What is The Vegan(ish) Experiment?

Our family (me, my husband D, and our four-year-old Molly) started 2009 with a mostly-vegan, macrobiotic-inspired diet (although I have to admit, the strict macro rules have pretty much gone out the window). I have seen a marked improvement in my chronic migraines, and I'm enjoying proving that we can make amazing, mouth-watering, memorable food without animal products. For a more in-depth intro, click here.

I stopped updating this blog quite awhile back, when life got in the way. I'm still keeping a mostly vegan kitchen, though, and loving it. Have fun browsing my recipes!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Day 25: Succulent Spinach, Questionable Quinoa, and Tasteless Tofu

I want to start this post with a health update: no migraine since Wednesday! That's four full days migraine-free. Here's hoping for five!

And now, back to the food...

Today I made Sesame Spinach:

But before I give that recipe....

I realized today that I have had a lot of luck with all the new stuff I've been cooking. I've liked everything so far. Why did I suddenly come to this realization? Because my good-luck streak ended: I have now made things, two days in a row, that I didn't particularly like.

The first was Caribbean Beans and Quinoa, a recipe from the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen blog that looked really tasty. My mom gave it high marks after she made it. And I can say, after making it, that it is a good recipe ... all the flavors are well-balanced ... but it just wasn't my thing. So check out the recipe, and by all means try it - I think many or most people would be into it, and I myself didn't dislike it, but I won't make it again. (A note if you decide to try it: it did not have nearly enough salt for me. I think this may be because I used fresh tomatoes instead of canned, and olives from the olive bar at the supermarket instead of from a jar.)

The second was this week's baked tofu. I didn't make tempeh this time, because D is out of town through Thursday, so we don't need as much lunch fixin's. (No, that's not a misplaced apostrophe - it's the plural of fixin', which is a contraction.) I thought it would be cool to try and invent an Indian marinade based on garam masala, dry mustard, a little bit of cayenne, and ginger. And the marinade smelled good. But it didn't soak into the tofu at all. I think I needed to include some fat in it. Next week, I will try it with olive oil, and I'll post the recipe if it's good. As for this week, I have bland tofu for my sandwiches. Luckily, I made some fast-and-easy roasted red pepper hummus yesterday, so its flavor should help mask the tasteless tofu!

And now, the Sesame Spinach. Finally I invented something good! (I haven't even let myself search the 'net for it ... I don't want to know that I wasn't the first inventor.) This recipe takes 10 minutes, makes your kitchen smell heavenly, and adds a nice, light bit of flavor to the spinach without overwhelming its naturally good taste.

Sesame Spinach
1 10-oz. bag spinach
1 T. sesame seeds
1 T. sesame oil
1 T. canola oil
salt and pepper

Toast sesame seeds in a large pot over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant.

Turn heat down to medium or medium-low and add oils. (Sesame oil smokes easily, so put it on medium, but watch closely and be prepared to turn it down if necessary.) Stir sesame seeds into oil. When oil is heated, add spinach. Stir to coat. Cook, continuing to stir, for a few minutes until it is as "wilty" as you like it to be.

Let rest for a few minutes before serving. The spinach goes down to a fraction of its original size, so this only serves 2-3. A great way to get your greens!


  1. The Sesame spinach sounds great. Another one to add to my growing list of things to play with.

  2. The spinach sounds (and looks) delicious. Sorry your good luck streak with the new foods hit a bump but I bet you'd rather have the "no migraine" streak. Am I right?

  3. Your recipe for spinach sounds great and the cauliflower soup is calling my name...I'm curious, February is almost here, what are you going to do next?

  4. Mmm, that sounds good! I think I'll make that; at home I have everything but spinach, which I regularly buy.

  5. Wow! Looks great and healthy.
    Hi my name is Young and I have a cluster migraine. I am a Nursing student. They said migraine's real cause is idiopathic which means unknown but there are lots of things that can predispose you to have a migraine at the end of the day. There's the weather when it's hot and cold, chocolate, caffeine, watching too much, less sleep and much sleep, and thinking too much.

    According to a health teaching I heard from the radio, fishes helps a lot in reducing migraine attacks, relaxation, meditation, and exercise. I tried it and it worked. My migraine attacks were worst when I was younger but now I can take full control. They are not bad compared to years ago.

    Good luck!

  6. Scriptor Senex and C.Beth - Hope you enjoy the spinach recipe! I added a little bit of tamari soy sauce when I reheated it, and it was even better.

    Amy - Let me know if you make the cauliflower soup! My mom already made it and loved it. And stay tuned for the answer to your question about what happens February 1... :)

    Call Me Cate - YES, it's definitely better to have a "no-migraine" streak! I'd take a month of bad cooking if it meant just a week with no migraines!

    Young - thanks for stopping by! I definitely have the triggers of too-hot weather (although too-cold doesn't seem to bother me), less sleep, and more sleep. And I agree that fish helps. We have a sushi restaurant where we eat every Friday evening, and it has helped stave off an impending migraine more than once.


I love it when people come back and tell me how the recipes turned out - please consider doing so! Thanks!


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