Fried Chicken and Roti

I have had a very productive cooking day. I tried things I’ve never tried before and succeeded. The good news is that I have pushed myself. Along with my new creations I got called in for a job interview next week which was definitely the icing on the cake. Now to start! I was hungry during lunch time today. If you have been keeping up with my posts you would know I am on a budget. I’ve been unemployed for a while so my money in dwindling. I’ve been keeping all three meals very simple. I remembered that about a week ago I bought vital wheat gluten. The first time I tried to make chicken  nuggets they didn’t turn out so great. The good news however was that I did not give up and today was the day for success. Instead of nuggets I made fried chicken (do not judge me my life is not a stereotype). I followed the directions right on the box and went straight to work. Of course cooking the gluten took about and hour and then breading and frying only a few minutes. 

 

This is them while boiling. They swell so much in the water
  
Don’t they look legit?
I am super proud of myself. Not only did they look good but they also tasted good. And above all they were inexpensive to make. Thank god I don’t have a gluten allergy!

Again, if you have been following, my last post was on a baby shower I attended where there was no vegan food available so I worked with what they had. I set out to veganize that dinner and I did it with success. I received some criticism from a vegan discussion board about eating the gravy of a meat based stew. After making the fried chicken I set out to make roti and curried coconut chickpeas. Need I say, it was AMAZING!!!!! The roti takes a bit of time to make but the good news is that I think it gets easier once you get the hang of it. It requires rolling and kneading and rolling again and oiling and flipping and patting and folding lol. But it’s more than worth it. This is will be a new staple in my diet. It will diversify my meals and I can use whole wheat flour to make it as well. 

It needs to be folded and special way
  
Perfectly oiled in the pan
 
The chickpeas were easy as always. I let them do their own thing in the pot while I focused on other things like all of that rolling, oiling, and patting. I opened and rinsed a can of chickpeas, put it to boil in water, added every seasoning from the pantry, added Jamaican curry, added coconut milk and let it simmer. 

   
 
The recipe for the roti is in another post. It’s  a great meal and time spent will decrease as you get used to it. I am definitely making this again. Roti is a staple in the Guyanese culture with Indian influences. It is cost effective for someone on a small budget. The recipe I posted called for four cups of flour but that would’ve been too much so I did two cups instead. Next time I will breakup the douch into smaller sections so they are thinner. All in all it as a great success for the day. I pushed myself and ended up enjoying  lunch and dinner. 

 

Final product!
 
 

Baby Shower Blues

First off I have no children and have no plans of having any for at least another 15 years. I went to a baby shower this past weekend and broke the cardinal rule of attending a non-vegan gathering: eat before you come or bring enough food to share. I did neither.

Before I left the house I knew my options would be limited. I was already hungry from not having ate anything all day. I decided to attend the shower last minute and quickly stuffed some granola bars in my purse and headed out. Once I got to the shower I consulted the hostess about the dinner that evening. She told me what was made and there was nothing for me to eat. The granola bars were only going to hold out for so long so I had to get creative. I found out that they were serving roti, which is a Guyanese flatbread with Indian influences. I assumed that because it resembled a tortilla it would not contain any butter, but just water and flour. There was also a meat stew made. I inquired whether or not it contained butter and luckily it did not. The roti and stew gravy was delicious.

Roti Recipe: https://ahayahyashiyadietrylawsrecipes.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/west-indian-guyanese-style-paratha-oil-roti/comment-page-1/

Lesson: Eat before you go and let people know your dietary restrictions. Also come with an open mind. You may have to try things new to stay alive. After returning home I found out that roti does traditionally contain butter or vegetable oil as an ingredient. The chef who prepared the meal was not present therefore unable to answer that question. I will probably learn to make roti on my own with vegetable oil because it really was good along with the curry gravy. The great news is that I found some time to work on my contouring and selfie skills that day. Tell me what you think!

Effective Change

This is my first post that doesn’t directly deal with my vegan lifestyle. Today I want to talk you all about “effective change”. There have been so many things happening in the world and in our own country that deal with the major political, legal, and societal changes that we are facing. As always there are people who are for and against these changes. Here is where my blog becomes controversial. There are a few people and issues we are having in the US that need EFFECTIVE CHANGE for anything to happen.

KIM DAVIS. If you live in America and do not know this woman find CNN right now. Davis is a woman who worked for the county clerk’s office in Kentucky. She refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Is she homophobic? I don’t care. It’s actually irrelevant to the point I am trying to make. Whatever reason she has for not wanting same-sex couples within her state to have marriage licenses is beyond the point. Is she promoting EFFECTIVE CHANGE? When she refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples can they  get licenses anywhere else in the state? I don’t think Davis even meant to promote effective change. She may be the catalyst for an even bigger movement. We have seen the time and time again. More notably, the strength of the Civil Rights Movement with Rosa Parks refusing to sit on the back of the bus. Is there more to come from Davis and her followers?

THE ELECTION. I wish I was paying more attention to the things being said, but I have caught on to some of it. Most of the things I have heard are blatant racism, sexism, and national origin discrimination. But big shock it’s America. Many Americans have some comment to make about illegal immigration: where these people are coming from, what they are doing, and how much money it is costing them. We all know which country is being discriminated against . We all know that this country is a smaller segment of an overarching term for an ethinc group. And most importantly we know as a country that we shoud not generalize, but we do it anyway. Do the candidates running think that trash-talking a seemingly vunerable group of people will cause them to leave. This isn’t junior high where you can bully the girl you don’t like into leaving the lunch table. Bullying does not work and we have seen this time and time again in our country. There is only so long you can bully someone before they retaliate. By the way America, all of the countries in North and South America had a summit not too long ago to discuss the western hemisphere. Which two countries do you think were not invited? Personally, I would zip those lips.

