I’ve told myself it would be cool to do a week of vegan eating at some point. I always assume it will be in the summer when fresh local veggies are coming out of my ears.
However, I hadn’t anticipated that we’d be given a vegan cookbook.
The cookbook we were given is The Oh She Glows Cookbook. A month or two ago when this came out I kept trying to win a copy from all the vegan blogs I follow. (I didn’t win, but we magically received it as a gift!).
What Kind of Eater Am I?
And yes, although I am not a vegan I follow many vegan blogs. As an ethical omnivore I very much understand the kinds of things that can motivate people to become vegans. Although my own eating journey has not led me to the same place I often feel that if I had remained a vegetarian it would have made the most sense to become a vegan.
Vegetarians who refrain from meat because they don’t believe in factory farming of animals, and yet continue to eat factory farm products like milk and cheese are supporting the very thing they say they are trying to avoid. If dairy-and-egg-eating vegetarians claim that they are wanting to eat without causing suffering then hopefully they are only eating milk from very happy cows, and eating eggs from chickens that live wonderful outdoor lives – and this kind of food is possible to find, it just takes getting to know some farmers!
Since this becomes very complicated as a vegetarian it makes more sense to me to become a vegan. If, however, the vegetarian’s motivation is simply to “eat lower on the food chain” and make better use of resources then the decision to refrain from eating meat while still eating some animal products like dairy and eggs makes sense.
This is where ethical omnivores come in. Having looked at the system that is producing food and realizing that there is such a thing as food that is produced ethically and food that is not produced ethically, this way of eating attempts to source all food from good sources. The system recognizes the important role that animals have in agriculture and the benefits of raising livestock for dairy, eggs, and meat, but also limits the consumption of those animal products.
An ethical omnivore’s diet is more sustainable than the average North-American diet, but also more expensive, and requires more labor intensive farming methods than factory farming. This means it costs more. Thus, as an ethical omnivore I not only limit my consumption of meat because it’s good for the planet, but also because it’s good for my budget. Eating meat once or twice a week becomes somewhat of a special occasion, like last nights hamburgers, rather than the presumed main dish on every plate.
The Important Role of Vegan Blogs for All Eaters
This is where vegan blogs like Oh She Glows come in. Vegans are at the forefront of creative vegetable-based eating, and many of them are amazing cooks. Regardless of my own willingness to eat meat, eating 100% plant-based meals is good for me, good for animals, and good for the planet. Oh, and it’s also just good tasting, at least when done right!
If you’re wondering about my favorite vegan (and vegetarian) blogs, here are a couple more:
- The Sweet Life – Sara McMinn is a college friend of mine. But I would follow her blog regardless, and I am pretty sure I’d have found it even without knowing her. Her recipes are mostly focused on (yes, it’s obvious) sweets, but I most appreciate her dinner ideas, like these beet sliders.
- My New Roots – Okay, so it’s not technically a vegan blog, but almost. Mostly it’s just full of incredible recipes that are very full of plants. The photos showcase the vegetables in an outstanding way. It also just won Saveur’s annual award for best special diet blog, a well-deserved win!
The Oh She Glows Cookbook
My first impression of The Oh She Glows Cookbook is that it is beautiful. It is bursting with color and health, with different fruits and veggies everywhere you look. What I appreciate most about it is that looking at the recipes in it there are no points where I, as a non-vegan, find myself getting annoyed. In fact if it weren’t for the generous use of cashews as a substitute for cream and cheese I don’t think it would even be clear that it was a vegan cookbook. It would simply be a cookbook about whole foods and veggie-heavy recipes.
We are going to be gone from Thursday through the weekend so the meal plan this week is a bit condensed. We’ll also be eating a freezer meal given to us after our son was born (7 weeks ago!). I also bought a ton of greens this week because I was so excited to see them at the market, thus there will be fresh salad every night!
No links, the book is worth owning, borrowing, or checking out from your library (WPL has it and so does KPL) . And if your library doesn’t have it ask for it, they’ll probably order it just for you (I’ve gotten four books ordered on my behalf in the last year, and when it comes in the person who orders it gets it first!).
Disclaimer: How are we making these meals with local ingredients? Thanks to our freezer and our pantry! Last summer we froze and canned tons of local fruits and veggies, there’s really no other way to remain a locavore in the off-season….
- Soul-Soothing African Peanut Stew (p.129)
- Fresh Whole Wheat Ciabatta Bread
- Crowd-Pleasing Tex-Mex Casserole (p.149)
- Local Tortillas
- Extra greens for side
- Perfected Chickpea Salad Sandwich (p.105) using the leftover ciabatta
- Leftover Peanut Stew