Mmmm.... dinner.

I just made the absolute best dinner, and it reminds me of how wonderfully accessible New York is in terms of going vegan. The Whole Foods in Union Square is now selling awesome pre-packaged tempeh in different kinds of marinade (two different companies are putting out this new kind of "ready made" tempeh). It's so delicious and easy to cook, because all you need to do is add a little bit of oil and allow the tempeh to brown- done. Tonight, I added an indian coconut sauce and some lemon juice, threw in some baby spinach, and the whole thing came together so well. I also made another new favorite of mine this year- polenta (just sliced it up, threw it over some oil, and let it brown on both sides), and I roasted some asparagus in the oven with a little lemon juice on top. I am a happy girl.

It was raining like crazy today and cold too, and when the weather is like this, I'm always reminded of my favorite time of year- the days between Thanksgiving and New Year's (specifically: the week leading up to Christmas). I've been indulging in some holiday tunes on my Ipod (I'm also listening on the computer now- what a dork I am), and just letting myself dream about holidays past. Last year was great, because it was my first Christmas/Birthday eating vegan, and I was so new to the whole process. Now that I've been going six months strong, I've learned so much more about how to cook, what foods work with my lifestyle, and even better, how to make delicious food that gets people who aren't vegan talking. I can't wait to cook up some amazing new holiday dishes- hey, I may even actually make a tofurky style roast this year! This holiday season will also be another first- it will be my first holiday married to Steve. Man, that's crazy to even type here. I can't believe the whole thing is less than seven months away. Smiles and tears abound.

Two of the things I love most about Steve are his abilities to support and encourage. Steve, while not a vegetarian or vegan himself, has been open to every single food I've experimented with, and he never makes fun of my new methods of eating. He eats vegan dinners with me 4-5 times during a normal week and loves to help cook tofu, tempeh, and the like in completely different ways. It's funny to think about- I used to HATE tempeh. With a passion. Steve and I tried to make it early on (around November or so) and we didn't know what we were doing. It came out bland and not at all what tempeh has the ability to be. But Steve reworked some things, and a few months ago made one of the best dinners I've ever had- terryaki tempeh. I couldn't believe I was eating the same food I loathed a few months prior. But that's Steve- he's super creative and always believes in finding ways to help.

As I listen to Johnny Mathis singing "White Christmas" on a rainy day in April, I am so thankful to have the support system I do, as well as the strength within me to continue eating vegan. Tonight's dinner remains proof that cooking and eating vegan does not have to be a tiring task- in fact, it's pretty fun. Sometimes I forget how much fun this lifestyle can be, especially when I'm in other places that aren't as accommodating. Thankfully, I can rest assured that while I live in New York, I can eat and cook easily as a vegan. And hopefully the rest of the country (and world) will catch on. Hey, a girl can dream, right?


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