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I found this entry in a notebook I tucked away a long time ago. I have a habit of writing in different notebooks and putting them aside.

Sometimes she thought her number of pens would make her a writer. One of them would be the one that let the words easily flow from mind to paper.

Sometimes she thought if she woke up early everyday and pulled out her laptop, certainly the words would pour out. The only thing one needed was morning.

Sometimes she knew she couldn’t wait for inspiration.

Sometimes, when she felt particularly sick at heart, she didn’t measure her food or count her calories. She took comfort in the thought of rich and salty tomato sauce and four different cheeses.

Sometimes when panic started suffocating her, the idea of ordering pizza would allow the lungs to work easily again.

Sometimes she was overcome by her love of the world and the amazing people in it. Sometimes she thought people were incredibly kind and funny.

Sometimes she couldn’t believe the stupidity of humanity. Sometimes she was overcome with misanthropy and couldn’t bear to leave the house.

Sometimes she was heartbroken beyond belief.

Sometimes her heart burst with joy.

Foodie odds and ends

One of the biggest changes in my life since going vegan is my willingness to cook. And, if I must say so myself, some of the recipes have turned out great. When I was with my mom last, earlier this month, I made her tofu scramble with spinach and I bought her some nutritional yeast (aka nooch) while I was there. She really enjoyed the tofu scramble and I know she wasn’t just being nice because she texted me earlier this week to say she made it again herself, using some more veggies and more spices and the nooch. How about that? Though mom is pretty open minded about these things. And she enjoys it when her kids cook for her.

I follow several vegan cooking pages on Facebook and am easily inspired by those 1 minute cooking videos shot from above, where you see the actual ingredients going in and the finished product. I save so many of those and have now made a few of the dishes. I made Broccoli and cheese soup with the cheese sauce made from potatoes, carrots and cashews. Reader, the final product was DELICIOUS and I’ve made it twice so far. My friend who was staying with us at the time said it was really good  and Spence said it was excellent, which is a high compliment. But even if they were lying and didn’t like it, I wouldn’t care because that would leave more for me. That’s how much I like it. 

I made Spaghetti squash with homemade tomato cream sauce (this recipe came from Pinterest). I don’t know how homemade it is to use a can of already chopped tomatoes, but that’s what I did and the sauce is a dream. I may start making it whenever I have a pasta dish to make. It calls for cashews, of course. (Cashews are some magical ingredient that makes everything taste cheesy and creamy without all the bad stuff that comes with actual cheese.) I think I should have cooked the spaghetti squash a bit longer because some of the noodles were crunchier than I would have liked, but overall very tasty.

The biggest challenge: mushroom pie. Again, watching them make it on the little 1 minute video made me think, I could make that! And I did! And it’s delicious! But my first mistake was buying the wrong type of dough. It called for phylum dough and I bought straight pastry dough. I would have bought phylum but I didn’t see any and when I saw this pastry dough, I thought it was the same thing (I was at a big store that should have had phylum dough, so I just assumed this pastry dough was their version). When I unwrapped it while cooking, expecting thin sheets, I instead found one thick layer of dough. But I used it and it turned out fine. The mushrooms and onions are cooked with coconut milk, soy sauce, all spice, tomato paste and maple syrup. Then you put that concoction into the dough and bake it. It’s sweet and tangy and I would never have thought maple syrup and soy sauce could go so well together! And it was such a pain to chop so many onions that I splurged and bought a cuisineart chopper. Prepping all the ingredients is always the step I most dislike, so any tool that makes it easier is one I want. 

Even last night, as I was wondering what to eat while watching The Babadook (creepy AF, by the way), I decided to make my  own black bean dip. Such an easy thing to make, but I wouldn’t have dreamt of making my own dip for a tv snack before becoming vegan. I would have grabbed some cheese and crackers and left it at that.

I take photos of these creations but they seldom look as delicious as they taste, so I’ve left them off Instagram. But they are posted below! Today, I am planning to make vegan chocolate sugar dough cookies that I’ll cut out like gingerbread men and decorate like skeletons for Halloween. I’m taking those into work for my colleagues, along with some of my very popular chocolate chip cookies. I take in chocolate chip cookies at least once a month and everyone comments on their yummyness. That is something else I made when I was home and my step-dad, who is a total meat eater and basically anti-vegetable, loved them. Not surprising since they are all sugar and flour, but small steps!

Also, November 1 is World Vegan Day! I didn’t know such a day existed but there seems to be a day for everything! And the fact that it coincides with Dia de los Muertos isn’t an accident, I’ve learned. Maybe I’ll take in another treat to my colleagues to celebrate. And it’s an excellent opportunity to try veganism for a day! No commitments, just a day to see what it’s like. 

Broccoli soup

Mushroom pie outside

Slice of mushroom pie. Not pretty, but delicious!