Whoppers and Nutritional Yeast: past and present

it’s a frigid 57deg here in miami!  at least the sun is shining!

I’m home from work (10p-8a) and just took my meal out of the oven.

Given that my church is on an Empowerment Fast with specific rules about what we can and not eat, I am making all my food from scratch.  It’s the 2nd time we’ve done this type of diet so I’m used to it now.  The first time I had a difficult time coming up w/ recipes but this time I’m prepared.  I’ve googled all manner of recipes and in my research, I’ve realized that what we’re following is essentially a vegan diet.  So knowing the guidelines and such, I’ve been branching out more. 

So what did I make today???

Tofu, Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna

Yes, yes, this is me we’re talking about – Ms Gotta Have Red Robin Hamburgers, Chicken Tikka Masala, Spicy Hot Italian Sausage Lasagna and Brownies smothered w/ Ice Cream and a tablespoon of Bailey’s lady BUT when you make a vow to God, you don’t mess around. 

I just tasted it.  It’s not bad at all.  The photo doesn’t do it justice b/c it’s using my camera but I think you get the overall sense.

Now I know what you’re thinking: what makes this different from regular vegetarian lasagna?  Well here are the ingredients:

Sauce:
All Natural Marina Pasta Sauce (made from sicilian pear-shaped tomatoes, alessi extra virgin olive oil, onion, garlic, alessi sea salt, basil) to which I added sauteed baby bella mushrooms.

Frozen spinach (no preservatives/additives) that I sauteed w/ 2 garlic cloves.

Filling:
1 lb firm tofu
1/2 c lemon juice ( which I squeezed from lemons)
2/3 c nutritional yeast
3 tbsp corn starch (gluten free made from 100% pure non-genetically modified corn)
Soy mozzarella “cheese”

Whole Wheat Whole Grain Lasagna noodles made from 100% durum whole wheat flour

So you see, nothing that I eat can contain preservatives or added vitamins/minerals.  It has to be all natural and I don’t mean organic.  Even your “organic” stuff can have malic acid and other stuff: i.e, when I went looking for OJ I couldn’t buy most of the brands b/c they were enriched w/ Vit C or Vit D.

If I were just a vegetarian, I could buy food from Publix but this fast demands so much more than that.  It’s not easy buying food that is preservative free and all natural.    Seriously, the next time you go to your local grocery chain look at the ingredients in the food you’re buying.  Try looking for OJ that is just OJ.  Look at the ingredients and see how difficult it is to find something made just from oranges.

Also, look to see how many products contain sugar.   You know how many cans/glasses of spaghetti sauce I’ve had to carefully inspect to ensure that there’s no sugar?  Did you even know there was sugar in spaghetti sauce?  I didn’t until last Sept when we first did the Daniel Fast.  I was simply amazed by all the crap that’s added to the food I’ve been eating and this makes for some rather expensive grocery trips to Whole Foods.  The other day, one of my good friends said “No wonder Vegans and Vegetarians are so skinny!  They can’t afford to eat!” I died!

This fast also makes me much more appreciative of my childhood.

My Mommy cooked Ghanaian food–from scratch.  Granted, I’m sure she wasn’t looking at preservatives and checking out the sugar content of tomato paste but since Ghanaian food is mostly yams/plantains, sauces, stews and soups that have basic ingredients (oil, onions, salt, pepper, tomatoes etc); I was consuming a lot of good food.  And I mean not just tasty–I mean non-processed, non-breaded, non-dipped in extra sauces kind of good. 

The only “American” foods we ate in the house were hamburgers, sphaghetti, pizza, cereal, pop-tarts, waffles, oatmeal cookies and the occasional ice cream.  The first time I ever ate tacos was in 1st grade.  In fact I distinctly remember giving the taco away to a classmate b/c it didn’t suit my palate.  LOL.  Now I like tacos, but back then all those lunches and desserts didn’t sit well with me. 

When it comes to fast food, every so often we would pick up a bucket (and yes, they were buckets back then) of Kentucky Fried Chicken (it was chicken back then) to eat w/ jollof – esp when we out out to Sharon Woods for family picnics.  During middle school, Mommy found a soft spot in her heart for BK’s whopper and at a deal at $.99 per, you know it was on! 

This was joined w/ Dominoes but was fazed out by Pizza Hut for “take-out” food that was allowed into the house.  For special occasions like birthdays, plays, recitals; my parents took us out to Fortune Chinese Restaurant on Olentangy (the Old and Tangy Iiked to call it).  There we feasted on egg rolls, Szhechuan/Hunan beef/chicken and traded fortunes.  Being the renegade of the family, I would endeavor to order something different each time while my parents looked on askance.

Memory lane…memory lane.

You know, the next time I go back to the C-O, I think I’ll  stop by Fortune Chinese Restaurant; sit a spell–and enjoy some Hunan Chicken…

You know that my fondest memories are of our going to Fortune, or picking up a bucket of the Colonel’s best, or sitting around the tv during dinner watching “Are You Being Served”?  I didn’t realize it until recently that we always ate dinner together.  It wasn’t a conscious decision on my parent’s part–it’s just that we didn’t eat until everyone was home.  There were trips to people’s houses, riding in the car on a summer’s night – jazz playing and me daydreaming.  Or parties where the entire Ghanaian community showed up and showed out ;^)  Walking to Kroger/BK.  Just serves to remind me that it’s not always what you do with your kids that they will remember, it’s that you DID something.

What about you loyal readers of my blog?  What are your fondest memories of your childhood?

About papillion

Intense Often Moody Transparent Exquisitely sensitive Animated Never satisfied Curious Eternal Romantic Creative Devotedly Christian Encouraging Multi-layered Loving Quick Judge Critical Forever evolving View all posts by papillion

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