Things went nuts this week. Work projects, commitments, appointments, and errands exploded to a new high. Somewhere in there, I got really sick from a food allergy, and spent the better part of Memorial Day Weekend laid up. So I did not have time for—or feel up to—cooking much at all. Sadly, I’m not the kind of gal who can crack open a can of lentils and call it a night. (I mean, that can’t possibly be appetizing, right?) What would I do for healthy, tasty vegan meals when life whizzed by at a hundred miles an hour?
Luckily, the weekend before, I had gone into downtown Seattle with a friend and we happened upon Eat Local, a purveyor of premade meals with fresh, local, and organic ingredients, for omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans. Knowing that my schedule was about to go haywire and kitchen time would be scarce, I darted inside and scoured the freezer cases for vegan meals that didn’t contain anything from my exhaustive (and annoying) food allergy list. I left beaming, having scored two entrées and a side dish for around thirtyish dollars, which is excellent considering I’d get 6-7 meals out of them when paired with an easy veg side dish I’d make at home. I drove them home, slapped them in my freezer, then waited for the chaos of life to unfold.
The first meal I tried when hell broke loose was the McGraw Street Nut Loaf, a meatloaf doppelganger made entirely from veggies, legumes, and nuts. Sure enough, when I opened the package, it looked remarkably like meatloaf. It became crumbly upon slicing, and was rendered to more of a sloppy joe on reheating, but the zingy sauce made it worth piling on some bread and sucking on your fingers afterward. Obviously this dish can never taste exactly like meat, but it was a substantial, savory entrée that left me feeling satisfied for hours. Congratulations, Meatloaf Stunt Double, you have achieved culinary awesomeness. (One thing—it was somewhat heavy on the garlic. I recommend nuking your mouth afterward with the strongest mouthwash you’ve got. Then, do it again. Vegan gentlemen, the ladies will thank you.)
Another night I tried the Gnocchi with Green Chard Pesto. Yes, yes, yes, I can hear you saying that I’m an idiot because I can pick up regular old gnocchi cheaper at the grocery store, and they’re fast and easy to boil up. Okay, okay. That’s totally true, but this comes with pre-made vegan pesto using chard and hazelnuts, something I didn’t have time to whip up, so, uh, there. They were scrummy—little pillowy puffs of savory dumpling deliciousness—and they paired well with a quick green salad. There you have it—another nutritious vegan dinner that required no more effort than pushing a button on the microwave like a well-trained monkey. Phew.
In short, Eat Local saved my hinie this week, and kept me from eating cardboard and sawdust. I’m stoked to hear that they deliver, so the next time I anticipate a crazy schedule, I’ll make sure to order more backup meals and stash them in my fridge. Thanks, Eat Local! MWAH!
During all of this insanity, two friends lent me some kickass vegan cookbooks that I didn’t have, like Vegan with a Vengeance and The Veganomicon, but I’ve been too slammed to try them out. Soon, I hope to get down and dirty with them and let you know what I think.
Sadly, I’ll be crazy busy through next week, so I’ll be going radio silent, and won’t be posting again until after June 9. Technically, my 30-day vegan challenge is supposed to end on June 5, but I’ve decided to continue my vegan exploration after that. It deserves a deeper look, and it takes more than a few weeks to master chef-worthy vegan cooking, which I aspire to. That said, shortly after June 9 I’ll do a round-up post about my first 30 days, with my advice for others attempting the same. From then on I’ll post occasionally about continued vegan shenanigans, but will also resume writing-related posts as well as whatever else strikes my blogging fancy—zombies, feminism, what have you.
Until we chat again, have a great week, and I’ll catch you on the flip side.