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Cold Tofurkey: What I Ate Vegan Wednesdays, Failures, and Bad News (plus Mango Chia Seed Pudding Recipe)

Over the last few months, I have been moving away from writing for this blog and have become more and more obsessed with producing recipe videos. It’s just plain fun for me; playing at script writer, camera operator, lighting directer (haha), and video editor. I love the creative process, using skills that I learned way back in the day at school, and learning new ones. One other benefit that I didn’t see coming was the community of super sweet people who have connected with the videos. Most commenters are very kind and encouraging and I have learned from the commenters who have left useful and thoughtful critiques. However, making videos has drawn me away from writing for this blog which was not my original intention. I really appreciate you guys too and I plan to focus more on this platform again.

Skip to the recipe.

WIAW First Episode

 
So now that that’s out of the way, you may or may not know, I’ve started doing a weekly “What I Ate Wednesday” (WIAW) video series. It’s a way for me to share everyday meal ideas but also share my failures as well. I was also lazy (ahem, still the queen of lazy) and didn’t write about them or share here but that’s all about to change! Please let me know if you like this type of post or if you would rather just see recipes here. I may move some of my more personal, everyday type “cold tofurkey” posts to a separate blog if that’s what you guys want.

WIAW November 5th

 
Anybody can learn to cook delicious dishes that are great to look at too, but it takes practice. I believe anyone can create mouthwatering recipes to call their own, but it takes experimentation and sometimes that also means making mistakes. There is nothing wrong with making mistakes! But it is a humbling lesson when you have to eat those mistakes literally!

Two weeks ago, as I was filming that week’s WIAW, I decided to try something new for my morning oats: lemon, dates and vanilla. It sounded good and I wanted to mix things up as I thought the videos were getting a little boring as I was having the same thing for breakfast everyday. But alas, my experiment tasted like vomit. Actual vomit. As in the taste you get when you have a heartburn and it comes up the back of your throat and into your mouth a little. I know that’s exactly what you wanted to read about on a food blog. You’re welcome.

Feeling discouraged and hungry, I choked down what I could (one spoonful) and went for one of the carrot cake muffins that I had made the day before. I had made a delicious carrot cake for a friend’s birthday the previous weekend and thought I’d make a muffin version with applesauce instead of oil. I had heard really good things about subbing applesauce for oil, though I had never tried doing it myself. Well, they didn’t turn out very nice. The texture was almost like it wasn’t cooked enough; fluffy but melted in your mouth as you chewed in a most unpleasant way.

WIAW November 12th

 

Then later that day, I received news that my grandmother had died. She was 97 years old and my only surviving grandparent. I didn’t know her very well. She lived in Australia and I had only been to see her a few times. Her English wasn’t great and while I could understand some Cantonese, I had a lot of trouble speaking it and could not have very involved conversations with her because of this. Despite her age, I always thought I had more time to visit her. After I called my parents to confirm what I had heard and to offer my condolences, I reflected on how the family members closest to her might feel. My grief was really for them and how they would be affected. At the same time, she had lived a long life, without any painful illness, and had died peacefully. One can only hope to go like that. Needless to say, I didn’t film the rest of that day.

The next day, I decided that I was going to live to 97 years old (at least!) and live my years to the fullest. My WIAW was going to be late that week, but that was OK.

For breakfast, I had a bowl of chia pudding that I had put together the night before. See the printable recipe at the bottom of this post. It was the first time I had ever had overnight chia pudding and it was as easy as the blogosphere had said. That said, I had eaten chia pudding before and didn’t love the “seediness” of it. I’m not sure if this recipe was particularly tasty or just that I had a bright new attitude. Does a positive attitude make things taste better?

mango chia coconut pudding

For lunch, I had a couple slices of Thanksgiving Stuffed Seitan and a generous dose of Mushroom Gravy. I had done a ton of experimenting in preparation for a collaboration with Emily from Bite Size Vegan and a number of vegan YouTubers so I had a lot of leftovers! Luckily, the seitan seems to freeze well. I’ll be stocked for weeks!

stuffed seitan slices with mushroom gravy

I knew I would share my previous day’s failures so I stopped there with filming. And I’ll stop here with this super long post. I am so grateful for you guys who read my blog, even when it’s not so interesting. I love reading your comments and really appreciate it when you send me emails with encouragement and helpful criticism.

Have a Terrific Tuesday!
Mary

Printable Recipe for Apple Mango Chia Seed Pudding


Creamy Apple Spice Mango Chia Seed Pudding
Serves 1
This overnight chia pudding uses caffeine-free Apple Spice Tea as a base which results in little bursts of juicy deliciousness in every bite. Chia seeds that are soaked with hot tea and then left in the fridge overnight tend to get more soft than if you just mixed it with cold liquid which makes it good for people like me who don't love getting chia seeds stuck in your teeth! The mango and coconut milk make for a tropical, creamy combination.
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Print
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
8 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons white chia seeds
  2. 1/2 cup hot apple spice tea
  3. 1 tablespoon coconut cream
  4. 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  5. a small pinch cardamom
  6. 1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
  7. 1/2 cup mango chunks.
Instructions
  1. Combine everything and let it set for 4 hours or overnight in the fridge.
Notes
  1. I used Fairmont's Montebello Apple Spice Tea for this recipe. You can use any herbal apple spice tea you like, or try another fruity herbal tea.
Mary's Test Kitchen http://www.marystestkitchen.com/

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