Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Almost a Year In -- Cravings Still Changing

On February 11 I will have been vegan for one year. The year has passed so quickly, and I only mention the milestone because I have had occasion recently to realize that my vegan body, which speaks to me so clearly, is evolving even still.  I must have had more animal sludge stockpiled than I thought!

I judge what's going on within by how I feel, and by the extreme cravings that come barreling through. I always answer my cravings by indulging them to the best of my ability. I had reason recently to open Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet, something I realize I haven't done in a while, my tried and true recipes from the tome being so ingrained already in my mind. The way I realized I hadn't recently flipped through is that certain recipes that used to make me grimace were now calling to me, namely the Radicchio Pizza and the Braised Daikon. So I had to try both yesterday.  Something else I suddenly had to have was cheezy cashew cream sauce, which I had recently noticed from various sources. I made up a recipe for it too. So I had a big hodge-podge cooking day yesterday!

Here's what I came up with:

These are the slices of daikon cooking in the mirin mixture that is finally getting syrupy after about an hour. I think it took so long because my daikon wasn't very large and so didn't fill the pan very well, so covering the slices required too much liquid. Alicia says that size doesn't matter here (I see what you did there, girl!) but, um, I think it does!

Verdict -- wasn't too crazy about these at first -- too sweet on one side, too not on the other (I can't stand sugar now, almost a year in) I really really liked the refrigerated leftovers, eaten cold with my fingers the next morning. Weird, but there it is. Also, I really liked how the daikon got everything moving. The effect was very energizing. Food as fuel.

When I had been thinking the daikon would be my lunch, I planned a cabbage dish to go with it -- just cabbage, leeks, shoyu and lemon.

Here is the bowl of lovely clean veggies -- see the root end of one of the leeks there? I washed it well and included it. I love the texture -- I don't remember liking it last year.

And here is the sauteed veg, complete with shoyu and lemon. Four shakes tasted too salty to me (I am recently intolerant of salt as well) so I put some of it on some whole wheat linguine and topped it with my cheezy sauce:

That's the ticket! Since I had made the sauce just for me, I put very little salt in it, and it is luscious! The sauce with the veggies and plain whole wheat pasta was exactly what I wanted to eat!

Here's my cheeze sauce recipe:

Cashew Cheeze Sauce
11.5 oz. whole raw cashews
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. mustard
1 tsp. barley miso
4 Tbsp. nutritional yeast, plus more for sprinkling

I've heard the cashews should be soaked overnight, but mine weren't. I was in a hurry. I soaked mine for a little over an hour, rinsing them well and changing the water 3-4 times. Then, in a high-powered blender, cover soaked cashews with fresh water and process until completely homogenous, incorporating all ingredients.

This is a completely raw sauce and turned out to be just to my taste. You could easily tinker with the ingredients to create the sauce of your dreams too.

Whew! What a lunch-creating frenzy all that was! It was fun though, and the daikon really went straight into the fridge for the lovely cold next day breakfast that it turned out to be.

My family decided it would be fun to make our own pizzas for dinner, a few hours after the above frenzy. So I put out some ingredients and left them to it, while I again opened The Kind Diet for myself. I decided to create a sort of morph of two of Alicia's recipes, The Radicchio Pizza and the Thin Mushroom Pizza. I used two Whole Wheat Flatbreads, spread with tofutti cream cheese (I was over making sauces at that point) and topped with radicchio, salt, pepper and black truffle oil (couldn't find white truffle oil). It was TRANSCENDENT. I know all-caps is like yelling, sorry, but that is how very delicious this meal was to me. I am so sad I just finished the leftovers.

Yum. This is the best food in the world to me right now. This and my own homemade apple sauce. I actually dream about those foods.

Yes, the vegan transformation has been drastic and surprising. It is still an adventure, and I wouldn't have missed a second of it! Um, maybe those first 6 cheese-addiction-detox-tremens weeks, but other than that, not a second! I look forward to what's next.


  1. The Braised Daikon and Radicchio Pizza are two of my favorite recipes! They seem strange, but are both so simple and delciious! YUM!

  2. Hi Melissa! Yes, the food was amazing! I love what you are doing on your blog!

  3. Well I think everything just looks YUM!!
    I used to crave big time, I actually blogged about craving cheese and I had been a vegan forever, but I was going from a regular vegan to a healthier more strict vegan, and I struggled big time. I think it is great you went back to one of your first vegan cookbooks for idea's. My first vegan cookbook was called The Farm. That ages me right...lol
    I was 29 when I started making the connection.
    Your body will continue to amaze you, pretty soon you will crave things like kale and durian.
    Have a great day,

  4. It all looks so delicious. My one year veganniversary is Feb. 16 :D We can celebrate together! God Bless.

  5. Vivacious -- I love kale! What's durian? Thanks for reading -- I enjoy your blog too!

  6. Jeri -- So nice to hear from you! Wow -- I know you said we are the same age and also started being vegan around the same time -- guess we are on the same wavelength!