Saturday, April 25, 2015

Vegan Glory

Vegan Soup

Since I met my Canadian friend Pat in August of 2013, I've been gradually transitioning to vegetarianism. For some years now I have been migrating away from a meat only diet. 

Pat standing in front of another vegan restaurant we found during our stay in Los Angeles

Never a big steak eater, I did like pork chops, sausage and chicken.  Mostly chicken.  But one can have too much chicken too.  I think the last time I had an actual steak was when we lived in Philly in 1976.  I have cooked beef in stews and had hamburgers, but one of those big, juicy, bloody steaks that so many crave?  Not me, and besides I like my meat well done much to the consternation of some of my fellow diners who like to see a pink center to their prime rib and a slight pulse. When I eat meat, I want it dead.  Of course this rules out sushi. But I digress.

Me trying out this vegan soup at the Vegan Glory restaurant - I forget what was in it now but it was good

Meeting Pat and being exposed to his vegan only diet I have been experimenting with a vegan/vegetarian diet.  And I have to say I like it.  I don't think I'll ever go totally vegan (no dairy products) like Pat but I seem to be morphing into being a vegetarian although still like white meat chicken, but only small pieces and mixed with vegetables.

"Yum! This is alright!"

I listen to my body/stomach these days.  I know if I stuff the usual artificial trans fat foodstuff down my pie hole my stomach rebels. "What are you doing to me?" it asks.  We in our culture have been brainwashed for so long that food that is jacked up with preservatives (to extend the shelf life and thus the profits of the big food companies) and artificial ingredients (to fool us into thinking we tasting real food) and colors (to look pretty to entice us to buy their damn junk food), that we don't think we have a choice.  Well, we do folks.  I see the cultural shift in our society by the ever increasing demands for natural, real "natural" foods.  They taste better and they sure are a lot healthier for your body.

My stomach sending me a message "Thank you!" - happens every time I eat food that is fresh, natural and wholesome

Well, I'm starting to sound preachy now and I promised myself I would refrain from proselytizing and complaining in my blog posts so I won't belabor this subject.  But I do want to say that I feel a lot better, a way lot better when I eat food that is freshly prepared and not loaded down with sugar and salt and fat.

My delicious entree at the Vegan Glory restaurant - fabulous!

When Pat and I travel together on one our our adventures, we seek out the vegan and vegetarian restaurants. This isn't too hard of a task in big cities like Toronto and Los Angeles.  Of course in a small, backwater, pseudo cool place like Rehoboth Beach, it's almost impossible unless you consider a wedge of iceberg lettuce a sufficient vegan meal.  That's about all you're going to get where I reside now.  

Pat's entree - also delicious!

Oh I know what you're thinking you Rehoboth readers "There goes Ron again, bashing Rehoboth Beach and the surrounding communities Lewes and Milton, Delaware."  Yep, that's what I'm doing folks.  Seriously my Rehoboth Beach friends, how many more restaurants do we need bragging about their crab bombs and restaurants with "Fish" in their names?  I get it, I get it . . . . seafood all the time.  That's all fine and well if you love seafood.  Me personally (and Pat), we hate seafood.  It's very simple with me, I just don't like the fishy smell.  And the residual mercury? Don't need it.

Seafood - this makes me queasy just looking at it

Now to be fair I hear there is a vegan restaurant in Rehoboth beach, who name I will not mention because any names I mention in my blog in a negative light I usually get a blowback on, but this particular vegan restaurant is expensive. Apparently they view a vegan menu in the caviar category.  I just cannot find a restaurant in the area where I live that offers a vegetarian meal with reasonable prices.  Although I do hear a falafel hut is going to open on the boardwalk.  I'll believe it when I see it.

To some this looks delicious and they could eat it all, to me it looks pre-barf

The only problem I find with a vegan or vegetarian diet is that preparing the dishes take a lot longer than throwing a slab of meat on the grill or in the frying pan. 

So there you go folks, that my little screed for the day. Hope I haven't offended all you seafood lovers but you really should consider taking a break from your mercury intake.


24 comments:

  1. I'm a die hard meat lover, but I have to admit, the dishes look pretty yummy. And I do love a good bowl of soup.

    HAVE A FABULOUS WEEKEND!!!

