Dishing it up With Diana: Vegan

By Diana Cansino
Features Editor

I walked in not expecting much. I mean it was like I kidnapped myself, and instead of going to a place filled with hamburgers, mashed potatoes and bacon, I ended up in a vegan place.
It also didn’t help that I was greeted by a tiny glass. I was hungry as hell, and the fact that the cat was taunting me, and waving its small paw back and forth really rubbed me the wrong way.
I ended up here because my vegan friend was hungry too, and I decided to sympathize with him and go eat some place where he would be able to enjoy something besides water.
So, I sat at the table and prayed … yes prayed that perhaps they had one, just one option that was made from cow parts, or any type of dairy, preferably cheese.
However, I didn’t get to finish my prayer. I was interrupted by one of the employees. I could tell he smelled fresh meat, so to speak. He had a mission; he wanted to convert me, show me the errors of my eating ways.
But, he was helpful. He gave me some options as to what would be a smooth transition to my taste buds. He said the orange pineapple “chicken” would be just like the real thing.
I decided to go that route, and luckily my friend got something called “Lemongrass Country” which looked like cow intestines, or tripas, so that we could have a smorgasbord.
As we waited for our food, our host talked about his cause. He was previously a meat eater for 25 years, and had been vegan for nine.
Trying to relate to him, I told him about how I was pig free. Until of course my friend interjected and exposed the full truth of me only being pig free for a week.
I’ve never been to a restaurant where they educate you on food, and although I don’t plan on becoming vegan or vegetarian, at least not anytime soon, his arguments were valid.
He said his transition was mental. That he simply told his brain, no more meat, and just like that he gave it up. He told us how he realized that meat is the leading cause of our climate change. All the tools used in the slaughter, transportation and packaging leave a tremendous carbon footprint.
Finally, our meals arrived. Although, the meal looked like orange chicken, it completely fooled me and caught me off guard. It wasn’t like any chicken that I’ve ever tasted; it as if they only added the batter and forgot to put any substance on the inside.
I did, however, fall in love with the lemongrass, cow intestine lookalike dish that my friend had gotten. It tasted fantastic.
Our host was so impressed that I’d given vegan food a chance that he provided us dessert. With our mini sized spoons we dug into the dessert. A three layered cake. It was by no means what I’m used to but it wasn’t my usual homemade burnt cookies, so I was grateful for that.
It was fulfilling, probably because it was the first time I ate slowly, but still it did the trick. I think vegan food is something that has potential in my food life. So save a cow and eat a veggie.


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