Vegan Q&A: Would a Vegan Eat Cultured Meat?

Would Vegans Eat Cultured Meat | Orthodox and Vegan

Photo Courtesy of james-mcwilliams.com

Hey Friends! Today’s Q&A question is another one I received via the Orthodox and Vegan Facebook page. Would vegans eat cultured (lab-created) meat?

Cultured meat is meat grown in cell cultures instead of in animals. So basically, cells are taken from actual animals, and then grown in labs. Since only a small amount of cells is needed, the popularization of cultured meat could mean the end of factory farming. The following is part of a Twitter DM conversation I had with Hampton Creek:

In regards to the attached questions, producing clean meat does not require any animal-derived inputs beyond the initial animal cells which can come from, for example, a single feather from a chicken roaming free in a sanctuary or a single egg laid by that chicken. The cells can grow by being nourished with plant-based nutrients, and can in principle continue growing indefinitely without the need for any additional animal-derived inputs. Our goal is to produce meat and seafood that is sustainable and eliminates the need to confine or slaughter any animals.

So would vegans eat cultured meat? Since by definition vegans avoid, “as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food”, and because the meat is created by taking cells from animals, as Simon Cowell would say, It’s a No. Also, just because Hampton Creek uses an example of the animals being kept in sanctuaries, that won’t necessarily be the case. I do think if there’s proof the animals are well cared for, some people would stop being vegan to make use of these products, especially those who identify as vegan but are simply on a plant-based diet. Cultured meat can be produced without growth hormones or antibiotics. It’s also possible the lab-created meats could be made to contain significantly less saturated fat.

It’s also estimated the land needed to produce meat would be reduced by 99%(!!!). The amount of associated water needed could be reduced by 90%, not to mention a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. This is good, and (again, if the animals are treated well) something most vegans will be happy about and support to some degree, even if we don’t support the product financially by purchasing it for consumption.

It should probably also be noted that most ethical vegans are pretty grossed out by the idea of eating flesh, which this will still be. Maybe some other vegans can chime in below in the comments. What do you all think??

Vegan in the Verde Valley, AZ

Thank You to everyone who submitted a city for the “Vegan In [city]” series! Today’s suggestion came from my friend Cody, aka The Wine Monk. We’re looking at the Verde Valley, an area in Arizona that includes multiple towns. Seeing as there are so few options in each town individually, we’ll might as well look at the whole Verde Valley altogether.

I’ve made an alphabetical list by city below, but let’s start out of order with two most interesting: Cottonwood and Sedona.

Vegan in the Verde Valley, Arizona - Cottonwood | Orthodox and Vegan
In Cottonwood you can try Wholesome Fast Foods for smoothies, salads, wraps, and fancy coffee. Happy Cow says there may be whey or cheese in some items, but that isn’t shown anywhere on the menu. Check with your server!

At the Mediterranean Farside Bistro, three vegan entrees are noted on the menu, plus options of regular or spicy hummus, baba ganouj, toom (listed as “Garlic Potato Dip”), olives, and Persian-style pickled cucumber.

For dessert, checkout Paradise Point Cafe for brownies or lemon cookies (there’s also a berry salad on the savory menu, but this is more of a dessert place with three times more desserts than savory items!). Alternative milks are available should you choose to pair your sweet treat with a coffee or tea.

Whole Foods Location
Now in Sedona you’ll actually find a Whole Foods, which means not only a TON of fresh produce and other dry goods for awesome home cookin’, but also plenty of vegan junk food/processed foods…if you’re into that sort of thing. They have pretty much any mock meat you’re into from fish sticks to gyros, including the infamous Beyond Burger. The refrigerated section is filled with every dairy substitute imaginable. If you’ve never been to Whole Foods, give yourself at least an hour to explore. Beware of the salad bar, you can easily spend $15+ on a single (but amazing) salad!

As for restaurants, you have a few options. Chocolatree will probably be the most exciting with its many raw vegan desserts, baked goods, coconut milk ice cream made in-house, and even a vegan mango lassi on the drink menu! Oh yes, and did I mention nearly the entire savory menu is also vegan? Oh, I hadn’t gotten to that yet. Well it is, and everything is clearly marked – just look for the little orange leaf.