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    1. MAC,
      I still like a good char broiled hamburger and chicken. I don't think I'll ever be a total vegetarian let alone a vegan but I do feel better since I've changed my diet to include more vegetables. I always love a good bowl of fresh soup. I can't eat canned soup anymore, taste too much like a tin can. And fresh soup is so easy to make.
      Ron

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  2. I totally agree with you Ron! The soup from "Vegan glory" seemed to have been made with coconut milk. We are very lucky to have some amazing vegan and vegetarian restaurant in L.A.

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    1. Nadege,
      I think you're right, that soup was made with coconut milk. It was very tasty and easy on my stomach. I just wish we had more vegan options here where I live but since we're on the coast we'll always be seafood all the time. Crab cakes are the big deal around here.
      Ron

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  3. Anonymous3:04 PM

    Hi, Ron. You know, it really surprises me that RB doesn't have more vegan/vegetarian options. Now I am just going by what I have heard, which are basically stereotypes, so I hope this comment doesn't offend anyone. But I always thought P-town was for gays, and RB was for lesbians, as far as vacation destinations go. And it just seems that lesbians tend to eat more healthier food, so the paucity of veggie options seems odd. Again, stereotyping on my part, I have never been to either location, and I should probably "check myself before I wreck myself."

    Kind of off topic, there is a "gay" movie called Lie Down with Dogs that is about a gay Manhattanite that spends a summer in P-town. The movie isn't great, but it's not particularly bad, either. You can get it from Netflix. Even if you find you can't get through it, you HAVE to fast forward to the end credits, because the comic relief "queen" tells a lewd yet funny story during the inter-cuts of the credits that, to me, was worth the rental. It is one of those gross stories that makes you laugh because of the way he tells it. You might check it out while you are in your "no violence, please" healing stage.

    Again off topic, a BBC show (that I watch on PBS) you might enjoy is Call the Midwife. It is set in an impoverished area of London's East End immediately after WWII, and tells the stories of nurse midwives working with charitable medically-trained nuns to help the expecting women in the area have their babies. Don't worry, you don't see much of the delivery gore, and the story lines are very engaging and don't just focus on pregnancy. It's worth watching just for Sisters Monica Jean and Evangelina alone; my favorite nurses are Jenny, Chummy, and Trixie. The whole series is based on the memoirs of the "real" Jenny (Jennifer Worth), and you get some narration from none other than Vanessa Redgrave. Recently, there was even an episode involving a husband who was secretly gay, got caught "cottaging" (which was a crime in Britain), and sentenced to chemical castration, the same as Alan Turing (who was portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in the recent Oscar-nominated film The Imitation Game). Oddly enough, I thought the actor portraying the gay husband looked quite a lot like Mr. Cumberbatch.

    Speaking of Cumberbatch, you might also like the BBC's reboot of the Sherlock Holmes stories simply called Sherlock. I also like CBS's reboot called Elementary.

    And if you are all caught up on Downton Abbey, you might see if you can get Upstairs, Downstairs.

    Back on topic, when I was a Baby Gay and stuck in a retail hell job (at a store I won't even dignify by naming, altho it is a national chain that caters to younger people), a really cute guy I had a crush on was raised vegetarian. Just to talk to him, I asked about the diet, and he told me his father always said that many people who try to go vegetarian (often in college) fail, because they don't realize how to get the protein their bodies still need from veggie sources. And frankly, I feel about tofu the same way you do about seafood (altho I can't stand seafood other than a basic fish and chips). My gaydar was imperfect at the time, but his very sweet lesbian co-worker finally clued me in. Alas, it was too late, as he was dating another co-worker I was friendly with. Everything worked out in the end, because shortly after I met my partner, and we just celebrated 20 years together earlier this month.

    Another long comment! Hope you are still doing well with your PT, and have a good weekend. ~~~NB

