Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dinner recap

Well folks, I am once again boring. Last night I made the super yummy Black-eyed Pea Salad, which is quick becoming a standard for us, except this time I used garbanzo beans and edamame instead of black-eyed peas. It was delicious, satisfying and sooo easy. I didn't get any pictures because I was sick yesterday, and it's something I've made bunches of times already.

Tonight we're having leftovers from work. This is decidedly not a vegan meal, but it just seemed the responsible thing to do, since it's free. It was really yummy, spicy, creamy pasta with chicken (which I picked out of my serving) and garlic bread. Look at it! So delicious!

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And now, I have to say that I'm really torn. I love to cook, and I love cooking and eating vegan food. It's important to me for so many different reason, all of which I've detailed before. But I'm torn, because nearly every single day there are scads of leftovers at work. If I don't bring them home, they get dumped in the garbage. I'm not talked about just the meager pickings left after everyone has eaten; I'm talking about entire untouched pans of food. Last week I brought home a massive pan of lasagna. Today I brought home more pasta than would fit in a 9x13 pan, and at least 4 baguettes' worth of garlic bread. It seems downright wrong to let that food be thrown away. The problem is that almost none of it is vegan. So what do I do? One of the biggest reasons I'm vegan is because of the global ramifications of a non-vegan diet. It's such a gross misuse of resources. But what's worse? To let days' worth of food be throw in the garbage because it's not vegan, or to go ahead and eat it and not take up any more resources in buying other food? I am really, really torn. I love to cook, and I want to adhere to a vegan diet, but it seems stupid to spend money on groceries every week, when I could feed our family almost completely on leftovers from work.

So what to do? Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I'm just not sure what do about this. :sigh:

In other news, I registered for my Fall semester classes last night, and I am SO excited to get started! Classes start in about 4 weeks, and I'm dying to dive into them. I'm taking all upper-level classes this semester, which should be a lot more fulfilling. Yippee!

I'll leave you with a picture of something I made last week, but forgot to blog about. These are spinach and mushroom enchiladas, which I was not terribly pleased with. They were good, but not great. I also made spanish rice with green sauce, and refried beans from scratch. Overall a very satisfying meal, although I'll tweak the enchiladas quite a bit next time.

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10 comments:

Nicole said...

well Cheryl I am all for free food. I understand your desire to be vegan but I could not throw away good food either. I love meat too much myself to ever go that route.:O) If they are going to let you take it home all the time then I woudl sure help myself. fill your freezer for nights after school when you are too tired to cook and then when you do cook go veggies!! Your still not buying meat and your not watsing food either so your doing your part double !

Anonymous said...

I agree with Nicole... I can't see turning down free food. Especially since your reasons for going vegan is the environmental impact. (this food is already made and would be wasted if not eaten) I also agree to pack a bunch of the leftovers into the freezer and have them ready to easy quick meals. That way you can still cook some vegan meals, but have a bunch of leftover ready at any given time. The freezer meals would be great on the days you don't feel like cooking.
Lori

Anonymous said...

I agree, it's far better not to waste the food when you have a whole family to feed. The food left over at your work has already been bought and prepared, it's a huge waste of resources to throw it away.

I agree with the principles of being vegan, but could never go that route. If everyone ate just a little less meat, we'd all be alot healthier and the environment would be alot better. It's amazing how many people think they have to have meat or dairy at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Melissa said...

Cheryl,
I absolutely love your blog. It has been tagged as one of my daily favorites! I wanted to ask how you are able to upload such large pictures on your site thru eblogger? I have eblogger also (www.lifeinapeanutshell.com) and I select the largest option for pictures yet they are still half the size of yours. How do you do it? Please please let me know!

Thank you! (you can leave a comment on my site or email me)

Cheryl said...

Guys, thanks so much for the comments! I'm still trying to sort this out in my mind and conscience, so I haven't made a decision for sure yet. I'm committed to not eating meat, and that's not a problem for me, but the vegan thing is harder to make work with leftovers from my office. But as I and others have pointed out, this is food that is FREE, and is otherwise going straight into the garbage. I just can't reconcile that.

I think (though I haven't decided for sure) that I will bring home what leftovers I can, and eat around the meat in them (Brad and the kids will still eat the meat, so it wouldn't be wasted). If I do that, though, I'm going to put a cap on how much I bring home, because I don't want to end up hardly ever cooking dinner anymore, you know? I enjoy my time in the kitchen too much to do that.

So we'll see. Today there was no catered lunch at work (which is rare), and I was thrilled to get to actually cook dinner! LOL

And Melissa, in response to your question, I upload my pictures using photobucket.com, and then cut and paste the html code into my blog posts. I like it better than using the photo tool on blogger. Hope that helps! : )

Thanks again for the comments and advice!

karenjean said...

Hi Cheryl, Karen here in Nola. I was touched by your dilemma. I like the comments by others here. To freeze it, or eat it. But the honest truth is, like most true foodies, you know there is something different from home cooked food, and you LOVE to cook. Even if you think you would take it everyday, you THRIVE when you get to cook, and miss it when you don't. So take food if you want to, eat it if you feel like it, and freeze it if you don't.

I LOVE you blog, which I found by "accident" when I got your blueberry muffin recipe. I made some "could-be-awarding-winning" vegan choc chip walnut cookies today.

Can't wait to make the tofu wraps you showed today.

Thanks,
Karen

Cheryl said...

Karen, that's excellent advice! Thank you! :D I think that's what I'll do. IF the food is appealing and I don't feel too conflicted eating it, then I'll take it. If not, I'll cook. At the very least, I can bring food home for Brad and the girls to have for lunches, right?

I still need to post the recipes for my potato salad and the fruit pizza. I'll try to get to that this weekend, and I'm sorry I've been so lax in posting it so far. :blush:

Thanks again for the advice!

sarahom said...

That is definitely a hard situation. Throwing away food is bad. However, I think you also have to think about what's going into your body and your family's body by eating the food at work. Lots of dairy and cheese (especially unorganic) cause a lot of problems in the body.
Also, I've found that staying true to being vegan has an influence on others. People ask me about my lifestyle and it opens the door for a conversation about what's wrong with how we eat and treat animals and the environment in this country. However, if I'm downing the same food as everyone else, it condones it.
Even though the food is free to you, it certainly isn't free in terms of the energy and lives it cost before it got to you. It is not your fault that your work is wasting this food. And it isn't up to you (at the cost of your ethics and health) to use it.
I stay hold strong as long as you have a vegan option available at home. Just wanted to point out the other side of the argument. The great thing is that you are actively thinking about your impact and the food that you eat. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Is there someone you could give it to? Do you go to a church and does it have a meals for new moms program?

Cheryl said...

I've wondered about that, too, but I think the liability to my company would be too high. What if someone got sick after eating it, you know? It's just not a risk they could assume. It's a shame.