What do Kim Davis and the upcoming election have to do with veganism? I’m not quite sure. But change is among us. I hope that when it comes it serves a purpose whether you are pro same-sex marriage, anti same-sex marriage, republican, democrat, black, white, or indigenous. It’s not enough for us to fight for change. Change can come in the form of a law that can and may never be implemented. We need to fight for change that doesn’t just say change but means change.

Couscous Dinner


This is what I had for dinner. It was delicious. It was simple. It took 10 minutes to make. Being vegan is awesome.

Now to elaborate lol! I made a small meal of mushrooms, spinach, onions, garlic, black beans, and pinto beans along with my couscous.  The couscous looked so good I put the rest of the food back in the pot for tomorrow. As you may notice the couscous is blended with a few other whole grains. I can’t name them all but it’s a good mix and quite pretty.

I have yet to share a picture of a meal I made for myself but I will do it more often. The couscous was seasoned with sea salt during the steaming process. What should I made for dinner tomorrow? I’m thinking barley and tofu. Budget-friendly suggestions?

The Unemployed Vegan

I graduated Magna Cum Laude from a great university in Philadelphia. I have held multiple employment positions, conducted 3 research studies, wrote a research proposal, spent time in the career office, found two mentors, applied to over 300 jobs, bought an interview suit, bought a padfolio, wrote an amazing CV, and made business cards. I still have no job and no job prospects. How do I fix this? And how in the hell does this translates to veganism?


My standard of living is the bare minimum at this point. I spend little money on groceries. I have a $20 gym membership. And I buy gas ( thank God gas prices are low). My gym membership I can’t get rid of. It’s great for my health and something to do so I don’t lose my mind. I need to buy gas for my car for obvious reasons, the gym and the possible job interview.

My vegan health may be headed for a downward spiral. I am limited in the types of groceries I can afford. I am used to buying mostly vegetables and some whole grains. The grains are cheaper and I get a great deal more than the vegetables. I can buy canned veggies. They don’t taste anywhere near as good as fresh so I’m not excited.

During my time spent at home I have been looking for cheaper options for household products such as making them myself. I can save money, have an activity to do during the day, absord less chemicals, and become more self-sufficient. This will help me save some money. My concern though is not saving but actually MAKING money.

How To? Does anyone have any clue on to how I can get a job? I have the interest of moving to Connecticut for the new year which would mean I will need a job for right now and a job there as well.

What does this employment mean for my health? What does it mean for my finances? My lifestyle changes will forever effect my diet.

A vegan who hates salad?!

I was thinking the same thing earlier…I’m a vegan who hayes salad. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good steamed vegetable medley and all sorts of grains, but salads are just not my thing. I think it’s mostly my hatred of lettuce which is usually a main componenet in salad. Luckily enough there are plenty of vegan meal options that do not revolve around cold lettuce.

Farmingamerica's Blog

“Project vegan” has been underway now for 5 days, so instead of writing about what I’ve eaten the last few days, I want to share some insight to the “actual” vegan world.  I’d like to introduce a colleague of mine who has been vegan for many years.

Meet Tammera, we met about two years ago and she has really opened my eyes to the vegan world.  The day it hit me is when I picked up Tammera and her coworker a couple of candy bars for all of the assistance they provided me throughout the week.  Of course when I arrived with their treats, I didn’t realize vegans couldn’t have the milk chocolate bars I bought, that was a definite failure on my part.

When I first met Tammera I was afraid to ask anything about the lifestyle in fear of being attacked by some crazy animal rights activist who…

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Omnivore Veggies vs. Vegan Veggies

Never did I think there would be a difference in the way a meal is prepared based on food preference. But then I became vegan and came to understand these differences and the pride that goes into every ingredient. Don’t mind me if I go into too many specifics but I want everyone to understand the point I am trying to make.

Omnivore:

I made great omnivore food. My meals were pretty basic seeing as I was in college and living on a small budget. I loved a good pan seared salmon. I usually thawed the salmon and started preparing the Jasmine rice. Salmon was fairly easy to cook, so when it thawed I began the seaoning process. My favorites are black pepper, salt, cayenne, oregano, and paprika. After seasoning they entered the lightly-oil pan with onions and garlic. As my salmon was cooking I added water to another pan and threw some frozen string beans in. Once the string beans were nearing completion I sprinkled a little salt and crushed garlic. That was my meal. Its was simple and delicious.

Vegan:

My favorite vegan meal is a basic vegetable medley. I’m not a salad person, funny enough, so I eat my vegetables warm. I love a combo of black beans, broccoli, onions, garlic, spinach, cabbage, and mushrooms. Everything gets added to the pot based on how long it will take to cook. I cut all of my veggies so it creates a beautful portrait. I add seasonings to complement the tastes of each vegetable. Mushrooms only need a little salt and pepper. I like my broccoli with a kick which is where the cayenne comes in. I am new to the vegan world so there are few sauces I can make. Jamaican curry powder is my go to for magnificent flavor. It wakes up the vegetables in a way no other seasoning can. Coconut cream adds great flavor as well.

Warning:

When cooking for a vegan the same dedication used to prepare meats in an omnivore dish is necessary for vegetables. Simply cooking likean omnivore  for a vegan will leave that vegan dissatisfied and bored with the meal. How would you feel if a vegan invited you over for dinner only to make rice and a side of string beans. Something would be missing. Probably a lack of flavor and creativity. Omnivores pay a great amount of attention to the meat portion of the dish usually leaving the veggies neglected to basic preparation. Also, new vegans, find your inner creativity. Experiment with veggies and whole grains. Two weeks ago I had no clue about Farro and now I love it. Explore all of your options to make great meals.