Transitioning to being fully vegan has been a process over a few months. Much like an alcoholic getting sober, there are as many recovery stories as there are sober alcoholics.
Meat of any kind, poultry and fish (in that order) was already off the table many months ago, and I just allowed myself to observe how I felt when I did eat something that had dairy in it.
Knowing that I was moving toward eliminating dairy from my diet, oddly, I didn’t do any last chance munch-outs of my favorite things like artisanal cheesy pizza, fine cheeses and bread, or dairy-laden sauces. I think because, once I learned what actually happens to the cows in order for us to have milk, cheese, and ice cream, I could no longer get excited knowing how much suffering was involved.
But there was still the issue of all the dairy still in the house and still the residual, “I-can’t-believe-I’m saying-goodbye-forever-I-need-to-do-this-on-my-terms” lingering. And grappling with ‘was it better to just finish it off since they already suffered or to throw it away since I knew the jig was up?’.
So I just allowed myself to do whatever I wanted with what was left – the Monterey jack for my beloved grilled cheeses – left that to rot before throwing it out, the 1/2 eaten box of See’s Nuts n’ Chews – finished them off!, the fresh-grated parm – I finally sprinkled some on a pasta dish and it tasted sourish, it just wasn’t the same. Out it went.
When I returned home from a trip abroad in December, as enticing and familiar as the pint of Ben and Jerry’s looked, I was more bereaved thinking about the suffering that went into that container. So into the garbage it went. Much easier than I thought.
The last stronghold for me was knowing that I could no longer eat my 3-4x a week ritual of favorite baked goods with coffee. That was the hardest. I had been putting vegan scones and muffins into the mix for the last few months, but it was a hassle to find them and the choices are sorely limited compared to what I’m used to.
So, when the going gets tough, the tough get baking! I’m now endeavoring to experiment with simple muffin and cookie recipes which has fully replaced all non-vegan options.
Here’s a standard Banana Nut Muffin recipe [Vegan]
Makes about 12 muffins (no need for egg replacer as the ripe mashed bananas give it plenty of binding) – freeze the extras and grab them as needed.
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
3 pinch’s of salt
5 very ripe bananas
2/3 c brown sugar (packed)
4 Tbsp vegan/non-dairy butter, melted (I used Earth Balance)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2-2/3 c walnut pieces (depending on your preference)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and *very lightly* butter muffin pan with non-dairy butter.
Melt butter in small saucepan or microwave
In a large bowl, mash the bananas, leaving them a little chunky.
Add brown sugar, baking soda, salt and whisk it all together.
Add vanilla, melted butter and stir.
Add flour and stir with a spoon or spatula until minimally mixed
Add walnuts and mix together
Spoon batter into each muffin hole – fill generously- at least 3/4 so they rise into full muffins
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick or knife comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes, remove from pan and serve warm. Enjoy!
Be daring. Go vegan.