Italian Eggplant Pasta

Half way through today I realized that it’s my veganniversary. I’ve been vegan for 5 years now. I’m pretty excited about it. I’m looking forward to a time when I’ve been vegan longer than not.

I thought I’d share this little recipe that I made the other night. It’s inspired by eggplant cacciatore, but there aren’t any bell peppers. So I’m not sure what to call it, but it’s delicious and you should make it. Maybe I’ll call it Super Yummy Eggplant Pasta Thing. What do you think?

Anyway, here’s the recipe, maybe you can come up with a name.

Super Yummy Eggplant Pasta Thing

  • 1 eggplant, chopped into bite size cubes
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 small head of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 26 oz jar of marinara sauce
  • pasta of your choice
  • olive oil

Begin with the eggplant by salting the pieces and letting them sweat while you prepare the other ingredients.

Put on a large pot of salted water to boil for your pasta. Cook according to the instructions for your particular pasta. I only recommend doing this first since I made an entire package of penne and the water took forever to boil on my spare burner.

Heat about 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Once the oil has warmed, add in the onion. Saute until it has softened. Add in the garlic and stir until it becomes fragrant.

Add the marinara and spices into the pan, stiring together. Reduce heat and let simmer. A note here, my marinara had basil already in it, but if yours doesn’t you may want to add 1/2 tsp.

Rinse your eggplant of salt and dry. It doesn’t have to be bone dry, just get most of the water droplets off.

While the sauce is simmering, in another pan, heat some more oil and add in the eggplant. Saute until the eggplant is slightly browned and softened.

Combine the sauce and the eggplant in whichever has the larger pan. Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes. That’s it!

You can either mix with all the pasta or serve as a chunky sauce on top.

Four years of being vegan

carrot cake cupcake

Happy veganniversary to me! Today celebrates the four year anniversary of me being vegan. I can honestly say that becoming vegan has changed my life significantly for the better and is without a doubt one of the more life altering decisions I’ve made. Though making the switch from being a vegetarian to vegan wasn’t that dramatic in and of itself, the resulting changes in my lifestyle have come to shape who I am. I find so much joy in experimenting in the kitchen and there are few things that calm me more than baking. I have made so many awesome friends in the vegan community through this little blog that really just started out as something to motivate myself.

In the past four years I’ve learned to be proud of my choice to be vegan as the more I learn, the more it is reinforced in my mind that it is undoubtedly the best option. Whereas I used to shy away from conversations with non-vegans on the issue, I’m now happy to point out many of the benefits¬† of veganism and even happier to tell people about all the really amazing vegan food and restaurants out there.

Every day I try to be a better vegan. This means not only trying to eat a diverse diet (it is even easier now than ever to get vegan junk food) but also being conscious of my choices outside of what I eat. I do the best I can without driving myself crazy. In a world where nearly everything is processed and manufactured it’s not always possible to know every element of the production of an item, but I try my best to be aware.

I’m so glad that I get to be a vegan blogger, a vegan baker, a vegan filmmaker, a vegan cyclist. I’m so happy that I’ve met so many of you and learned so much from your vegan adventures. So I insist, celebrate with me and go eat something damn delicious, because nothing tastes better than being vegan.

Happy Veganniversary

Today is the three year anniversary of me going vegan! Yay!

Even if it’s not so exciting for everyone else I’m going to tell everyone my going vegan story.

I decided to become vegetarian at age 13 to “save the animals.” Honestly at that point meat did not interest me at all and I had a really difficult time knowing I was eating something that had been alive. My mother insisted I continue to eat fish but other than my parents were pretty much uninvolved in what I ate. This meant that as a vegetarian I did not have a very diverse diet. For most of my teenage years I ate mostly cereal, grilled cheese sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies, pasta and Dr. Pepper. Oh yes, lots and lots of carbs. Although I had tried more ethnic foods than a lot of people, they weren’t a regular staple. Except for sushi. Which I have to admit I was obsessed with (and still am in its vegan forms). I finally stopped eating fish when I was 17.

As I got older I started learning more about cooking and about veganism. I made some simple switches to soy milk and earth balance but thought that going completely vegan would be too hard for me. My biggest problem was my sweet tooth. I just hadn’t had many good vegan desserts and I couldn’t imagine living without them. Though for the most part I ate vegan and cooked vegan I still didn’t think I could do it. At the same time, having learned more about factory farming, I was having a lot of guilt whenever I ate things that weren’t vegan.

When I was 21 I went backpacking in Europe for a month and a half. The entire trip my diet consisted almost entirely of bread and cheese. It felt horrible. The day after I got home I decided that I had to go vegan. I made a resolution that if I were going to do it, it had to be for at least a year. That year came and went and I could never imagine myself going back.

Being vegan has changed my life immensely for the better. I cook all the time, and bake even more. For me this is so rewarding. I feel like having this connection with my food makes me appreciate it even more. Going out to eat at restaurant with vegan food is exciting, it’s not just something that you have to do. Despite having staple foods that I eat a lot, my diet is so much more diverse than it has ever been. I’ve also leaned so much about all the things that I eat. I feel better eating the food without the guilt of another animal’s suffering or the gross things in non-vegan food. I’m also extremely fortunate to have a vegan boyfriend so we get to make treats together, which makes things that much more fun.

Anyway, I’ll get back to more fun photo posts soon. I have been bad at updating lately, and have a little backlog of pictures to post. Eep!