54 Comments
Sep 9, 2023Liked by Michelle Albanes-Davis

It’s been nearly five years. Before that, i would pay a lot of money for locally sourced and ethically raised meat because my family balked at the idea of eating vegetarian/vegan. Then I received your first cookbook as a birthday gift and started incorporating vegan meals once or twice a week. Then I read How Not To Die and everything just finally all fell into place and I made the switch. I made vegan meals and no one but my husband made a fuss. He was kind of a dick anyway though, so now he’s my ex-husband and I’m still happily vegan!!

Expand full comment
author

Yayyyyy for outgrowing people who don’t want us to change!!!! Thanks for the laugh. I’m glad my recipes have helped along your way

Expand full comment
Sep 9, 2023Liked by Michelle Albanes-Davis

LOL at that last sentence. 🤣

Expand full comment
Sep 9, 2023Liked by Michelle Albanes-Davis

The twist ending!!!!!!

Expand full comment
Sep 9, 2023Liked by Michelle Albanes-Davis

Vegetarian since Thanksgiving 1983. My first wife and I had been eating less and less meat, following my wishes, for a long while. We had cooked up a turkey breast for the holiday, both had a slice and agreed that if we weren't going to eat any more than that, there was no point in buying any. I was also raised on a farm, hunted anything that didn't run too fast to put food on the family table and grew to identify too much with the helpless victims of that. Quit hunting at 16, yes way back in 1966. That sure wasn't popular since I wasn't shy about telling folks why. Once on my own at 18 in the military, I rarely ate meat and then only as a barely identified ingredient. Think chow hall SOS. Then 40 years ago my then wife and I made the decision to become vegetarian during the Thanksgiving of 1983. Denver was very much a cow town back then, so I learned all the ways to make nut loaf at home and was always thrilled to discover a vegetarian cookbook and learn to make tasty things at home. I adore the revolution if food and cooking that happened as being vegan became more common. I'm still a vegetarian, now living in the same home with 2 meat eaters which has its challenges although they do respect my needs in this area. We've bought every cookbook Michelle and Matt put out. They're awesome. I'm trying the next one as a kindle version as we've moved to the fruit and vegetable rich land of Costa Rica now. Can't wait to try out the new stuff.

Expand full comment
author

Amazing! I can only imagine the hell you caught for quitting hunting but I love that you stuck to your guns, so to speak lol. And now you live in such an amazing place full of great fruits and veggies. I’m EXTREMELY jealous

Expand full comment
Sep 11, 2023Liked by Michelle Albanes-Davis

Happy to be here. :D We've planted 62 fruit trees on our new place. It's fun to work on an edible landscape. And I've the animals to thank for teaching me with their very lives how cruel it all was. I really just hope that some day I'll find they forgive me since I'm still trying to make up for my errors of ignorance.

Expand full comment
Sep 9, 2023Liked by Michelle Albanes-Davis

I grew up on a farm. We grew our own beef,my bacon had names before it ended up in the freezer. It never bothered me,it just was.

Thanksgiving, 1993, my wife of almost two years looked at the bird carcass after the meal and said "I can't do that again". 30 years later,we still dont.

Thanksgiving is still my favorite holiday because I get to cook my little heart out though. Michelle's recipes have been a big part of the holiday ever since they hit the scene. 😀

Expand full comment
author

I love that you guys got on the same page like that. 30 years!!!!! So impressive and I’m glad my recipes have helped along the way

Expand full comment

It wasn't until I made the chilaquiles in book 1 that I finally found a way to make tofu taste like something other than tofu....

Expand full comment
Sep 9, 2023Liked by Michelle Albanes-Davis

My journey started over a decade ago. The more I learned, the more obvious it became how broken and harmful the food system is. The last straw for me was watching a semi trailer loaded with open air cages of turkeys racing down the highway in 90 degree weather. The birds were terrified and my heart broke. I used to get teased daily about my choices but that was ok. So happy I stuck to my choices! Thank you for all your insights and inspiration (and wonderful recipes!!)

