Happy New Year, everybody. I have some cool entries planned for this month. But first, let’s talk about Christmas dinner while it’s still fresh on my mind.
I’ve constantly been asked through the years how I maintain a strict vegan diet while on the road or under other difficult circumstances. I always say, it’s really no problem…there’s always a way. And there’s probably no better example of this than managing Christmas dinner with my family down in Florida this year, where authentic southern cuisine is always the centerpiece.
Fortunately, my dad’s been a strict veggie since kicking cancer’s ass back in ’96. So this has made my Florida relatives even more accommodating to us…which means laying off of the butter, ham hocks and bacon grease when preparing all of our favorite southern dishes like cornbread, collards, veggie soup and various bean and pea combos.
This year was no exception. The food was beyond delicious, as usual, so I thought I would snap a few shots just to document what veganized southern cooking might look like for a holiday meal.
A beautiful pot of “field greens,” which in this case is collards.
A killer pot-full of southern-style legumes, including butter beans, field peas, and string beans. High-fiber, top quality protein up the ass, people!
Every family has a secret recipe. And on my dad’s side, it’s the incredible cornbread. This cornbread is thin and crispy, unlike “regular” cornbread which is thicker, more cake-like and seldom (if ever) vegan. They also use some special cornmeal that you can only find in Florida or Alabama. I eat it by the pounds when I’m there, since it’s the only time I can enjoy it!
Put it all together and it looks like this. Notice the addition of the cream corn and the sweet potato? There are also two kinds of greens (collard and turnip). Of course, after I polished this off, seconds included more of everything (minus the sweet potato) and a couple more pieces of corn bread. Tis the season, folks! And remember, when you’re lifting heavy, you’ve gotta eat heavy…
And finally, dessert was this outrageous vegan cheesecake that my mom made. My dad and I devoured two of these in about three days, it was so good. Even a few “normal” folks (who we reluctantly agreed to share a few bites with) thought it was delicious.
There are 101 different recipes for vegan cheesecake, but Lorri Bauston’s “Animal Acres” Vegan Cheezecake is one of the simplest and the best. I’ll try to find the recipe for you guys.
Bottom line: No animals were harmed or exploited in ANY way during the production of this feast. And that still feels good to me…knowing that every aspect of this celebratory meal is non-violent and mindful of the “oneness”…
That’s it for now, gang.