My first post back won't have any recipes or talk about a specific meal I ate. Instead, I'll talk about this book I've been reading: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.
Most plant-eaters have heard of this, I'm sure. Foer isn't a vegan, at least as far as I can tell from the book. I'm sure he eats vegan food every once in a while, but he mainly advocates a vegetarian diet. I'm only on the second chapter so far, so I've still got quite a bit to read, but I'm really enjoying it. He has a way of bringing his anecdotes to life and stirring the same emotions in you that he was feeling when he wrote them.
I've been reading a lot of other vegan books/cookbooks lately. Here are a few of my favorites:
Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina. A fabulous health-driven guide to the nutritional benefits of veganism. It has a lot of medical/scientific terms in it, and several case studies, but it's a good read for those who aren't convinced of the nutritional values of a plant-based diet.
Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. The title + subtitle pretty much say it all. Unbelievably sassy, but oh so lovable, this book was my first read as a vegan and the one that convinced me to stick with it. It's not as discriminating as it sounds (read the disclaimer in the back), but it definitely gives a lot of good reasons and tips on going vegan. Probably my favorite one!
Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann. She started the Vegan Lunch Box blog, and eventually wrote this cookbook. I believe it was originally designed for packing vegan lunches for kids to take to school, but it's been helpful to me as well. Working away from home three days out of the week, I like to be able to bring healthy, quick lunches that aren't high maintenance to prepare when I'm at work. (As a nanny, both hands aren't always free for me to slowly eat a hot meal. That's what dinner at home, by myself is for...) Such a great addition to my library.
I have other books that I've grown to love as well, including The Joy of Vegan Baking, The Vegan Table and Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.
I've also been trying to read some more blogs lately, although when I don't have time to read several, I read my faithful two: Sentiments by Denise and Peas and Thank You.
Sentiments by Denise is my mom's blog, so you could say that I'm obligated to read it, but I actually do enjoy reading her food posts and getting updates on her weight loss progress, in case she forgets to tell me amidst all the other hundreds of things we have to talk about. I'm really lucky to have such an awesome mom who shares my love of plant food. It's actually because of her influence that I started eating less meat and more plants and then made the transition to a vegan diet. Mom isn't a vegan; she's a vegetarian. But she's quite adventurous in her meals, so even though she'll make herself a veggie omelet or a salad topped with goat cheese, she's still willing to try lots of my vegan dishes. This helps when my recipes make several servings and I know I won't be able to eat them all.
Peas and Thank You is my favorite vegan blog. Mama Pea + Pea Daddy are raising vegetarian (mostly vegan) kids: Gigi + Lulu. Mama Pea always has amazing vegan recipes to share and more importantly, *hilarious* stories about herself, her kids or her husband (and sometimes the cat). Her wit just keeps me coming back for more. Sometimes, I wish she had a constant stream of blogging (Twitter!!) so that I could get updates on her hilarious life. She has a new cookbook coming out this year and I can't wait to read it!
Other blogs I like: little birdy dirty feet, The Daily Garnish, Kath Eats Real Food.
So, check out the books and the blogs, or completely ignore everything I wrote in this post. It's totally up to you. Even if you aren't vegan and have no interest in becoming vegan, adding more plants to your diet is always a good idea and these resources have great ideas for doing just that.