A little over 3 months ago, I decided to make a lifestyle change. An avid meat-eater my whole life, I did something that an earlier version of myself would have thought unthinkable. I gave up meat altogether.
To be more exact, it was not just meat I decided to cast out into the cold for good. I decided to attempt removing all animal-based foodstuffs from my diet, therefore becoming completely plant-based.
Upon discovering my change, many people who know me asked me lots of curious questions. Some thought it sounded great. Some, not so much. One thing I most definitely have come to learn in my first 3 months as a new and enthusiastic plant-eater, is that this topic is able to generate a whole lot of discussion.
The point of this blog post, though, isn't about those discussions. If anyone would like to know more about what sparked my personal interest in this subject, ultimately leading me to make this change, I would firstly recommend watching the popular documentaries (found on Netflix), What The Health and Cowspiracy. After that, let me know what you think - I would be happy to find time to have a conversation about it. :)
What I instead would like to share, is not about ethics. Nor is it about earthly sustainability, or even about health. What I would like to write about is just how much fun we have had discovering new dishes that are incredibly tasty and fully satisfying.
The truth is, I am beginning to think I was never really into food. I've always enjoyed the eating of it, that's for sure, but the sourcing ingredients, preparation, discovering what nutritional value it might hold... this was all just a chore to me.
But since I made this change, that is no longer the case. I am now eating with purpose. I am enjoying discovering what is really in dishes, and trying new combinations. We have tried to stay away from buying pre-prepared, processed "veggie" products where possible, and instead tried to use natural ingredients to create our own. And it has honestly been so much fun!
I would like to share a few of my favourites. They are not complicated, but these dishes have given me the most enjoyment - a summation of their taste, preparation and the knowing they were created without any animal products at all.
I haven't posted recipes, as I am no longer sure of the exact ones we used. However I would be happy to look, should anyone like. Just drop me a message. :)
1) Roasted cauliflower, smothered with mixed spices, on a bed of lentils.
This was so tasty, and just looked really impressive to me. It was very filling, and even satisfying to 'carve' :D
2) Baked 'marinated' tofu, on a bed of rice and broccoli, topped with sesame.
I was a fan of tofu even before I decided to eat a plant-based diet, so it wasn't surprising to me that I loved this simple dish.
3) Hokkaido risotto
Before this dish, I didn't actually know what a Hokkaido was. Turns out, it is a type of squash that comes from Hokkaido (makes sense). They also happen to be very tasty!
4) Baked sweet potato, topped with homemade beetroot hummus, roasted chickpeas and drizzled with a tahini dressing.
This one is very simple, but delicious. Also if there are any roasted chickpeas left over, they make for a great snack!
5) Cinnamon rolls.
I had no idea cinnamon rolls could be made without any animal-based ingredients at all - but they can! Not the healthiest dish in the article... but they were a great treat.
6) Fresh carrot, apple, pear and cucumber juice.
We also decided to invest in a juicer, and tried out some fresh juices. This one was particularly refreshing, but we've quickly discovered you can mix almost anything together to make a lovely fruity (or veggie) drink.
Those are just a few of the recipes we have tried so far, and I am very much looking forward to trying out more as we continue on our new adventure of living a plant-based lifestyle.
This is an unusual deviation of my writing, away from software-related topics. But as this is becoming a subject I have a lot of time for, I figured it would be worth writing about. If anyone reading this has any recipes / tips / general thoughts on the subject - I would love it if you'd share them with me. I look forward to hearing from you :)