Expand full comment
author

It’s wild how people will make fun of us because they can’t sit with their own discomfort. glad you stuck with it too

Expand full comment
Sep 9, 2023Liked by Michelle Albanes-Davis

Love your story Michelle. You’re a fucking star ⭐️

Expand full comment
author

Now I’m blushing. Thank you!

Expand full comment
Sep 9, 2023Liked by Michelle Albanes-Davis

Tried vegetarian after I moved out of my home and then caved in to the pressure and not knowing how to eat. Fast forward to 2012, getting stage 3 colon cancer and trying to figure shit out: now vegan for 10+ years, I believe it saved my life. With all my research I discovered the horrors of factory farms and was devastated. So happy to be part of a dynamic community and also be able to educate people without a “thumper” mentality or judgement of their choices.

Expand full comment
author

I’m so glad you’re ok! Yeah, I’m glad you like my anti thumper attitude. We don’t need to make people feel shitty out their choices. The door is always open for when they’re ready to change

Expand full comment
Sep 9, 2023Liked by Michelle Albanes-Davis

I went vegan the year Cowspiracy came out. I had decided to give up all meat/fish for Lent and something pushed me to sit down to watch that documentary. It really opened my eyes! I never thought I could live without cheese but I stopped that day and haven’t missed it once. I told my boyfriend (now fiancé) that I wasn’t going to eat animal products ever again, and he joined me. The positive physical change, the lightness I felt in my gut (and conscience) were enough to keep it going forever. I think a lot more people would be vegetarian or vegan if there wasn’t this weird social pressure to eat meat. So many of my friends are icked out about raw chicken or don’t like beef and I’m like... “why do you keep doing it!?”

Expand full comment
author

I say the same thing!!! If you can’t stomach any signs that meat comes from animals then you should stop eating it. I firmly believe LOTS of people would be vegetarian/vegan if we didn’t bully it out of them.

Expand full comment

Wonderful story Michelle! I went vegan the moment I watched veducated. Think its been 12/13 yrs now. Ive always loved animals but growing up in a meat and potato kind of family it never occurred to me not to eat meat. After giving it all up, it became evident that I am allergic to dairy ! So my soul is kinder and my gut is happier and no more suffering happens because if my choices

Expand full comment
author

hell yes!!! So many people are allergic to dairy and don’t realize it (I’m speaking directly to my brother-in-law lol)

Expand full comment

I did grow up in the 60s and 70s and while I struggled with allergies they did check for what.. hell we didnt use seat belts and my parents smoked in the car lol

Expand full comment
author

The kids don’t understand 😂

Expand full comment
Sep 9, 2023Liked by Michelle Albanes-Davis

Amen my Sister!

Expand full comment
Sep 9, 2023Liked by Michelle Albanes-Davis

Great article Michelle😊. It isn’t hard to start with making small changes and that’s how I got started. I began with breakfast and gradually worked my way to eating all my meals sans meat and for some strange reason I feel better imagine that huh lol!

Expand full comment
author

Exactly! Big changes can start small

Expand full comment
Sep 9, 2023Liked by Michelle Albanes-Davis

I was brought up in a “food is love” culture. My big Polish American extended family were all about food. If you loved someone you cooked for them if you lived them back you ate. How much you loved someone depending on how much you ate. My Grandmother was a phenomenal cook. Her homemade noodles drying on a table were the stuff of my dreams. But I was always told to “eat the meat not the bread”. The thought of chewing a piece of meat for what seemed like hours still gives me a gag reflux. I started to pick meat out of everything, soup, (giblets!!!) casseroles everything. And I dog was really happy about this. College was my time of reading cookbooks and cooking what I liked. When I found a recipe for braised cabbage with basmati rice and brown lentils I had found the perfect food. Then it all became a variation on that theme. I’m 64 now and I have 6 grandchildren. I’ve observed that their natural inclination is for veggies and fruits, waffles, smoothies etc. no food was ever forced at my home even raising six littles of my own. My saag paneer using tofu is a universal hit. Thanks for the great laughs and fabulous recipes that make me feel great and delight my company.

