Keeping Vegan

After completing w5d2 of c25k

My second weekend as a card carrying vegan went pretty well. I ate a lot of cereal and soy milk for breakfast. One day for lunch I had a delicious veggie sandwich with roasted red pepper hummus. On Saturday, I made this pretty awesome Veggie Tofu Pot Pie. The orginal recipe calls for things like red carrots, and sweet potatoes. I live in alaska. We don’t have things like that. We do have organic vegetables, so I figured that was a good start.

In the parts where the recipe calls for sweet potato in the mix, I used two small red potatoes and roasted them at the same time as the rest of the vegetables. I forgot the liquid for the tofu, so I spilled some Alaska Summer beer in the pan about 10 minutes after I put the cubes in the oven (same time as the other vegetables; different pan) and mixed it around a bit. It worked well enough.

For the dough, it calls for roasted pumpkin seeds and more sweet potato. I replaced the seeds with slivered almonds, and threw in a small Yukon Gold potato that I mashed with some agave syrup. I don’t think it worked out nearly as well as the sweet potato would have, but upon tasting it, I nearly forgot. It was savory and delicious. I was a little worried when I pulled it out of the oven because it smelled quite wheaty.

Sunday night I got it into my head that I would make pizza for dinner, and then realized that I had no yeast. I looked up a no yeast pizza dough, but couldn’t find much in the way of good results. But I tried one anyway. Instead of making it a vegetable pizza, I decided to go with cinnamon sticks. Very early in the process, I made two large errors:

1) I put the “butter” on before baking.
2) I put the cinnamon sugar mix on the butter before baking as well.

I also added a bit of sugar to the crust make it taste more “desertty”, and two tsps nooch for the nutritional quality. Gotta get that protein where I can, right?

It turned out quite cardboardy and healthy tasting. I then spend then next hour trying to figure out how to make a chocolate frosting without powdered sugar, because nothing says NOT HEALTHY like chocolate frosting.

I couldn’t.

So I went to the store and bought some, and the frosting turned out to taste quite good. Unfortunately I believe there was some fiber in those bars because my stomach was begging for me to call it a night.

All in all, being vegan isn’t nearly as difficult as I’d assume it’d be. I’ve said no to all sorts of random unhealthy delicious items because they all generally include milk. Its been kind of life changing. Think of all the calories I’ve said no to, simply because they don’t fit within my diet?

What I am noticing however, is I’m looking for all sorts of ways to include those extra calories back into my regular choices of food… thus the chocolate frosting. I’m not as hungry as I was last week, so thats good. I think I just needed the adjustment.

BBQ tempeh wings- YUM

I’ve made two forays into tofu and both times I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much I didn’t detest it. I’m still not ready to say I like it, but not hating it on contact is a pretty good start. I’ve even tried tempeh for the first time, To learn it is quite delicious and will highly recommend that you DO NOT eat the entire 8 oz. block yourself. Especially before Harry Potter.

This week I’d like to make a concerted effort to eat the kelp noodles I bought. They scare me because they’re clear, they’re referred to as kelp, and even though the package states they have a neutral flavor, did I mention they’re made of KELP?

Have you ventured into the realm of kelp noodles? Any ideas as to what the heck I should do with them?

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Last nights dinner

Last night I walked home from work, just missing the giant rain clouds above, and made an incredible salad. It included mixed greens, grapes, feta, chik patty, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, and home made Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette, which was just to die for.

I looked up a couple of recipes and then just decided to make my own.

Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1 cup strawberries, tops removed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 pinch flaxseeds
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parsley flakes
  • Basil flakes

I chopped the fresh strawberries, mixed all the ingredients in a blender, and processed until smooth. It turned out creamy and delicious. Makes about 1.5 cups.

  I kind of want to put it on everything.

Todays salad will probably be a replica. I’m pretty excited. And now, off to #fitblog!

Accidental Shepard’s Pie

 For dinner tonight, I thought I would make Shepard’s Pie, vegetarian style. As I started cooking the ingredients, one by one, I added them to the pot, until it was time to make the mashed potatoes. I reached into my cupboard for the instant flakes, just to shake the box and realize it was nearly empty. There wasn’t nearly enough to make 1 serving, let alone enough for an entire casserole dish. Lucky for me, the yams/sweet potatoes (I can never tell which is which- these had the dark skin) from thanksgiving that I forgot to make were still good so I threw them in the microwave.

This was really my first time making sweet potatoes for something that didn’t involve brown sugar so I was kind of worried how they would turn out. I also don’t think I had ever microwaved them before, so that was an experience.  Once I peeled the skins, I mashed in a two tablespoons of butter, a half cup of almond milk, salt pepper, paprika, poultry seasoning, and garlic powder. I’ve never tasted such a savory potato. So good.

I threw a bit of cheese on top (I had to restrain myself- it was so hard to not pile on three cups worth, but I did it!) and baked it for 30 minutes. I don’t know if this is how you’re supposed to make it, but its how I’m going to continue making it, that’s for sure!

Recipe:
Preheat oven to 375f
1 bag vegetarian meat crumbles
1 cup corn nibbles
1 cup peas
1 cup broccoli
1/2 cup random veggies you think would be awesome. Go ahead, and surprise yourself. Beans, maybe?
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 packet of onion soup mix
1-2 tablespoon french dressing
salt and pepper to taste

3-4 yams/sweet potatoes
2-3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika to taste.

Mix the first list, cook thoroughly, adding the cream of mushroom and soup mix towards the end. Feel free to experiment. Mash the potatoes and what not. Spread the filling into a casserole dish, top with potatoes and spread evenly. Top potatoes with cheddar or perhaps a mozzarella blend. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy. Try to keep yourself from having seconds.