In honor of “What I Ate Wednesday”, I thought rather than share my Wednesday eats with you, I’d share my Sunday eats with you.
I realize that my first What I Ate Wednesday post was a bit perfect looking: green juice, apples, kale salad, and banana ice cream. Without a doubt, some of my most favorite vegan foods. I was 100% honest when I said I would be very satisfied living on these foods for the rest of my life. I LOVE them.
So much of my reason for blogging is to share how to indulgent vegan foods are. I think it’s overall pretty easy to understand and experience indulgence in the form of cakes, chocolates, cheeses, and other sugary foods or concentrated protein and fat sources. Part of what is so much fun about making vegan recipes is how surprising it is to see the simplest foods and recipes (banana ice cream does not get healthier, simpler, cheaper, or more delicious, does it?) really can wow your palette and leave you unbelievably satisfied without the drawbacks of a food coma, poor digestion, or any other symptom that having having excess sugar or fat can provide.
That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy these things. Cheese, chocolate, and ice cream (yes, regular cow’s milk ice cream, although I love Laloo’s goat milk ice cream in rumplemint and vanilla snowflake – especially sprinkled with a bit of pumpkin pie spice) are my special treats that I still enjoy sometimes. It would definitely be possible for me to be a vegan for the long term, or a raw food vegan for the long term without these treats, but I would surely miss them. A lot.
It really disappoints me when someone says that they could never eat like I do, or they just don’t like raw food, or they don’t like vegetables, or goat cheese. These four rebuttals usually run through my head.
1. You really don’t know what I eat every day.
2. Everybody would like raw food if their palette wasn’t corrupted by processed, instant foods that really aren’t food at all!
3. Everybody would like raw food if they knew how to prepare and flavor it. Are there really people that don’t love a delicious salad topped with roasted root vegetables, goat cheddar, or a delicious piece of wild salmon?
4. You have to try different varieties of goat and/or sheep cheese. There are tons of variations that do not taste goat-y at all!
5. Let me make you dinner! (Or let me text you pictures and share recipes…just open up the idea of plant based foods, ok? Thanks!)
I realize that a day of having green juice, apples, kale salad and bananas is not appealing to most people. While nutritionally and calorically I had more than enough goodies, I know that to many, that’s just not an exciting menu.
So on this past Sunday, I had a little extra baking and cooking time. I always bake something on Sunday because my husband likes having baked treats for the work week, and I enjoy baking them (and it makes the house smell amazing)!
Sometimes I get an itch for something super rich and out of my norm, so as I put Enrrico’s cake in the oven, I pulled out a head of broccoli, an egg, and got to work on making a grain and gluten free pizza crust out of broccoli!
Below I will show you step by step, the pictures of my broccoli crust from start to ready for the oven:
This recipe is by Doris Choi – a vegetable centric chef GENIUS over at Detox The World. She’s amazing. If she were my neighbor, I’d probably be at her door every day asking her what’s she’s making, if she needs a taste tester, or if I could take home anything that didn’t work out just right for the detox delivery that day. I’d probably be the heaviest nutritionist in the world.
Megan aka the Detoxinista did an excellent how-to on how to make this crust (with cauliflower, you can just sub broccoli, I did this because I liked the idea of a green crust and because broccoli was one dollar cheaper for roughly the same amount at the grocery store), so I followed her post that I linked above.
Then as I was perusing her blog I decided I should probably make her flourless chocolate cake for two.
And then I thought about the fact that while I LOVE chocolate cake I definitely don’t LOVE it plain as much as I LOVE it with ice cream.
So I did a quick run to the convenience store (yes, a gas station around the corner that carries Ben and Jerry’s) and picked up a pint of Phish Food (an old college favorite) and Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream, which I’ve never had before, just for fun (I like caramel, chocolate, and his show).
These were all excellent choices.
