In a past life – oh, about eleven years ago now – I was an office manager at a small non-profit in Washington, DC. I walked to work and to the grocery store. My running path was the C & O Canal. Occasionally on Saturday mornings I would take the metro to the Mall and take in a museum or two. I wore nice clothes and had more purses and shoes than any one person should. Before living in the Nation’s Capitol, I worked at a well-known law school, at a direct marketing firm, and at a think-tank a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean. I’ve moved from Ohio to California to Colorado, back to California and on to Russia for a stint; then Armenia, Iraq, Massachusetts, and the aforementioned DC.
City life was starting to wear thin, as was packing and moving. My husband, Kel, and I were looking for space – lots of space – quiet, the Milky Way, coyotes, and the kind of freedom not found on the city streets. So we did what people have been doing for generations. We moved west. To the wilds of Oklahoma.
Now my “nice clothes” hang neglected in the closet. I prefer my Carhartts and Bogs. I’ve given away most of my shoes and purses. There are no streetlights here or traffic jams. No lunch hours, car alarms or neighbors. There is time for walking the pastures with our dogs, Ike and Willa, puttering in the kitchen, reading, and other simple pleasures. I like this life very much.
An Unrefined Vegan is…
Unbleached, unprocessed and cruelty-free: unrefined plant-based, whole food recipes to nurture body, brain and conscience.
I know I’m not the only one who thinks about lunch while eating breakfast; who falls asleep creating recipes; who makes it their noble goal to try to come even a little bit close to their mother’s flaky pie crust (or chocolate cake, or chili, or pancakes…); who has enough cookbooks and recipes squirreled away to last several life times; who tries (and sometimes fails) to eat as healthfully as possible while also eating as deliciously as possible; who can no longer justify – for health and ethical reasons – the consumption or use of animal products. These are the reasons why I created An Unrefined Vegan.
All of the recipes in these pages are plant-based – meaning that they contain absolutely no animal products. Many of the recipes are also free of oil and of refined products such as white flour and white sugar – though there are a few here and there. I don’t buy or eat processed foods and I aim for ingredients to be as “whole” as possible. You might notice an emphasis on sweets and desserts. That doesn’t mean that my meals consist mainly of cookies and pies. I just happen to enjoy making (and eating and sharing) them more than other dishes. Call it a weakness. Or perhaps, the camera just loves sweets better.
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