My Vegan Metamorphosis

June 30, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan Vegan Style

My Vegan Metamorphosis


It is hard to believe I have now been vegan for over two months. Honestly, I never thought I would make it this long.

Last night I was listening to Lennon's “Watching the Wheels” and started thinking about how John Lennon was experiencing a metamorphosis when he wrote that song. Then I realized I have also undergone a metamorphosis of sorts.

That got me thinking about Nietzsche's three metamorphoses and the stages of spirituality we can experience if we find a way to open ourselves up to it.

Nietzsche describes the three metamorphoses as the three stages the spirit goes through to achieve a certain completion and peace.

First there is the camel who is always doing what is required of him and is full of self-doubt. The camel seeks the opinions of others and offers to carry everyone's burden but just before the last straw is added, the camel rises to its feet and runs into the desert.

When the camel is confronted by a dragon called “Thou Shalt” he turns into a lion to fight him off. Finally, after defeating the dragon, the lion turns into a child.

The camel is about being a good. The lion is rebellion and ego. The child is the new stage of creativity and wisdompure and open.

I think Nietzsche believed that we are responsible for our own metamorphosis.

Being vegan is a new stage in my life and has opened me up to new experiences. I am starting to believe that when you eat dead animals, you can destroy your own nature.

So does becoming a vegan make you a more advanced person??? Not sure about that but it wouldn't surprise me.

For me, for now, being vegan is a quest for purity and simplicity,  and I think it has spilled over into other areas of my life. The other day, with so much to do, I stopped and did something for the pure joy of it and it felt so good. I don't think I would have done that two months ago.

I credit my new self-awareness. It still isn't easy to be a vegan, but every day gets easier and food isn't at the center of my universe anymore. As I go into my third month, I have added another eating challenge called camping in the woods.

What do vegans eat on camping trips? Heck if I know but I am up for the challenge. Wish me luck.

The Vegan Metamorphasis Jen's Healthy Eggplant Parmesan - Ordinary Vegan Style w Daiya vegan cheese
Recipe type: Entree
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus 1 tbsp for oiling the baking sheet)
  • 2 large eggplant (about 2 lbs)
  • 2 cups basic tomato sauce
  • fresh basil leaves chiffonade
  • ½ cup fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs toasted in the oven until toasty brown
  • 8-16 ounces grated vegan mozzarella
  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Oil a baking sheet
  3. slice each eggplant into 6 pieces about 1 to 1½ inches thick - lightly season each slice with salt and pepper. Bake the eggplant at 450 degrees until the slices begin turning deep brown on top - about 12-15 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the oven. Remove the slices from the baking sheet and place on plate to cool.
  4. Lower oven temp to 350 degrees
  5. In an 8 by 12 inch brownie pan, place the 4 largest eggplant slice evenly spaced apart. Over each slice, spread ¼ cup of tomato sauce and sprinkle with a teaspoon of basil. Sprinkle with the grated mozzarella. Place the smaller slices of eggplant over each of the disks and repeat with tomato sauce, basil and the mozzarella. Repeat the layering again until all the ingredients are used.
  6. Sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs over the top of the eggplant dish and bake uncovered until the cheese melts and the top turns a light brown (about 20 minutes) Serve immediately.

Basic Tomato Sauce
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • one onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 tbsp dried
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 28 ounce cans peeled whole tomatoes crushed (either pre-crushed or crushed by hand)
  1. In 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light. Add the thyme, sugar and tomatoes and bring to a boil stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Yields 4 cups



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