Of course, I had my usual liter of green juice, a huge pile of greens with tomato, carrot, raw beet, coconut aminos and stevia before indulging in my pizza, cake and ice cream .
While this isn’t my usual, it is my usual super indulgent treat, and I hope that you see that there is room for indulgences of all kind when you are very diligent about taking care of your body, and eating well day to day as a lifestyle, not just during quick fix cleanses or crash diets to stay thin.
I also want to be totally clear and say that when I’m not eating pizza, cake, and ice cream, I do not feel deprived. I don’t live a life of deprivation or restriction. Most of the time Ben and Jerry’s seems unappealing to me when I have frozen bananas in my freezer that can become a healthier, cheaper, raw and vegan dessert option for me in minutes. Chocolate cake – flourless or not – usually seems not chocolaty enough for most of my chocolate cravings (just give me a chocolate bar, please!), and pizza, even a broccoli crusted goat cheese pizza, sometimes seems like just too much work when I have a pizza craving. I often will simply steam broccoli or cauliflower, or spiralize some zucchini, and top that with marinara and goat cheese. This takes less effort and time, and it’s just as delicious, and even lighter than the pizza with dehydrated vegetables and egg added to it.
One thing that is true about me that may be different from most people is that I enjoy simple things. I don’t like to do too much to my food. I like it pure and simple. I like my food close to how it came to be in nature. We seem to have a need for taking what’s not broke and trying to fix it in our culture. My husband loves apple pie, (who doesn’t?), but if you’re used to apple pie, you probably won’t appreciate how perfect an organic apple is. Or if you’re used to mainstream candy bars, you wouldn’t be able to appreciate how good just plain, 70%, even 85% dark chocolate is. That’s what chocolate tastes like – the candy bars taste like sugar, chemicals, additives, preservatives. That’s not real food.
So overall, even though my food was super indulgent, it was, for the most part, real food. There was no difficulty pronouncing any ingredients. I spent almost the entire afternoon in the kitchen preparing the foods because I made everything from scratch (I love doing this, especially on Sundays), and I enjoyed every bite of what I ate. We LOVED the dessert. I wish I had pictures of the actual cake! The ice cream covered it. It was SO good.
I loved this meal. I didn’t feel guilty as I prepared and ate it, I felt excited! I felt thankful that I have tools that enable my body to enjoy real food and not suffer from symptoms like I used to, and I feel thankful that I don’t need to eat super indulgently like that every day just to feel happy or excited. While I love food, I love a lot of other things too: my family, great books, movies, getting outside, just hanging out with my daughter and husband, dancing around the house, exercising…the list goes on. What I’ve learned over these past five+ years since getting into a plant based lifestyle and detoxification is that the secret to all of our choices is to be in the moment with ourselves, and to make our decisions with that consciousness. If I had eaten pizza, cake and ice cream due to stress, or sadness, I probably would have eaten more of it (aka, not have ice cream leftovers in the freezer), and I would have felt awful afterwards. While I don’t feel my best after eating dairy and eggs, I feel just fine. I usually wake up a little slower the next morning, and my throat hurts just a bit. It’s strange and I’m not really sure what that’s all about, but it’s how my body reacts to the more acidic foods I still include in my diet sometimes.
On Monday I had an awesome lunch and dinner – apples, grapefruit, bananas, kale salad, roasted beets, and another Doris inspired recipe: homemade vegan flan with coconut nectar. Very different from Sunday, but every bit as satisfying and beautiful. It’s because it’s what I wanted that day. I was totally in the moment with my desires.
I hope that this post inspires you to eat healthier – or a little unhealthier for the sake of excitement, fun, and not judging yourself if you desire some things that are typically on your “no” list. Unless you have some contraindicating conditions, it probably won’t kill you.
Below this post, please share your favorite indulgences! I’d LOVE to know what foods excite you on a lazy Sunday afternoon, a Saturday night out at your favorite restaurant, or whenever you feel like adding something a little extra fun on the menu.
Lots of Love,