The Odd Blog

And when our cubs grow / We'll show you what war is good for

Day Seven

Posted by That Other Mike on 07/09/2008

So, it’s the end of the first week of my month as a vegan. Things seem to be going well so far, although there have been some things which have been difficult to do or avoid, I think overall thing’s are OK.

Probably the biggest change I’ve noticed is that I tend to snack a little less. I seem to be less hungry between meals this week, and I think that can be put down to a change in habits: I can’t snack as easily, so I tend to eat more of what I’ve cooked at meal times. The absence of easily edible snacks has left me in the position of eating more at meals, so avoiding snacks in the first place has let me avoid them further, if that makes sense…

I’ll be cooking in a different way next week – this week has focused a lot on foods which either had meat analogues or were not specifically vegan – that is, they may have been incidentally vegan but not so on purpose. If you see what I mean. In the coming week, I’ll be doing more food which is specifically and deliberately vegan. Basically delving a little further into vegan culture.

Blue Dragon Wholewheat Noodles

Blue Dragon Wholewheat Noodles

Yesterday I ate a stir fry of green peppers, onions and garlic, with wholewheat noodles and soy sauce. While I’m not in the business with this blog of promoting an organic or wholewheat-only diet, I do like wholewheat pasta generally. It has more texture to it and a greater depth of flavour than plain old white pasta, and I find that it tends to be easier to keep al dente when cooking. I had the Blue Dragon variety, which are very tasty indeed.

I’ve had a few cravings for stuff in the last week, I must admit; it’s been difficult not to eat bacon, for example. I don’t think I’m atypical in that respect; anecdotally, it seems everyone knows someone who used to be vegetarian but who strayed from righteousness went back to eating meat because of bacon. I’ve also been thinking a lot about faggots in gravy. Now, I know there will have been a certain amount of sniggering from American readers there, but stay with me. Faggots are a traditional variety of meat ball/dumpling, made from liver, heart etc and baked in gravy. The usual traditional ones are a little harder to find these days, and the usual ones seen in supermarket freezers are Mr Brain’s, which are made from chopped liver and onions. They’re still bloody good, though, and I could kill for some of them right now.

Tonight’s dinner will be curry. Specifically, cauliflower curry with rice and masoor dal.

Masoor Dal

Masoor Dal

You may not know what dal is if you don’t usually eat Indian food. The term refers to any kind of hulled split pulse, like lentils, yellow split peas and so on. The name is also applied to a kind of thick stew/porridge made from the same. Dal comes in various kinds, such as chana dal, which is made from split chickpeas; toor dal, made from split pigeon peas, similar to yellow split peas; and masoor dal, which is made from red lentils.

The way to make the stew is usually pretty simple, as it’s a staple among much of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It starts with boiling the pulse in water with some salt and turmeric until it becomes soft (with red lentils, until they break apart) and then adding a tarka, which is a blend of fried spices and flavourings when it is cooked. While that’s the usual way to cook it, I often can’t be bothered with the process and chuck the lot in all at once. This is also known as inauthentic cookery.

The curry’s going to be pretty bog standard – onions, peppers, spices, cauliflower, left to simmer for a while. I may add a handful of lentils to thicken it up. The rice I usually cook plain, sometimes with a little onion in it. The dal is my favourite, probably because I like lentils.

That’s about it for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the first week of my experiment, and I hope you come back for more.

Crossposted at Thirty Day Experiment.


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