Picazzo's in Sedona, AZ (Verde Valley) - Vegan California Pizza | Orthodox and Vegan

Vegan California Pizza from Picazzo’s


Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen will set you back a few bucks, but has a huge variety of vegan options including pizzas made with Daiya cheese at no extra cost. Menu items are clearly marked to indicate items that are already vegan, and items that can be made vegan.

Looking for something lighter? Check out the Local Juicery. Most of their items are vegan, but watch out for honey and ghee.

And if you thought a paleo restaurant would be uninviting for vegan diners, think again – Paleo Brio has several vegan options, and a fun build-your-own menu.

The Rest of Verde Valley
Unfortunately that’s it for the really interesting and exciting stuff, but you can still usually find at least one or two vegan options at most restaurants…even those options happen to be fries with ketchup 🙂 Here are a few ideas:

Camp Verde
Speaking of fries, there are tons of fast food/chain restaurants in Camp Verde. McDonald’s fries contain a beef-derived seasoning, but you can try Wendy’s or Burger King. Sonic & Dairy Queen also have vegan onion rings, and you can get a decent cheeseless pizza from Domino’s (make sure it’s thin crust, regular sauce).

Chain restaurant Johnny Rockets serves a Gardein Black Bean Burger, as well as regular fries, sweet potato fries, and tater tots.

Denny’s is also an option, and you can check out my Vegan at Denny’s guide before you head over.

Clarkdale
Build your own pizza at the Clarkdale Boathouse. The portobello sandwich minus cheese is also an option, although if the bread isn’t vegan you’ll end up just eating a big ol’ mushroom.

Cornville
Harry’s Hideaway doesn’t look very vegan-friendly at first glance, but they do offer a vegan ratatouille. The menu also states some of the soups are vegan, and encourages guests to let the waitstaff know if vegan options are needed.

Verde Valley, Jerome, AZ | Orthodox and Vegan

Photo of Historic Jerome by The Wine Monk. Stolen and used without permission.


Jerome
Haunted Burger – Veggie Wrap with bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, green chilies, tomatoes, & guacamole. Found under the “Not a Burger” menu section.

Mile High Grill is probably not the best place to stop for breakfast (although you could possibly do the veggie hash minus cheese), but on the Lunch/Dinner menu they have the Asian Crispy Tofu Salad, a veggie wrap, and a hummus platter.

The Flat Iron‘s menu shows “Gluten Free and Vegan when available” – not exactly sure what that means, but they do have at least one clearly vegan item, the Vegan Chickpea Salad Sandwich.

Lake Montezuma
Alas, I couldn’t find anything special at all in Lake Montezuma, unless maybe the Garden Burger at Cricket’s Sandwich Shop is vegan. Maybe they’d be willing to make a breakfast burrito minus the eggs, meat, and cheese and instead stuffed with all the veggies they offer + fries, topped with salsa or enchilada sauce.

Know of any other great vegan options in the Verde Valley? Comment below!

Vegan Q&A: Cheat Days

I’m planning to do these Vegan Q&A posts on Mondays, answering questions from my followers as well as questions I hear regularly from family and friends. You can post your questions in the comments below, or PM me at the Orthodox and Vegan Facebook page!

Today I’m addressing a question I’ve been asked several times: “Do you ever have a cheat day?” By this, people are asking if I occasionally make the conscious decision to eat foods that aren’t vegan (meat, eggs, dairy).

Short answer: No.

I think people usually assume I’m vegan strictly for dietary reasons (which might explain why they’re shocked to see me eating, for example, a bag of Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos…). On a diet, it’s normal to treat yourself with a cheat day once in a while; however, I’m not on a diet. I care about my health, but that’s a totally separate issue. Let’s look at the actual definition of veganism, coined by The Vegan Society in 1979:

Vegan Q&A: Cheat Days | Orthodox and Vegan

“A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”

For vegans, a cheat day isn’t simply taking a break from a diet – cheat days mean taking a break from an ethical stance. One friend likened it to being asked if she and her spouse ever have a cheat day 😀 (NO!!) More than anything else, a cheat day would make me feel like I’m cheating the animals.
I also have to admit I no longer see animal products as food. I’m like the kid from The Sixth Sense, but I see dead animals. It may not be so simple for others, but my brain automatically classifies animal products as inedible, so there’s no temptation.

What do you think about cheat days? Comment below!

