Teese-e Caprese Salad

As far as rules go. There are none. We only place rules upon ourselves when it comes to choosing “vegan”. We shouldn’t let others define us. Do what is in your heart as you become more educated about what or ‘who’ is on the end of your fork. What is comfortable for you? Do you jump in to a plant-based diet or make an easy transition? First you have to Un-learn all you have in order to Re-learn a new way of living. Give yourself time. Set yourself up for success. Everyone is spiritually expanding at different times. Welcome to wherever you are! Just do yourself a favor and keep seeking growth and expansion. Desire to be the example you wish to see in the world. And then be it. Unless of course, you don’t give a crap.

As I struggled through the ups and downs about what choosing vegan means to me, in the end I realize that we make up our own definition.  I make my own choices despite the influence of many opinionated vegans out there. Don’t get me wrong, I do understand why they have that opinion. But I am not perfect. I transitioned slowly and when I still ate animals, I felt that I was still a compassionate person who eventually would get to a greater place where my ethics and taste buds would finally align. Now it feels truly amazing to be in that place. I feel genuinely compassionate. I have a deep sense of release from guilt and moral schizophrenia having to do with our animal ‘friends’. I didn’t let someone else’s opinion of how or what I should do take away the satisfaction of achieving my goal. I did it! And in my own time.

I do what feels right for me and my soul and my soul’s growth for wherever I am on this journey. But I am one to think about it. Not a lot of people do. It’s about expansion. I always strive for more. Learn more, grow more. I am a spiritual seeker. And I’m real with myself. I do walk the path less traveled as do other vegans, raw foodists and spiritual seekers and it isn’t all that easy, let me tell you. The beautiful thing is that my character has really grown and strengthened due to the contrast I have been faced with as I have been choosing a vegan diet. Funny isn’t it? Choosing a kinder way and there’s an opposition felt from friends and family as you show nothing less than strength to do what they only wish they could.  But I don’t judge. I will educate and be the light. Show people how much better it is… over here. I’ll be the example I wish to see in the world and I will get in that kitchen, and serve them up something yummy!

All these deep thoughts stemmed from a conversational thread on Facebook today. I meant to start this blog post with something like “what the hell are you going to do with all of those juicy little tomatoes you have growing in the garden?” So on that note… I have an entire counter filled with tomatoes that I just picked from my garden and basil coming out my wazoo! So I threw together a vegan Caprese salad like I made for my Son’s birthday party a few weeks back. Great as a side dish to say, what I had tonight- Gardein Chick ‘n Scallopini over quinoa with fresh asparagus.

This was a salad I thought was a goner until I found the ‘cheese’ I was looking for that could be sliced and eaten like a regular hunk of mozzarella. It tastes a little different,  because it is different. Still no complaints from my party goers who helped eat the whole bowl. 

Teese-e Caprese Salad

Ingredients

2 Cups of Cherry Tomatoes, halved

1 Cup fresh Basil Leaves

1 Garlic Clove, minced

1 10 oz package of Teese brand mozzarella vegan cheese using 2/3 package, diced into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 – 1 Whole Lemon, juiced (depending on your preference)

1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Himalayan Sea Salt and Pepper to taste… I use about a 1/2 tsp of sea salt and 1/8 tsp or so pepper

*Note Teese vegan cheese is gluten free!

Directions

Toss sliced tomatoes and minced garlic in a bowl. Stack basil leaves, roll and thinly slice across the roll. Add basil and the cubed Teese cheese to the tomatoes and garlic and toss lightly. In another bowl add freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil, whisk until well blended. Add Salt and pepper to taste. Add dressing to the salad and toss lightly. Taste and adjust flavor if necessary and serve.

Enjoy,

The Karmatarian~

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