I stepped outside my comfort zone on Saturday evening and attended a vegan potluck with a bunch of strangers (well, one of the attendees is a new-ish friend that I met a few months ago, but I don't yet know her well enough to get a feel for high her Claudia Tolerance Level is). I am so glad I went. I met some really nice people and got some good recipe ideas, too.
Normally, when I go to a potluck, I can only eat one thing: whatever I brought. Sometimes I may indulge in a handful of potato chips or scoop a handful of carrot sticks, but everything else is too scary. My relatives and church friends definitely make an attempt to make sure I can eat something, which is great. Generally speaking, though, potlucks are hard for plant-based eaters. I end up poking at dishes and yelling in the vague direction of the other attendees: "Who brought this? What's in it?"
As for my contributions to the potluck, I brought two items: a zucchini casserole and rice krispie treats. I took home empty containers, so I'm assuming my stuff was edible. In case you are wondering about the rice krispie treats . . . yes, vegan marshmallows exist. I purchased the Dandie's brand. They aren't cheap, but they're good. I actually made a double batch so that I could take some treats to church the next day, too.
As far as what I ate, I am happy to report that I tried nearly everything. I get a little nervous about eating new things because of my allergy to flax seed, but everything was deeeelicious (and I didn't have an allergic reaction, which is always bad at parties). It was also nice to hang out with people who don't think you're crazy for caring about the welfare of animals and, in fact, they care about these issues deeply, too.
I'm attending a vegan fest on the 18th. I'm really excited about that - they have speakers, food, and lots of good information. On June 13th, I'll celebrate my two-year veganversary. I've learned a lot over the past two years. Now that I know what I can eat, I need to focus on, um, eating less of it. Normally, I am not the type to take a photo of my food. However, I did take a photo of my plate at the pot luck, if for no other reason to make the point that a vegan diet is not limiting. I am sorry it took me so long to make the transition myself, but I also a firm believer that we all have to take our own path. Nudging someone to do anything rarely works. If you're toying with the idea of eating less meat, that's great. I am a fan of the Meatless Monday movement because I'm pretty sure that everyone can go for a day without meat.