Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Vegetarian Food for Busy People

I am a minority person working in the food service industry, a vegetarian. For several years I was vegan. The trouble was that it caused other people so much angst that I made a conscious choice to eat some animal products, ie cheese and yogurt and on occasion even egg. I don't generally have these products in my house, but if I am cooking for others I will make sure that they are organic, at least. When I am travelling, or attending meetings, I will eat what is available if I only have to compromise with dairy or egg. This makes it easier on me and on the people I work with. If you are vegetarian, especially vegan, you will already know that it is difficult to find good food when travelling. I mean, I really don't enjoy paying restaurant prices for a side salad and a baked potato, or choosing the token Pasta Primavera from the menu. Do restaurateurs have any idea how boring their menus are to vegetarians? Of course, there are ethnic choices that make dining out a little more exciting.

I sometimes think it is getting better, but then I travel away from home and am reminded that I am just projecting my experience as a resident of Eugene, Oregon on the rest of the country. Home Sweet Home. Even at home, there are challenges. I work long hours as a manager and often only have a couple of hours between arriving home and having to head for the hay. If I don't want to go to bed with a full stomach that means eating pretty quickly after I walk in the door. I've gotten pretty good at finding healthy foods that are quick and easy to prepare. I hope to share some of these ideas with you over the coming days.

Recently I discovered some new products that have made dinner time joyful. FakinBakin from LightLife is smokey flavored thin strips of tempeh. They make good TLT's on a good, toasted, sprouted grain bread using a good Vegan Mayo like Vegenaise. I like The Original Surviva Bread, flourless, sprouted wheat bread from Nature Bake. The sandwich and a cup of Roasted Red Pepper Soup from Pacific Friend or one of the other carton packed soup brands, and its a light tasty supper that won't give me nightmares.

Here's another way to use Fakin Bakin. Cut some Bok Choy up in 1 inch lengths. Chop up an onion. Cut a slice or two of Bakin in 1/2 inch lengths. Throw it all in a pan with a little olive oil and quickly stir fry. Serve with brown rice and beans. Soul food for the New Age!

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