Not long after I started eating plant-based, I went on a cruise through the Caribbean, and, while I was super impressed with the plant-based/vegan offerings aboard the ship, there were a couple of days when it was tough to order meals.
On those days, I ate side dishes that contained a little milk, cream, or cheese, and I allowed myself a couple of seafood entrees…we were in the Caribbean, after all.
So I “cheated” and I enjoyed my meals and the cruise. I didn’t beat myself up about straying from my plant-based path.
But I noticed something happening.
To say I “cheated” implies I got away with something, but I felt quite the opposite. I felt I was cheated because I had so few choices those particular meals, that I resorted to ordering something I didn’t really want.
When I started this journey, I never told myself, “that was your last bowl of ice cream/bite of steak/handful of buttery popcorn.” I knew better than to say never.
For me, to proclaim to the world that certain foods will never pass my lips again was to set myself up for failure. And, more importantly, it put the emphasis on what I can’t have instead of all the wonderful things I could have.
Over time, my desire for meat, dairy, and seafood went away. I craved the flavors and textures less and less, and when I did eat them, I no longer enjoyed the way they made me feel– physically or mentally.
That is how I knew I had truly made a lifestyle change.
But you are you– and for you, you may need to make public proclamations to keep yourself on the wagon, and on a straight and narrow path to where you want to go. And I commend you on your choice.
The good news is, there is so much that we can have in this WOE (way of eating), like this Tofu and Potato Breakfast Scramble I love to make on weekend mornings, that we don’t ever need to feel that we have given up anything except what hurts us.
Tofu & Potato Breakfast Scramble
- 1 package extra-firm tofu
- 2 cups potatoes, diced (I used Splendor red and purple, but any will do)
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- fresh or dried herbs: rosemary, thyme, parsley, dill…whatever you like, any or all
- salt and pepper to taste
- vegan Worcestershire sauce*
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 cup fresh spinach or other green
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Press the tofu for about 15-20 minutes. If you do not have a tofu press, DON'T run out and buy one! Wrap the tofu block in a clean tea towel or several paper towels. Place it in the bottom of your clean sink. Set a stockpot on top of it and fill it with water. Adjust the position so it is balanced and won't tip and spill the water. Let it sit while you get the veggies started.
- Line a baking tray with parchment and spread the potatoes, green pepper, and onion on the paper. Sprinkle the veggies with the herbs, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes.
- Put the mushrooms in a bowl and add some vegan Worcestershire sauce. Don't go crazy, just give them a little flavor.
- Heat a skillet on medium heat.
- Unwrap your tofu (you can use the water in your pot to water that plant on your front porch that you always forget about.) Crumble the tofu into the skillet (it doesn't matter how big or small, it will break apart more as it cooks.) Add the turmeric, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the mushrooms to the pan. Cook 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms are tender. Add a splash of water to keep it from sticking.
- Turn off the heat and mix in the spinach and roasted vegetables.
- Add hot sauce, salsa, vegan BBQ sauce, vegan cheese sauce, or vegan Worcerstershire sauce for moisture.