Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oprah goes Vegan!!! - UPDATED

Yesterday Oprah announced her plan to do a 21 day cleanse involving going vegan. I'm so happy to see veganism being portrayed as a positive, healthy thing in mainstream media, but especially by Oprah who has so much influence. I hope that even if she decides not to stay vegan, that she inspires others to give it a try and if nothing else, is dispelling the myth that veganism is unhealthy, hard, weird and crazy.

I noticed some of her recipes that she gives involve "beef-flavored broth", which is a little confusing. Hopefully what's meant is a vegan beef-flavored broth, and not broth with actual beef in it. I think it gives the idea that vegans still consume some animal products like beef and chicken broth when we don't.

I don't usually watch Oprah (well, I don't have TV anyway...), but I'm looking forward to keeping up with her experiment and seeing what happens. It seems like she's been leaning in this direction for a while, with her shows about puppy mills and with several authors of vegan books.

UPDATED - Now that I've had some more time to think about it, I've found some bigger flaws in this. For one, Oprah is doing a 21 day cleanse, which contributes to the image of veganism as a fad diet that one does for a little while to lose weight and then quits. She's also giving up all caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and gluten which could make others think that this is part of a vegan diet. As far as I know, Oprah is not looking at the animal products she is consuming outside of her diet, so really she is eating a strict vegetarian diet, and is not going vegan.

Overall though, I think this has the opportunity to get veganism into the mainstream in a positive light. I wonder if the FBI is working on planting someone behind the scenes to keep an eye on Oprah in case she starts participating in terrorist vegan potlucks....

Free at last!

Last week was finals week and a weekend of PG&E sampling. What a busy stress-filled whirlwind that was. But now it's over and I'm free for the summer!

Meals definitely suffered last week. We ate out a couple of times, had frozen pizza another night. We did have a couple home cooked meals, like chicken sour cream enchiladas and sausage pasta.

I discovered that I'm not a very good cook when it comes to camping though. Or at least I wasn't on this trip. David and I left Sunday afternoon for Crescent City to break in my new tent on a little overnight trip. Since I don't really have any camping gear, I used my tiny BBQ as a heat source to make spaghetti. That doesn't work out so well. The water never boiled, and the spaghetti was a soggy, starchy mess. We ended up throwing most of it in the bear proof trash.

I finally got a chance to bake yesterday. It was David's birthday, so I made him the brownies from Joy of Vegan Baking. The recipe needs a little tweaking. The brownies are very very moist (almost raw in texture, even though I baked it 20 minutes longer than suggested) and have a strong applesauce flavor. They're starting to disappear from the pan though, so I guess they're not all that bad :)

There probably won't be too much home cooking this week either. Next week I leave to go to my parent's house for a couple of weeks to visit and see my sister's high school graduation. After that I'll be taking off for my trip to Alaska, so blogging will probably be less frequent than it is now. Hopefully we'll be able to eat plenty of good vegan food along the way, so there will be plenty to blog about when I get back.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I meant to get this up yesterday, but remarkably, I didn't get on the computer at all yesterday until almost nine, and then I only checked my e-mail.

We ended up not sticking to the menu exactly last week, but we made everything but the spicy sausage and peppers. That's showing up again this week. Fortunately, I use those green bags and my produce really seems to be lasting longer. Now I don't feel so guilty about not making meals on the day I plan them. We also threw in the mac and cheese from the cooking class on Wednesday.

Monday: Veggie sloppy joes, local potato salad (potatoes, thyme, rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper).

Tuesday: Leftovers. David will be gone until 9 or so, and I'm swamped with finals.

Wednesday: Spicy sausages and peppers, salad, local swiss chard

Thursday: David requested breakfast, so we'll have biscuits and gravy, scrambled tofu/eggs, hash browns
Friday: Teriyaki Tofu, rice, broccoli. I'm using the recipe posted last week by Laura. May just do leftovers though, since I'll be doing PG&E sampling in the evening and David won't be home.

Saturday: More PG&E sampling, so most likely leftovers.

I'm really starting to feel the end of semester crunch now. The next couple of weeks will probably be real simple and quick dinners, but after that I can start experimenting again.