Did you know that 10 billion land animals are slaughtered every year in the United States, according to Farm Sanctuary? That's staggering. Americans eat far too much meat (and in way too large portions) if you ask me. Yes, we have freedom of choice, but choices impact healthcare costs, the animals' welfare, workers' conditions, and the environment. Want a hog farming operation in your backyard? Me neither.
Can't skip meat all the time? Skip it some of the time. Or a lot. As much as you can. I can't skip dairy and eggs in everything, but I do it as much as I can, and feel better for it.
Not feeling deprived at all savoring...
At Alice's Tea Cup, a pot of chocolate chai tea (so good!) with soy milk, $6, and a grilled vegetable sandwich (swapping cheese for hummus) and salad with sweet ginger dressing, $12.
Spaghetti with Trader Joe's meatless meatballs, which are also tasty as a sub sandwich. Check out their handy vegan list.
At Rutherford Pancake House, sharing vegan "Dayiasadillas" (with Daiya vegan cheese), portobello mushrooms, spinach, roasted peppers, and sweet potato fries, $9.95, and vegan sliders with a tamarind date sauce, $5.99
A chocolate raspberry cupcake, $3.50, at all-vegan Sweet Avenue Bake Shop in Rutherford, New Jersey. I haven't made anything out of it, but several people recommended Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World for at home baking.
Happy hour at Stecchino in Hell's Kitchen, New York City. Champagne with raspberry liquor, $6, and grilled bread with olives, $3.50.
My mock McMuffin with SoyBoy smoked tofu, vegan cheese (sorry, can't remember the brand!), and Yves meatless Canadian bacon. Do you ever stop to think about how a chicken, a cow and a pig labor in horrendous conditions to produce the traditional version of these breakfast sandwiches?
Yves lemon herb "chicken" skewer, grilled, over Spanish rice (I would do a less spicy pilaf with it instead next time since the skewer has a kick), with salad.
Some pre- and post-vegan week eats from this year:
Celebrating an early Mardi Gras dinner with Steve at The Delta Grill in Hell's Kitchen, New York City, the blackened tofu salad with Shiitake mushroom and couscous, $9. I love that tofu is popping up on more menus. Why shouldn't it be a protein choice? I know someone who is obsessed with counting carbs but when I ask about the chicken she eats almost every day, it's again, "I choose not to think about it." Why?
Sharing the orange flavored tofu with veggies and (not pictured) brown rice at Empire Hunan in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, with my mom. We took half of this home in our reusable cotainers (which we bring to reduce packaging waste and food waste). We also had steamed vegetable dumplings and scallion pancakes with peanut sauce (vegetarian, yes, vegan, ?) End: lychee fruit.
A tofu scramble with veggies and Lightlife Gimme Lean veggie sausage, with toast with peach jam.
Escaping our cubicles, an outing to Lime Jungle in New York City with a friend. A vegetarian taco (hold the cheese), $3.25, filled with rice, beans, guacamole and veggies, a a cup of black bean soup, $3.50. Beans are my favorite protein source: they are inexpensive, easy to prepare and widely available (no special Whole Foods trip needed!)
Date night with Steve at Pancho's Burritos in New Milford, New Jersey, a raspberry margarita and mini spinach burrito with soy cheese, brown rice and black beans and tofu sour cream (look for the Tofutti Sour Supreme at Whole Foods and other retailers). The honey mutard dressing for the salad may have some dairy.
Before the Banff Film Festival in New York City, grabbing the Earth Mother slice (five from the garden), $3.75, at Two Boots, various locations in New York City.