As a die-hard meat and cheese lover, I tend to judge those who choose to practice veganism. But when I learned about Priscilla Timberlake and Lewis Freedman’s weekly vegan, gluten-free dinners, I took it as a calling — it was time to momentarily give up my favorite food groups.
Vegan is defined as a diet that is free of animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs, etc. As I read on their website, Timberlake and Freedman have been hosting these dinners in their house on Coddington Road in Ithaca, N.Y., for more than 18 years now. If they continuously bring in a crowd, the food they were serving up had to be nothing short of delicious.
I attended my first dinner about a month ago, and I was pleasantly surprised. We were served carrot ginger soup as the appetizer; sweet and sour beans, brown rice, kale and broccoli in balsamic, sweet potato fries, cabbage and celery slaw, and carrot, beet and hiziki salad topped with peanut sauce for the main course; and an apple crumble with almond sauce for dessert. Though these were not my favorite foods, I found myself enjoying the meal — and I didn’t feel too full afterwards.
The lesson here? Veganism may surprise you. The meal gave me energy and made me feel good about what I put into my body (though I usually feel awesome when I eat cheese and the like). There are plenty of other reasons why eating vegan may be a viable dietary option for you, but giving it a try for a day like I did is relatively harmless. Like a good friend once said, “You shouldn’t yuck someone’s yum.” I sure, reluctantly, learned this later in life, but happy to have had the experience regardless.
If you’re curious and want to try some vegan dishes, check out the Pinterest board below!