When one is raised by crunchy granola hippies, there’s a certain amount of embarrassment that one must accept during the growing up process. This embarrassment stems mainly from the lack of indoor plumbing and the food that one is raised on.
I actually didn’t mind our outhouse growing up, except for at night because vampires (shout out to my oldest sister, Kirstie, for planting that in my head when I was 6) or if it was winter because burrr.
Regarding the rabbit food of my childhood and adolescence, I enjoyed it and looked forward to everything my mom cooked. A warm bowl of brown rice with nondairy milk, vanilla, nuts, fruit and a small drizzle of maple syrup was my favorite breakfast, and mom’s tofu “wish sticks” with a big side of veggies was my most requested dinner.
So personally, I dug my hippie life growing up, but it was definitely laced with moments of burying my head in my palm with a flushed face. My crimson cheeks mainly happened during lunchtime at school – I was the weirdo with veggies, fruit, whole wheat almond butter sandwiches and water, whereas the cool kids ate Kraft Cheese and Cracker Snack Packs, Kudos bars and a Capri Sun to wash it all down. My cheeks would turn equally as red when friends who were used to indoor toilets would come over to my house and play.
Here’s the thing about having hippie parents though – healthy food has been a pillar of their lifestyle for the past 40 years. And when healthy eating is a lifestyle, it’s maintained for the long haul. It’s not a diet. It’s not a flash in the pan. It’s not a phase. It’s part of your life, seamlessly woven in, just like sleep and laughter.
I was reminded of this last week when I went to visit my parents. Mom and dad’s fridge was stocked with yummy plant based food, ready for us to nosh on. Tempeh Sloppy Joes, Potato Corn Chowder, ingredients for green smoothies, Tofu Salad, sprouted bread, almond butter, tons of fruit, dark leafy greens, lots of cruciferous veggies, kombucha – everything a plant based eater could ask for.
And this wasn’t because I was in town. This is how mom’s fridge and kitchen rolls on a daily basis and has since I was born.
My parents do have indoor plumbing now, but their food has remained the same my entire life. And for this, I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart.
Because when most people my age are driving their parents to and from doctor appointments, hospitals and pharmacies, I get to drive my parents to the phone store and get them a new smartphone and to the record store and get them new music.
We get to go hiking in the desert. We go to the movies on Friday night. We get dressed up and go downtown on Saturday night. We act silly in bookstores after dinner. We wake up early and make green smoothies and do a happy dance in the living room. I give them computer lessons. We explore yummy new vegan restaurants. We book plane tickets for future visits. We act like 10 year olds at play. We laugh. We hug each other. It’s happy. It’s easy.
And this fills me with gratitude and joy because I see how vibrant, full of life and happy my parents are. And that’s exactly what we want for the people we love. We want them healthy and happy.
Simple as that.
So thank you mom and dad for always eating like you give a fuck. Your food choices for the past 40 years show and you continue to inspire me to eat plants and to help other people eat plants too.
Love, your daughter who used to be embarrassed by your crunchy hippie ways and is now 100% thankful and delighted.
Today’s recipe is the best egg salad without eggs or oil that you will find on the internet. Your search can stop here.
Eggless Egg Salad
1 (12 oz.) package extra firm tofu, water extracted (directions below)
2 celery stalks, diced
1/4 cup yellow onion, finely diced (30g)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 full recipe of this Mayo
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt and pepper to taste
- Take the tofu out of the package, rinse with water and extract as much liquid out of the tofu as possible by using a tofu press or some plates. If using plates, set the tofu on one plate and then place several more plates on top and let it set for about 20 minutes.
- When as much liquid has been extracted from the tofu as possible, place the tofu into a large bowl and mash with a fork until there are no big pieces and it’s nice and crumbly.
- Add the celery, onion and parsley and stir. Add the mayo, nutritional yeast and turmeric powder and stir again, until all of the ingredients are combined.
- Add salt and pepper to taste if needed.
Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with habits that will support you for the long haul.
p.s. I got to wear a scarf , a vest and long sleeves when I went to Arizona last week. It was a nice change from “winter” in Hawaii.
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Food photography by Christine June