Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Real Men Need Sustenance!

Sustenance - what every man needs in their diet. Although technically it means nourishment, men know it to mean - nourishment, plus gut-filling happiness.

One of the most famous stories from my apartment of 11 years on Third Avenue was the Christmas party I threw that began and ended with the scolding comment, "Why is the oven on?!"

My girlfriend at the time and I threw a Christmas party, and being a small apartment she took care of all the hors d'oeuvres, and I took care of the booze. Her beautifully made little appetizers perfectly fed 12 people, while my contribution could have sustained all the speakeasies in Kansas City from 1927 through most of '28.

My good friend rightly pointed out that my party would include a majority of professional drinkers, men and women alike, and that this rumored hors d'oeuvres platter would simply not suffice, nor provide the sustenance required for one of my famous parties which usually flirted with excess...think "Mad Men" on steroids. So, he took it upon himself to bring two giant tins of frozen lasagna. This caused considerable disruption with my girlfriend's perfectly crafted and elegant, bite-sized spread. Arriving after the lasagna went in the oven she was not pleased when she saw that little orange light on  (Oh, yeah, when she caught wind of my friend's idea earlier that day to add sustenance to the party, she expressly forbade it). Needless to say, there was less tension in the Middle East that night.

So, when I speak of my vegan quest most guys state firmly that living on salads only is impossible, and improbable, to sustain their own life day in and day out. But this diet is not that little salad one gets before their meal, rather, my plant-based diet is everything under the sun that grows and provides more sustenance, and happiness, than that slice of pizza or burger in your hands.

Case in point: Yesterday was my typical - oatmeal with raisins and walnuts in the morning, a salad of different types of lettuce, plus carrots, broccoli, cucumber, black beans, chickpeas, (the kidney beans looked suspect), nuts and seeds. Again, with no dressing at all, and again, it tasted great, and was not dry, nor tasted like dirt. For dinner, I was determined to make something and not rely on a restaurant.

I went to the store and loaded up on frozen fruit for my smoothies, cherries (my favorite fruit), and vegetables for my vegan wrap. I grilled in a frying pan (the one with ridges - a grill pan?) slices of squash, zucchini, extra firm tofu, and onions. I sliced up a tomato, and avocado. Spreading a whole wheat tortilla, which I slightly toasted in the broiler, with fresh humus I added the vegetables and rolled it up into an amazing wrap. I would pit my vegan wrap against any burger or sandwich or slice of Christmas lasagna in a lumber jack or steelworker's diner for taste AND sustenance. It is that good! And I enjoyed with a smoothie of mixed fruit, a banana, some almond "milk," and it was a perfect meal.

Well, perfect until the American League lost in the baseball All-Star game.


Vegan Epicurean said...

Sorry I haven't been around for a few days. Life has been a bit hectic.

Yay for making dinner instead of going out. Good for you!

Sounds like a great food day to me.


Naina said...

:) So proud of you!

Randy said...

A great meal for the evening but I must say I am happy for the NL to finally get home field in the WS!!!