Today was another office birthday, and I found myself quite sad that once again I wasn’t able to join the team in a slice of birthday cake. It’s an interesting, unexpected psychological twist to our Veganuary challenge – at home, I’m loving trying new things and no longer actively crave ‘forbidden’ former favourites… out and about it’s much the same… but at work, I kind of feel sad and left out. I wonder what the difference is?
I can only assume that it’s because in my office, we are all big foodies – we talk about recipes a lot, we bring in nice things to share, and yes, office events revolve around cake or other shared nommables. It’s a social thing – maybe that’s why I’m feeling a bit (self-inflictedly) excluded. I wonder, do full time vegans feel the same way if they’re in a minority at work? Did my vegan colleague who left just before Christmas?
Anyways, no matter – unable to eat cake, or any of the other snacks on the table (Viennese fingers… salted caramel pretzels… weep), I consoled myself with a couple of snack packs from the Graze box that I get delivered to my desk fortnightly. Carefully researching which of the snacks were vegan, I was delighted to find that I had two: ‘sweet and spicy beetroot crunch‘ (beetroot crisps with jalapeno chickpeas and sunflower seeds), and ‘poppy seed and onion bagel‘ (poppyseed and onion sesame sticks, roasted pumpkin seeds, and cheese flavoured cashew nuts – no real cheese, promise! They’re logged as vegan on the website).
A couple of minutes later, two empty snack packs… and no mopey snackless Carly. I know I’m trying to cut down on snacking between meals as part of the new healthy living thing, but at least these are fairly healthy treats!
Lunch was the leftovers from Saturday’s fried rice (with black beans and all the veg), but I had a real treat waiting for me for dinner – we’re allowing ourselves a meal out each week, as a reward for staying motivated, and next to the building where our choir rehearses is a fantastic place called Pixxa that sells pizza by the slice.
Normally I always have their potato and truffle oil pizza – rich and indulgent and SO moreish! But they also have a daily vegan offering, which is what we went for today – two slices each, topped with thick tomato sauce, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and artichoke, on a thin crispy base. You really didn’t feel the lack of cheese at all!
Returning home, I realised that I had nothing for tomorrow’s lunch, as we hadn’t made dinner ourselves. No matter – vegan food is perfectly designed for the slow cooker, and I’ve just whipped up a quick overnight bean chilli which should be ready to portion up by the time I’m making my morning cuppa. A tin each of black eyed beans, kidney beans, and borlotti beans; a red pepper chopped up into chunks; two tins of tomatoes; a diced half onion; three cloves of garlic minced small; and a generous spoonful each of chilli powder, cumin, and garam masala. The kitchen is going to smell amazing tomorrow morning!
Today I ate/drank…
- Tea with cashew milk
- 1 pack of Graze’s ‘sweet and spicy beetroot crunch’ and ‘poppy seed and onion
- bagel’ snacks
- Lots of water
- Fried rice with black beans, mixed veg, and peanuts
- Vegan pizza with cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and artichoke
- Three florets of broccoli dipped in a bit of vegan gravy (the only ingredients left over from yesterday’s roast dinner, nommed while I made a bean chilli for tomorrow)
- Chocolate swiss roll (a colleague’s birthday cake)