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self help article
by Sue Molenda
Health and wellbeing self help article:
Score twenty or so for vegan health food!
This weekend, as I completed the grocery shopping for my seventeen-year-old daughter’s birthday party, I thought how lunatic it was for me to have spent over two hundred dollars on food that would probably be thrown all around the house and back yard by high school kids who think veganism is stupid, and starvation and deprivation the results. But I persevered, and the results were astonishing.
I was almost ready to throw in the towel and buy a bakery cake and real ice cream, a few hours before the event, but a trip to the store and a quick perusal of the ingredient labels on Kroger’s bakery cakes turned my stomach, and strengthened my resolve to serve nothing unhealthy to my daughter’s friends.
I hurried home to bake her cake, and frost it with tofu cream frosting.
I had made about five gallons of fresh fruit salad, with grapes, pineapples, kiwi, strawberry, watermelon, cantaloupe, nectarines, and blueberries.
I know some purists would shudder at the combination, but I served the fruit salad and fruit juices when the guests first arrived, so that, at least, those in my family who wished to, could eat their fruit half an hour before the other foods.
The rest of the menu consisted of a giant tray of veggies from Sam’s club — the one compromise here, was that there was ranch dip, included.
My husband and I shunned the dip, but ate plenty of the baby carrots, celery, radishes, cauliflower and broccoli.
There was a potato salad with no eggs, and Vegenaise dressing. For my family, I’d usually do a no-mayonnaise potato salad, or use Fat Free Nayonaise.
We served baked Tostitos with salsa, guacamole, and refried beans. We had some healthy crackers, “Soylami”, and some veggie “cheeses”.
The main attraction was the platter of taco “fixin’s” — (hey, I live in the South, now, may as well towk lahk it).
We provided hard corn and soft wheat tortilla shells, and some taco “Meat”, made from Harvest Burger for Recipes, and the seasonings recommended in Betty Crocker Cookbook’s taco recipe, but with Bragg Liquid Aminos instead of salt.
Also on the platter were shredded Romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes, onions, black olives, and Soymage, cheddar style “cheese”, and in the center, a tub of Tofutti brand, “Better than Sour Cream”.
We made up our own recipe for a healthy snack mix with nuts, organic pretzels, shredded wheat squares, and a liquid aminos- based seasoning mixture.
We also, in addition to the Baked Tostitos, had a couple varieties of tortilla chips from Garden of Eatin, that were not fat free, but had organic corn, sesame seeds, blue corn, and some other interesting grain combinations.
So, okay, not everything was exactly as pure as we like to eat normally, but..well, after all, it was a party.
The cake recipe I made up myself. I followed a basic recipe, using organic cocoa (because my daughter thought her friends would really hate carob, which we would ordinarily use).
I sweetened the cake with pure maple syrup. The tofu cream frosting was sweetened with brown rice syrup.
The kids, and a couple of parents who came, all loved all the food. When it came time for cake and ice cream, my husband ran several bags of frozen bananas and strawberries through the juicer, and stirred in a few drops of vanilla extract, and served it instead of ice cream.
Now I know the combination, there, was bad, but what is a little flatulence, after a delightful meal like that?
There were about twenty-three people at this party, most of whom had thought we were a little weird, and deprived our kids of good food.
My daughter, the birthday girl, had gone through an anorexic phase, a couple years ago, which had lent credence to that misconception, but now she is better, and has a lovely figure, and a fabulously clear complexion.
One seventeen year old boy with terrible acne, who is gaining weight, asked if he could come and live with us. He said, “I know my face would clear up, and I’d lose weight, if I could eat like this all the time.”
Lisa said the party was the major topic of conversation at church the next day. Even the choir was abuzz with conversation about all the healthy food that was served.
My daughter’s best friend’s Dad was there, and he’s a leader in the choir of 120 people. Another choir member is a mom of one of the kids, and she wants to come over and get some recipes from me, some time, because the Lord has been directing her to change to a vegetarian diet.
Amazing! I’m so glad I didn’t buy one of those awful cakes….
Now that the celebrating is over, I am trying to resume the Spartan diet I promised myself I’d stick to for the 21 day contract. I’ve had only carrot juice this morning, and it’s now noon, and I’m trying to decide between and green salad and grapefruit for lunch.
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