Lots of Vegan Eats

I have been a little absent lately because I have been trying to accomplish things around the house before the school year starts again. I made the choice (mistake?) to begin stripping the kitchen cabinets so I can sand and repaint. I keep underestimating the amount of time things are going to take, so now I am kind of like please, please, let me get this done before school begins.

Anyway, just because I have been slaving around the house doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking up a vegan storm. Tomorrow is our one month anniversary of veganism, and I’m not quite sure exactly how to celebrate. I may just make a bomb ass vegan dessert… maybe a cake?

I feel this anniversary pretty deeply, because I feel like this is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I feel so good about this choice, and happy that I am able to make a positive impact on animal welfare and the environment but changing what I put in my mouth. I tested J by posing the following hypothetical: “If we broke up would you still be vegan?”

He didn’t even think about it before he said, “of course”. I was pleasantly surprised by his commitment. I think we both feel the positive changes this is making in our life. Even if I still have only lost ONE pound. Most likely because I have given up animal products I have not given up sweets.

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So, I can’t blame veganism for this weight stale-mate. In other news, let’s get into some of the delicious food I’ve eaten recently.

Breakfast this morning: Turmeric Oatmeal

Yes, this oatmeal does look like Big Bird, but it tasted delicious.

Super easy to make. Just oatmeal, two chopped dates, 1 teaspoon of turmeric and a chopped banana to top!

 

Dinner Last Night: Kale Caesar Salad

Made this baby topped with:

  • sautéed red peppers and mushrooms (in veggie broth)
  • Ezekiel Bread Croutons (simple to make, just toss croutons with salt, pepper, veggie broth, parsley and bake at 400 for about 5 min, check often so they don’t burn)
  • Tempeh in peanut sauce (via minimalist baker)
  • Homemade fake Caesar Dressing, which was:
    • 1/4 cup silken tofu
    • brown spicy mustard
    • lemon juice
    • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
    • Honestly, I just kind of made this up, tasting and adjusting seasoning as necessary)

Tofu and Brocolli with Brown Rice

This awesome recipe came from minimalist baker as well, I believe. Super simple to make and delicious.

Have an awesome day 🙂

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Day 20 🎉

I can’t believe that J and I have hit day 20 of being veg-heads already. I haven’t posted in a few days, but you know I’ve been cooking.

My Minimalist Baker Cookbook came and I’ve been nomming my way through that baby, with a few of my own random things mixed in. Below are the meals I remembered to take pictures of (I am just to hungry to think sometimes!)

Stir Fry with Crispy Tofu

Can I just say that I am developing a real love for tofu. When you crisp it in the oven it just has such a good texture. I marinated it basically all day and because tofu is a sponge, it soaked up all the marinade and was ridiculously delicious.

 

This was my smoothie bowl to celebrate day 20. After continuing to read How Not To Die I have been trying to follow the daily dozen that Greger came up with (great iphone app if you are interested, or check out the daily dozen here), so I included both Chia Seeds and Flaxseed in this smoothie bowl to help me tick off some boxes in the daily dozen.

Ingrediants:

  • Three handfuls of greens.
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 scoop vegan protein powder

DONE!

Below was tonight’s dinner. Again from Minimalist Baker, I adapted her Thai Sweet Potato Recipe. Her recipe didn’t include the kidney beans, but I opened a can during my lunch and figured, what the hell, throw it in the mix.

I also added the purple cabbage as another nod to Dr. Greger and his daily dozen. I don’t really eat as many of the cruciferous veggies as I should (broccoli and cauliflower just aren’t my go to mix ins, even though I like them) and I had this purple cabbage so I figured why not.

I cooked it over medium heat with enough vegetable broth to coat the bottom of the pan and 2 tbsp red wine vinegar. I wasn’t sure how it would go, but it added a really nice tangy flavor to cut the sweetness of the tahini sauce. I would give this one like 9 thumbs up if I had them.

I also skipped the extra seasoning of the legumes and just cooked them with a little garlic powder in veggie broth. I figured why add extra flavor on them when I have the tahini sauce. Honestly, I didn’t miss the seasoning on them.


I have really been enjoying being vegan. I feel more happy about the food I am eating, and fulfilled that I am making a choice that isn’t harming animals or the environment. I know it has only been 20 days, but I don’t even crave animal products. It is strange, but I don’t feel any need or urge of any kind to go back.

I have always been an ice cream, cake, cookies person, but I have found myself craving less, or happy to make my own vegan creations. Also where I used to binge, and eat 5-6 cookies instead of 1-2, now I find myself more able to stop. Perhaps because my body is getting so much of what it needs that it doesn’t feel the need to crave things… or maybe my taste buds are changing. I don’t really know, but I know I am happy and feel good.

I am disappointed I haven’t lost any weight, because I definitely have some I could stand to lose, but I realized two days ago that I am simply eating too many calories– too much food. The past two days I started using fitness pal just to get an idea of how much I am eating and it has helped me make better choices.

Anyhoo, here is to 20 days! To many more vegan-iversaries in the future!

Choco-Kale Smoothie Bowl

After the gym this morning (buh-bye 450 calories!), I decided to make another smoothie bowl because the last one was delicious. The result was this green beauty:

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I felt like I deserved it after completing the running workout at OrangeTheory, which was a run row combination that was both terrible and wonderful at the same time (Terrible because OW, and wonderful because endorphins). While on the weight floor the coach actually put a cone on my back while we were doing planks and told us if I dropped it we would start over. Not to brag, but like I basically saved the world today with my minute long plank. In other words, I DESERVED a little yum-yum in my life.

