Sherry A. Phillips

Suspense Author

I’m going Vegan until Christmas

I’m sitting here nursing a cold and won’t be running today, which I hate. Anyway, after all of the gluttony of Thanksgiving, I’ve decided to go Vegan until Christmas Eve. I am about to confess a horrible, horrible thing I eat on Christmas morning. It is so bad for me that just thinking about it probably clogs my arteries.

Tomato gravy. I know many of you, probably most of you, have never heard of tomato gravy. My grandmother used to fix it and it was wonderful. My favorite time to have it was in the summer when we had fresh tomatoes out of the garden, because I’d slice the fresh tomatoes on the biscuits before ladeling on the gravy.

Anyway, I now only have this once a year, on Christmas morning. You fry up bacon in a pan, remove the bacon and use the drippings for this gravy. Add flour to the drippings until it is a dark brown, then add a can of tomatoes. Slowly add some water until it is gravy consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over open biscuits.

Like I said —- artery clogging. But I figure once a year can’t be that bad, right?

As for going vegan until Christmas, I’ve been doing this for 2 days so far and haven’t missed the dairy yet. As I wrote in an earlier post, I pretty much eat vegan for breakfast and lunch every day, then eat whatever I’m fixing the family for dinner.

My go-to breakfast is Kashi’s Cinnamon Harvest with Almond Milk and my lunch will either be a Protein shake and soup or some kind of sandwich. I love sandwiches! Over the weekend I made black bean soup using vegetable stock and liquid smoke in lieu of the chicken broth and bacon w/drippings the recipe called for. It’s been a great lunch so far this week.

Here’s the recipe:

Black Bean Soup
Liquid Smoke (about 3 tablespoons)
2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
3 heaping teaspoons of minced garlic (I buy the pre-minced in produce)
1 box vegetable stock (Use 1/2 box if you like a thicker soup)
1 1/2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (I realize that’s not completely vegan because of the anchovies, but it’s so nominal I’m not concerned)
1 tablespoon chili powder
4 (15 1/2-ounce) cans black beans, drained but not rinsed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
juice of 1/2 lime

With the exception of the cilantro and lime, I dumped everything in my crockpot and cooked on high for 5 hours and used a potato masher to mash up some of the beans to make it creamier. I added the cilantro and lime when it was done. It is yummylicious. The photo shows the soup with sour cream as garnish. Needless to say, I didn’t put that on mine. I know there is a vegan version of sour cream. I tried that once and didn’t really care for it. I’d rather just go without.

Last night I cooked a garlic chicken recipe with angel hair pasta for the family and made my own vegan sauce with tomatoes, oregano and white wine to go with my vegan pasta. No cheese and surprisingly enough, I didn’t miss the cheese at all.

Tonight I’m going to cook some form of meat for the rest of the family and will make mashed potatoes with almond milk and herbs and roast some veggies to eat.

I’m using a Weight Watchers mind trick with this vegan tryout phase. Instead of saying “I can’t have that” I’m saying, “I don’t eat that.” It is more empowering to say “I don’t” than “I can’t.” It tells your mind that I can have this, but I am choosing not to.

I will be going to Whole Foods tomorrow to pick up some vegan staples and will also try some vegan ice cream (though I’ve been eating a banana as dessert in the evenings).

This is all a health thing for me. I’m not fanatical, or a PETA-member or anything, though I am very much an animal lover. I wear leather and I cook meat for my family. For me, it really is about trying to live as healthfully as possible.

I’ll be reaching the big 50 in January. I know eating vegetarian and vegan is no guarantee of a longer life, but if I can make whatever life I have left on this earth a healthier one, whether that be another 30 or 50 years, then this is the road I believe will help me achieve that.

I’d rather live the remainder of my life God-willing, active and healthy, then obese and unfit.

I’ll tell you something else that’s amusing, my husband decided he was going to lose weight and has gone in completely the opposite direction and is doing Atkins. He’s eating 4 eggs cooked in butter for breakfast, lettuce with grilled chicken, cheese and bacon/ranch dressing for lunch and usually steak cooked in butter for dinner (or whatever meat I’m cooking for the family).

Needless to say, things get interesting around here at meal-time!

I’ll keep you posted!

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