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    1. NB,
      Actually, you are right about Provincetown town being mostly for "the gays" and Rehoboth for lesbians. Rehoboth is still lesbian dominated and the vegan options are a lesbian restaurant (expensive even though it's called "Hobo's", must be an inside joke) and the biggest proponent of vegetarian options is a lesbian realtor. She is making inroads in breaking into the heretofore lock of our crab cake dominated food culture down here by the Atlantic Ocean. But she's very nice about it (I've met her). I think as more people become aware that the almost raw prime rib isn't as good for them as a good vegan meal, we'll see a change. When I used to eat out on Sunday nights with my gay friends, they to a gay man would order the prime rib, rare or medium rare. They bragged about the blood squirting out as they cut into their meat. Of course several of them are no longer with us (I am, you notice), as they went to the Great Beyond over the past year. My friend Ed (who died January 27th), almost always got the lobster whenever I went out with him. Wayne "The Cajun" got the prime rib or oysters. Both gone now. The lesbians are still here. Maybe it's a coincidence?
      Thanks for the tip of "Call the Midwife." I've seen previews for it and it looked interesting. And most of the British imports I like. I'll order a disk from Netflix and check it out. "Upstairs, Downstairs" I saw years ago. I loved it. That and "Poldark" which I see is coming out again. Both shows got me hooked on "Masterpiece Theater" on our local PBS station.
      The two things I don't like about a vegan diet are soy and tofu. I can't stand tofu. It's like eating a wet sponge. Maybe that was a tofu based product I ate when we were in West Hollywood, it was good. Also I had a tofu cheesecake that was better than any regular cheesecake I ever had because it didn't give me that "heavy" feeling after I ate it.
      Congratulations on 20 years to gather with your partner. That is an accomplishment to be proud of.
      Thanks for asking about my PT. I go three times a week. When I'm at home I also do PT. I am having good results except that I still can't bend my knee as much as I would like, but I can bend it more than I could before I started PT. The PT has help tremendously though with building up my muscle in my leg, specifically the quadricep leg muscle that I ruptured. I can now lift my leg which I never thought I could do again. I seriously thought I would be lame the rest of my life. Now if I can just bend my leg more without that knot. When I can drive my car again I will know I'm cured.
      Ron

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  4. I don't eat half as much meat as I used to (there's some ironically smutty humor in there somewhere, but don't bother to look for it).

    Lately I mostly eat chicken or fish. Any meat that I consume has to be well-done. We are in total agreement about disliking pink meat or bloody steaks. And NO sushi. Ever! I could never be a vegetarian (or whatever they're called now) but I can fully understand their reasoning.

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    1. Jon,
      Again, we're similar in our choice of food except for the fish. Most people I know like seafood and I can understand that. I just never acquired a taste for it myself though. Like you I could never become a full fledged vegetarian and definitely not a vegan (no dairy products, I like eggs too much). But I do find as I have aged, my stomach just can't digest a steady diet of red meat. Most meat I eat is chicken (again, there is probably some smutty humor there but I'm not going to go there).
      Ron

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  5. Most of middle america needs to reconnect with fresh fruits and vegetables. I agree that fresh soup is so easy to make and so good. I do like a nice steak and have finally gotten over my fear of rare. My father once ordered a steak "dried out" trying to get it well enough done for him. I do like fish, but can understand that not everyone does.

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    1. David,
      I love just about any kind of fresh soup except seafood chowder. My Mom used to make us (me and my brothers) eat Campbell's Oyster soup. I think that's what turned me off to seafood. Those little red crabs that were in the soup. I don't condemn people who like fish and seafood though, it's just me that doesn't like it. I can't get past the fishy smell.
      Ron

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  6. I could never do vegetarian properly; I have done so three-four times in life but i either became malnourished or 'food fatigued' and it was a bust. I admire your success.

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    1. Dr. Spo,
      You do need your protein, that's why I could never go completely vegan or vegetarian. Tofu just isn't a good substitute for me for meat or protein. But I am finding that I do like a good vegetarian meal, and not just iceberg lettuce with tomatoes and cucumbers and salad dressing. A real vegetarian dish like say uh . . . . eggplant parmesan!
      Ron

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    2. oooh but I do love eggplant parm!!!

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    3. Dr. Spo,
      Properly done eggplant parm that is. All too often the eggplant parmesan I get in restaurants is a soggy mess. I'm surprised at how many cooks don't know how to properly prepare eggplant parmesan or are they just too lazy?
      Ron

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  7. I don't recall you ever mentioning vegetarian cheese in your blogs, or maybe I'm not remembering right. (Though I do note your mentioning of 'parmesan' and 'cheesecake' as asides in your comments above.) Are you not a great cheese eater? - for example having it as sandwich fillings? If you (or Pat) are, have you access to a store that sells it in good quantity and variety? It's difficult to find it here.
    I'm also still searching for an acceptable, non-dairy milk, but all the ones I've tried (soya, almond etc) still leave an aftertaste, sometimes a bit unpleasant, to which I've never been able to get accustomed. You did mention one a few months back (I don't recall what it was now) but after extensive looking about, I wasn't able to find it here either.

