Book Review, GF Recipes, Healthy Living

Cannellini Beans and Sage, Veganism, and the Crazy Sexy Diet

18 Comments 12 December 2011

Cannellini Beans and Sage, Veganism, and the Crazy Sexy Diet

I didn’t want to announce this, because I wasn’t sure I could do it.  But I committed to 21 days of eating a vegan diet.  At the time I wasn’t sure if it was a life changing decision for me, or just another experiment in the pursuit of health in the wide world of food, but I really did enjoy my experience.  I’ve always loved vegetarian dishes, and I’ve learned to purchase animal products from companies that practice humane treatment of animals.

Veganism was really just the next step, and it made sense after reading Crazy Sexy Dietby Kris Carr.

Should you read this book?  Are you crazy sexy?  (Of course you are!)  Have you ever wondered why people choose a vegan diet?  Do you want to learn from a woman who stopped inoperable cancer in its tracks just by changing her diet?  (That’s a no-brainer.)  But this book isn’t for everyone.

Sometimes it made me giggle.  ”In your original state you ooze magic honey.  Unicorns want to lick you.  Cupcakes and vodka just won’t do.  They distort your connection to your base energy.  A bump, hit, sip, or snack will definitely make you soar for a hot mess of a minute.”

Sometimes it made me cringe.  ”But like Icarus flying so high, the race to the sun will burn your wings and drop you on your fat, sugary ass!”  Ouch.  If you are extremely sensitive to three or even four letter words, this may not be the book for you.

But sometimes you need to experience a little discomfort before you decide to change something in your life.  And diet is a huge part of our lives.  Kris will definitely make you feel uncomfortable.  In the midst of my squirminess, she taught me many other ways that I can take care of the amazing body that God has given me.  And even if Kris’ spiritual views are left of center, I was able to learn some truths.

While recovering from a decadent Thanksgiving, I eliminated all animal products from my daily eating, cooking, and baking, juiced like a madwoman, and embraced the flavors of whole foods.  In keeping with Kris Carr’s guidelines, 60-80% of my diet was raw, and the 20-40% of food that I cooked was more of a side dish than a main course.  I felt fantastic, made some delicious raw/vegan dishes, and spent many more hours in the kitchen than I had time for.

But I have to admit, I only lasted 9 days.

It was the cheese.  I love cheese.

It was also the upcoming holidays.  Mom was a little freaked about my upcoming Christmas visit.  No turkey?  No animal products?  How do you make Christmas dinner without butter and eggs?

It was also the fact that that I crumbled on my one evening out for dinner with friends. Already being limited to just a few gluten-free options, I realized that I could order exactly one proteinless salad at a local restaurant, if I orded it without the goat cheese medallion. Goat cheese medallion?  That broke me.  I ordered the salad WITH the goat cheese and didn’t stop the waiter who proceeded to douse it with fresh parmesan; and that ended the challenge.

And I felt guilty.  Not because I had a problem with eating delicious cheese that a goat made for me (Albeit, not willingly.  Thanks for reminding me of that, Kris.).  But because I committed to a month, and I lasted just over a week.

I’m not considering my 9-day breaking point a complete failure.  I learned a lot, and I enjoyed it so much that I may eventually go back.  And I’ve remained vegetarian, but I’m now enjoying eggs and cheese as a part of my vegetarian diet.

I do have a vegan recipe to share with you today.  It’s a result the successful part of my 21-day vegan challenge as well as an abundance of fresh CSA herbs.  Every year, our CSA gives us a generous portion of sage right before Thanksgiving.  Mmmmm, sage stuffing.  But this year I wasn’t home to cook for Thanksgiving, and I had fistfulls of sage to enjoy post-Thanksgiving.

I came up with this cannellini bean recipe that features an under-appreciated herb, a soft, velvety herb that traditionally only shines on Thanksgiving Day.

Sage.

 Vegetarian, vegan, and unicorn-licking delicious, this recipe is a keeper.

Cannellini Beans and Sage

by Heather

Ingredients:

  • 1 T. grape seed oil
  • 1 29 oz. can of cannellini beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c. chopped yellow onion
  • 2 T. roughly chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

Directions:

1.  Heat grape seed oil over medium heat and add minced garlic and chopped onion.  Sautee until the onions are transluscent.

2.  Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the onions and garlic.

3.  Sprinkle it with sage and salt and stir until combined.

4.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until heated through.

Serves 4

Vegans, you are amazing.  I may be back.  But until then, I’ll be aligning with the vegetarians while still learning from you.

 Unicorns, your approval may just need to be put on the back rainbow.

For now.

Readers, have you read Crazy, Sexy Diet?

  • Are you already vegan?
  • Have you tried veganism?
  • Why have you tried it?  Is it a health or moral issue for you?
  • How do you feel about eating animal products?
  • What are your thoughts?  Share, share, share!
This recipe is linked to:

Your Comments

18 Comments so far

  1. Gigi says:

    Nice post, Heather! I enjoyed reading and I think you’re awesome for sharing. :)

    Lovely, clean recipe, as well… I love to use cannellini beans like this. One of my favorites is to add strips of roasted red pepper… YUM!

    Also like that you stated clearly the “camp” you are aligned with…

    Warmest holiday wishes.

    xo,
    Gigi ;)

    • Heather says:

      I just found that red pepper dish on your site! Sounds delicious!!

      • Aunt Pat says:

        What do I click on to find the red pepper dish…the vegan or vegetarian links on her website bar? I love red peppers so thought I might try this. You’ll be surprised that I’ve started juicing…the only problem is it takes over 2 hours from start to finish to get enough for two of us for 1 1/2 days!