Spicy Vegan Cashew Cheez Spread

Recently I was asked about vegan cheeses that don’t need to be fermented, and I realized I didn’t have much to offer here in my recipe collection. I decided to experiment a little, and I actually came out with this really great Spicy Cashew Cheez Spread on the first try! It’s very simple to make, and I think it took about 15 minutes.

Spicy Vegan Cashew Cheez Spread Quesadillas | Orthodox and Vegan
I used the cashew cheez to make vegan quesadillas – you should be able to get six to eight small quesadillas out of this recipe, depending on how thick you spread it. I like to use the little corn tortillas.

Spicy Vegan Cashew Cheez Spread in Bean Dip | Orthodox and Vegan
I didn’t get quite so many because I used most of it making delicious cheesy bean dips! I folded the quesadillas and filled them with bean dip. It was a little messy…but wonderful. And did I mention this cashew cheez recipe is oil free and perfect for a strict fasting day?

If you’re cooking a meal for a family of four, I would recommend using all the cashew cheez spread for the quesadillas, and topping them with black beans or bean dip, guacamole, and chopped veggies or salsa. Then, instead of making a mess like I did, eat them with a knife and fork!

Spicy Vegan Cashew Cheez Spread | Orthodox and Vegan
Spicy Vegan Cashew Cheez Spread
3/4 raw cashews
1 clove garlic
2 tsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp tapioca flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp chili powder
3/4 C vegetable broth
3/4 C water or plain unsweetened almond milk
Optional:
Dash of chipotle powder or cayenne pepper
Dash or turmeric, for color

Blend all ingredients until smooth (you may not get it perfectly smooth if you don’t have a high-powdered blender). Pour into a small sauce pan and whisk over high heat until it thickens into a spreadable consistency. It will not be completely firm, although it will continue to firm up if you chill it. This cheez doesn’t get to the point of being sliceable.

Spicy Cashew Cheez Spread is great for:
-Quesadillas
-Nachos
-Queso Bean Dip (or Queso “Beef” Dip with TVP & taco seasonings, or Queso Fresco with salsa)
-Cheezy Chili Veggie Dog

Peanut Butter Vanilla Protein Shake

I promised more recipes using pea protein, and here’s another: A Peanut Butter Vanilla Protein Shake that’s great post workout. My experimenting took a little longer than I thought, but I’ll have a couple more recipes to share this coming week. Pea protein is my new favorite thing, I’m putting it in everything. I tried this recipe two different ways so I can give you a few tips about the flavor.

Peanut Butter Vanilla Protein Shake | Orthodox and Vegan
Peanut Butter Vanilla Protein Shake
1 1/4 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk*
1/4 C orange juice
1/4 C raw cashews
1 Scoop pea protein
2 Tbsp peanut butter powder**

Blend all ingredients together in a high-powered blender. Drink! It makes about 16oz total, with approximately 38 grams of protein, half your iron for the day, and nearly 2/3 of your calcium. The orange juice adds Vitamin C to help you absorb the iron. It’s very filling, it was enough to hold me over until lunch!

Sometimes I do 1/4 C peanut butter powder (adds another 8g protein), and occasionally substitute the orange juice with a little fresh fruit. I also made a nice pudding by accident by blending in a whole banana and leaving it to chill in the fridge. I ended up having to eat it with a spoon, but it was really tasty 😀

*You can use sweetened almond milk, but it adds a LOT of sugar!

**In the picture it looks like I’m using PB2. I’m actually just reusing a container, it’s filled with Protein Plus Peanut Flour. I like it better because there are no additives, so it has slightly more protein. It’s also cheaper! Unfortunately the bag is not resealable, hence the old PB2 container.

Have you tried pea protein? If you have, let us know your favorite way to use it in the comments below!

Vegan Pea Protein Porridge

Is there anything more Lenten than porridge? I can’t think of anything. I’ve been working on ways to incorporate pea protein into my diet other than just sticking it in a smoothie (pea protein has a mild flavor that is easy to mask, but when unmasked…it’s rather unpleasant) and this is my first of many recipes for Lent. In this pea porridge, we have plenty of spice and one surprise ingredient.

Okay, it’s a pickle. And there’s peanut butter. It’s like a peanut butter and pickle sandwich, but less weird to eat in front of other people ’cause they won’t know what’s in it.

Lenten Pea Protein Porridge | Orthodox and Vegan
The recipe can also be modified to make a soup for two by adding an extra cup of liquid and adjusting the seasonings, however I made it a single-serving porridge so it would be easy to get a ton of protein all in one meal. Using a fortified almond milk instead of water is another great way to add nutrients.

