Friday, August 14, 2015

Tomatoes and Struggles

I braved the Farmer's Market yesterday, and am I ever glad I did. I got some delicious, juicy, perfect organic beefsteak tomatoes that were everything summer is supposed to be. I always forget how delicious tomatoes are until I taste a perfect one! These are the kind of tomatoes you want to eat like an apple. I also scored some corn on the cob, Anaheim peppers, and some tomatillos.
look at those tomatoes!
I made a delicious vegan tomato tart and I loosely followed this recipe. I didn't use tofu for the cream filling. I made a cashew cheese, kind of like a cashew ricotta. It was my first time ever working with Phyllo dough. It felt good to try something new, and challange myself. Phyllo dough is extremely delicate, and I definitely broke a few layers, but it was easy to kind of make it all work. It seems like one of those things that practice will make perfect.
Before baking.
After baking!

I also didn't use any vegan butter between the layers, I just used some extra virgin olive oil very sparingly between the layers. I'm sure the more fat you use, the richer the dish, but I feel like it was plenty rich with the cashew cheese. I also got to use fresh picked by me basil from my newly acquired plant! This was really tasty, I really loved it. It was a great summertime dinner, and it's one of those dishes that's good warm, room temperature, and even cold.
I don't know what clicked in me, but I am all of a sudden so inspired in the kitchen. I guess I just had to push myself off the ledge.
I am still dealing with the dilemma of dealing with a non vegan at meal time. It's not just that he's a non vegan, it's also that he has the palate of a picky toddler who only will eat two things. I strongly feel that even if we were both vegan, or non vegan meal time would still be a struggle. He would rather eat top ramen than this tomato tart. Other than peas and carrots in his fried rice, and maybe some lettuce and tomato on a burger/sandwich, vegetables are not an option. Soup is out of the question. As in all soup. I've never met someone who flat out doesn't like soup. I could go on and on, but I think I've said enough  to make my point. I also struggle with the thoughtless way meat is eaten, with no appreciation for the fact that this was a life. It's  really hard to  bring it up, because it can easily escalate into an argument. I'm kind of coming to the conclusion that eating out or delivery/take-out is okay, and there are certain vegan meals I can cook that are okay, and other than that we eat separately. I imagine if you have kids you might be more used to this, but have you ever cooked something, and served it to someone, only to be able to sense how much they don't like it? As they sit there trying to take bites, and smile, not wince? It's painful, and I can't help it, I get offended. It's one of those lessons in not taking things personal, and I'm failing miserably. I've read blog posts, articles, and watched YouTube videos on vegan and non-vegan relationships. Some are for, some are against, and some seem to co exist beautifully, and others seem to struggle. I'm hoping to reach that point of beautiful compromise, and harmonious living. Actually, I'm hoping to create that one dish that makes all the light bulbs go off, and makes him go, why do I need meat, when I can eat like this! Until then, table for one please!
How do you deal with picky eaters, and meat eaters in your life?


  1. I just silently judge them. Your friend sounds really immature and closed minded. I assume this person has other qualities that make up for this. Hopefully. I will stop typing.

  2. It depends on the day with other qualities to be honest. I try not to judge, but I'm only human and I 100% silently judge!

  3. Those organic tomatoes just feel right! I’ll bet they made the tomato tart delicious! Your inspiration came just in time for Vegan MoFo next month. I’m sure you’ll make a bunch of new online friends! If I’m able, I’ll try to check in from afar every once in awhile.

    I’ll be leaving for my trip in less than 10 days. I have been so busy just preparing for this long trip that I haven’t been on the vegan channels much. The vet emailed me a 26 page itinerary and the first thing I did was to carefully check each item on each page to make sure there was any ‘scrubbing of toilets’ responsibility. That was just in case they read your blog comment and tried to sneak that in there for a kick. Ha. :-) Most of the itinerary is on clinical stuff, like health checks, emergency rehab procedures, and a lot of close work with the animals. There is a section on reviving the semi-monthly newsletter and most of that involves meetings with the staff team to come up with newsworthy press releases and such. So, all in all, the whole itinerary seems interesting.

    I’ve also been in contact with the new sous chef who will be a participant in the wildlife animal care and rescue operations in mid-September. She is great! We’re meeting up at restaurant called Tranquility Tea Garden on her arrival, to brainstorm the best vegan meals we can come up with. I already emailed her the recipes that I had put together after being volunteered as the novice vegan chef, one day a week. She is going to look them over, and adjust as necessary while adding some of her own ideas. I am really glad to get the help. It will definitely make things easier having a partner with whom to work! Our plan is to make a lasting impression about how delicious vegan meals can be, so that when we leave the sanctuary, the staff there will fondly remember the great vegan meals they enjoyed, hopefully along with our animal saving efforts! Thanks for your perfect advice and have a great weekend!

  4. That is so great! I'm really happy that she is on board t help! I bet the food will be amazing, and you never know someone might arrive a non vegan, and leave a vegan.
    The newsletter sounds like it could actually be really interesting and even fun. This is going to be such an amazing experience, and I really can't wait to hear all about it.
    I signed up for Vegan Mofo yesterday, so it's official, I'm committed! They are doing it a little different this year, they have prompts for each day, like "what I had for breakfast", or "recreate your favorite childhood meal", and things like that. It should be a wild ride, and I'm nervous and super excited.
    I guess September is going to be a big month for us both. I hope you can give me little updates here and there of how everything is going!

  5. Glad you had fun at the Farmers Market and found some goodies!!!