Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Southern Charm

I hate a lot of things about the South — racism, poverty, stupid white trash people at Wal-Mart with no shoes and too many babies. But there's so much more to love — warm temperatures all winter, Southern accents, mint juleps, fans on the porch, polite strangers, and well, the food.

Tonight's local fare was about as Southern as it gets (sans the fried chicken and barbecue of course). For starters, I had a heaping portion of purple hull peas:

At the start of my local eating project, my Granny gave me several freezer bags of peas that she froze last season. In case you don't know, purple hull peas taste and look similar to black-eyed peas.

On the side, I steamed kale and turnips from the farmer's market:

And I baked a sweet potato (also from Granny) and topped it with Farm Soy yogurt and onions from the farmer's market:

Here's the whole plate:

For lunch, I made Local Tomato-Basil Rice Soup:

I used a jar of local tomatoes that Granny canned last season and pureed them with about four giant basil leaves (if using a smaller leaf, I'd suggest using five or six) and some garlic. Then, I added brown Riceland rice (grown in the Southern region). Not pictured is the salad I had on the side. I figure ya'll are tired of looking at my salad pictures.

By the way, I've been tagged by the lovely Romina to name five things about myself. It'll be my third time doing this, so hopefully, I can think of some new stuff.

1. As much as I love the food and culture of the South now, I used to despise it. As a young child, I thought growing up in Arkansas made me a hick, and I so wished I'd been born somewhere cool like California or New York. I got rid of my accent at a very early age. Now I let it slip through sometimes though.

2. I use Arbonne cosmetics and Lush bath and face products. I'm sooo in love with Lush, and Memphis has one of the few stores nationwide. All Arbonne products are vegan and most Lush ones are. The ones that aren't contain honey and are clearly marked.

3. My dad just built me a new computer desk, completely from scratch and all by himself! I'm sitting at it right now, and it's beautiful. It looks like something you'd buy in a furniture store, but it's way better because it was made with love!

4. I'm kind of a bad vegan when I eat out at restaurants. Not always, but if I'm somewhere where the options are slim, I'm willing to overlook margarine. Also, I never ask if veggie items are cooked in the same grease/pan/grill as the meat items. Honestly, I don't want to know. And I think being too anal about these things make veganism unappealing and unattainable for any non-vegans I may be dining with. My goal is to change everyone!

5. I work out at the gym at least 4 times a week. Some nights, I do spinning classes. Other nights, it's yoga or Latin dance class. Tonight, it was boxing. I can do a mean knockout punch.

And I'm tagging:
Kate at The Federal Vegan
Marisa at The True and Tall Tales of My Fantastic and Brilliant Life
Jessy at Happy Vegan Face


Anonymous said...

Yum! That all looks so tasty, I'm totally jealous.

Anonymous said...

It's so hard to be vegan at any restaurant that isn't 100% vegan. Even if you ask for things cooked separately, who knows what they're doing back there! I hate being fussy too, so I just avoid restaurants, ha.

J said...

Your Southern meal looks perfect to me. Those peas are beautiful.

Great five things. I totally agree with your stance on being vegan while eating out. You have to just not think about it sometimes or you'd never be able to go out to eat!

jessy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jessy said...

wow! the whole plate looks amazing! sooooooooo good! (especially the sweet potato - mmmmm!) and yay for polite strangers - i find that a lot in va, too. it's kinda refreshing!

Sheridan said...

WOW. Your dinner looks awesome! I like the five things you wrote. You're one of my favorite people ever for many reasons...that just reminded me of five of them! Ha! I'm considering trying to go vegan for like month to test myself once I move. I'll be out of my parents house and away from all of their influences, so we'll see. After I get settled in, I think it would be a good challenge for me. I'm definitely going back to eating dairy for only one meal a day. It's just healthier and I lost a lot of weight.

Sheridan said...

Oh yeah, I forgot to ask...How did you season your kale/turnip mix? It looks amazing and I love both of them. I'd like to try it!

Lindsay (Happy Herbivore) said...

the beans are gorgeous. I'm diggin' on the purple color and that yam. YUM

Mihl said...

Beautiful beans!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Now THAT'S a Southern comfort meal - yum!

Great facts!! There's no such thing as a "perfect vegan," so you're fine!! No worries!! Just enjoy eating out and being human :0D

Erin said...

Delicious southern meal, looks like you could pull it right off the buffet line.

Alicia said...

Could I move next to your Granny too? because you get great food from her!
I also don't ask too much in restaurants and try to keep it simple. Bad vegan? maybe...

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Oooo the peas are PURPLE!

I actually think your actions at restaurants make you a GOOD vegan, not a bad one. You open more people's eyes to veganism that way, whereas if all you ate was an iceberg salad, the message people would get is: "Veganism is too hard."

Jess said...

Dear Bianca,

Please come feed me. Your food looks too delicious for words.

Thank you,

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

Thanks for the cosmetics and face products tips. I recently bought BWC vegan "milk" stuff for my face but it's not agreeing with me, so back to the drawing board for a vegan face wash!
And your Southern meal is very colorful!

Anonymous said...

Yeah I don't ask about my food getting cooked on meaty surfaces either. It's gross to think about, but at the same time that's just a bit too anal for me. Props to those who check I guess!

I teach a Latin dance class, and I love it! I usually work out 4 times a week too, but at LEAST once 'cuz I got my awesome class. :)

Very interesting tidbits! Glad you got tagged.

Vegan_Noodle said...

That is a true southern meal... and so cool that it's all local!!

I'm with you on #4, sometimes you just don't want to know...