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Posts Tagged ‘collards’

The Christmas Season is slower, giving me time to think and decide what to do better next year. I don’t make New Year Resolutions, but because of the slower times, I tend to start the year with a new pep in my step. Even though I returned to work the day after Christmas, the library has been mostly quiet and I have been weeding some materials from the stacks that haven’t been used for quite some time, something librarians occasionally do to make room for new materials. I’ve also had time to sit quietly in my office and prepare for the new semester. For this reason, I’ve had time to think.

Last year I began with the idea of again being a pescetarian, with the hopes of becoming a vegan in a few months. I called it “working toward vegan”. The fish I gave up entirely before the end of March. I’ve been a vegetarian ever since. However, as the year progressed I was eating more milk and cheese. There were about two eggs a week and lots of cream soups made with a little heavy whipping cream.

Now I will try harder. Coffee Mate I like as a substitute for Half Half, but besides being heavy with sugar, there is also a milk product included. The list of ingredients states this dairy product, but elsewhere on the label it specifies dairy-free, but that would not be true. From what I understand, they get by with that deception because the product no longer chemically resembles milk by the time it makes it to the rest of the powder. However, if it comes from milk, then in my mind it is dairy. Period. I’ll keep looking, but I’m going to finish up this container in the meantime.

So today, except for my morning coffee, it has been vegan with every mouthful! Started with creamy oatmeal with a little brown sugar and a few raisins. Dinner in a few minutes will be a quick and easy pasta dish with tomato sauce, onions, green peppers, and mushrooms. For snack today I had a few vegan ginger cookies, some peanuts, and some junk food – potato chips.

I just gave away a brand-new unopened container of Breyers low-fat ice cream. AUGH!!

Lunch was delicious! As you can see from the picture below, the New Years Southern tradition – black-eyed peas, collards and kale cooked together, a garnish of tomatoes and onions, and cornbread. It was so very very tasty! I need to work on the cornbread recipe, though. I just took my regular recipe and substituted rice milk for cow’s milk. And I did not include an egg. It was rather crumbly (as you can tell from the picture) but OK, and I’ve packed a piece for lunch tomorrow, but I believe it can be improved!

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Second day of the new year. Yesterday I was busy around the apartment, cooking, eating, playing with the cat, assembling my new shelf from IKEA, and then re-organizing my kitchen.

Let me say, manual labor, no matter how wonderful the instructions, usually takes more coordination than I possess. However, the shelf instructions were so easy to follow. Lots of pictures. Fabulous! I’m so proud that I’m sharing a picture of the finished product that now houses my beans, nuts, grains, and other necessities:

My noon meal (celebrating the finished shelf) was a quick meal, prepared with leftovers accumulated during the week from elsewhere. I started with creamy mushroom matar and basmati rice that I purchased the other night at Whole Foods. Smooth and not too spicy. Alongside the matar was flatbread I purchased one night at the Level, a Mediterranean restaurant on West Street. [side story: walking back home one night from work, I was really hungry, and the nuts I had eaten in the afternoon just had not given me the energy I needed to walk over two miles after working all day. I needed carbs to get back home, so I stopped and purchased soft, warm, flat bread and ate half of it.]

The chips and salsa? From Baja Fresh this past Thursday. Indian, Mediterranean, and Mexican (or maybe some consider Baja Fresh to be American Mexican?). However it is described, it was all fresh and so delicious. A true reward after connecting all the right parts with the right tools for my new piece of furniture.

And then there was supper. . . . Collards that I cooked a long, long time. Like our grandmas have done for decades! Pintos sweetened with a little molasses. Sliced egg for protein and onions sprinkled over all. There was cornbread and a few sugar-free bread & butter pickles from Mt. Olive, a company in North Carolina. They make the best store-bought pickles ever!

Dessert? Quinoa pudding. Creamy and flavored with vanilla, but next time I plan to add a little more sugar. Since it wasn’t quite as sweet as I had hoped, I added a little apricot preserves on top. Then sprinkled with pistachios. Oh my oh my…..another tasty meal!

Happy New Year everyone!

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