    Btw: I'd find it very hard now to eat in a restaurant with someone who's got meat or fish on his/her plate, though I've not been in such a situation with any friend for over 20 years now, when it didn't trouble me so much. Also, in big departments stores I'm always averting my eyes if I have to pass a meat or fish counter. If I did have a large circle of friends it would be really difficult to square these attitudes of mine, hardened over the years, to keep them as friends and being fair as regards their own choices. Yet another reason why I'm alone!

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    1. Ray,
      I like cheese but it doesn't like me. If I eat too much cheese, it binds (constipation) me up. So I eat it sparingly.
      I find almond milk perfect. It doesn't leave an aftertaste for me like soy milk does.
      I don't believe you don't have a large circle of friends. You're a nice guy, witty, intelligent, kind and generous. What's not to like? Maybe you're too discriminating or are you only attracted to youth? I'm so glad that I'm not. I prefer friend my own age. Young people are so flighty and condescending towards us older gay men. I don't need it and don't put myself in that situation.
      Ron

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    2. Skating over your second para (for which I thank you all the same - even if sadly, untrue, re having friends), almond milk is the latest to which I can't get used. But I don't think I've tried the sweetened version yet, which I have seen on the shelves. Is that the one you prefer? Unsweetened, for me, DOES leave a slightly unpleasant aftertaste.

      Btw: Just to clarify, I also prefer same age. Significantly younger ones, if they are into 'daddies', silver or otherwise, just make me feel uncomfortable.

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    3. Ray,
      Oh you have to use the sweetened version of almond milk. I get the vanilla one. I can't drink the unsweetened one either. Too bland and it does leave an aftertaste.
      Ron

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  8. Ron - when you visit me this summer I will for sure have a pizza one nite. I ordered one yesterday for the workers here at my house who are doing some tiling. Incredible - you would not know the difference. And it probably digests better for you altho it might be somewhat processed too. I haven't had pizza in a dog's age - can't remember when. Had it topped only with mushrooms and tomatoes besides the vegan mozzarella cheese. And no more expensive than the regular pizza - or just a dollar or two. Keep up those veggies. I know you like fruit smoothies too which are so good for you.

    Pat

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    1. Pat,
      When Bill and I first met, we used to go bowling a lot and always had pizza at the bowling alley. This pizza always brings back fond memories. I like pizza but not with too much mozzarella cheese because it tastes like rubber and clogs up my system. I like a bit of cheese and I definitely like veggies on my pizza. Yes, when I visit we will have to order pizza to accompany our Scrabble matches.
      Ron

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  9. But without my mercury, I can't tell you the temperature off the top of my head! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    Seriously, I'm not eating that pile of stuff either, any more than you would eat a hamburger if the picture in the menu was a dead cow.
    I like meatless meals, and eat several a week. But I still like my meat!

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Jay,
      If there was a picture of a dead cow every time I ate a hamburger, I don't think I would be eating many more hamburgers. I try to put those images out of my mine when I'm chowing down on meat. I'll always have some meat but I do like a vegan option for a change. Right night I do that when I'm with Pat. So far I haven't been successful in talking him into eating any meat. Not even a dairy product. He's pretty disciplined.
      Ron

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  10. Ron, All these photos of food you are making me hungry. Even after having my Mom's pork chops for lunch. Like you I don't know if I want to totally give up eating meat. I try to pick healthy choices, lean non-processed meat. I know you don't like fish, that's why I hope I didn't gross you out last March. That Friday night the six of us went to Stripper Bites. And I had the Lewes rock fish dish. Being from the Midwest I don't get to enjoy fresh coastal fish that much. Hope your knee is feeling better! Randy in NEB.

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    1. Randy,
      I'll always eat some meat. In fact I just bought some beef for beef stew at the store this morning. I do like a good beef stew. Lunch meat and hot dogs I stay away from, too much processed chemicals and who knows what in those meat products. I can understand you taking advantage of being on the coast and getting fresh fish. Unfortunately I don't know how fresh the fish here is. When I used to visit Provincetown, Mass. that fish was fresh and even I liked it. Here it's trucked in like most everything else or the tourists and overcharged to boot.
      My knee is better, every day. I just returned from physical therapy which is really helping me. I hope by the time Pat visits at the end of next month I'm back to my usual dancing fool self.
      Does your Mom live near you? You never say anything about her. More info please on your blog! (smile) Have a great day!
      Ron

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