        • Heather says:

          That’s wonderful!!! Yes, it does take quite a while, especially if you have the masticating juicer. :) I put a movie in REALLY loudly and juice away. But I figure that I’m not cooking, so that saves a little time??? I’ll have to search for that red pepper dish…

  2. I love the idea of this too but just haven’t committed to it. I love my yogurt way too much. Cheese would be hard but doable. EGGS! You can’t have eggs on this diet, right? Oh, I eat eggs every morning. Ya, this wouldn’t work. I am all about eating natural and getting rid of all the crap in the diet though! Thanks!

    • Heather says:

      You are hilarious. I too adore eggs. It makes me feel better to purchase cage-free eggs from local farmers. (And I like imagining the chickens saying, “Here, Heather, I made this willingly for you!” I have a wild imagination. ;)

  3. I love cannellini beans and this sounds like a recipe we would make on a regular basis. We eat a LOT of beans. As for the whole vegan meatless thing…I’m not really into it. I do believe that we eat too much shitty meat in our society but there is a place for wild and grassfed meat in our diet. And well heather, who can blame you breaking on the whole cheese thing. Cheese is heaven. Who doesn’t want to go to heaven? Right? no brainer :) but there are some strong points to be brought home by eating vegan. More veggies, more veggies and more veggies and WAY LESS gluten. All things we need to do more often! Great post!

    • Heather says:

      “Cheese is heaven.” I love it! Thanks for your perspective. My tendency is to be an all or nothing girl because rules make me feel more grounded. I’m learning to let go of the rule mentality and trust my ability to make wise choices. Thanks, France! (Sorry it took me so long to respond!)

  4. I find veganism attractive but I also have a weakness for Cheese and yogurt. Those would be my downfall. I did vegetarian for 20 years but started introducing meat again a few years ago, after having to eliminate wheat. Being vegetarian was tough at times, because I was the only one amongst my family and friends.
    Now I’m the only one who has to be gluten free but I’m the cook…so everyone else gets to eat GF like me :)
    Good for you for making a go of it!
    Wishing you Peace and Happiness,
    Laureen

    • Heather says:

      Thank you, Laureen. Yes, I miss yogurt! I haven’t been able to find a dairy-free alternative that i love yet. The closest I can get is a super creamy homemade smoothie. :)

  5. eva @5FruitsNVeggies says:

    i am new to your blog…thanks for your book review and honest about your day 9 : ) i have never been all or nothing kind of girl…but when i told myself just to reduce the amount of dairy, then it was easier to give up cheese…

    • Heather says:

      Agreed, Eva! I stopped purchasing cheese, so that’s a big reduction. I still have it every once in a while when we go out. Maybe that will change some day. Baby steps…

      Thanks for commenting!

  6. I’m vegan (kinda) but I don’t believe veganism is for everybody, the vast majority of people will never be vegan or even close to it.

    However kudos (do people still use that term?) to you for giving it a shot whatever your motivation was. As for being vegetarian because you luv cheese I’d say don’t look at it as an inferior place to be compared to veganism, look at it as a better place to be than eating processed meats full of (well I won’t list all the nasty stuff in burgers and hot dogs etc)I’ll call it ugliness.

    Maybe you’ll always be vegetarian which is wonderful & I wish more people were, maybe oneday you’ll stop eating animal cheese because you’ll find that it’s a secretion with lot’s of unhealthy ‘things’ in it & perhaps you’ll start exploring nut cheeses etc, who knows, time will tell.

    I wish you all the best on your life journey, have fun, be conscientious, be respectful of others choices, & make healthy choices for yourself & your family :)

    • Heather says:

      Thanks so much for your comment, sorry it took me a month to respond. I really appreciated your perspective at the time. It was really encouraging. I’m finding that my diet is mostly vegan at this point, but I haven’t made the hard fast rule. I think you’re right…fun, conscientiousness, respectfulness, and healthiness are fantastic wishes/goals! I’m enjoying reading your blog!

  7. Karen Beth says:

    So, I love this post and I love your blog.
    I’ve been vegan for about a year (vegetarian for about 15 years) and decided yesterday (ha!) to go gluten free. God help me…

    I would be most welcome to know of any resources for gluten-free vegans because right now I’m staring down the face of a LOT of kale. Ur… yum.

    To answer your questions…

    I’ve not read CSD but I subscribe to her newsletter and like most of her tips.

    I’m vegan because I do not believe that animals are on this earth for any benefit of humans – for food, fashion, entertainment, etc. The deserve more than the way most humans treat them.

    I also had open heart surgery two years ago at the age of 32 (to repair an aneurysm) and feel that not eating any animal products is the best way of eating for my heart. I truly do believe that.

    As for no gluten… I’m a bit nervous about that but surely it can be done. I’ve taken to coughing a lot when I eat what I believe is gluten and I have that pooch around my belly that will NOT go away. So… maybe it will help?? I hope so!

    • Heather says:

      Thanks so much for commenting, Karen Beth! You have quite a story. What motivation for vegan eating. Since writing this post a month ago I’m finding that I’m eating fewer and fewer animal products. I don’t eat them in the house, but the hardest part is dining out. Gluten-free AND vegan seems next to impossible.

      Good luck with the gluten-free step! I would highly recommend Ricki’s blog Diet, Dessert and Dogs for vegan/gluten-free resource. http://www.dietdessertndogs.com/ I love her recipes, and her site is just refreshing.


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A Curious Girl in the Gluten-Free World

I'm a curious girl, wife, teacher, friend, fitness fanatic, foodie, high raw vegan, child of the King, and Mama Cat. I've made the transition from baking and cooking gluten-free to creating raw vegan recipes that are naturally gluten free. My gluten intolerance opened up my diet to a whole new world of nutritious plant-based foods. And now I have another challenge ahead...I'm moving to New York City! I look forward to Living Raw Vegan in the City and sharing my experience with you.

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