definite uniform that most of the people there strictly adhere to and I am just not keen to it. I swear that almost all the girls were wearing the same hat. It's weird.
But dinner was great. The waiter and the bartender were both from Italy and had strong Italian accents. We started with the cheese plate which was served with pollen on the side. The pollen was interesting and really fun. Then we shared the artichoke salad. It was more of a slaw really and I don't highly recommend it. The bread was great, the olive oil was great. We shared the tuna and it was pretty good, served on a bed of chickpeas and spinach.
In all honesty what we oredered wasn't amazing by any means, but I felt like there was a lot of potential and maybe we just made a couple bad choices. It was the ambiance that really sucked me in. The atmosphere is amazing, like you are stepping down into this little cavern and once you are inside it feels like you're on an old ship.
I guess the only things I can really recommend are the wine, the bread and the cheese...and really, what more should you really need?

I've never really been a fan of the frozen meals, but sometimes you just do what you have to do.
This week I've been living off Smart Ones for lunch. It's not like they are the most delicious thing I've ever had, but they're decent...and when it's really cold outside, a sandwich for lunch just isn't going to do it. You need something warm.
Yesterday I had some sort of Spanish rice, the day before that it was ravioli, and today it's some Asian rice dish. Now, I know what you're thinking, none of this is vegan. Well, after some un-tasty run-ins wiht Annie's vegan burritos, I've gone over to the dark side, at least for the time being. At least until this weekend when I can go to the farmer's market and get myself back on track.

Monday, January 28, 2008

January, you have not been kind to me. It all started out so well. There was the healthy veganism, the renewed commitment to working out...and then, well, then I went to Sundance and I'm just not sure what happened. I was just so cold and tired the whole time. It was like junior year of college all over again, when I ate pop tarts all the time, not because I was hungry, but because I needed the sugar to keep me going. It was all a blurr of frostbitten fingers and cups of coffee.
The first weekend back from Sundance didn't prove to be much healthier. On Saturday we celebrated Al's birthday family style, with breakfast at Max Brenner's and Dinner at Hawaiian Tropic Zone. Yesterday we ate Shake Shack. Oh, body, don't give up on me now.
I'm still tired.
Oh February, please be kinder than January.

This is Nacho. He directed Timecrimes. He had fun at Sundance.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Vegan Update #1
The whole vegan thing has been going really well. I'm almost down to the weight I was before Christmas, and I'm feeling pretty good. Yesterday there was a slip-up when Al and I went to Soda Bar to see my friend Sarah at work. There was a veggie burger on the menu, but it was served on a roll...and I'm not totally up to date on my "what breads are okay" knowledge yet, and without a label to read I didn't want to order that. Now, besides eating falafel earlier that day, this was our first real meal out since the whole vegan thing began. On some level I thought I would be fine with ordering a salad with oil and vinegar at places that had no other vegan options...but clearly I was lying to myself. Besides the veggie burger, the only other choice (besides a salad) was perogies with mushrooms and sauerkraut...I was pretty sure that neither choice was I went with my gut (if you will...hahah) and ordered the perogies, even though I was pretty sure there were eggs in the dough. I'm a terrible person. Sarah's friend, who I had never met before, looked over at me and said "um, that's not vegan." To which I responded, "Shut your face! You don't know me! I'll cut you!"
Arianne's cravings: 1
Veganism: 0

I'm going to say that I'll do better next week, which I probably will, but the week after that I think there might be some cheating. My boss and Matt said that if I try to be vegan in Sundance, they will hurt me, and I best just plan on taking a week off. We'll see. I will be staying with my cousin Connie, who is a vegetarian, so she should be good support.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Clean Slate '08
That's the mantra for this month. After all the crazy eating of the past few months, it's time to be healthy. I decided to go vegan. Not really for weight loss reasons, just to feel good again. I feel like living in NY has made me a more unhealthy person. I mean, sure I walk everywhere, but I eat junk food all the time and drink coffee like it's going out of style. I was vegan once for like 5 months, right after college, and I felt pretty good. I didn't loose that much weight, but I really felt healthy.
Day two of being vegan, and it seems to be going pretty well so far. Last night I made two soups out of my new cookbook, Vegan With a Vengeance. One was white bean and garlic, and the other was potato and asparagus. They are both delicious. (I don't want to post the recipes, cause the author lives in Brooklyn, and might cut me for republishing her recipes)

As if the desire to just feel better wasn't enough, I ordered PETA's free vegetarian starter kit. Now, I wouldn't exactly call myself an animal lover. I mean, I'm fine with animals, I just don't particularly want them around...especially when I'm cooking, or eating, or on the couch, or in bed. The thing they do to poor little chickens is really kind of appalling, and the poor wittle cows. It's really sad. Milk has pus in it? gross.

I guess the coming weeks will reveal how easy/hard this is for me to stick to, what with all the eating out that we do, but I'm feeling pretty good about it.