Friday, August 16, 2013

Touring Vegan To Tour Cheap And What It Means To You

Yes. It's been a while. Things were thinging. You know how it is.

This post was spurred by a Facebook post by Laura Wilson. She asked our resident vegan human guy dude about stuff.

Mostly:

Hall I have a serious question for you as a musician and a fellow non meat eater. What was your tour diet like and how easy was it to find a way to keep vegan. I have a friend on tour right now complaining of not eating right and not being able to exercise, but I know as a vegan, you probably had a harder time. I'm putting this question on the Thira page so other vege/vegan musicians can see too 

And typity type tip tappity typing away Kayden (that's me!!!) started shouting with his letter fingers and word arms on his fancy, clicky computer bumper letter thing attached to his internet connected video box and mashed this for your faces. Well, mostly your seeing eye orb balls. SCIENCE!!!!

Preface: it's remarkably easy to let yourself eat like a deranged person on tour. No and/or poor planning will immediately handicap you. I am guilty. All of us in Thira are guilty. We have also done it as correctly as we have found how. With that in mind, here is my response:

Kayden here. I could write a book on this. No... several paragraphs... So, I'll do that. Philosophy aside, touring with vegan foodstuffs is advantageous for financial reasons. Also, conveniently tasty.

I don't think that was the spirit of your question, and for that Hall Palkovich will be able to talk to you about turning your rider provisions into vegan fair, but for the impatient I've learned some things through observation during our tour together:

Be humble. Be nice. Talk to the kitchen directly without pretense. You will inevitably play markets where even vegetarian dishes are rare. Don't trouble the server. Instead, talk to the kitchen. Check the menu for potential ingredients. Use common sense. Don't ask for tempeh at the BBQ joint. Don't try to convert anyone while you're there. But, if you read the menu and figure out what they're working with you could talk with the cooks and have yourself a wonderful and tasty dish instead of ordering fries, limp green beans, etc. etc. from the sides menu. Again.  Who knows, the cooks could be looking for an excuse to get creative. Chances are you're in the venue when it's slow.
/rant

Here is the vegan for everybody stuff:

There is a simple, tasty and - in the long run - inexpensive DIY vegan option. 

Get 2 decent rice cookers. Seriously, spend good money on these. Carry dried beans, dry rice, rotel(or other canned tasty, seasoned vegetable medley), tortillas and your favorite flavor sauce. We recommend Siracha (make sure it's the rooster stuff. Some of them contain anchovies.)

Rice cookers are amazing for cooking dried beans. If you can pre-soak them it's wonderful. It only takes a couple of hours. If you can't, they're still dabombshit. Plenty of recipes/instructions online. Also, they're just tasty-murdersex on lentils.

Get the beans started anytime you have electrical access and start the rice at an appropriate interval after or at the same time. When they're both cooked mix them with the rotel and sirracha to taste (both of these should have enough salt in them so hopefully no need for further seasoning). Roll up in the tortilla and consume. Add hemp seed or chia seed to the rice when it's almost done for bonus points. Also, buy oranges. Oranges are foreveralmost. Throw in a bag of almonds in the van pantry and it's a goddamned party.

The advantages you ask?

Dry goods.

Dry = lighter. Water is heavy. Pint's a pound the world 'round.
Dry = does not rot (during the relevant time frame).
Dry = no fridge.
Dry is cheaper than canned.
Meat and fresh consumables will not keep in a hot van - oranges notwithstanding. Pears will straight up murder your family.

The cooked business will keep overnight + the next day depending on how hot it is in the vehicle.

Trust me. I was the "cook" for our last tour and have been nominated to do it again.

In reference to Laura's post above: Hall did not have a difficult time keeping vegan (or whatever the appropriate verb might be).  See above for why not.

-Kayden

P.S. perhaps we'll address the "not being able to exercise" issue in another post. I'll consult Coz on this one, but I would guess the person in question has never done push-ups in a gas station parking lot during a fuel stop. Yeah, fuck perhaps. We're doing this post.  Coming soon: Working Out On Tour and What It Means To You.

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