Thursday, February 3, 2011

Just Like Memaw's Kitchen!

In a rare attempt at mid-week socialization, I invited my friend Michelle over for dinner. Since my usual routine goes something like this: home, dinner, whine, wine, bedtime, I thought I needed to spice it up a bit. (Let's just say a reality show would have a hard time scraping together an hour's worth of footage from my week.)

I also had ulterior motives a genuine interest in cooking a vegan meal for someone. (I may have failed to mention this to Michelle before she arrived on my doorstep Wednesday night. My bad.)

On the menu? Hoppin' John (minus the cheese), collard greens (from a can), and vegan cornbread. (Or, as my West Virginia-bred mother would say: beans, greens, n' cornbread.) Don't forget lots of cheap wine!

Ok, ok, this is a picture of the leftovers. Not bad, eh?
Not only did I invite Michelle over as my vegan prisoner guinea pig, but I also failed to actually start making dinner until about five minutes before she arrived. Good thing we had a lot to catch up on! When I told her we were having beans, greens, and cornbread, she gave me a weird look. 

I shot one right back at her and said "What? I thought you were Southern. This is a very traditional Southern dish. Except it has no animal products which I've failed to mention until now. "

Her response? "My mom is from Maine."

Figures. I invited a Yankee over for collards and cornbread. 

Since the recipes were pretty simple (especially those canned collards!) I got to experiment with my super-awesome vegan cornbread! I've made this three times in the past week, tweaking the recipe to perfection. Here's my recipe (modified from the one on the Tenda-Bake box):

2 cups Tenda-Bake Yellow Cornmeal Mix
1 1/4 cups Almond milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup canned yellow corn
1 Tbsp raw honey (more depending on how sweet you like it)

Stir, slap it in a greased pan, and cook for 20-30 minutes at 400. Voila!

This, uh, looked a lot less fuzzy in person

Looks pretty normal, right? Well, it didn't just taste normal, it tasted awesome, and between the three of us we finished the whole pan. It's also much lower in calories and fat, since I substituted oil and eggs with unsweetened applesauce. 

And speaking of lower calories-I'm down FOURTEEN pounds of lard since this experiment started. Hey-o! While I can tell a noticeable difference in the way I look and feel, it's not nearly as dramatic as I thought 14 lbs would be. (I had only been planning on losing ten originally.) So far, one of the greatest benefits of this vegan diet is the complete inability to eat any junk food. Cookies, crackers, cake-I would have to make it myself if I wanted it. And since I'm way too lazy healthy to even think about that, I just don't make any of it. Problem solved. 

Check out my latest haul from the library:
Single-minded anyone? Anyone?

From the bottom:
1. Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook
2. Clean Your Home Healthy
3. The Omnivore's Dilemma
4. Is God a Vegetarian?
5. Living Vegan for Dummies
6. Green Up Your Cleanup
7. Skinny Bitch in the Kitch

You can find any of these in the Haughty by Nature bookstore under "Cooking and Nutrition".

Happy Thursday everyone!


Every Little Thing said...

WOW 14 lbs is unbelievable girl! I've been thinking about drastically cutting my dairy. Have you been drinking a milk substitute? Soy is meh to me, but I'm thinking about trying Almond Milk.

Adrienne said...

14 pounds! Good for you! I would be doing cartwheels!

I would like to try being vegetarian - not ready to try vegan - but it's difficult when your living with a big meat eater (husband). My goal right now is to focus on more whole foods - cutting way back on processed crap.

My mom is from NC and I was born in Raleigh. I was raised on southern cooking and love collards and corn bread. If you had invited me, there would have been no leftovers!

Alyssa @ Life of bLyss said...

I'm diggin' the cute potholder! ;)

Kristin said...

I love the owl pot holder!

Allison @ Happy Tales said...

Wow, 14 pounds is a big deal!!! So glad you're enjoying your vegan lifestyle. Do you think it's a permanent change for you?

Also... i'm updating my blogroll and i TOTALLY just added you to it. I am in luuurve with you and your blog. Always get such a good laugh!

Hines-Sight said...

Great for you on your weight loss!

I love southern cooking, too. I had to lose 40 pounds this last pregnancy. It's not easy, and it is about eating choices...

Adrienne, if you read this...didn't know you were from my town.

Victoria said...

Oh man, vegan southern food?! How do you do it?? My sister has a good "soy-ca-tash" recipe if you want it though.
Congrats to your weight loss! I'm trying to do the same and it is a lot harder than I thought!

Christina said...

i love that you photograph your library books too. i just did yesterday :) you got some good stuff!

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