Sunday, February 20, 2011

An *Almost* Vegan Retreat Weekend

I didn't cook at all this weekend.

Our annual school drama retreat meant a weekend away from home supervising delightful high schoolers, at the mercy of restaurants and camp cafeterias. It's really easy to eat kind at home when I'm controlling what comes into my kitchen, but a bit more challenging out in the real world.

Friday 4.0 was spent out and about picking out costumes with the cast of our school play and watching Theatresports on Granville Island. I scored an awesome Mexican lunch at Lonsdale Quay, just ordering a vegetarian platter minus the sour cream.

Colourful and fresh and something I probably would have chosen even before the vegan experiment. Except then I wasn't thinking about protein, so I would have given my beans to Rob the husband. I've never been a huge fan of mushy beans, and now I'm not sure why...these were really good, especially with the salsa.  I may have to re-evaluate my position on beans.

Dinner (with 17 students) was at Cats Social House. Not too much needed to be adjusted for my meal...edamame beans (which I've always loved) and a cowgirl salad minus the feta. I also scored some communal yam fries. A decent vegan attempt, but after eating out now at a few places that aren't specifically veggie, Rob and I are really looking forward to trying out some vegetarian places that will have more creative options for us. 

Our drama group had an overnight retreat booked at Loon Lake in Maple Ridge from Saturday to Sunday. When I sent out our meal requests to the retreat lodge a few weeks ago, I didn't bother requesting vegan meals, even though the cafeteria staff accommodated that option. I wasn't sure I'd still be doing this, and I didn't want any hassle, so I just didn't bother with it. It turned out ok because I just ended up working my way around the animal stuff. 

During lunch on Saturday 4.0 I avoided the hamburgers and just had fries and veggies. Thank God fries are vegan. Not the healthiest thing to eat of course, but always tasty, always satisfying, and always convenient and available in a bind. Love fries. Love love love fries.

Dinner was a bit trickier...lasagna (with meat & cheese), Caesar salad (hello dairy), and garlic bread (buttered, of course). The lasagna was an especially cocky bastard, flaunting his meaty, cheesy goodness for all to see. No shame. I shot the lasagna a few longing glances, but ultimately decided he just wasn't worth it. Luckily, I brought along my barley casserole from home, so the cook was kind enough to heat that up for me. She was super sweet and let me know that they would have been happy to accommodate vegan options if I had just indicated that on the meal request sheet I sent in for our group a few weeks ago. But of course, at that time I didn't really know if Motivation would still be hanging out with me, so I didn't bother. It all worked out, though, since the barley is excellent as leftovers, and I couldn't even finish what I brought.

I also planned ahead for breakfast on Sunday 4.0 by bringing some individual tetra packs of rice milk. While the rest of the group was enjoying pancakes and sausage (I NEED to find an amazing vegan pancake recipe), I had some corn flakes with my Rice Dream. I also grabbed a piece of raisin toast, but I didn't realize until half way through eating it that the bottom of it had been buttered. Oops.

Lunch for the group was chicken burgers, fries and Greek salad (too much feta to pick around *sad face*). Once again I had fries and veggies. The Greek salad was popular, and if I really wanted some I would have had a bit, but Motivation had decided to tag along on the retreat and kept me from going nuts.

So other than the buttered raisin toast episode, it was a successful vegan eating weekend away from home to wrap up the fourth week of my kinder lifestyle experiment.

To do this evening:
1. Ignore the housework and marking that was neglected this weekend while I was away.
2. Don't ignore the cats' shitterbox that was neglected this weekend while I was away (with four cats that thing really should be cleaned every eleven minutes...I better wrap this up and get on that).
3. Make a meal plan for Week the Fifth.

And now, to officially wrap up the fourth week of this vegan thing, I present for your viewing pleasure, Natalie Portman's face:

That is all.

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