I thought I might do an "I gave up veganism because seriously, you can't get enough protein without teh meatz!!!!" April Fool's post but this morning I had trouble contacting the pre-vegan portion of my brain that most likely once upon a time adhered to a similar and ridiculous miseducation.

Instead, one more time for the cheap seats in the back, I thought I'd elaborate on my favourite vegan-friendly protein - a big pot of beans slowly simmered (never canned) with a light seasoning, some mushrooms (oh my GOD, more protein!?) and leeks.

Leeks are an often neglected produce aisle delicacy but are a fairly convenient alternative to the traditional onion. Provided they are stored properly, they can last up to a couple months in your refrigerator.

Combined with the simmered beans, some cremini mushrooms, thyme and tarragon this becomes a hearty but light bean dish. The recipe is from Veganomicon and you can find a digitial copy by clicking here.

Now, vega(wo)man cannot live on beans alone, and Nava Atlas' recipe for Cheese Grits with Corn from Vegan Express (sorry, no digital copy - buy the book!) makes a wonderful accompaniment. Although I am fairly certain that I used the wrong kind of grits.

Here in the Great White North, we aren't all that up to the happenings of southern cooking. I searched high and low for standard issue grits and found nothing (and by high and low I mean I went to two stores, got frustrated, and gave up). Instead, I used "corn grits" which are always in abundance in Kitchener stores and, as an avid polenta enthusiast, my kitchen cupboard.

If you haven't tried mixing Daiya into your polenta/grits/heaven in a bowl yet, you are missing out!

While they may have been the wrong kind of grits, I think that for those of us living in northern towns, corn grits are a fine substitution, especially since you are mixing corn kernals into the final product anyway.

So, there you have it. Beans are where I get my protein, and grits/polenta are where I get my joy.

And if you're still looking for a prank to pull today, might I suggest some Gardein, some Daiya, telling your favourite omnivore that they are eating meat and cheese and then surprising them with how EASY and AMAZING and FULFILLING la vida vegan is?!


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