And in doing so, I am also choosing to take this opportunity to address a question that I am asked almost daily; am I vegan?
Short answer? Nope. But I was.
I haven't followed a strictly plant-based diet in several years actually. Wha?!? Yep, people, I am not 100% raw, vegan, or even vegetarian these days. And I refuse to put a label on myself, or try to fit into any one dietary grouping. I am no longer comfortable identifying myself in that way, or living in a restricted way at all. I did that long enough when ED (my eating disorder) was my (un)trusty sidekick.
Because I am an ever-evolving, ever-learning being, my food choices are also constantly adapting. I am a 35 year old woman with thoughts of getting pregnant in the future. I want to age gracefully, and enter my mid-life with a balanced body, buzzing with vitality. With my storied health history of too many drugs, booze, and bulimia, certain things have been knocked out of whack in my body. My hormones were (are still) a disaster. And a vegan diet was just not supporting my healing, fast enough. And besides, how I eat is no one's business but my own anyhow (funny that I am posting this, hey? I have never been one for privacy. #openbook).
The fact is, I have not considered myself vegan for some time now, and when clients who choose to work with me ask about how I eat, some are surprised to hear that I sometimes cook my food (ha!), and enjoy eggs, good cheese and locally caught fish on occasion. I have even had some organic chicken in the last few months (although not recently, as my heart and soul's desires still win out over my body when it comes to living breathing animals). Do I think in general we all need to eat less animal protein, and am I behind the ethical treatment of animals? Hell yes. Do I support factory farming and turn a blind eye to all that our race is destroying in order to feed the need for beef, eggs, chicken, pork etc? Fuck no. But I am not here to start that conversation, nor am I writing this to start a fight. I am just being my truth.
So while my diet is still primarily plant-based and raw and vegan food is still my passion and specialty (and my means to get folks to eat the rainbow!), I do chose to eat and cook certain non-vegan foods for me and my clients. To put it into perspective however, in reality most who select me as their culinary provider adhere to pretty plant-powered regimens anyhow. So that makes things super simple for me!
I was put here on this earth to encourage you to eat more vegetables and fruits, nourish your body with love, and to be aware. That's all. And sometimes you might (or might not) like to see what I am up to in the non-vegan realm, and so this is my notice that I am going to start sharing some of that here too.
Dijon Dill Shrimp Skewers
This quick cooking protein dish comes together in the flash of a pan (or 'que).
What you Need
1 1/2pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tbsp olive oil
Metal or soaked wooden skewers
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch sea salt
What you do
Soak wooden skewers in water 30 min (reduces burning of the sticks). Preheat grill to med/high. (see below for oven cook method, no skewers needed)
Combine all marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the shrimp and combine well with your hands to coat all the shrimp in the sauce. Skewer the shrimps through head and tail, careful to not overcrowd the skewer.
Place skewers on the BBQ and grill with the lid closed for about 2 minutes per side or just until cooked through and no longer transparent. Remove shrimp from grill. Don’t overcook!
Stove top method: Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until nicely browned on the bottom. Flip each shrimp over and cook for about 1 min more.