Musings on Food and Meme-ish Fun

August 24, 2008

DIET, DESSERT AND DOGS has moved! 

If you’re reading this page, you’ve landed on the old site.  Please visit the new location by clicking here–and don’t forget to update your readers and blogrolls!

As always, thanks for reading.  I look forward to seeing you at the shiny new Diet, Dessert and Dogs!

“Um, Mum, we are coming with you, aren’t we? Because (and sorry to have to tell you this), we actually have more fans than you do on this blog.” 

Sometimes, despite all good intentions, things do go awry. 

On Friday, I had a little luncheon date with two former classmates from nutrition school.  I always look forward to these meetings, since these women (besides sharing the NAG diet philosophy) are invariably funny, witty, and generally loads of fun to be with.  The meeting had been planned for several weeks–before I started the ACD–and I didn’t want to cancel because of a silly little diet.  Besides, I was fairly certain I had all the bases covered, as the restaurant we chose served vegetarian-only Chinese food, with lots of vegan options as well. 

Well, I’m sorry to say, looks like my adherence to this regimen wasn’t as assured as I’d expected.  Rather than ruffle any feathers, I decided to go along with sharing three different dishes from the menu. While the selections were all quite delicious, they were also, unfortunately, bathed in glossy, sweetened, cornstarch-thickened sauces–definitely a no-no on the ACD.  But seriously, how could I disappoint the gals and order plain ole steamed veggies (and not even steamed rice–no white stuff on this regime!) when the intention was to share dishes while we dished the dirt?

Okay, I admit it:  of course they wouldn’t have been disappointed (they could still eat whatever they wanted to); I’m the one who would have been disappointed to pass up the culinary camaraderie. In the end, I caved.  I ate some (rather amazing, actually) lemon-pepper “chicken” with veggies, Singapore noodles (at least they were rice noodles) and roasted veggies in a Portugese curry sauce.  Everything was exemplary, and I managed not to overindulge, but I did feel guilty for the remainder of the day.  I returned to my senses immediately upon returning home, and started all over again.  Now, after more than a week on the diet, I’m back to counting yesterday as “Day One.”  Bummer!

The incident got me thinking about how much I love to eat.  Giving up the singular sensory pleasure of a beloved food’s taste and texture as it inches across your tongue is one feat I find nearly impossible to achieve (and for some reason, it gets even harder to accomplish as I get older).  Compounding the problem, it seems I’ve actually expanded my culinary repertoire and the range of foods I’m willing to consume since I started focusng on a vegan diet.  It may be true that an omnivorous diet contains more potential choices, but since I found so many of those repugnant even when I did eat meat (Ham?  Gross. Chicken wings? Barf. Snails? Vomitorious. SWEETBREADS?? Somebody please get me a paper bag), I would never have tried them, anyway.  And when I ate an animal-focused diet, I tended just to eat the same foods over and over. 

Then, when my health issues reared their ugly heads, I was forced to find alternatives.  I sought out alternative grains, novel sources of protein, seaweeds, fermented foods, soy products, and a plethora of unusual fruits and vegetables, intensely flavored herbs and seasonings.  These days, in fact, I am much more willing to try something entirely unfamiliar when I know it’s vegan and am more creative in the kitchen than I ever was before I began to eat this way. 

Which brings me to the foods I do eat–or, at least, some of them.

You may have noticed the “Hundred” food memes circulating round the blogosphere (The Omnivore’s Hundred, which started the trend; The Vegetarian’s Hundred and The Vegan’s Hundred, which was created by Hannah and has prompted quite the tidal wave of responses among bloggers).  I must say, I was (pleasantly) taken aback to see how many items on this list I have already sampled. (My exact response was something like, “Wow. I sure do eat a lot.”) 

Maybe that’s the problem with the ACD this time round:  I’m painfully aware that there’s a plenitude of foods I love to eat out there, all of which I think of as “healthy.” Consequently, it becomes more and more difficult to steer clear of them (though not, on the other hand, to steer clear of actual steer).

I’m hoping some new inspiration and creativity will magically descend so I can make it through the next few weeks without falling off the ACD wagon again.  In the meantime, I’ll enjoy some virtual treats through this list. Do feel free to play along. Thanks for the idea, Hannah–so much fun!

Here’s the basic premise:

1) Copy this list into your own blog, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Post a comment here once you’ve finished and link your post back to this one.
5) Pass it on!

