Wednesday, April 1, 2015

JourneyJournie : April Fools Anniversary {Dinner Cookies Recipe}

Today is actually my one year anniversary of making the decision to give up meat. Yes, it was for all the wrong reasons. I mean, April Fools Day. So I went vegetarian for all the wrong reasons, but I definitely went vegan for all the right reasons. So let's celebrate with some cookies... Err, dinner cookies.

Don't these just look like cheery, chewy, gooey delicious chocolate chip cookies? Even the little one's hands can't keep off.

Think again. Happy April's Fools Day! These are a perfect prank gift, but are also just as addictive as real cookies. Those "chocolate chips" are actually black beans, that batter is actually a base of carbilicious potatoes. They're savory instead of sweet, so you can enjoy them at dinner or lunch, and completely fall in love with the tater flavor. ^,^

Ooh! On the subject of my past meaty days and conversion to the healthy side.. I recently got the opportunity to write an article for my school newspaper, and I'd like to share it with you! <scroll past if you just want the recipe>

           "We live in The South. Tell anyone you’re giving up meat, dairy, and eggs… They’d have a heart attack faster than soul-food-clogged-arteries could perpetuate. Armed with entrepreneurship enterprises helped by Square credit card processing and a loyal market that each can cater to, uptown and downtown are starting take independent risks of businesses to divulge the veganism that has been lurking in and around Columbus.
A health conscious shop in The Landings’ right beside Kinnucan’s, Lizard Thicket, and City Massage makes the perfect destination for an upper class mother to get a juice fix right after tennis and right before picking up the kids. When I asked the cashier at The I Love Juice Bar whether they opened to cater to the growing health-conscious and vegan demographic or not, she responded, “I think Columbus is growing and we wanted to bring the demographic here.” The open window, light filled environment of the juice bar highlights the color scheme that is carefully attended to. New, clean, and monogram themed, the place gives off a higher end and expensive vibe.
Besides their alkalizing green shots, sweet fruit smoothies, and hydrating juices, there is an open selection of kale salads, chia granola parfaits, and everything you ever knew as healthy kicked an extra step with new superfoods. This is a place to have a business meeting between one or two colleagues, to enjoy a quick smoothie in a peacefully cheery atmosphere, or simply to drop in anytime you want a boost. People here get the satisfaction of knowing they are paying more for their health.
On the other side, towards the downtown area, Columbus’ edition of a college town, renowned for its fine arts programs and shadowed by a state theater, spawns hipsters. There is a inscribed V in a green circle plastered on the window of Your Pie, there are smoothies offered alongside the latte├ęs in the coffee shops. The Ride On Bikes shop now has a hollowed out cavern through the arc adjacent to their store that connects customers to their Ride On Smoothies bar.
Offering a refrigerator full of cold pressed juices and a countertop that makes kitchen fixings visible in plain sight, the healthy, vibrant place is complemented by an amiable staff. These are the people that are eager to tailor your order to fit your preferences, and will continue to strike conversation while they prepare your meal. Their items are fun and creative, with names like The Macarana, Beetle Juice, and The Fruit Loop. Each features a diverse mix of many fruits, vegetables, and nuts. There are vegan alternatives to any ingredient you chose not to include, along with powerups of flax and maca. When asked why they decided to invest in this adjunct to their athletic store, the manager replied, "I don't think it's gentrification. I think people got tired of being sick, and decided to invest in their health. I think it's great that Columbus has started wanting to be healthy.”
Invest is right. Both these places, while easily serving every dietary preference, allergen sensitive, or downright healthnut, can be quite heavy on the wallet. But perhaps it is a righteous investment because Columbus has started wanting to be healthy. Everyday, there are more pedestrians seen riding bikes on the sidewalks, and more people run up and down the Riverwalk in a jog to the step of their inaudible music. Uptown has had a new surge of yogis and a studio full of silks enthusiasts.
And now, with new stores popping up that are surely in business, compounding upon the growing demand of healthier, potentially vegan foods; this is surely a trend that can make for a lifestyle.
Downtown and uptown have always been different places. Now veganism has brought a common convention between the two."

Also, I get asked a lot, "where do I buy all my vegan stuff in Columbus?" I mean Georgia seems to be pretty un-vegan-awares for a place in the States, despite its attempts to integrate the trending lifestyle.

The answer? Simple. I once heard that "real food doesn't have ingredients; real food is ingredients." I find this very true. I buy all my food where others find the ingredients of recipes. At Sam's Club, Walmart, Publix, Fresh Market. I ransack the produce sections, and fill my cart with punnet after punnet of fresh fruits, heads of greens, and bags of frozen goods and veggies.

I'm in the process of creating a Vegan Basics page, helping everyone who wants to give going vegan a try! Stay tuned. (:

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