This is meant to be a main meal on fasting days when we are eating less. So, while it packs 44 grams of protein in one single serving, it also has about half a day’s worth of sodium – just something to keep in mind if you’re watching that.

Single-Serve Pea Protein Porridge
1 scoop pea protein
3 Tbsp green pea flour
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
optional:
1 tsp dried dill
1/8 tsp celery seed

1 1/4 C plain unsweetened almond milk, or water
1 tsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1/2 – 1 kosher dill pickle, finely chopped

In a small saucepan, add dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Whisk together almond milk (or water), soy sauce, and peanut butter, then slowly pour into dry ingredients while whisking to prevent lumps. Over medium heat, bring to a low boil and then immediately lower to a simmer. Continue whisking as porridge thickens, 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir in chopped pickle and remove from heat. Let sit for one minute before serving.*

*If the pickle cooks in the porridge for more than a minute or two, it will become flavorless.

This recipe is oil free and perfect for a strict fasting day.

Have you ever tried the PB&Pickle sandwich combo?

What I Ate Wednesday: Vegan Tuna Melt Wrap

Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of What I Ate Wednesday! I’ve been experimenting a lot lately getting ready for Lent (just over one month away!), and I think I’ll have some great recipes for you in the next couple weeks. One of them is the Vegan Tuna Melt Wrap pictured below. Guess what I used in place of the tuna. GUESS!!!!! You’ll have to scroll down for the answer.

What I Ate Wednesday: Veggie Soup with Homemade Bread | Orthodox and Vegan
I took my mom to visit my grandparents last week, and grandma made soups and fresh bread for us. I love pouring the soup over torn up pieces of bread, it’s especially satisfying on cold days (and we had an ice storm the day we left).

What I Ate Wednesday: Vegan Egg Omelet | Orthodox and Vegan
I’m a big fan of VeganEgg from Follow Your Heart. It comes in powder form and you whip it up with ice cold water. I usually add a teaspoon of nutritional yeast to the powder first. I put ice and cold water in a glass and pop it in the freezer for a few minutes, then strain it. Some people swear by mixing the powder and water in a blender. I haven’t tried that technique yet, I just whip the tar out of it with a whisk. It’s really important to Whip it Good (a la Devo) to get a the right texture. Anyway, then you can scramble it or use it to make omelets. You can also use it as an egg sub for baked goods, but I think it’s too expensive to waste on that.

This omelet is filled with shredded Daiya cheddar, minced soy, and veggies. I sprinkled a little black salt on it as it finished cooking to give it a nice eggy, sulfury taste.

What I Ate Wednesday: Daiya Cheezy Mac | Orthodox and Vegan
I finally found Daiya Cheezy Mac at Meijer a couple months ago, and I hid it away as if it were my most prized possession. But then I realized I should just eat it. So I did.

What I Ate Wednesday: Jackfruit Tuna Melt | Orthodox and Vegan
My Tuna Melt wrap! I’m still working on an actual recipe, but the main ingredients are jackfruit with seaweed. It wasn’t exactly like tuna, but it was fishy. I will try it again next week.

What I Ate Wednesday: Filled Chocolates | Orthodox and Vegan
And finally, I got this box of filled chocolates for Christmas. So many people are under the impression all chocolate contains milk, and therefore vegans can’t have chocolate. FALSE. There are lots of vegan chocolates out there, and they’re delicious. I tried to show a little self restraint, and it took me an entire week to eat all these 🙂

What are you eating this week?

What I Ate Wednesday: Donuts and Denny’s and MOAR

It’s kind of sad now that we’re past the 12 Days of Christmas. I had to un-decorate my tree and start to take down our decorations (and some that I left on the mantle, my cat took down for me and destroyed in the process!). Yet Theophany comes with vegan donuts, and I still have some other holiday treats. Let’s take a look.

What I Ate Wednesday: Zalabia (donuts) for Theophany | Orthodox and Vegan
I mentioned this last year, in our parish we’ve brought back the tradition of making zalabia for Theophany. It’s just fried dough tossed in a simple syrup. You can use plain syrup, or flavor it with a little rose water or orange blossom. Some people use powdered sugar instead of syrup, or cinnamon and sugar. Do it however you like, it’s almost impossible to go wrong with fried dough!