1. Natto (though it is, ironically, “first” on my list of must-try’s)
2. Green Smoothie (shouldn’t everyone try one of these for breakfast at some point?)
3. Tofu Scramble (so many great varieties out there!)
4. Haggis (I ate the veg version–never have tried the “real” stuff!)
5. Mangosteen (unfortunately, wasn’t that impressive)
6. Creme brulee (a favorite of the HH) 
7. Fondue (though I’d never consider double dipping, of course)
8. Marmite/Vegemite
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Nachos (dying to try them with this cheese sauce)
12. Authentic soba noodles
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Taco from a street cart (I think this one will require a trip out of country)
16. Boba Tea
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (I had cloudberry–truly an ambrosial liquid)
19. Gyoza
20. Vanilla ice cream (What? No chocolate on this list??)
21. Heirloom tomatoes (from my first-ever effort to grow them–and the BEST TOMATO I HAVE EVER EATEN)
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Ceviche (again, veg version–the other kind c’est grosse, non?)
24. Rice and beans
25. Knish
26. Raw scotch bonnet pepper (will definitely wake you up in the morning)
27. Dulce de leche [swoon]
28. Caviar (I’ve had actual caviar in the past, but never a vegan version)
29. Baklava
30. Pate (mushroom-walnut is a favorite, but pretty much any veg kind is great)
31. Wasabi peas
32. Chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Mango lassi
34. Sauerkraut (even made my own)
35. Root beer float
36. Mulled cider
37. Scones with buttery spread and jam (No buttery spread these days, but still a favorite breakfast)
38. Vodka jelly
39. Gumbo
40. Fast food french fries (Ah, memories. . . .)
41. Raw Brownies
42. Fresh Garbanzo Beans (these sound amazing)
43. Dahl
44. Homemade Soymilk
45. Wine from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more (that crazy HH!)
46. Stroopwafle
47. Samosas
48. Vegetable Sushi (a favorite weekly lunch)
49. Glazed doughnut
50. Seaweed
51. Prickly pear (just last week! Thanks, Lucy)
52. Umeboshi
53. Tofurkey
54. Sheese
55. Cotton candy
56. Gnocchi (and have tried several times to make my own. . . )
57. Piña colada
58. Birch beer
59. Scrapple
60. Carob chips (not just a substitute for chocolate–quite lovely on their own merit!)
61. S’mores
62. Soy curls
63. Chickpea cutlets
64. Curry
65. Durian
66. Homemade Sausages
67. Churros, elephant ears, or funnel cake
68. Smoked tofu
69. Fried plantain
70. Mochi
71. Gazpacho
72. Warm chocolate chip cookies (really, is there anything better?)
73. Absinthe
74. Corn on the cob
75. Whipped cream, straight from the can (only got one mouthful . . . )
76. Pomegranate
77. Fauxstess Cupcake (still waiting to try that recipe!)
78. Mashed potatoes with gravy
79. Jerky (loved the vegan version–never tried the other)
80. Croissants
81. French onion soup
82. Savory crepes (love these for brunch time. . . )
83. Tings
84. A meal at Candle 79 (I’ll start saving up now and maybe get to go in 2015)
85. Moussaka
86. Sprouted grains or seeds
87. Macaroni and “cheese” (Susan’s is still my favorite recipe)
88. Flowers (though can’t say I enjoyed them)
89. Matzoh ball soup
90. White chocolate
91. Seitan (how I miss you, how I miss you, my dear old Seitan)
92. Kimchi
93. Butterscotch chips
94. Yellow watermelon (but really, what’s the point?)
95. Chili with chocolate (my favorite way to have it)
96. Bagel and Tofutti
97. Potato milk
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Raw cookie dough (better than baked, in my opinion!)

Glancing at the list, I see that there really are advantages to living in Toronto, where all these foods are quite common.  Now, I must seek out all the others, too–well, as soon as this cleanse is over.

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16 Responses to “Musings on Food and Meme-ish Fun”

  1. Johanna Says:

    Apart from the guilt, how did you feel after your vegan Chinese? Would it be better if you fell off the wagon and still felt like you ate healthily? Personally I am not a huge fan of chinese restaurants as I would prefer steamed veg than the cornstarch sauces which remind me of glue.

    Love your list – have been humming and hawing over the carnivorous list and feeling how limited it was so this makes me feel much better about my diet – might try and do it myself although have wondered about giving it more of an Australian slant!

  2. Ricki Says:

    Johanna,
    I think I would have felt just as guilty no matter what I’d eaten! But it’s over now, so no guilt–just move along and start over.

