Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Falling off the vegan

It was bound to happen sometime. Eventually I fell off the wagon and indulged in some animals at a cooking class I hosted this past weekend. French onion soup with croutes au fromage, lemon sorbet, Coq au vin blanc with buttered potatoes, mixed greens with herb vinaigrette, and warm berry creme brulee. That's a whole lot of butter and beef broth and butter and chicken and cream and, did I mention butter?

Okay, so here's the big surprise: I had not missed the flavors. An even bigger surprise: I actually found most of my vegan dishes far more flavorful than the French classics we made in class. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. I concede that possibility, remote as it is. I've made coq au vin blanc three times in as many months, following the untouchable Julia Child and building upon her wisdom in further variations. I've made creme brulee more times than I can count and have a similar number of ramekins in my kitchen. Lots. Still not impressed.

Part of the problem is that fat in food coats your tongue preventing you from actually tasting many of the subtle flavors of what you're eating. Moreover, meat has relatively little flavor on its own, especially when compared to fresh produce. Chicken versus cilantro. I rest my case. My favorite food blogger over at Smitten Kitchen says, "I always argued that most of the things people thought they liked about meat, they actually liked about the sauces and braises and spices they were cooked in."So I guess the ultimate truth is that whether meat or vegetables, what matters is flavor.

I started another vegan week on Sunday with as much resolve as when I started cooking and eating vegan about a month ago. But I have stumbled across another problem, this one far bigger than that of temptation to French cooking: I have no energy, I'm sore after my yoga classes, and I feel, how do I say this, I feel sad all the time. The latter likely has more to do with the fact that the last several months have beat the living sh  life has not worked out the way I expected it to of late. Regardless, I don't feel that I'm getting all I need from a vegan diet.

So I fell off the vegan. Tonight I bought salmon for dinner, eggs for breakfast and a container of Greek yogurt just because.

I would feel guilty. But this isn't a religion. I already have religion, and God knows, oh boy does He know, how hard it is for me to follow it with any degree of perfection. My kids are equally aware or my shortcomings. But again, this isn't a religion. I'm not sure what it is right now.

No comments:

Post a Comment