Birthday Food

Ah well, it’s a bit after the fact, but I just thought I’d share some food that happened on my birthday… two weeks ago… because I’m still thinking about it… and I just polished off the last piece of leftover birthday cake and don’t want the fun to end 🙂

My mom took me to an adorable French restaurant in Webster Groves called Cyrano’s for birthday lunch, and I was delighted to see they had a couple vegetarian and vegan options. I went with their house-made quinoa veggie burger and fries, and oh my, was it ever delicious. It came with a tangy tahini sauce that blew my mind. Mother, a vegetarian, had a grilled portabella burger with a delicious carrot slaw on the side. I tried hers and it was fantastically flavorful as well!

I was so satisfied after eating half the burger and fries, I took home the other half for leftovers the next day. Heck yes! Plus, had to save room for dessert…

…complete with a sparkler candle on top! No singing, though. Keep it classy. It was an apple spice cake, and I saved leftovers of that as well. Can you tell I love leftovers a lil bit?

Dinner was Ethiopian cuisine with my friend Natasha at one of our favorite restaurants, Meskerem–lentil samosas, followed by the best dish in the world, the vegetarian sampler platter. Unfortunately, I got so caught up in the food of the moment, I forgot to take photos. But if you’ve never had Ethiopian food, you are missing out! The flavors are out of this world, perfectly blended, and deeply satisfying. Injera bread rocks.

I had a lovely celebration with my family a couple days later with takeout from my favorite Thai restaurant, Addie’s Thai House, and my mom even baked a vegan chocolate cake with chocolate ganache that was soooo moist and delicious. I love her! The rest of my omnivorous family was very impressed, as was I. Look how cute.

All in all, best birthday eats ever. I felt so spoiled. Thanks for reading!

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Compassion

[Visiting friendly cows on my birthday exactly one year ago. They went crazy with happiness when I picked handfuls of clover and fed it to them.]

The cow is one of my favorite animals. Since about age 13, I’ve been enamoured by its peaceful essence and strong beauty. The huge head is awesome. The bellowing cry is both soothing and powerful. There is a dreamy magic about the cow. Have you ever smelled a cow’s breath? I have, and truth be told, I kinda like it. It smells green like the earth. And there was nothing I would rather have been doing on my 25th birthday than listening to their soft, continuous munching on grass in the quiet countryside of lower Saxony.

Now I really have to wonder why—why would I ever desire such a creature to be killed for the sole purpose of being my dinner, or confined to a stall and kept constantly pregnant to produce my milk and cheese? I loved cows for several years before I became vegan, and I always did feel uncomfortable with the idea that animals were killed to be my food, but I never thought twice about downing a big hamburger or a bowl of beef stew. Eating animal products just seemed like the normal and reasonable thing to do.

And I believe this has to do with my growing up under the teaching of the notion that animals are on this planet to be our food, to be ruled and controlled and killed by humans—that they “belong” to us, so they are ours to do with what we will. This is an idea that some societies, particularly the Western world, have taken way too far, to the point of unbelievable mass cruelty. We can deny and justify and ignore all we want (we’re good at that). Ignorance may be bliss for us, but it is undoubtedly pain for them.

To put it succinctly—there have been circumstances in history (which may still exist in some places) where killing and farming animals for food was necessary to human survival. This is no longer the case in most parts of the world. The fact is that most people simply do not need animal protein to have a nutritious, healthy diet. I like this article, written by a dietician, on possible deficiencies and recommended supplements for a plant-based diet–unbiased and helpful.

Considering this fact, along with the tremendous amount of suffering that most livestock endures for the purpose human consumption (not to mention the hugely detrimental effects on environment and health), is what really sent me over the edge to make the decision to stop eating animal products entirely,  If I don’t need to contribute to the suffering of animals, whom I appreciate and respect, why on Earth should I? And no denial here—your dollar is your vote.

“We are the consumer, the demand, and the fuel for ever industry we choose to support.” -O.W.

I choose compassion and respect.

Welcome, asparagus, German machines, and handstands

Hello, friends! Welcome to the unveiling of my blog site, Healthy Minimalist. I’ve been planning this new beginning for a while now–something that would express the core interests I feel are essential to who I am and what I’d like to develop more. Healthy Minimalist is a platform dedicated to: ideas for cutting unnecessary burdensome things from our lives, simplifying how we think about food and fitness, creating delicious wholesome recipes, photography, tips for saving money, and thoughts on balance, beauty, and nature. And probably a few silly random things here and there.

I’m sure we have a lot to learn from each other in the conversations to come, and I’m really excited to share these important aspects of my life with the online community.

To get started, a few facts about me:

Name: Jamee
Age: 26
Favorite color: Definitely blue
Favorite vegetable: can I add an ‘s’ to that? Spinach, butternut squash, artichoke, and asparagus… please?
Favorite fruit: s. Blueberry, apple, banana, avocado (pretty sure that’s a fruit).
Favorite appliance: The Braun Kitchen Machine I got for my birthday. It does everything. The beauty of German engineering.
Favorite season: Duh. Autumn.
Hidden talents: Memorizing song lyrics and melodies, handstands, organizing, building forts, not spending money.
Last movie watched: Peter and Vandy
Last book read: You Are Not a Stranger Here by Adam Haslett
Last concert: Al Green at the Roots n Blues n BBQ festival
Last country visited: DEUTSCHLAND

I’ll be moving a few old posts from my previous site that I think are appropriate to this new vision, so stay tuned. And please do follow, subscribe, save, comment, like, or however you feel inclined to connect. Let’s be friends. Thanks for reading!