If you also deserve a little yum-yum in your life (I think that is getting vaguely creepy, and I will stop saying it now), then you can check out the recipe below.

Choco-Kale Smoothie Bowl Recipe

  • 3 handfuls spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup cashewgurt (or other non-dairy yogurt, preferably unsweetened)
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 date, pitted
  • 1 TBSP almond butter
  • 1 TBSP chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup-1 cup almond milk unsweetened. (I’d start with 1/2 cup and up it if necessary to create desired thickness)

For lunch I made some purple potato, brown rice noodles and ate leftover coconut curry from last night. I thought it made for a colorful and delicious lunch.

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The recipe for the curry ramen came from Minimalist Baker, which is quickly becoming my favorite go to when I want a new recipe. I will admit that I didn’t precisely follow her version and instead used it as a kind of clean-out-my-fridge, free-for-all. In other words, my version also included celery, huge amounts of kale, a leek, and a half a cup of cannellini beans that I had, just you know, lying around). I am happy to report that the curry-miso combo was enough to make even my mish-mash taste delicious.

Which is why during a weak moment I may have ordered the Minimalist Baker cookbook.

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And yes, I looked exactly like the above picture when pressing the “submit order” button. Hot, I know.

Ending thoughts: I swear I am eating more delicious food now that I am vegan than I did before. I only hope I can keep this up when school is back in session. I believe I can-I believe I can.

Have a TUURRRIFIC Thursday!

Smoothie Bowl: Chocolate Almond Butter

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Today I made my first smoothie bowl and man was it YUM. I used a recipe in Runner’s World as a basis, but it was not vegan, so I had to go slightly rogue. It was super easy to make and I had all the ingredients on hand already, which is the best kind of recipe.

Normally after working out ( I do OrangeTheory) I like to use protein powder. I have found I am less sore the next day, and it helps me to get enough nutrition which I struggle with at breakfast and lunch.

Vegan Chocolate Almond Butter Smoothie Bowl

  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 pitted date
  • 1 scoop protein powder
    • (I use NitroFusion Chocolate Protein Powder, which is vegan)
    • ((I didn’t add any cacao because my protein powder is chocolate, but if yours isn’t I would add about one tbsp of cocoa/cacao in)
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Toppings: Knock yourself out! I used a hemp granola, blueberries and raspberries

Directions:

  1. Blend all of the ingredients (minus toppings). Scoop that ish into a bowl and top away. (Easy right)

 

Vegan Lentil and Bean Chili


I found a few versions of this recipe online, with my favorite version from littlebroken.com. I ended up marrying a few of the options and adding a thing or two of my own to make sure it fit my specifications.

Like I mentioned earlier, I have been trying to cook without a lot of added oil, so I sautéd with veggie broth here (works like a dream!). This recipe was delicious and I would DEF make again.

It’s weird, because in the past when I would try low carb diets it was always so hard. I figured giving up animals products would be more difficult than giving up carbs. Turns out veganism (for me) is way easier. I love cooking with grains and legumes, and I feel like there is just so much variety to be had.

Ingredients
  • 1, diced Red Pepper
  • 1, diced Green Pepper
  • 4, large diced Garlic Cloves
  • 2 cups Lentils
  • 1 can Cannellini or Black Beans
  • 5 diced Tomatoes
  • 1, diced Jalapeno Pepper
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 4 TBSP Chili Powder
  • 1 TBSP Garlic Powder
  • To taste Salt and Pepper
  • 32 oz Vegetable Brot
  • 3 Handfuls Spinach
Instructions
1. Dice garlic, peppers and tomatoes. Soak lentils and beans in cold water. Rinse.
2. Add a splash of veggie broth to a large stock pot and then toss in garlic and peppers.
Cook for 5 minutes until tender (add more veggie broth if necessary)
3. Add chili pepper and garlic pepper. Cook for additional minute.
4. Pour in broth plus 1 cup of water. Add lentil, beans, bay leaf and spinach.
5. Bring to a boil and then lower to a low simmer. Cook for 45 minutes covered, checking every 15 that there is enough liquid remaining (Lentils will absorb). Add more liquid if necessary.
6. When lentils are tender, remove bay leaf. Pour half the mixture into blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour back into the pot, stir and serve.
***I garnished with vegan cheese, but you could also throw some avocado, tofutti sour cream or other extra on top.
Details

Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 45 mins Total time: 1 hour Yield: 4

Veggie Broth

I feel like people may already know this but….

Since going Vegan I use a lot of veggie broth. For one thing, I’ve been attempting to cut down on oils and I can’t cook with butter, so I need something to juice up the sauté (grossest phrase I’ve ever written? Maybe), and veggie broth is a nice way to do that. Plus, soup.

Anyway, I read in one book that an easy way to save money is to make your own broth. What I have been doing now is just tossing scraps or veggies almost past their prime into a gallon ziplock in the freezer. When I need veggie broth I just do the following:

  1. Dump all the scraps into a big pot
  2. Fill it with water and add 1/2 TBSP-1 TBSP sea salt (depends on how much broth you like with your salt)
  3. Bring that ish to a boil
  4. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 35-45 minutes.

After that I pour it into canning jars and keep it in the fridge or into ziplocks and freeze it. It is simple, gets me more mileage out of my vegetables and saves money $$$$$. Plus, it is easy to accomplish when I am already cooking bulk grains like quinoa or rice.

VIOLA!

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