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IN THE KITCHEN

With Bob and Camille

thanksgivingcambob2003

A Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner, 2003 – Bob prepares to carve the tofurky while Camille samples some mashed potatoes.

 

 

PHOTO ESSAYS

Click on the photos below to find out how we make some of our favorite staples.












OUR FOOD PHILOSOPHY

We strive to consume mostly plant-based, locally grown food. We do not eat meat but will eat eggs and dairy on occasion. I guess that makes us “Flexitarians,” a nice word for vegetarians who sometime eat animal products.

In 2003 we became aware of our ecological footprint and stopped eating meat and most other animal products. We have our friends Pamela and Shaun to thank for showing us the wisdom of a vegan diet. When people ask, we explain that it wasn’t the “ick” factor or concern for our health that made us give up our weekly porterhouse steak on the grill. Nor was it concern for animal welfare, although we have become more sensitive to the cruelty (at best imprisonment and subjugation) required to bring animal products to the table.

Frankly, meat and fish left our menu because we care about planet Earth. We saw rain forest turned to dusty, barren hillsides by beef cattle in Belize and Honduras. It’s said that each pound of beef requires up to sixteen pounds of grain, eighteen hundred gallons of water. So, we decided to cut out the middleman and consume the resources ourselves rather than run them through the cow or pig first. And if you think seafood is sustainable, think again. We saw what the lobster industry did to the population of Little Corn Island off the coast of Nicaragua. At the end of empire, eating flesh just feels wrong!

For clarification, animal products include fish, chicken, milk, eggs, cheese and honey. We found it nearly impossible to be pure vegans when traveling without befuddling our hosts, so we simply say we are vegetarian and hope for the best. At potlucks, we often give into the temptation of desserts made with butter and/or eggs. And then there are those work parties or long meetings which conclude with pizza!

The choices can be tricky. Do we choose the soy cheese manufactured in Rhode Island, rice cheese from New Jersey or the mozzarella made by a farmer in our county? We have friends who keep a few bee hives and others who raise free range chickens, so we still enjoy honey and the occasional egg.

We have not had to change our menu much. We simply eliminated the meat and replaced it with Tempeh, Tofu and Seitan. We already ate a fair amount of beans. In addition to the recipes above, we have made the following at home, using bulk ingredients: Tempeh Bacon, Seitan Pepperoni, Tempeh Hamburger, Seitan Ribs, Okara Parmesan Cheese, Sour Cream, Mayonnaise, Soy Milk and Tofu. We have yet to encounter a recipe we cannot recreate from our pre-vegetarian menu using soy or rice dairy substitutes, vegan mayonnaise, silken tofu, coconut milk, and egg replacer. Before you accuse us of being purists, we often avail ourselves of processed food, in particular, products manufactured by Boca, Quorn, Tofurky, Beyond Meat, Daiya, Soy Delight, Chao, and Gardein.

ABOUT THOSE VEGANS…

For the record, true vegans don’t consume ANY animal products. This includes eggs, cheese, honey, yogurt and chicken broth.  In addition to being environmentally friendly and kind to animals, the vegan diet is extremely healthy when precautions are taken to add enough B vitamins, especially B-12 to your diet. One easy way to do this is with Nutritional Yeast, which is a great substitute for Parmesan cheese. Tempeh is also a good source of vitamin B-12.

According to Dr. Klaper, a physician who once treated Bob and author of Vegan Nutrition: Pure and Simple, “the human body has absolutely no requirement for animal flesh.” As stated in his Biography, “many of the diseases his patients brought to his office – clogged arteries (atherosclerosis) high blood pressure (hypertension), obesity, adult onset diabetes, and even some forms of arthritis, asthma, and other significant illnesses – were made worse, or actually caused, by the high-fat, overly processed Standard American Diet (S.A.D.)”

Intrigued? Read this: 101 Reasons to go Vegetarian


 

BEST UN-KEPT SECRETS

In Spaghetti Sauce – Cinnamon, mint and eggplant

In Curry – Coconut Milk and Peanut Butter

In Macaroni and “Cheese” – Ground Mustard & Worcestershire Sauce

In Shepherd’s Pie – Barbeque Sauce, Mushroom Soup (as a layer beneath the mashed potatoes)