If you follow my blog, you’re probably wondering where I’ve been these past few weeks. I must confess: I was considering putting Eat.Pray.Heal to the side and forgetting about it. I have a fairly successful blog about my husband and my experience with infertility–a topic I know VERY well after these past 2 years of unsuccessful fertility treatments. My husband and I originally became vegan because we were hoping it would help cure me of my fertility issues, but then in researching the vegan diet, we learned that there is so much more to being vegan than just eating healthy. We are still pretty new at the whole vegan thing, but we are learning and loving it more and more, which is why I started this second blog. I wanted to share what I learn about animal cruelty, about how my Catholic faith affects my decision to be vegan, about nutrition and exercise, about homemade and/or natural products, as well as recipes I try and love. But for some reason, the more I wrote, the more self conscious I became. What do I know about being vegan? We’ve only been vegan for half of a year. Now infertility–THAT I know! I’ve been barren for 2 years. I’ve seen several doctors, took a gazillion different medicines, had tons of different tests run, been through intrauterine insemination a few times, tried natural remedies and alternative medicine, etc. I can write about that with confidence, but veganism? What do I have to share with people? However, I’m reminded that when I first started blogging about infertility, I technically hadn’t even been diagnosed yet. My first blog post was published the night before I was to go in for a hysterosalpinogram (HSG). I won’t go into the details of what an HSG is or what I have been through since then, but you can feel free to check out my first blog post or look around that blog, which is called This Luminous Road I Travel.
Anyway, all that to say, if you actually enjoyed reading Eat.Pray.Heal and maybe even learned a thing or two, then I am sorry I let my anxiety get the best of me. I do that sometimes… But I’m back and looking forward to sharing more with you! I hope you’ll keep reading. Here’s a quick preview of this upcoming week: In honor of my husband’s aunt who just had a baby (and asked us to be the baby’s godparents!!), I’m planning to write about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in infant formula (you may have been hearing some talk about this lately because the nonprofit group, As You Sow, asked Abbott Laboratory shareholders to remove GMOs from their Similac products, which is a very popular brand of baby formula), and I’ll be trying 2 new recipes this week–a traditional Vietnamese dish made vegan and a pasta dish. If they both turn out as delicious as I’m hoping they will, then I’ll post the recipes with pictures.
Speaking of recipes, I made a really yummy Vietnamese dessert over the weekend. I didn’t take pictures, but I’ll share the recipe. It’s very simple. Vietnamese people eat a lot of something called chè. Chè refers to any sweet beverage or pudding, which is the most common type of dessert eaten by Vietnamese people. There are many kinds of chè, and I have too many favorites to list! The nice thing about chè is it’s always vegan friendly, because most people don’t have access to dairy products in Vietnam, so people typically use coconut milk instead. Also, Vietnamese desserts are not as sweet as Western desserts tend to be. This recipe is for Chè Chuối. (Chuối means banana.) Here is the recipe:
2 cups water
1/2 cup small tapioca pearls
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (the kind in a can)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
5 ripe bananas, pealed and cut into 4 parts per banana
2 Tbsp roasted, chopped peanuts to garnish (optional)
Bring the 2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the tapioca pearls and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until the tapioca pearls turn clear. Be sure to stir often so the tapioca doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn. Stir in the coconut milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Then, add the bananas and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into small dessert bowls (we use rice bowls, if you happen to have those) and if you like peanuts, you can sprinkle some on top of each bowl of dessert. Serve warm or cold.
Tip: You won’t use the whole can of coconut milk, but unless you serve all of the chè at once, you’ll want to save the coconut milk in the fridge, because if you serve yourself a bowl of leftover chè later on, you’ll want to add 1-2 tsp of coconut milk to help soften it back up (even if you reheat it, which is how I like to have it).