Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

My hands smell like garlic

18 Comments

I’m still exploring the vegan lifestyle. Slowly.

So many recipes seem complicated. I’ll be reading along, nodding my head, yes, yes, those are all good ingredients, and then there will be something that I don’t recognize. A single ingredient or a sauce that would have been made days ahead. I sigh and close the cookbook.

Cooking seems to take a lot longer, and I feel clumsy, rereading the recipe over and over as I work. I need to be more organized, no waiting till the last minute and throwing something together.

So far I’ve had some successes and some failures. I guess that’s natural. But there’s so much chopping invested in most of these recipes, so much work, forethought, planning. When something fails I’m very disappointed. Especially when the ingredients seemed like a good fit for us.

I worked most of an afternoon on this vegetable stew.

I like all the stuff in this bowl.

I like all the stuff in this bowl.

It had fresh corn, cut from the cob, pinto beans, butternut squash peeled and cubed, garlic, and was topped with fresh basil. That all sounded good.

But after figuring out how to peel and cut up a butternut squash (you can find anything on YouTube), after cutting corn off six cobs, kernels flying everywhere (Katie loved that part), after watching it simmer for a good long time, it turns out I don’t like the combination of basil and butternut squash. I liked the basil with the corn and beans, but not with the squash.

Looks promising.

Looks promising.

The recipe made a huge lot and I tossed most of it.

On the success side, today I made a side dish – Moroccan spiced couscous. I’ve tasted it, but am letting it sit overnight in the fridge. It looks and tastes promising.

Looks like modern art.

Looks like modern art.

Just couscous, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, salt, with strips of spinach and chopped up orange folded in at the end. It’s supposed to be served at room temperature or cold. I think cold might be the way to go.

I used twice as many oranges.  Because why not?

I used twice as many oranges. Because why not?

And tonight I made a summer pasta, whole wheat rigatoni with tomatoes, zucchini, red bell pepper, garlic and onions. I thought it was pretty good.

Lots of chopping.

Lots of chopping.

It was filling too. I cheated just a bit and put a tiny bit of fresh Parmesan cheese on top. Guess that made it no longer vegan.

Pretty yummy.

Pretty yummy.

Baby steps here. Baby steps.

Pretty veggies.

Pretty veggies.

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Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

18 thoughts on “My hands smell like garlic

  1. You sound like an amazing chef!

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  2. I like that you’re doing this! And here’s that picture of chopped zucchini again. A vegetable and grain based diet can be a lot more work than our traditional diet, but I think it’s worth it. Especially if you fall head-over-heels in love with the new way of eating, like we did. Keep up those baby steps! You’ll find out what you like and don’t like.

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    • Thanks for the support Kathy. It’s sometimes discouraging. But the end result is worth the trouble. I think anyway. I haven’t fallen in love with it…but I like it a lot.

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  3. There are fails with all styles of recipes, so it’s a learning process, this cooking thing. Maybe just do vegetarian rather than vegan – it’s healthy, just not quite as rigid so you can still have dairy products like cheese. I buy dried beans, cook a batch in the slow cooker, then once they’ve cooled, package them in vacuum sealed packages in appropriate sized portions and freeze.

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  4. pintrest also has excellent vegan ideas.

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  5. I absolutely LOVE to cook!! TIP: the ONLY time I EVER follow a recipe exactly is the first time….(even then I often don’t). I just use recipes as road maps and alter them as I choose. Cooking is so much more forgiving than baking. Baking is such an exact science that there is very little improvising involved. Also, tip to get rid of the garlic smell from your hands? 1) put lemon juice on your hands after 2) you can also rub your hands along the faucet (if it is stainless steel), sounds crazy, but it works! DakotasDen

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    • I agree that cooking is a lot less specific than baking. I usually follow the recipe pretty close…but not exactly. If there’s an ingredient we don’t like I leave it out, or switch it up with something I have. And I don’t mind the garlic smell…it’s just that I never used fresh so much before!

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  6. Nice post, yes you can find ANYTHING on youtube…and I do. 😀

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  7. I’ll be interested to see how this goes for you, Dawn. We tried it for a while, and while it took a lot more thought and planning, I was pleased with the interesting results. But life without cheese? I could give up chocolate more easily than cheese.

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    • I agree. Cheese is hard to give up. Chocolate, not that difficult. Maybe I’ve never had great chocolate! We’ll see. I try to do one meal a day w/o meat. Haven’t found anything husband is thrilled about yet. A couple of them I like. This last one turns out is GREAT (as far as I’m concerned anyway) cold like a pasta salad. I’d make it again and eat it cold.

      I do like interesting food. Unless it’s made out of beetles or something.

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  8. More power to you, Dawn! As for me, why, I can surely see how switching to a vegan lifestyle would make pounds literally FLY off you — I don’t know or don’t like so much of that stuff that I’d probably pour a glass of water instead and call it a meal, ha!!

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    • Don’t know if it will make the pounds fly off…that would be nice. But I think it’s a healthier way to live overall. I’m learning to like different stuff. But it’s a lot of work.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Healthy menu report | Change Is Hard

  10. Pingback: Still experimenting | Change Is Hard

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