Practice Makes (Somewhat) Perfect

Cooking and eating animal-free/plant-based gets easier with practice. Uh, yeah. What in life does not? Whether it is in one’s professional life, learning to drive a car, athletics, trimming a bush, gardening, painting a room… this is a fact.  I just keep plugging away. I want to learn to make this lifestyle easy and I’ve got to win them (family) over with great food. Some days I feel really good, like I can just do this without over-taxing my brain or without a recipe (with simple vegetable dishes for example). I hope it keeps getting easier, and I believe it will.

Here are some things I’ve tried lately, with my typical mixed results:

  • Vegan Biscuits-let’s just say they were dry and I got a lot of ribbing for those. I think I overmixed them.
  • Cauliflower lasagna from Appetite for Reduction (by who else, Isa Chandra Moskowitz). Has a brilliant “ricotta” made from tofu and cooked cauliflower. Very good.
  • Cumin Lime Black Bean Quinoa Salad from Oh She Glows blog
  • Blueberry Cake
  • Peach Crisp
  • Lots of vegetable cooking such as corn on the cob, sautéed kale, summer squashes, broccoli-my veggie delivery has of course has had great fresh produce.


Everything was fairly successful, but here is the one that I think is just beautiful and so delicious and healthy, the Cumin Lime Black Bean Quinoa Salad from Oh She Glows (fabulous blog–I will rave again–and an excellent summer dish. This is my photo. The only change I made from the recipe, which you can click to get to, is I added 2 tsp of maple syrup to the dressing instead of 1. I was a little fearful of too much cumin taste, which I like, but just not in large amounts. I don’t know that it was necessary though. It calls for more carrot, but I got tired of trying to julienne them into thin strips. I ordered a julienne peeler, to help with this recipe and I really want to try zucchini “noodles” with it also.

cumin lime black bean quinoa salad from Oh She Glows

Oh, and big news– I finally kicked my diet cola addiction, compulsion, whatever it was, to the curb. I’m not naming a brand name to keep myself out of any trouble, but it’s the main brand that gets the most advertising. Trust me, I don’t think I’m better than anyone else. I drank the stuff for a really, stupidly, excessively, ridiculously long time. I didn’t drink coffee in college, and I thought I needed it to get me through studying…then I guess it was eventually a habit. A habit that I figured wasn’t too bad, at least it wasn’t empty sugar calories and it was ok on the teeth (now this is pretty much proven to not be true). It’s not that hard (this is the new me saying this) to use common sense and see that it is bad for you–most likely the companies just try to use their influence to fight every study that comes out–with the terrible level of acid, phosphoric acid is not good for the bones, and lots of artificial sugar. There are further theories on the sweeteners breaking down into toxic chemicals… I’m not even worried about what I have read being true or untrue, solid-proven with a high confidence level science-or not. I felt like this was a good time for me to say, it’s time to become a grown-up and just get over it. I learned that iced tea has a neutral pH (acid level), whereas my diet cola had a pH level in the 3 range. Each number on the scale, i.e. going from neutral of 7.0 to 6.0 is a 10 fold difference! Oh my. So I am trying to drink different forms of iced tea, with either no sweetener (nearly all the time) or just a touch of stevia if it seems too bitter. It’ s a funny thing-after a few weeks of unsweetened tea, tea with added sugar tastes grossly over-sweetened to me. Who knew the tastes buds could be trained so quickly? I only mention this to inform you, if I could do this, anyone could…

Have a great week!



2 thoughts on “Practice Makes (Somewhat) Perfect

  1. Congrats! I’m so proud of you for kicking the diet soda habit.

    It seems like so many people in our country are obsessed with Soda. At my office, it’s almost a point of pride – each person has their favorite brand (Pepsi vs Coke) in a hidden stash under their desk and act like it’s almost a chosen sports team to be a fan of Pepsi or Coke.

    I’m also so tired of people thinking that drinking Diet soda is the “healthy” choice. There seems to be a huge misconception about that.

    End of rant 🙂

    I never tried Oh She Glow’s Quinoa Cumin salad but I love love love the version in Appetite for Reduction, though my hand always gets tired from squeezing all the lime juice! Have you tried that version too?

    • Thanks! I have to admit I had some on my vacation but a very limited amount. I’m happy with my progress 🙂 I will try Isa’s version in Appetite for Reduction since I have that one. She pretty much never fails! Do you happen to have any tea recommendations for me? I’m trying to drink iced tea with or without caffeine when water gets old.

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