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Vegan Week One: Food

How is everyone feeling? Any major slips? Any new concerns? Overall I am having so much fun in the kitchen. A statement I never would have dreamed myself uttering just a few short years ago!! Be sure to share your links and questions below…

I have slipped two times thus far and both were after seeing hubby pull out the ice cream. I suddenly found myself salivating and just could not get the thought out of my head. Instead of making myself crazy or creating guilt, I had a small serving and left it at that. This is what I want everyone to remember about the challenge: it is here to help you make changes, to make you healthier and happier, not to create unnecessary stress or worry about failure.

I wanted to make a few different things this week to keep giving everyone new ideas. I am a fairly simple cook and for most of you on the go I think this works out perfectly!

VEGAN GOES MEXICAN
I’m not sure when my southwest kick started, but I have definitely been craving it for awhile now. I was satisfying it with big salads of spinach, black beans, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, onions, salsa and avocado….but I really wanted to work some lentils in this week.

SO it was time to experiment with lentils for taco meat. Inspired by OhSheGlows, I made my own taco “meat”.YUM!! If David hadn’t seen me make this I probably could have stuffed it in a burrito for him to eat and he wouldn't have realized it was a meatless meal.

I am huge fan of cooking for multiple meals at one time, so I also sautéed up some green peppers, mushrooms and onions to have enough for both tacos and salads this week..

Vegan  Taco Meat

Ingredients
  • 1 cup soaked and cooked lentils
  • 1 cup red beans
  • 1/2 cup pureed carrots (a la sneaky chef)
  • oregano
  • chili pepper
  • paprika
  • cumin
  • garlic salt
  • black pepper
Directions
1. Adjust total qty of beans for how large you want the batch to be
2. Put all ingredients in food processor and pulse
3. I like it really spicy, so start with 1/2 tsp each and adjust...I used a lot more :)

Soak your lentils before cooking. TIP: Just dump them in a bowl with water before heading to work or bed.

EASY BLACK BEAN CHILI
Sunday after a little time at the beach I found myself hungry with no meals in the house, whooops! I made a quick decision and opened a can of Amy’s Organic Black bean chili then diced up some onion, tomato, red pepper and green pepper to make it a think veggie based chili! This has made an appearance on top of spinach a couple times.

TEMPEH
DSCN3198Many folks think of tofu as the main protein source for non-meat eaters, but as you can see from the bean recipes above that’s just not true! Tempeh is another example that I have come to really enjoy for it’s flexibility.

Tempeh is made from the soybean, but is less processed that tofu and therefore has protein that is more easily digested and contains fiber (what meat can claim that?).

As with anything soy look for Organic and non-gmo to ensure it is the best quality and has no weird chemicals.

This time I made another random collection of food look like a meal. I sautéed the tempeh then added in spicy mustard, shredded broccoli and served it over kale.

When I was down to the end, I decided to eat it over a sweet potato so that I could bulk up the meal and mmmm was it satisfying. I believe I’ll be eating the other half of that sweet potato tonight!
RANDOM EATSGreen smoothies are making a daily appearance because they are a tasty way to get in protein and veggies! My goal is to try and switch up the veggies occasionally to ensure that I’m getting a wide variety of greens. I have also been adding in mango or pineapple instead of just banana…but really I love bananas. I’m also still stuck on my Vega Sport protein, so I try to save these for after a workout to help me recover.

CHIA! I have had a container of chia seeds patiently staring out me from the cabinet for ages and only now did I start eating it and of course ran out almost instantly once I did. No worries the bulk bins saved me! Chia seed pudding is a great breakfast or pre-workout snack because of the protein and fiber.

Chia Seed Pudding 

Ingredients
  • 1 scoop chia seeds
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • ….and of course the occasional scoop of Once Again Nut Butter doesn’t hurt.
Mix and enjoy!

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