• Wed, May 25 2011

What I Ate Today: The Vegan

If I had a nickel for every time someone asked “what do you eat?” upon learning I’m a vegan, I’d be able to afford a whole lot of nice dinners out at Candle 79. Guess what? The things I eat are legion. It’s much easier to list the things I don’t eat: animal products of any kind. (Except for the occasional bit of honey. Feel free to call me an evil hypocrite in the comments.) However, some people are genuinely curious as to how one can deviate so wildly from the Standard American Diet (SAD for short, heh) without keeling over and dying, so it’s with this in mind that I figure I should give some examples of a typical food day for me. I’m going to cheat a little bit and use yesterday, because I’m feeling sick today and eating really boringly, and also because today isn’t over yet. I’m also not going to bother putting “vegan” before everything, because a list of “vegan food with vegan sauce and a piece of vegan bread followed by a slice of vegan cake for dessert” is ugly to read. Just assume everything is vegan. Okay, here we go.

Breakfast

Two medium sized chocolate chip cookies and a large mug of Earl Grey tea with almond milk. Fuck yeah, cookie breakfast!

I don’t normally eat cookies for breakfast, but I’d made some the previous night and they were calling my name. Also, I was out of cereal and too lazy to go to the store and get more. When not eating cookies for breakfast, I usually have a bowl of Kashi Go Lean Crunch (honey almond flavor) with fruit and almond milk. Kashi has seriously ruined cereal for me; everything else just tastes like mushy garbage by comparison. In the winter, I’ll have oatmeal or some hippie eight grain hot cereal. With blueberries, agave nectar, and if I’m feeling flush that month, a pinch of truffle salt. Mmm, truffle salt.

Lunch

A large bowl of lentil soup left over from the previous night, plus a piece of German dark wheat bread, toasted, with a schmear of vegan butter. Side of steamed kale with nutritional yeast sprinkled on top.

My roommate Debbie makes the best soup ever and I hate her for it because she doesn’t use recipes or measure anything out, so the answer to “how do I reproduce this amazing thing?” is always “I dunno.” This time, she made a delightful Indian spiced lentil soup, and we threw in some carrots and kale that I had lying around on my shelf in the fridge. The bread was good for mopping up the last of the soup, and I also find it hard to feel full if I don’t eat some kind of whole grain carbohydrate. I wanted to put all the kale (like, a fuck ton of kale) in the soup, but Debbie thought it would throw off her precious soup’s delicate balance, so I had the rest of it on the side because I am a freak who loves kale with all my heart. Nutritional yeast is nice because it contains a lot of vitamin B-12 (which vegans often lack) but tastes like Cheeto dust.

Lunch is usually leftovers from dinner, since I don’t have time to make myself lunch during the day and hardly any restaurants I like will deliver to my house, with the exception of Siam Orchid. (I love you, Siam Orchid.)

Dinner

Miso soup and bi bim bap from Wild Ginger, plus another chocolate chip cookie for dessert. Large mug of decaf green tea.

I generally make dinner with Debbie, but she was out with friends last night and I was starting to feel under the weather, so I treated myself to some takeout. I don’t know if it’s allergies or what, but my throat felt (and continues to feel) like I swallowed a pincushion. The miso soup came with little pieces of shitake mushroom floating in it and felt really good going down. The bi bim bap wasn’t anything like a traditional Korean bi bim bap, but it was delightful. It had fluffy brown rice with some sort of bean-like thing hiding in it, kimchi, seaweed, preserved spinach, bean sprouts, sesame seeds, mango salsa, avocado, and these salty little strips of seitan. A party in a bowl! It also came with a spicy chili sauce, which I dumped all over it. I ate it in bed while watching Twin Peaks on Netflix, and it made me feel several times better.

So there you have it! A day in the life of a vegan eater. I didn’t starve to death, and I even had three cookies. Feel free to email me if you have any more questions about veganism; I could dork out on it for days on end.

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  • Annie

    Honey is not vegan, just sayin’.

  • Eve

    Oh Lord. I’m not even vegan, just vegetarian, and I still get that. “What do you eat?” Um, EVERYTHING THAT’S NOT A DEAD ANIMAL! Why is that so hard for people to wrap their heads around? My typical food day is oatmeal for breakfast, a peanut butter sandwich for lunch, snacking on carrot sticks and nuts, and then rice-with-spaghetti-sauce-and-veggies or spiced beans and bread for dinner. Is that really so strange?

  • Soos

    I’d eat any or all of your vegan day of food, EXCEPT for the kale. THAT, you’d have to PAY me to eat. Why? Fear of rat lungworm disease, found locally, that can cause meningitis.

    • Jamie Peck

      This sounds terrifying, but also dubious. I’m going to look into this. DNW meningitis kale!

    • Rachel Kramer Bussel

      Yeah, I’d like to know more because kale is one of my favorite vegetables. I don’t cook much but if I see kale (or spinach or Brussels sprouts, also in my top five favorite veggies) on a menu, I will order it. I’m a former vegan but trying generally to eat more fruits and vegetables and less processed food. Some days are better than others.

  • mags

    I really loved your entry! i also lived in korea for two years so props on the bibimbop! mmm. i tried to find your email address but the page didn’t work. i have some questions about veganism. especially kimichi, where are you finding vegan kimchi? or even vegetarian kimchi for that matter?

    • Jamie Peck

      Yo, I just saw this. I got the kimchi from Wild Ginger. It’s a vegan pan-Asian restaurant. There are a bunch of them in NYC.

  • Colleen

    First, love this entry. Really. I could never be a vegan, but I love reading what other people eat. SECOND, I live in basically the same neighborhood and had that throat thing last week – it was so bad I got antibiotics and now it’s gone. I think it was a strep thing, so….