Vegan in Eugene

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  • Breakfast: A banana
  • Lunch: A Hot and Jazzy Bowl from Cafe Yumm! I ordered it vegan, so it came without the cheese and sour cream, etc.
  • Dinner: Pad King from Ta Ra Rin in Eugene
  • Snacks: I had about 4 bites of Marionberry sorbet from an ice cream shop
  • Drinks: water, coffee, beer

That’s a vegan day if you ask me. It’s possible there was fish sauce in the Thai food, I didn’t ask. Because I really don’t care.

Celine had a concert in Eugene today, so we headed down a bit early for her rehearsal. That meant I had a lot of time to hang out in Eugene on my own, so I went and ate at Cafe Yumm! and spent some time hanging out in the computer lab. The concert itself was great, and Celine had a solo in one of the pieces (and she was awesome!!). After the show, we went to dinner with a friend of ours from Nashville who also moved out here to Eugene. She’s been here a bit longer than us (just over a year), and it was great to reconnect with her out here. All in all, an excellent day.

Saturday – Silver Falls

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  • Breakfast: Banana (this was a mistake, as you’ll see in my lunch entry)
  • Lunch: the All-American hamburger and homemade fries at the Covered Bridge Cafe in Stayton, OR
  • Dinner: Leftover brussels sprouts and brown rice
  • Drinks: Water and coffee

Yeah, that was real deal hamburger, and it’s basically because I wasn’t very smart about my day when it came to food. Mainly because we took off on a hiking adventure on the spur of the moment, and food was the last thing on our minds.

Around 11 this morning, Celine stated that she’d like to have an adventure today. This was basically a ploy to avoid school work, but I readily agreed, and before long we were packing up for a hiking trip to Silver Falls. Sure, it was overcast and the forecast was for drizzly rain, but at some point you just have to deal with it up here. So we hopped into the car with our hats and coats and water bottles and drove to the park.

It was getting there that put us in a bad lunching position. The park is only about 30 miles from us, but it’s through windy roads and small towns, and we didn’t consider the fact that we’d need to eat lunch until we were in those small towns. Thus, we ended up at the Covered Bridge Cafe, which was quaint and awesome and reminded me of my uncle’s restaurant back in Eden when I was a kid. However, their vegan options were, shall we say, limited. Basically, I could have had a salad with no dressing or a plain baked potato, and I was too hungry to settle for that. Thus, the burger and homemade chips, both of which were amazing, and both of which gave that, “hey, I just ate fried meat” feeling.

But it passed quickly, and we continued on the park and started our hike. And it was quite a lovely one:

It’s truly amazing to me that we are basically half an hour from scenery like this. And if we’d driven the other way for just a bit longer, we’d have been at the beach. Pretty cool. Anyway, here’s another view of the South Falls at the park:


Not sure that it shows well in this picture, but the trail actually goes behind the falls, so you can get a full 360 degree view of it. It’s pretty amazing, as well as wet and a little cold! One last view from the base of the falls:

We then headed to the Lower South Falls, which weren’t as tall but were wider, and the path behind those falls was much closer to the waterfall itself. We didn’t get any great shots of Lower South Falls (we brought the camera, but no extra batteries, so it was dying on us), but Celine got this great shot from behind the Lower South Falls:

Pretty cool to be behind a wall of water. All in all, it was a great day to be outside in the cool Oregon air, and we enjoyed the hike. As you may know, the only problem with hiking to the bottom of a waterfall is that you eventually have to hike back up to the top, so we had a pretty strenuous climb at the end before we left (for us, anyway!). It left is appropriately worn out from our day of adventure.

To complete our day, we finally got a picture of our favorite sign in Salem on the way back into town, which I am happy to share with you:

Yeah, I’m still immature enough to think that’s hilarious. We actually pulled into the parking lot to take this picture, we have no shame.

Friday’s food

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  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with cranberries and brown sugar (we were out of nuts!)
  • Lunch: I had the Veggie Monster sandwich (6 inch on wheat) from East Side Deli. I did keep the mayo and honey mustard on there, so not totally vegan.
  • Dinner: We went to Ram, which was delicious but not particularly healthy. We split some onion rings and then I had their Tumbleweed Burger with their veggie patty and homemade fries. The burger had some sort of mayo sauce on it, and their veggie patty uses a bit of cheese as a binder, so definitely not vegan.
  • Snacks: Handful of nuts, pita chips (from a bag this time, not homemade)
  • Drinks: Water coffee, 3 beers and a liquor drink

That sounds like a lot of alcohol, but it was very spread out. I had one to end the day at work, then much later at dinner had a beer and the liquor drink (which was pretty weak if I do say so myself), and then a late night beer before bed (we were up until almost 2). So it was pretty spread out and only succeeded in giving me a headache.