Expand full comment
author

“Food is love” is the hardest because they truly mean well! But everyone should be allowed to choose what they eat and I’m so glad you passed that lesson on. Saag paneer with tofu is such a classic!!!

Expand full comment
Sep 9, 2023Liked by Michelle Albanes-Davis

Vegetarian in 2002 after seeing a pig roast on my honeymoon. I knew I had always felt camaraderie with animals and trees, so I had to listen to my ♡ after that. Went vegan AF in 2015, until I discovered that gluten and me didn’t get along. I wobbled on the veganism as I scrambled to cook without gluten, and lost like 15 pounds. Now I’ve got it down but if I’m at a restaurant where dinner salad is my only choice in a family of omnivores, I go vegetarian. Some GF bread has eggs too, so there’s that. Would love to be vegan AF but it’s hard with a gluten intolerance.

Expand full comment
author

You’re doing your part and that’s all that matters!!!! Pig roasts have been turning people vegetarian since the dawn of time

Expand full comment
Sep 9, 2023Liked by Michelle Albanes-Davis

Been vegetarian for 49 years, raised two children who have never tasted meat, and now have two grandchildren who also have been vegetarian all their lives. Nobody who knows me questions me about it anymore because they know what they're in for if they do.

Expand full comment
author

Hahaha, ask dumb questions and see what happens lol. Love a multigenerational vegetarian family!

Expand full comment
Sep 9, 2023Liked by Michelle Albanes-Davis

And may I also add that, there are so many great resources out there to help. Starting with your cookbooks, forks over knives has a great user friendly free meal planner, and I could go on and on. We are all in this together.

Expand full comment
Sep 16, 2023·edited Sep 16, 2023Liked by Michelle Albanes-Davis

I was off & on after 15 in the late 80s learning about vegetarianism that year, met a girl at summer camp who was vegetarian. But you don't feel great with the typical teen diet of pizza & french fries so I ate meat off & on. By 20 I was mostly vegetarian and progressed quickly to stay that way. A college roommate & great friend went vegan and I learned all about that & joyfully cooked & ate vegan with her. I'm 50 now, I gave up dairy finally about 15 years ago though wasn't eating a lot of it anyway. I do eat bits of meat and dairy pizza on rare occasions, I admit, in a scavenger kind of way. I will eat a few brands of humane pasture hens eggs & local farmer eggs.

I do it for the animals also. The factory farming money making off them is horrible.

I'm disgusted when people are grossed out or offended at plant based eating. Tofu is gross, but dead meat is super fine.

I am single and don't date but its really sad of all the people I've dated almost all were heavy meat eaters. 1 was vegan but he was also a true psycho. I haven't really had vegetarian friends even since my college roommate.

Expand full comment
author

Truth be told, I’ve never dated anyone who was vegan when I met them. It makes dating annoying but luckily more people understand it now. Explaining veganism on every first date 20 years was... not fun.

Expand full comment
Sep 11, 2023Liked by Michelle Albanes-Davis

I also spent a lot of hours as a child sitting at the dinner table by myself, still refusing to eat the meat my parents had made that night. 🤢 I started eating vegetarian when I left for college and never looked back. It wasn’t easy being vegetarian on the east coast in the early 90s (when the “vegetarian option” at most restaurants was the wedge salad), but 31 years on, it’s not hard at all. We’ve come a long way, baby.

Your pan-seared tofu & peanut lime noodles is a fan fav around here! Whenever someone tells me they don’t like tofu, I make a batch. Works like a charm every time. :)

Expand full comment
author

Ughh 90s vegetarian food. I hope I never eat another portobello burger again. It’s all they offered for decades lol

Expand full comment