What I Ate Wednesday: Jackfruit Chili Sandwich | Orthodox and Vegan
It’s hard to believe it’s still good, but I found a container of my grandmother’s BBQ beans in the fridge leftover from Christmas. I sauteed a can of jackfruit with garlic and onions, seasoned it with salt and pepper, and added it to the beans to make a kind of meaty chili (the beans weren’t the sweet kind). It worked really well, and it was great in sandwiches.

What I Ate Wednesday: Van's Waffles and Maple Veggie Hash | Orthodox and Vegan
We have a discount grocery store nearby, and I found Van’s Gluten Free waffles (which happen to be vegan) for 99 cents! You get six in a box. They’re a little on the small side, so I do three at a time. This is the cinnamon flavor, and I spread a little peanut butter on as well as drizzling with maple syrup. Then I cooked up some soy crumbles and sauteed them with onion and bell pepper, and seasoned with salt and pepper. The soy crumbles/veggie hash got a drizzling of maple syrup, too. Yum 😀

What I Ate Wednesday: Denny's Fit Fare Skillet | Orthodox and Vegan
We had our family dinner at Denny’s on Sunday, and for once I got something other than the veggie burger. The Fit Fare Skillet is vegan if you get it without eggs. It includes potatoes, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and spinach. I would’ve added avocado, but they were out (ask for it in place of the eggs so maybe they won’t charge extra). To make it extra carbolicious, I ordered a plain English muffin to go with it.

What I Ate Wednesday: Trader Joe's Chocolate Orange | Orthodox and Vegan
And finally, we broke open the chocolate orange I bought from Trader Joe’s a month ago. I used to get one of these every year for Christmas when I was a kid, but it was always made with milk chocolate. This one from Trader Joe’s is dark chocolate, and it is wonderful. You get five wedges in one serving, but we were careful not to eat more than two since we’re trying to be good in the new year.

Are you changing your eating habits in 2017? Lemme know how below!

What I Ate Wednesday: A Very Vegan Christmas

Christ is Born! Merry Christmas!

I know I’m the worst blogger in the world, I just haven’t been able to keep up with posts lately – I’ll have to make that part of my New Year’s resolution! Here’s a quick one featuring some of the wonderful food I had during family Christmas celebrations this year. What did you have?

What I Ate Wednesday: Brie En Croute | Orthodox and Vegan
I bought this cashew-based Brie En Croute (brie wrapped in pastry) at the vegan holiday pop-up shop a couple weeks before Christmas. It was very good, and I’ve decided it’s something I could definitely make at home. I can’t wait to try!

What I Ate Wednesday: Cheesy Layer Dip | Orthodox and Vegan
My dad makes a layer dip he likes to call Mexican Dip, although I’m not sure that’s very accurate. The bottom layer is a combination of cream cheese and sour cream seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic. Hot sauce is spread on top, then there’s a layer of minced onion, green pepper, and tomato, topped with cheddar cheese. I usually just buy vegan versions of all the dairy ingredients, but this year I made a cashew cream thickened with tapioca flour for the base. It needs a little work, but overall I was pretty happy with it.

What I Ate Wednesday: Spinach Pies | Orthodox and Vegan
Syrian spinach pies take hours and hours to make, but it’s totally worth it! But…I only do it a couple times year. I use a basic dough recipe, and the filling is extremely lemony spinach with salt, minced onion, and olive oil (and parsley, when I remember it).

What I Ate Wednesday: Christmas Meal | Orthodox and Vegan
My cousin made pulled pork, so I decided to do BBQ jackfruit. I let it simmer in the sauce for a couple hours until it was extremely tender. Two or three people looked at my plate in shock and someone finally asked, “That’s not for you, is it?” I dunno if anyone dared taste it, but at least it *looked* like pulled pork. At the very least it tasted like Carolina BBQ sauce 🙂 P.S. I also made the guac!

What I Ate Wednesday: Chocolate Cherry SoCo Cake | Orthodox and Vegan
And finally, we come to the dessert. A Christmas favorite now, I’ve been making this Chocolate Cherry SoCo cake for years. It’s a modified depression-era chocolate cake recipe with cherries and chocolate chips added in. After it cools I poke it all over and pour on a soaking syrup that includes Southern Comfort. Once that’s all been absorbed, I pour on an additional shot or two of straight up Southern Comfort (we drink 100 proof, but I use 70 for the cake). It’s also good with sliced almonds added.

