The Ultimate Vegan BLT

Do you ever experience real food cravings? I’m talking about fruits, vegetables, or whole-food animal products — foods that I’d call base ingredients: raw, simple and essential. Real food cravings are surprisingly common, and I’m sure you’ve experienced this feeling or know someone who has. For example, after months of not eating beets, I’ll suddenly want beets in a salad, hummus and a smoothie. Or I’ll wake up one morning and decide that I’ll want avocado for lunch, or steak for dinner.

To me, a “real food craving” feels like an intense hankering from the gut rather than the tongue. Unlike a sugar-monster craving or a caffeine headache, it’s a controllable feeling — a gentle, yet firm request, repeatedly asked for by the body. “Beets sound SO good right now…I wonder if that cafe has the beet salad on their menu right now…” I’ve learned to listen to this bodily signal and follow-through, and each time I’m met with a deep sense of satisfaction and restoration.

The latest real food craving came during lunchtime. Well actually, it was quite a bit past lunch time and I was verging on hangry territory. I wanted a meal that was as easy and delicious as it was nutritious. And I couldn’t get the idea of dulse out of my mind. I’d picked up a packet a few days before and didn’t make it out of the parking lot without snacking on a third of the bag. My body was in need. I took the dulse packet down from the cupboard and scanned the fridge for a possible pairing. I had fresh green lettuce, gluten-free bread, smoky tempeh bacon and ripe tomatoes. Lunch would be a BLT done-up vegan-style, and I wanted it clean yet verging on sloppy-good in the middle…

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