Friday, September 30, 2011

Autumn Couscous

One of my friends went to Whole Foods today and posted a picture of a fall-inspired Israeli couscous dish.  I was hungry and had a butternut squash just waiting to be cooked, so my friend's lunch inspired me to do something I rarely do - make something up on the fly.  And it was delicious!  Perfect for a sunny fall day in Cajun Country.  Fall in Louisiana usually has nothing to do with cool temperatures.  At noon, it is already 81°, BUT the humidity is a low 39%!  No humidity = fall down South!

Ginger's Autumn Couscous

1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 tbsp olive oil

Toss together in an oven safe dish and roast at 400° for about 30 minutes or until butternut squash is tender.  

While the squash is roasting, toast:

1 1/3 cup Israeli couscous in 1 tbsp olive oil.  Add 2 1/2 cups of boiling vegetable stock, cover, and simmer over low heat for 12 minutes.  

When couscous is finished, turn into serving dish and add:

1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries (if you want them to be softer, add them to the couscous with the stock)
1/4 cup toasted walnuts or other nuts
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
the roasted butternut/onion mixture

Toss together and add salt and pepper to taste.  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why Vegan?

I decided to start a new blog to share my vegan journey while living in my seafood-and-fried-food saturated Cajun home.

Why did I decide to eat vegan?  I teasingly blame it on my pastor, but the truth of the matter is our church participates in a Daniel Fast twice a year.  After doing this twice, I realized I felt so much better eating a plant based diet that I decided to make it permanent.  My dad has been vegan for many years.  His journey was one of better health and he was successfully able to lower his sky-high cholesterol to a number most people envy!  I have always tried to eat a whole foods diet and now that is translating to a whole foods vegan diet.  In less than two years, I have already seen improvements in my health with my cholesterol dropping from 205 (this number had been constant for 20+ years) to its current level of 168.  I am no longer borderline anemic - this WITHOUT red meat and iron supplements.

Living in Cajun Country, people are always shocked when they discover I am vegan.  "But .... you DO eat seafood, don't you?"  Nope.  No seafood.  No dairy.  No eggs.  "Well WHAT do you eat, then?"  They say this as if I am starving to death.  One glance will allay those fears!  Thus....this blog.  With it, I will attempt to answer the question of "what do you eat?"  And to let people know that vegan cuisine isn't bland and tasteless.  Healthy can also be delicious.