    I think an Australian list would be brilliant–in fact, we should all make our own personalized lists–great idea!

  3. celine Says:

    I like what you said to Johanna, about moving on from feeling guilt. it’s the only way to go!

  4. kathryn Says:

    Prickly pear – go you. That’s an excellent addition to the try-something-new category. And not something I’ve ever eaten. What did you do with it.

    I’ve also seen the omnivores food going round the traps. It’s an interesting idea, although highly subjective and culturally based methinks. But you know I’m a big fan of variety, so anything that encourages people to eat beyond their normal sphere is good in my book.


  5. I hear you on loving food, the tastes, the smells, the textures, the very luscious-ness of it all. However, (if I’m in the right frame of mind) I still enjoy smelling things that I can’t eat. I can enjoy second hand…but if I’m tired, grumpy, etc. that does sometimes backfire.

    Love the list!


  6. Don’t get your hopes up on natto!

    (And you’re lucky you’ve never tried durian– I hate to speak ill of a vegan food, BUT that stuff is horrible!)

  7. ttfn300 Says:

    wow, that’s pretty impressive, i lost count but it was at least half i think that i’ve tried :) fun idea!

  8. Courtney Says:

    Awww–don’t beat yourself up over lunch, Ricki. Today is a new day, and you can just put yesterday behind you. You were spending time with your friends and you kept your portions modest–that is great. Would you have preferred to have not eaten the food? Maybe. But hopefully you enjoyed your time with your friends and can feel good about your choice to stick with the candida diet/cleanse from here on out!

    Courtney

  9. Katy Says:

    Omg, I totally could have written this post myself! At least the part about eating, loving to eat, being more experiemental as a vegan, etc. So I totally feel your pain and frustration!

    Your list is impressive!

  10. shellyfish Says:

    I am loving reading all these lists! I really need to get my time managed to get this done… it’s fun to see what we have and haven’t tried!

  11. aTxVegn Says:

    There are still several items on the list I haven’t tried, but I’ll get around to most of them eventually.

  12. Andrea Says:

    I’ve had natto miso and I thought it was very interesting.

    The list is fun, and I’ve posted it with a few additions. It seems vegans can eat almost anything these days, but although I’ve loosened up a lot over the years, food quality still matters to me, and there are probably things I will just never eat — or eat more than once. I’m willing to taste most (vegan) things, though, if not actually consume a large amount.

    I feel your pain at the difficulty of sticking to a strict food regimen. So many friends, desires and food choices to distract us! I send good wishes for your success.

  13. Ricki Says:

    Celine,
    Yes, I totally believe that in theory. . . still working on the reality. :)

    Kathryn,
    I agree that the list is very culture-specific. I mean, there are SO MANY different foods out there! But it was still fun. As to the prickly pear, I thought that for my first taste (and because it was outrageously expensive), I wanted to eat it on its own, to experience its unique flavor without any others competing. So I just peeled and ate! It was a fairly nice flavor, somewhat sweet and juicy, but the multitude of rock-hard seeds scattered throughout were a bit of a deterrent.

    Cheryl,
    Good for you that you can enjoy food vicariously. All it does for me is make me envious!

    CCV,
    Thanks for the heads up on natto! And I’ve heard the same thing about durian. If I can manage to get past the smell, I’d still give it a (small?) try.

    ttfn300,
    Thanks for your comment! And good for you, being willing to be a bit adventurous in your eating.

    Courtney,
    Thanks so much. And of course you’re right–it was great to see “the gals” and I have put it behind me now! I’ll be happy as long as my goal of eating healthier for the next couple of weeks (and no baked goods!) is met.

    Katy,
    Thanks, it feels better to commiserate :) .

    Shellyfish,
    I’m looking forward to reading YOUR list, so hop on that bandwagon and get it done already! ;)

    aTxVegn,
    Same goes for me, too. . . and I’m even looking forward to trying some of them ;)

    Andrea,
    Thanks so much for the good wishes. I guess I’m feeling a little more relaxed about it this time round, as it’s my own proactive attempt rather than under doctor’s orders! And natto miso? I guess you managed to cover two items with one food! ;)

  14. veganhomemade Says:

    Wow, you’re quite an accomplished eater! I’m wanting to do the list, but think I’ve tried well under half the items.

  15. BitterSweet Says:

    Nice, you’re almost at 100%! And I must say, I’m pretty jealous… I’m so curious about those mangosteens!

  16. breagha Says:

    OK I will have to take part, too :) I really enjoyed reading your list (and your comments). My list is at my blog.


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