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  • Desere Barrow

Blues and Food

I went grocery shopping at Kroger today. I have had too much on my plate to really plan a fantastic meal prep that not only will be healthy, but also tasty enough for someone who might not necessarily like the idea of eating healthy, but is strong armed by his wife who has gone vegan recently.

When I first discussed wanting to go vegan with my husband I told him I wasn’t going to push my vegan lifestyle on him and even promised to cook him meat so as to keep feeding him “healthy” food from home. I had a faint memory of why I went vegetarian when I was a freshman in college at age 16. But when I get interested in a topic I obsess over it like an addiction. When I was about 23 I was addicted to YouTube documentaries. So knowing how hard it was for me being a vegetarian when I was an insecure and flighty teenager I knew I would have to really reinforce my reasons for going vegan so I decided to use a combination of Netflix documentaries and free streaming documentaries on YouTube.

I changed my mind quickly on what was a healthy diet for myself and my family. I became alarmed and highly reactive. Excitedly rambling on and on to my husband about the death of our planet, animal agriculture, and the lives of animals who are raised for slaughter. I became fervent and full of anxiety but I also became excited and overwhelmed at the same time at the possibilities of food to make that was beautiful and tasty but completely plant based.

My husband and I used to eat fast food all the time when we met. We were busy, overworked, and exhausted. The idea of meal prep would elicit a hearty laugh from me 3 years ago. A lot changed for me this year. And my husband. Neither of us are who we were 3 years ago.

So today after shopping I washed and chopped up vegetables while listening to Soul Blues by Lightnin’ Hopkins. I found myself chopping my vegetables slowly and deliberately trying to find the answers to my questions swirling in my head within the sound of that man’s deep love for his art.

After sorting spinach and kale into Ziploc bags, cutting and storing vegetables I cut up a head of red cabbage. I sliced some of it really small to add to salads in a container in the fridge but the bigger pieces I threw into a wok with some soybean oil ,a tbs of minced garlic, lime juice, left over green onions, broccoli, and shallots from last week’s Buddha Bowls. I also added crystallized ginger and soy sauce.

If I’m cooking raw veggies in some oil citrus juice I tend to use a pizza pan as a lid to let the broccoli steam themselves to a brighter green and the cabbage softens nicely that way I find. Stay near as it cooks and using a hot pad or towel to lift the pizza pan and mix everything with a bamboo spatula. Once the broccoli is the right texture let it continue to cook uncovered so as to make sure the cabbage cooks down enough.

Next I prepared some faux pulled pork and tortilla shells. The faux pork was easily microwaved and I usually heat my tortillas over a gas flame.

Like I said before, I was super stressed and did not plan anything for this week. I let colors guide me. I knew if I tried to cover all the basic colors I should be getting a wide variety of vitamins. I was prompted by anxiety and frustration but the results were fantastic. I’m happy I was able to use my negative energy in such a positive way!

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