Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Vegan Diet...New word for the food of the poor
Our daughter and her husband are on a vegan diet in a process to build a healthier lifestyle. For six weeks, they will eat no meat or animal byproducts, no oil, little salt and a whole load of vegetables. Since our families get together on Sunday evenings for supper, I really had to think about what I would cook for this past Sunday. Moussaka? Tagine? Bean casserole? Exotic, foreign food in our book. But then I was not secure since I usually don't cook those foods nor use those spices. What to cook? what to cook? Then it hit me! I can cook the food from my childhood. We were pretty poor and my mom made the most of the dollar a day she earned teaching sewing. Very little processed meat, very little protein as a whole and a lot of vegetables. Although my parents did not have a garden, we had a lot of neighbors who shared with us pumpkins, beans, and other vegetables. In thinking back to what we used to eat, I decided that our vegan Sunday dinner would be an old fashioned Japanese meal. Nishime - vegetable stew made with aburage (fried tofu), potatoes, carrots, onions, kombu (seaweed), hasu (lotus root), daikon (Japanese turnip), and konnyaku. Wakame and cucumber salad with lemon-miso dressing. Broccoli and cauliflower with peanut butter dressing. Brown Rice. Miso soup with tofu. The irony of this meal is that by the time I finished purchasing all the ingredients, it cost over $100 to feed six people. Of course, I had a lot for people to take home. One cannot make stew or nishime using stingy portions. However, what was cheap then is no longer. It is cheaper to eat $1 McDonald's McChicken or McDouble burgers full of fat and calories than it is to buy broccoli and cauliflower. No wonder America's people are suffering from obesity. The former diet of the poor is no longer accessible for the poor of today.