A couple of days ago my cousin, Kim, sent me an email in which she told me she’s lost 10 pounds since she started reading this blog. I’m pretty sure she means since I stopped posting cupcake recipes and started touting the virtues of a primarily plant-based diet. Either way, I’m bursting with pride over her accomplishment and feeling really good that my tiny little corner of the blogosphere may have had something to do with it. Kim told me that she and her son are eating better than ever, but that she’s got a meat-and-potatoes man who’s just not that into swapping burgers for bok choy. I’d say that in my own experience, next to the constant tug of war between my desire to enjoy great food and my desire to eat a sustainable diet (i.e. the torment of dining out someplace fantastic where the only vegan option is the garnish next to the steak), the hardest thing about going mostly-vegan is figuring out how to feed my family. I can’t take cheese away from my kids, but they’re totally fine with going meatless or eating faux meat. My daughter actually inhaled a plate of vegan chicken and broccoli the other night and proclaimed it, “the best dinner ever!” The husband, however, is a tougher sell. After torturing him for the first few months of my foray into veganism with more variations of beans and kale than either of us cares to remember, I started to compromise.

I don’t call myself a vegan, because I’m not one. I’m just a gal trying to eat a mostly vegan diet as much as I can in order to improve my health, decrease my carbon footprint, and eat as sustainably and humanely as I can. With that said, I do still occasionally eat cheese, eggs and butter, my kids still eat chicken nuggets and turkey bologna, and my big compromise with my husband is seafood. I now make a dinner that involves seafood at least once a week. I, of course, make sure I pay attention to where it comes from and that it was responsibly caught or harvested. And when was the last time you heard of someone’s arteries getting clogged by eating too much salmon? Never. ‘Cause it’s healthy. So, Kim, my suggestion for getting your guy to at least take baby steps toward a healthier diet is to try seafood. It also cooks hella fast (to borrow a phrase from my friends in the Bay Area), which makes it the working mom’s friend. Here’s what we had last night…

Mana Food Bar’s Sesame Noodles (Vegan) With Sesame Scallops (Not Vegan)

Mana Food Bar’s Sesame Noodles with Peanut Dressing

(I got this recipe in my inbox yesterday via Daily Candy)


For the peanut dressing

2 tbsp. sesame seed paste (a.k.a. tahini)

1 tsp. creamy peanut butter

1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. ginger, chopped

1 tbsp. garlic, chopped

1 tbsp. Sriracha or other hot sauce

1 tbsp. sesame oil

1½ tbsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. rice vinegar

Salt to taste

For the sesame noodles and garnish

1 8-oz. bag Chinese yellow noodles, cooked according to instructions and chilled

1 carrot, peeled and shredded

12 pea pods, sliced

1. In a food processor or blender, add first six dressing ingredients and pulse until coarsely blended.

2. Slowly add oil and continue to pulse. Pour in soy sauce and rice vinegar and pulse until smooth and creamy.

3. In a large bowl, place noodles, carrot, and pea pods. Add dressing and toss until well combined..

*I didn’t have any rice vinegar so I substituted apple cider vinegar. It tasted fine.

Sesame Scallops

Adapted from Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express

Toast a small handful of sesame seeds in a dry skillet until fragrant and golden. Remove and set aside. Add some olive oil to the pan. Add the scallops, season with salt and pepper, and sear until browned on one side and opaque – just a few minutes depending on their size. Remove the scallops and set them aside. Add 1 tbsp of butter (or vegan margarine) to the pan along with about ¼ cup of white wine. Deglaze the pan, scraping up all the brown bits, and simmer for a couple of minutes. Add a small handful of chopped scallions and a splash of soy sauce. Simmer for about 30 more seconds. Serve the scallops with the sauce spooned on top of them, topped with the toasted sesame seeds.

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About Tracey

Writer. Mother. Eater. Also Chief at Big Words Creative.


  1. Karen

    I also love your blog! It’s a cool coincidence we started doing this pseudo-vegan thing at the same time. I have almost the exact conflicting thoughts on it and similar family issues. It turns out I’ve arrived at the same solution – we eat tons of fish here. Have you tried the Whole Foods frozen vacuum-packed wild alaskan salmon? It’s the best. It is always tasty (unlike sometimes fresh fish when you can’t be sure it’s fresh) and you don’t have to worry about it going bad before you eat it. And, although it could change, it is on the green list – the wild alaskan salmon has had a boom year. I eat at least 4 meals a week of it. I’m also trying to go gluten-free. Vegan and gluten-free is quite the challenge. But it does force me to find ways to make satisfying meals without pasta (although there are some decent gluten free pastas). We need a name for people who eat just eggs and fish. Poached eggs (from the farmer’s market of course :-)) over roasted greens are my new best friend.

    • Karen, I often think of you while I’m writing about this stuff because I know you and I are in the same boat. Yes, we need a new category for ourselves. Ovo-pescetarians? Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. We’ll come up with something. And I love the sound of your poached eggs and greens! Recipe??

      • Karen

        I don’t really have a recipe, although I think I got the idea from this Bittman article about eggs and from my husband’s current obsession with poached eggs. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/03/18/magazine/anytime-egg-recipes.html. I just poach an egg (I have a pan that does them, not too well though – apparently the best way is to do that swirling water in the pan way, but I’m too lazy for that). Then I roast some kale (with olive oil, salt & red pepper flakes) to the point of not-quite-chip form – still with some chew to it. Then I put the greens on a plate, plop the egg on top, salt, pepper, done. You could expand on it in all sorts of ways of course. A great piece of toasted country bread to soak up the egg, for example. I also love poached eggs over huevos rancheros. I have the Cook’s Illustrated cookbook with the best heuvos rancheros recipe EVER. The salsa uses roasted tomatoes and jalapenos and onions and then you poach the eggs in little wells in the salsa. It’s unbelievable. If you want I can take a photo of the recipe and send it to you. I highly recommend this cookbook though. Has so many awesome recipes, all really well-tested.

      • I have the Cooks Illustrated Book and I love it to death. I haven’t tried the huevos rancheros but now I will! Thanks Karen!!

  2. kimmie m

    Thank you cousin for being an inspiration to me. Im going to make this meal tonight!! love you lots

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