A recent Wall Street Journal article quoted a vegan baker in Columbus, Ohio as saying, “Middle America is turned off by vegans,” and, well, I think she’s probably right. At least my personal experience tells me that she’s right. So, what is it about vegans that so scares (read: turns off) people? Is it the pleather shoes? The “meat is murder” t-shirts? Tofurkey? Sure, there is a militant segment of the vegan population out there and in my humble opinion, they play a necessary role, but really, when the dinner bell rings, all of us just like to eat good, satisfying and tasty food, right?
An Unrefined Vegan is not about militantism, though I may sneak in one or two posts that give voice to our animal friends. I’m so passionate and happy and feel so good with my plant-based, low-fat, low sugar diet that I want to share the really delicious, easy and healthful recipes that I make in my own home. If along the way you stop and think about the welfare of all of the cows, chickens, turkeys, fish, pigs, etc., etc. out there – well, that’s just icing on the (vegan) cake!
You don’t have to go vegan all at once (unless you want to) – incorporate an animal-free meal or two into your week. You might find that A) you like it, and B) you feel great afterwards, and C) you get dinner on the table a lot faster than when cooking with meat. Hey, I didn’t say I wouldn’t try to convert non-believers! To break the ice, here’s a quick and easy salad dressing that contains no oil. You won’t miss it. Really. It coats the greens in sweet and tangy yumminess. This is a slight riff on a dressing in Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD.
No Oil Salad Dressing
2 tbsp. orange juice
1 tbsp. vinegar (I use the white wine or rice wine sort)
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional, but it gives the dressing a nice creamy thickness)
dash ground pepper
Whisk everything together and toss with your favorite salad ingredients. Experiment for yourself – a dash of soy sauce might be nice or a couple of shakes of chipotle Tabasco sauce.