I think yesterday’s dinner was a great example of how you can eat vegetarian (and really, not very far from vegan) and still be incredibly unhealthy. Everything on my plate last night was fried, and I felt pretty disgusting after eating there. It gave me a very clear vision of how you could be an unhealthy vegan, and that is not my end goal here. So, less fried food.

Okay, I’ve got another post coming, complete with pictures for Saturday.

Chickpea cutlets

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  • Breakfast: A banana, and then some cauliflower mid-morning. Weird breakfast, I know.
  • Lunch: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, some veggies, pita chips and hummus
  • Dinner: Brown rice, brussels sprouts with a almond butter sauce and chickpea cutlets from the Veganomicon cookbook. We put almond butter sauce on that as well.
  • Snacks: hummus and veggies and pita chips
  • Drinks: Water and coffee

That’s two vegan days in a row. Lots of good food today too. I didn’t love the chickpea cutlets, I just thought they were a little bland. However, Celine liked them quite a bit so we may make them again the future. But in general, I’m just against the idea of fake meat. I don’t know if chickpea cutlets really qualify since they don’t have a stupid fake meat name (tofurkey, for instance), but at this point, I’d usually rather just eat a vegetable or a piece of tofu. I don’t see any reason to try and make something that’s not chicken look like chicken, and I certainly see no reason to try to make it taste like chicken. It’s always a complete failure anyway, so why not just call it what it is?

At least these things were called chickpeas so we knew what we were getting. They just needed more seasoning and I think they’d be fine.

A good day

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  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with dried cranberries, pecans and brown sugar
  • Lunch: A barbeque tofu sandwich (yeah, they make those in Portland) and some greens cooked with no meat from Russell Street Barbeque
  • Dinner: Baby Bok Choy with Crispy Shallots and Toasted Sesame Seeds from the Veganomicon cookbook and brown rice
  • Snacks: Handful of nuts, two or three handfuls of popcorn, hummus and veggies and pita chips
  • Drinks: Water, coffee

Hey, a successful day! The barbeque tofu was different, but pretty delicious. Certainly not a substitute for actual pig, but it was good for what it was. The bok choy recipe tonight wasn’t bad, but it was kind of bland. I think we’d use either more soy sauce or a little salt next time around, and it could have benefited from some red pepper flakes as well. Anything to give it a little more kick.

After last night’s fish dinner, I’ve realized that I can really tell a difference when I eat fried food. Nothing fried today, and I feel much better than I did last night, so I think fried food will be a much lower priority for me moving forward. I’m sure that’s a good thing in almost every way (except for the way that includes onion rings and jalapeno poppers).

That’s really all I’ve got tonight. A good day of eating, and now for a good night’s sleep.

Mo’s

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  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with dried cranberries, pecans and brown sugar
  • Lunch: A big ol’ salad
  • Dinner: We went to Mo’s. I had some onion rings, some clam chowder, a seafood combo plate (cod, shrimp and clam strips, all fried) and steamed green beans.
  • Snacks: Veggies and hummus

Sigh.

So, Celine called me from Eugene yesterday afternoon. She had a friend in town to audition for the flute program at Oregon, and they had decided it would be fun to drive out to the coast. They asked if I wanted to meet them out there for dinner, and that sounded like a great idea to me.

As you can imagine, the places out there are all about fish, and Mo’s was all about chowder and fried fish. This is supposedly the best clam chowder anywhere, so I decided to try it. Turns out it’s not all that great (even our waiter admitted it), and the fried fish dinner, while pretty tasty, made me feel completely disgusting after I ate it. Maybe I should read my own blog, huh?

Since we are living in a coastal state where delicious seafood is abundant, I’d already decided that I would occasionally eat fish. Fresh seafood is not something that you get in Tennessee, and even though fish is meat, it’s much better for you than other types of meat. That is, unless you batter it and deep fry it and cover it in tartar sauce. So, I think I’ll amend my exception here to say that I will occasionally eat fresh fish cooked well.

This diet continues to be a learning experience. I’m determined to have a no meat, no cheating sort of day today. Please hold me to that.

The Original again

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  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with dried cranberries, walnuts and brown sugar
  • Lunch: A chickpea and quinoa burger and a side salad from The Original. My co-worker Molly wanted to go there for her birthday lunch! As a result, I also had a couple of fries from the poutine (okay, maybe more like a few, but still not that many) and one bite of her birthday dessert, a chocolate cake with coconut and almonds called an Almond Joy cake. Very ORIGINAL, Original.
  • Dinner: The Thai Veggie Peanut Bowl from Venti’s with tofu and some sweet potato fries.
  • Drinks: Water, coffee, beer

I am sleepy, so that’s all you get. Goodnight, internet.

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