Healthy or Hungover #5

Nimai Larson

Why it sucks to be vegan

All photos by Nimai Larson

PART TWO: LUNCH

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Huy guys! I kinda felt like THIS when the Vegans came out of the woodwork and called me out for being a total bitch in my previous post!

I'm not going to apologize for tOtaLLy LoVinG McFrappes, but I'm sorry if I made you feel bad for your lifestyle choices…do your thang, gIrL!!

Does anyone else skip lunch? I normally do because brunch is my #1. But, I swear there are more choices than just dry tuna sandwiches and iced tea sweetened with Splenda for lunch. Lunch is absolutely amazing for my favorite food in the WHOLE world: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. Deciding what side dish will go with a sandwich as perfect as a grilled cheese is hard. It's like how do you even begin to choose which one of your friends you're going to tell about the Bro you made-out with at Trash Bar? How do you choose if you're going to cup your hunniez in a mega push-up bra or let them fly free? Do you feel awwkwward when you order the same drink at S-bux as the person in front of you? Do you even have a mind of your own? What if your kids don't want to go to college?? Did you blame that fart on the girl next to you in Yoga?!! Anyway. The perfect side dish to a Grilled Cheese is a Spinach, Tempeh and Brie bake.

GRILLED CHEESE AND BRIE BAKE

(makes two)

Since the Spinach, Tempeh and Brie bake is the biggest hassle, let's get it over with first!

  • 1 Cup Spinach
  • 4 Oz Tempeh
  • 3 Oz Brie
  • 4 Tbs Soy Sauce (Or Braggs Amino Acids)
  • 2 Tbs Chopped Onion
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs Chopped Garlic
  • 3 Crackers
  • For seasoning: a dash of Paprika, Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, Black Pepper
  • Butter for Buttering

I like creating fun little platters of all of my prepared ingredients. It kinda makes me feel like I'm still in art school.

After your Garlic and Onion are chopped, set aside with your washed Spinach. Tempeh is a tricky food. I like to cut mine into triangles. Heat up a cast iron skillet with the Olive Oil and chopped Garlic. Let that get a little fragrant then toss in the seasoning. Let your Tempeh brown for 2-3 minutes on both sides. Tempeh is tricky because it's so dry. Just like women. Sometimes. But don't give up!!! You just have to get that Tempeh exxxcited with some Soy Sauce or Braggs Amino Acids! Making it wet is the key (duh) to good Tempeh. So once your Tempeh is browned to your liking on both sides, squirt in the Soy Sauce and let it absorb for a couple of minutes on low heat. It'll sizzle a lot!!

Tempeh can be about as annoying as the Shins. But when you figure it out, it's SO good! Preheat the oven to 350. Now butter up two Ramekins and start layering all of the ingredients. Tempeh first, then Brie slices, then Spinach, then start again.

These Bakes can stay in the oven for about 8 minutes or when the Brie looks totally melty. While you wait, check yourself out. Are you ready for summer? Are you coveting a new BiKiNi body?? Why is the weather so crappy? People forget how to drive in this weather! It must suck to be a biker in the rain. Has anyone texted me??! Maybe I should talk to Siri about where cheap gym memberships are. Or maybe she knows where to meet guyzz?! I need to get out of New York! Wait why haven't I gotten a rai$e yet?!!! I need to gear up 4 suMMer!!!!!! WHAT'S A ZIP CAR?

Let's make those Grilled Cheeses! (double proportions for 2 sandwhiches!)

  • 2 Pieces of bread
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese (enough to cover both pieces of bread)
  • 1 Tbs Stone Ground Mustard
  • 2-4 slices of Tomato
  • Generous pad of Butter
  • Salt and Pepper for seasoning

I know Grilled Cheeses are straight forward enough and you're probably thinking “Why is Nimai about to tell me how to make this sandwhich that I can handle making when I'm trashed at 5 in the morning?” I'm telling you because I'm celebrating this sandwhich. I'm celebrating its simplicity. It's perfection. Crispy and buttery on the outside, gooey and melty on the inside, the texture of the mustard seeds add a lil crunch, and cutting the grease with tomatoes really brings it to the next level. Damn, it sucks to be vegan! I went on a diet after being vegan: All butter, all cheese, all ice cream, all whole milk in my coffee, All The Time. I'm proud to say I've been committed to this diet for almost 6 years now! And I've never looked back!!! And I feel GREAT!

Cut a generous slab of butter and let it melt in a skillet over medium heat. Place both slices of bread (one slice should be covered in Mustard, both slices covered in Sharp Cheddar Cheese, and Tomato slices somewhere) on your buttered skillet and cover for 4-5 minutes. Covering the skillet makes the cheese meltier.

I once made a grilled cheese for myself and this dude that came home with me from a dance club at 5 in the morning. I burned the SHIT out of both sandwhiches. But because I love Grilled Cheeses, I ate mine totally blackened. The dude on the other hand was super picky about his food and claimed that the sandwhich that I so sweetly (drunkedly) made him was going to give him cancer! What an asshole! Right? There are SO many other things that can give a person cancer! Smoking, tanning, drinking, non-stick pans, car exhaust, Red #5, nail polish, nail polish remover, nail salons, tanning salons, smoking, eating, drinking, reading, breathing, breathing in smoke, breathing in nail polish fumes, car fumes, working in cities, living in cities, breathing in cities, riding in planes, not eating vegetables, stressin' out, starin' at Microwaves, starin' at the sun, starin' at tanning beds, starin' at flourescent lights…I feel like all of these apply to me! But I'm still happily eating Grilled Cheese sandwiches almost everyday of my life!

Now that everything is done, cut your sandwhich in half and crumble some crackers on top of your Spinch, Tempeh and Brie bakes!

I'm so proud. This is a well rounded meal for us! The only thing missing is a bowl of ice cream, a vodka tonic and some sunshine to tan me!!!

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