Monday, May 25, 2015

Vegan or Plant Based?

Salads are not boring!
I made this delicious and simple salad last night. It was a head of Romaine lettuce, three leaves of Lacinato kale, shredded carrots, and celery with some homemade cashew ranch dressing. It was so satisfying! I really love salads with more than one type of green, or lettuce, and different textures, and even something warm on top. It makes it interesting, and definitely not boring. I usually do lighter, vinaigrette dressing, but sometimes it's nice to switch it up. Before going vegan, I never ever was a ranch person. I always thought Ranch was so gross, and definitely very boring. I do however enjoy a cashew ranch every now and then as a vegan. After I took this picture, and was enjoying this beauty, I realized I should have written down what I put in my ranch. I didn't follow a recipe, because the last few recipes I've followed I haven't cared for. I can tell you that I used garlic powder, dried dill, dried Italian seasoning, and a few leaves of fresh parsley. And of course salt and pepper. I also used apple cider vinegar as my acid instead of lemon juice, which is what most recipes call for. I feel like ACV gives it more of an authentic ranch flavor. I feel like salad dressings are such a personal thing, you just have to play around with the flavors that you like. Every time I make vegan ranch, it's a little different, but the spices that I mentioned are staples in the ranch. Anyway, it was a very delicious salad that I feel would please non-vegans. I have made a version of this with breaded vegan nuggets for non-vegans, and it passed the picky non-vegan taste test!
I've been I guess confused for awhile as to the difference between eating a plant-based diet, and a vegan diet. I assumed people who considered themselves plant based were eating this way more for health or environmental reasons than animal rights. Well, as usual there are lessons to be learned in books. As Marco Borges, author of The 22 Day Revolution explains it, a vegan doesn't eat meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs or honey. Eats grains, vegetables, fruit, and over processed vegan foods. Plant Based eaters eat 100% plants: grains, vegetables, fruits. Does not eat meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs, or processed vegan foods. I had assumed I was a double threat, both vegan and plant based. I try to eat whole foods for the most part, however I do enjoy the occasional processed treat, such as maybe some Beyond Meat in my salad, and I definitely do not see a life without Chao! I'm glad I learned the difference. I think that's where the lines can get blurry, because as I mentioned Beyonce is the first to point out that she is not a vegan. I think people who choose to eat plant based for health only reasons may not feel really anything towards animals. But eating plant based is opening the door big time for compassionate choices down the road. So, while there are differences between plant-based and vegan, the end game is no animal products are eaten, and that is awesome. This book is very inspirational, and Marco really sells the plant-based lifestyle. He has been plant-based for almost ten years, so he is definitely practicing what he preaches.

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