Welcome to 2018! We’re a week in. How are you all doing with your resolutions and overall health? If you’re aiming for better health this year, you are not alone. Let’s make a pact though. After a month, let’s not lose sight of our 2018 goals, but let us also be kind to ourselves. We will have days that aren’t so great, but other times throughout the year, we will be slaying it! I’m going to strive for perfection, but be kind to myself when I need a break from it all. Let’s face it – perfection can suck the life out of you, and there are times we will need to relax and re-charge! Are you ready to slay with me?
As for my goals, I’ve decided to go vegan. Two years ago, I came out right here about adopting a vegetarian lifestyle, which centered around choosing compassion for the animals of this planet, and steering away from products that involved factory farming. This year, I decided to eliminate all animal products from my diet. I had been considering this lifestyle for quite awhile and a few encounters with other vegans along with some pretty horrific videos, pushed me over the edge, and I could not turn a blind eye to it any longer. I’m not going to preach to you to do the same because everyone is on a different journey in life. I’m here to support you if you want to give it a shot, and even if you aren’t vegan, and don’t plan to be, these recipes WILL be delicious, and plant based, hence very good for you! As a foodie and a former meat/egg/dairy eater, the recipes on The Devil Wears Parsley will be formed to satisfy you.
If you’re unsure of what it means exactly to be a vegetarian or vegan, here are the definitions:
Vegetarians do not eat the flesh of any animal or insect at all. This means no beef, chicken, fish, or grasshoppers. This means no rice or grain that’s made with chicken or beef stock or bouillon because those are made with the flesh of an animal. No oyster sauce or fish sauce that is prevalent in some Asian cuisines, and even some curry pastes that are made with dried shrimp.
Vegetarians DO eat animal by-products like eggs, milk, and cheeses, and all kinds of produce, of course!
Vegans on the other hand, do not eat or wear anything that comes from an animal or insect. This pertains to diet, but also clothing as well. That means no eggs, milk, or cheeses, and even honey in the diet. As far as clothing, this means no leather (hide from animals), silk, wool or feathers.
For me, from here on out, I will do my best to refrain from contributing to any cruelty towards animals. I’m sure I won’t be perfect, but I’m going to try my best.
Now that I’ve set you up for what to expect around here for 2018, I have another announcement to make! My friend Sara from My Imperfect Kitchen organized a cook-through of Deb Perelman’s new book Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant & Unfussy New Favorites.
I had agreed to participate in the cook-through, but that was before I had 100% committed to going vegan! But, I thought it was a great opportunity to showcase how you can “veganize” recipes. If you’d like to follow along and even participate, we’ve got a Facebook group called Tuesday’s Menu dedicated to sharing what we make every Tuesday. At the very least, you can have a recipe that fits into your meal plan for the week. One less meal to worry about is a win in my book!
If you’re on Facebook, come and join us, don’t be shy! There is a document that outlines the recipes we’ll be cooking bi-monthly, so you’re in the know, and we can all share together. The admin’s (of which I am one), will get you approved right away, and set up to participate!
You can find the original recipe for Polenta Baked Eggs with Corn, Tomato, and Fontina on page 28 of Deb’s book. Below is a breakfast all my own, inspired by this recipe. Cheers to a Happy, Healthy, and Cruelty-free New Year!
Breakfast Polenta Bake
- 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
- 3 Cups Water
- 3/4 Cup Cornmeal
- 1/3 Cup Nutritional Yeast
- 3/4 Cup Corn Kernels fresh, canned, or frozen
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
- 4 Tablespoons Vegan Cream Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Canned, Diced Tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons Serrano & Basil Hot Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Cilantro
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Oil a 9" cast iron skillet with olive oil and set aside.
- Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan, and slowly add the cornmeal while continually whisking. After all the cornmeal is added, turn heat down to medium.
- After about 5 minutes, the polenta should be re-constituted and soft, making big bubbles. Add in the nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, mixing until combined. Then add the corn kernels, mixing well.
- Pour mixture into the oiled cast iron skillet, then add 4 dollops of the vegan cream cheese.
- Using a blender, pulse the diced, canned tomatoes and hot sauce until smooth, but still a little chunky. Pour over the polenta mixture, and using the back of the spoon, smooth over the top, while still keeping it a bit rustic.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until a crispy crust forms around the edges. Remove from oven and let cool slightly for about 5 minutes. Top with cilantro, and serve immediately.
P.S. If you haven’t tried Bravado Spice Company’s new Serrano & Basil Hot Sauce, you’re missing out! It’s great in this dish, AND if you’re a pizza lover, this is THE SAUCE you must have in your arsenal!
*Disclaimer: Bravado Spice Co. sent me a bottle of their new Serrano & Basil hot sauce to review, but I was not compensated in any other way. Additionally, Deb Perelman’s book I bought, and have no affiliation with her or her brand Smitten Kitchen. All opinions are my own.