Ok, I’m not really a vegan. I feel like such a poser. This is what happens when Nutritarian meets wanna-be farmer. I have longed for a chicken coop and chickens for years now. I had a pet chicken a few years ago: Dixie Chicken. She was a lovely Black Star chicken who slept in a waxed produce box in my studio apartment by night, and roamed around the property by day. Besides providing me with a large, brown egg daily, her most endearing quality was her insatiable appetite for potato bugs. I loved that chicken. One fateful night, she refused to get in her box and decided to bed down in the goat shed. She was a sitting duck, er cluck. The next morning I found two eggs and… well, it wasn’t pretty.
As a Nutritarian, I am allowed four animal products per week. Eggs score a paltry 27 on the ANDI scale, but a kale omelet? That’s gotta be worth something. And just how much do I love eggs? I have an egg cup collection. I once wanted to open a store devoted to eggs & egg-y things. I pictured a boutique in Soho with Peeps and caviar and, you know, Fabergé eggs. Necessities, really.
So far my endeavor is going quite well. I am down 7 (!) pounds since I started about 3 weeks ago. I’m eating about a pound of veggies per day. Zero dairy, zero white flour, very little in the way of refined sweeteners (there’s some in the soy milk), no red meat. My chicken & fish intake is down to nearly nothing also. And just ask Dale, we probably ate 10 pounds of chicken a week around here.
My biggest challenge is trying not to invent some rationalization to eat some gorgeous, locally produced bread, cheese, bacon, duck confit, what-have-you. I feel personally responsible for keeping small agricultural producers going. After all, they’ve probably felt the drop in business since I stopped eating cheese.
My methods these days to keep myself on track are 1) picture my current self in a beige dress; 2) picture my future self in a beige dress; and 3) ask myself this question before I eat: Will this make me healthier or not? Not “Would this be so bad in the context of an otherwise very healthy diet?” or “Is this food ok in moderation?” or “Is THIS really the cookie that will put me over the edge?” But rather, if I eat this thing right here that I think I want– Michel Cluizel chocolate, Wild Flour Bread fougasse, fresh Dungeness crab cake, apple-smoked BLT with avocado, Bear Republic Racer 5… will I be healthier? And if the answer is no, the answer is no, right? Actually, it’s what I do to Amos 25 times a day.
Mind you, I am no longer even bothering to remember that I was once a professional food person. Now I’m a “busy working mom trying to throw down a healthy meal for my family in 20 minutes or less!” Imagine pert smile here. Here’s what we ate for dinner:
A big plate of salad with oil-free, roasted red pepper dressing (I forget what I put in it). A “pizza” as follows:
For 4 servings
- 4 “Ezekiel 4:9” Sprouted Grain Tortillas
- 1/4 cup marinara sauce
- your favorite shredded cheez (I used a combo of the previously reviewed products)
- 1/4 red onion sliced thinly
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- big handful of baby spinach leaves
- about 12 frozen artichoke hearts (I think they’re quartered)
- sliced roasted red pepper (I used the jarred kind)
Preheat your oven to at least 450, hotter if it goes hotter. Lay the tortillas on a baking sheet or 2 and divide the sauce among them. Cover the sauce with the cheez so it resembles an actual pizza. In a large pan or wok saute the onions & garlic using either a very brief spray of cooking spray, or a bit of hot water. You don’t need to cook them for long, as they will further cook in the oven. Add the spinach & artichoke hearts and cook until the spinach is wilted and the artichoke hearts are no longer frozen. Add in the red pepper strips. Divide this mixture among the peetsas — it should be heaped a little. Put them in the oven for 10 minutes or so. The tortillas should crisp up a bit. Sprinkle with fresh or dried herbs, red pepper flakes, and some kind of shaky cheez. Enjoy!