Next week I’ll share the treats I got from Pangea!

What I Ate Wednesday: In the Womb of Greek Hospitality

Hey guys, sorry I missed you last week!! Tuesday I took the train to Chicago to visit my friend Christina and her husband Tony. I don’t know about everyone else, but here in the Midwest there’s been a terrible cold going around (I managed to get it twice in a month). Poor Christina got it, so we spent most of our time hanging out at home – AKA The Womb of Greek Hospitality – drinking tea around the kitchen table or curled up on the couch watching movies about chefs on Netflix! I also may have made Christina watch Pee Wee’s Big Adventure with me – I LOVE that movie 😀 And we spent tons of time cooking. I didn’t quite get pictures of everything, but I’ll try to fill in the blanks.

What I Ate Wednesday: Fresh Jackfruit | Orthodox and Vegan
I have the hardest time sleeping the night before I travel, so I basically took a short nap around 3am. The train left here at 6, and I slept most of the way. Then after a tour of Christina’s new home, we both took a very, very long and wonderful nap. Afterwards, I had my first visit to a Cermak Fresh Market and also found fresh jackfruit for the first time ever! Sure looks weird!

The white stringy part didn’t have much flavor, but the yellowy part around the seeds tasted a little bit like pineapple.

What I Ate Wednesday: Palestinian Cabbage Salad | Orthodox and Vegan
A few things I put together with Christina instructing me, like this cabbage salad. It’s basically just cabbage, tons of fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and sumac. Actually maybe that’s exactly what it is, I can’t remember.

2016-12-21-w-bbq-jackfruit-cabbage-salad-min
So, I butchered the jackfruit (vegan appropriation at work) and ended up cooking it down in BBQ sauce. I cooked it for a few hours until it was very tender. We basically made American dakos, placing a rusk in the bottom of the bowl with a layer of cabbage salad on it, then a layer of BBQ jackfruit, topped with avocado.

I also boiled and peeled the jackfruit seeds and sauteed them in oil with salt and garlic. They’re very starchy and make a good snack, but I’m not sure if it’s worth the effort. They’re super slippery, and the peel is hard like plastic. If they don’t split on their own during boiling, it can be tricky getting the peel off. And if you accidentally leave a bit on and try to eat, it’s pretty unpleasant. But I’m glad we at least tried it. I normally buy canned jackfruit in brine, and it already has the seeds removed.

What I Ate Wednesday: Cretan Salad | Orthodox and Vegan
I think this salad is actually what we ate on the first night. Christina had a Cretan salad at a Greek restaurant during a recent trip to Astoria and wanted to recreate it. She told me exactly what to put in, and it turned out wonderfully.

There’s leaf lettuce, lots of cilantro, capers, tomatoes, cucumber, fresh garlic and lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. In place of feta we had a cashew cheese (it was a soft cheese and sort of melted into the salad when we tossed it, but it gave it a great flavor), and we added a dollop of kalamata olive spread when we made dakos.

Somehow I didn’t get a picture of the chili we ate for at least one meal each day. I love having leftover chili because it’s one of those things that just tastes better and better after it chills in the fridge. I could’ve eaten it for a week.

What I Ate Wednesday: Greek Boiled Beets | Orthodox and Vegan
Whenever I get a combo platter at Little Africa, I’m the one who ends up eating all the beets. Sure, beets taste a little like dirt, but in a good way. These were boiled, and I don’t think much of anything was added to them besides maybe some oil and salt. I ate a huge bowl full.

What I Ate Wednesday: Vegan Seitan Ribs | Orthodox and Vegan
On the last day of my visit I made ribs using vital wheat gluten, also known as seitan. I’ve made them before with another recipe, and I think these were not as good – but once you cover something in BBQ sauce, it’s hard to go wrong. This was my first time having access to a grill pan, it was really fun to use.

What I Ate Wednesday: Kale Chips | Orthodox and Vegan
I also made a couple batches of kale chips and experimented with seasoning them in different ways. Salted, Salt & Black Pepper, Salt & Garlic with Nooch, and Oregano & Garlic…with a pinch of salt. We ate these with the ribs.

Not pictured is the steaming hot bowl of fava we also had with this meal. They were on the soupy side, which was the perfect thing to eat before going out into the freezing cold to catch the train back.

What are you eating to keep warm this winter?