Friday, April 13, 2012

Foodie Friday: Vegan lunchbox

I used to even wear t-shirts proclaiming my love for meat. That’s love, folks. True meat love.

So like Rebecca touched upon yesterday, I have now – for 12 days and counting – been eating a completely Vegan diet and here’s the deal. It’s in my nature to complain, so I want to tell you how royally bad it sucks. I want to piss and moan and be snarky and clever about all the ways in which I love meat and can’t wait to return to the arms of my lover. (Which as we all
know, is a bold face lie. My lover is Merlot)

The truth is scary. I hesitate to type the words.
I love it.

Vegetarian food is boring, the critics – and there are plenty, trust me because I used to be one – will say. I simply can’t LIVE without meat. I need protein. That was my voice until 12 days ago. Vegetarian food has the potential to be boring, that's true. As a vegetarian, you can eat bread and pasta and white foods, foods just as colorless as the brown and grey meat that used to make up a large portion of my diet (I need protein!).

But a fully expressed Vegetarian/Vegan diet is like a Technicolor rainbow, full of life and color and vibrancy. And flavor, true uninterrupted flavor. Basil. Cilantro. Oil and vinegar. Merlot.....coffeee.....dark chocccccolate......

My god! WTF has become of me! The old me would be sticking pins in the voo-doo doll I would have made of the new me. I don’t know when, why or how this happened.

Just kind of glad it did.

So while I will wax poetic on Veganism some other day folks (sorry to disappoint – I know this is a fascinating topic to all you carnivores out there), for now I will concentrate on Foodie Friday and offer you a glimpse at what is one of my favorite all-time lunches-gone-Vegan.

This lunch is inspired by the single best vegetarian entrée I have ever consumed. At that particular restaurant, the waiter brought out a platter with a generous portion of mashed potatoes in the center, with grilled vegetables laid appealingly around the edge. With forks and knives, my friend and I shared this ginormous meal and then a dessert afterwards. It was a lovely
night out for two new moms forging a friendship, and it is one I have never forgotten.

Butternut Squash
Coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk
Vegan butter
Salt and pepper to taste
In season grillable veggies. I like colorful peppers,
asparagus, thinly sliced eggplants, portabella mushrooms, red onions and summer
Red wine

Take a whole bottle of red wine and drink one giant goblet while you are cooking (optional)

Bake the butternut squash whole for an hour at 350-degrees. Slice in half lengthwise and continue to cook until the insides are soft.

Remove the seeds and the flesh and mash the rest in a bowl.

Add butter, salt and pepper to taste and enough coconut milk to encourage the squash mimic the consistency of mashed potatoes, assaulting it with a masher. Creamy and smooth. Mmmmmm.

Coat the vegetables of your choosing lightly in olive oil and a dash of salt and grill ‘em up. Serve them alongside the heaping pile of mashed squash.

Drink the rest of the wine.

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