How I broke up with McNuggets, plus a sweet mustard vinaigrette recipe

15 Feb

I can relate, Mr. Gorilla.

I can relate, Mr. Gorilla.

“How do you do it?” “But how do you get enough protein?” “But do you eat cheese?” “No cheese?! What are you, a communist?!”

I get asked a lot of questions about the way I eat. And occasionally I get yelled at in public (uh huh, that last quote is real). I get it. Being vegan is not the norm, and the not-norm is a curiosity. So, today is the day I answer some of those inquiries en masse.

The truth is, I previously loved me a McNugget. And a double-quarter pounder with cheese meal, too. So how did I end up chomping on kale and quinoa instead of burgers and chicken-like bits?

Well, I certainly didn’t develop some super-human level of willpower to resist good food. The two chocolate peanut butter cup cookies and Molly’s Cupcakes I massacred yesterday can attest to that. In actuality, my perception of what good food is shifted. How’s that, you ask? I give the deets here.

If you have any other questions for me, feel free to ask. You can even call me a commie, if you want. I won’t be offended.

And because I can’t leave you all high and dry without a recipe, here’s one for my favorite salad, courtesy of the cool dudes and dudettes at Chicago’s The Centered Chef.

Kale apple salad

Sweet, tangy green goodness.

Sweet and Tangy Kale Apple Salad

Serves 8

Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • 2 ½ Tbsp agave nectar
  • 2 ½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ Tbsp grape seed oil
  • ½ tsp shallot, minced
  • ¼ tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp parsley, minced
  • sea salt, to taste

Salad Ingrediets

  • 9 cups kale, stems removed
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup red onion, cut into very thin strips
  • ½ cup green apple, diced
  • ¼ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Salad it UP

  1. Whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients together in a mixing bowl and place it in the fridge to chill.
  2. Soak the kale under cold water for a few minutes to release any dirty bits, then rinse it under cold water before you dry it (in a salad spinner or with paper towels).
  3. Strip the leafy parts of the kale off the stems to use in the salad. You can keep the stems and chop them up really fine before you put them back in the salad, if you don’t want to waste them.
  4. Slice the kale into thin ribbons.
  5. Toss the vinaigrette with the kale, along with the cranberries and onions.
  6. Kale can be kind of a tough beyotch, so let it sit for a few minutes and soften in the dressing.
  7. Toss in the apple chuns, sprinkle on the walnuts and, voila, beautiful salad yum yums are yours!

Bon appetit!

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8 Responses to “How I broke up with McNuggets, plus a sweet mustard vinaigrette recipe”

  1. Jackie Johnson February 15, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    Can’t believe someone called you a communist?!? What the hell is wrong with self-righteous jerks? Also…do you take any supplements? like calcium for example? or do you have any tips on getting a varied diet during super busy weeks?

    • Bridget February 15, 2013 at 10:16 am #

      Yeah, I was ordering pasta in the lunch line at work and when he went to sprinkle some parm on it I said, “No cheese, please” and got that odd little gem in reply. Weird.

      Anyhoo, no I don’t take any supplements. I get plenty of calcium from the spinach, kale and almond milk I consume on a daily basis. The only one I’m considering taking is B12, but I use a lot of nutritional yeast (which has B12) in cooking, so I doubt I even require that.

      Cooking ahead is huge. I make family sized servings and then refrigerate or freeze things to eat later. I pack a lunch for work every morning, or the night before, and it always includes a salad.

  2. juicejamandjoy February 15, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    haha I love the gorilla cartoon! As often as I get asked “how I get enough protein” I need to have that made into a tshirt!

    • Bridget February 15, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

      I’ve seen that cartoon in a few different places and it always makes me chuckle. Thanks for reading!

  3. Plaidfuzz February 16, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    People always ask “What do you eat??” I am 100% sure vegetarians/vegans eat a much more varied diet than carnivores because we can’t just slap a burger on a bun and call it a meal. Or I like, “Do you just eat vegetables?” I NEED to just eat vegetables, too much tasty vegan food is keeping me fat lol.

  4. kaityscooking February 17, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    haha omg a communist !? thats so funny/weird! i still get weird stuff by people, if i order an eggplant parm hero and say no cheese they look at me and say so what do you want on that? everything else besides the cheese pleaseeee. lol that dressing looks so good i really need to switch it up with my salads i cant wait to try it

    • Kristen March 7, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

      Great post! As I turn more towards being full vegan, I can definitely relate to people’s weird reactions ;) I dig your writing style and your post definitely made me laugh!

      • Bridget March 7, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

        Aw shucks. I’m glad to hear that. Thank you very much! :0)

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