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Zoe

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Mar 12, 2016
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  1. Vegan
Hello, lovelies! I have been vegan for a little longer than 6 months and previously a vegetarian for years and years. This is the first vegan forum I've joined and I am looking forward to chatting with like-minded folks. I run a vegan blog that's mostly about ethics and nutrition. Please say hello back! :)
 

fzjohnson

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  1. Vegan
Hello Back ;-). It's wonderful to have you with us.

I've been vegan for 1.5 years on March 24. I can thank Facebook for keeping me vegan, believe it or not, because when I approached my 3 month mark without any of those startling convictions held by true zealots I read a newsfeed that said most people who turned (read "tried") vegan or vegetarian living for health reasons reverted back to meat eating within 3 months. Eh? There was a picture of sizzling bacon too, just to add salt. I loathe bacon. (insert Marge Simpson growl).

My 7 day vegan challenge (to empathise with diet-restricted friends) had already morphed into several months of being vegan because it really felt good. I (this might sound odd) felt like I was a better person all-round, not just dietary-speaking so I kept going beyond 7 days.

When I read that FB newsfeed my "don't-tell-me-what-to-do" adolescent self suddenly materialised. I was determined to prove Facebook wrong. Slight problem ... 3 months + 1 day (to "Take that, Facebook") fell on 25 Dec. Damn. On top of this I had my American friend (& ex) visiting me and his birthday was ... you guessed it ... Christmas Day.

One triple whammy later and I knew I was vegan ... even my sheer stubborness couldn't face those odds, so when I stayed vegan throughout, I knew I was more than "trying" to be ... this actually was "me".

There are a couple of books that resonated with me so I will mention them here in case they help you enjoy being vegan even more than you currently do... six months is pretty serious, even by FB "standards" ;-) ... I'm always looking for more books by the way, so feel free to suggest any - I'm not really an Alicia Silverstone fan, but her "The Kind Diet" is a lovely book ... she writes with a voice that makes you feel as if you've just made a good friend. Nobody I know (this forum, excepting) is vegan, btw. Suddenly that sounds like a tragic turtle. Honestly, I'm not. ;-) My diet-restrictive friends eat fish, but no dairy or eggs and/or gluten.

I really like the sassy quality of Isa Chandra Moskowitz, who is such as NooYorker, and some of Ani Phyo's raw vegan books have taught me surprising combinations of ingredients ... I thought I knew everything about pesto, but vegan pistachio pesto caught me off-guard ... it is beyond yummy. I am currently back to making my own spice mixes, thanks to a recent, successful search for an out of print Spice book by Christine Manfield. She has a list of all the different curry and spice mixes (wet and dry) used around the world in the front of her book (I don't tend to use her other recipes as they are 1990's meat and fish nouveau/fusion cuisine - think crispy fried fish skin ... gag), These amazingly good spice mixes meld nicely into a vegan lifestyle because they are so different and match well with different vegetables. I used them when I was a meat eater so applying them to a vegan kitchen with the richesse of flavours is exciting.

BTW, is anyone else reading this surprised and delighted by the way mustard seeds pop like popcorn (although to a much tinier effect)? ... I've just been reminded of this with her dry Madras powder recipes.

Anyhow, all recipes aside ... Welcome to the group. I look forward to hearing more from you (& reading your blog in a minute). Hopefully you feel like I do in being so grateful to have made this conversion.

PS: Eat this, Face book! ;-)
 

fzjohnson

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  1. Vegan
Yes, I bought the Ani Phyo recipe book ... it has the following all blended up together ... tip: aim at using fresh basil with real basil flavour... sadly Morrisons or ALDI fresh basil tastes like bany spinach to me ... oddly enough LIDL fresh basil is full of flavour where I live ...

(from memory)
2/3 cup of shelled pistachios
2 cups fresh basil
juice of 1/2-1 lemon (depends how spritz-y you like it) ... more & it tastes like a salad dressing, but still good
1/2 - 1 cup of zucchini/courgette (raw) with salt (it needs it)
raw garlic (2 cloves is enough for me)
1/2 cup of oil

Those are the basic 6 ingredients ... then I tend to add ...

Out of habit, 2-4 fresh mint leaves - to spruce it up a bit.
1-2 sun dried tomatoes or a couple of black olives (these add depth, but aren't obligatory)
a tiny bit of sweet syrup, eg. maple.

Method: bung everything in your blender and go for it. Add to raw noodles as Ani does, or regular, cooked ones.

I've no doubt changed this recipe a bit, as you do. Sorry. I can look it up properly in my recipes book tomorrow if you like. Apologies to Ani if she's reading this. If I wish it to feel more creamy I add half an avocado (not too ripe). If I wish it to be more dense and herbaceous I add the oil from the Sun dried tomatoes or the olives along with some capers. I tend to purchase the pistachios in their shells from LIDL too, fyi.

Pistachios really do make a lovely pesto, and they go very well with avocado.
 

fzjohnson

Forum Practitioner
Joined
Jan 8, 2016
Reaction score
25
Age
49
Lifestyle
  1. Vegan
Hello, lovelies! I have been vegan for a little longer than 6 months and previously a vegetarian for years and years. This is the first vegan forum I've joined and I am looking forward to chatting with like-minded folks. I run a vegan blog that's mostly about ethics and nutrition. Please say hello back! :)

Great blog, Zöe! :)