Illustrations by Nancy C. Sampson

Today I am participating in a blog swap with a friend of mine from high school, Jean Ciemniecki Mead. We were in art classes together, our first class of the day, if I remember correctly. I always marveled at how perfectly her black liquid eyeliner was applied each morning.
Nowadays, Jean lives in Georgia and has a blog called “Eat Your Beans, A Vegan Mom Challenge,” which she began in June 2011. Jean documents her process of going vegan and has some great recipes posted, as well as inspiring quotes and photos. Make sure to check out the Beer Battered Tofu or the Vegan Lasagne. Jean and I are both fans of the Red Lentil Thai Chili, which I created art work for on my post on her blog today. Links and photos for recipes are throughout the post.

Hi, Jean,
What is your blog about? How did you start writing it?

I started my blog this past June, I was challenging myself to go vegan and decided that by blogging about it, I would not only be held accountable  but I might help others too. I include vegan recipes, music and book info and I rant every now and again about how difficult (but rewarding) being vegan in an omnivorous household is.


What else aside from blogging and searching out new vegan recipes do you do most days?

I work part time at the local library. I really love my job; I am surrounded by books and have a blast with the kids during story time. I am also a wife and mother of two kids, so I spend a lot of time refereeing, driving, cooking and cleaning.
 Beer Battered Tofu Recipe 
What are your guilty pleasures?
Reading. On the couch, with wine and no interruptions….it doesn’t happen often (the interruption part anyway). I love stupid horror movies, blasting music and dancing around like an idiot with my kids (or alone), and thrift store shopping.


Do you have any pets?
I have two dogs, a Belgian Malinois (German Shepard type dog) who is a 2 year old crazy toddler and a Husky mix that is 12 years old but still wrestles with the “puppy” when she gets the notion. It usually sounds like Chewbacca and the Hamburgler at a WWF smack down.


Do you have any favorites out of all of the recipes you have posted on the blog?

Yes, the Red Lentil Thai Chili. I make it every week and freeze it. Everyone I know is sick to death about hearing about it. I am also enjoying homemade miso soup.
 Red Lentil Thai Chili 

 
Any recipes that turned out to be disasters?
Yup, plenty! I have murdered quite a lot of perfectly good food. In my house, they are called “epic fails” and it usually includes a baked good. My current disaster has been vegan Yorkshire pudding. Not. Going. To. Happen.


Has your life become more creative since you began your blog? If yes, in what way(s)?

Yes! Back in High School and College, I was creative in a totally different way, very much into art and a little writing. But now, I have discovered how much I love writing and do so every chance I get.


Is there anything in particular that inspires you? (a color? a place? a person? a time of year?, etc.)

Music is my muse. I love it and listen to all types any chance I get. I would rather listen to my online radio station than watch TV at any given time.

Vegan Lasagne
Since Thanksgiving is only one week away, what are you thankful for?

I am thankful for my friend’s and family’s unwavering support in everything I try…. I am also thankful for spell check.

Do you have any advice for others who would like to go vegan?
Yes, do it! Try it! Inform yourself, read, read, read about it and try out recipes. Make small changes if you have to and eliminate one animal product at a time. If you feel that going vegan is the right thing to do for yourself, whether it is because of health reasons or animal cruelty reasons-do it and don’t let others talk you out of it. I have a list of books on my site that help and recipes on there that will get you through your cravings.


Anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for letting me share my blog with you and your readers! I always end my blog posts with a quote of the day, this one is a favorite of mine… 

“Live life fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You’re going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don’t try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.”
—Anthony Robbins
Jean in her kitchen, as she massacres fresh beets!

2 Responses to “Blog Swap: Eat Your Beans!”

  1. Agua

    Jean sounds as smart, fun and loving as you do, Nancy. What an inspiration. Thank you both for sharing.

    Reply

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