Archive for kickstart

Days 7-11: A Summary

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 17, 2010 by smalltownhealth

I’ve kept very busy this week and completely neglected my blog; my apologies. Along with a few standard meals (oatmeal, veggie sammiches, soup, etc), I ventured out into unknown vegan territorycheese. Keep reading to find out if it was a delicious vegan win, or a disastrous fail.

Random meal pictures of the week:

Grilled Portobello Burger

I need a bigger mouth–this was heaven in a bun.

Ate the Whole Bowl 5 Bean Salad

Raspberry Sorbet–a little treat.

Tempeh/Broccoli Stir-Fry

Mac-n-Cheese FAIL:

Yes, you read that right; it was a major FAIL. It was creamy, and it looked like it would be delicious. It was not. Perhaps it is because I LOVE macaroni & cheese, and I know what the real thing is supposed to taste like. Perhaps it is because I had high expectations. Perhaps vegans just don’t know mac-n-cheese. I blame it on all three. I tried to flavor-it-up a bit with some red onions and black beans…not happening. I ate it anyways, but I’ll never make it again.

Last night, I redeemed myself with Sweet Potato, Black Bean Enchiladas. Sounds crazy, but it was the best meal I’d had all week! Definitely a recipe to keep in rotation:

Sweet Potato Goodness

Plus Beans

Plus Cheese (Veggie, of course) = Vegan FTW!!!

Trust me, you want to copy this down:

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas
1 can green enchilada sauce
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed & drained
3-4 cloves garlic; minced
juice of 1 big lime
2 heaping cups cooked sweet potatoes, smashed a bit
1/2 cup chipped roasted green chiles
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder or curry powder (I used Mexi-style hot chili powder)
sea salt & black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp (or more) fresh cilantro; chopped
shredded cheese to top
8 white corn tortillas (or Ezekiel tortillas–YUM!)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour 1/4 can of chile sauce in bottom of casserole dish.
Beans: in a small bowl, combine black beans, garlic, and lime juice. Toss to coat, and set aside.
Sweet Potato Mixture: Combine sweet potatoes, green chiles, spices, salt & pepper, and cilantro.
To assemble: Place a warmed tortilla in dish w/ sauce. Top tortilla with 1/8 of bean mixture and 1/8 of sweet potato mixture. Roll it up. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Top with the remaining chile sauce, and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Devour.

While this whole vegan kickstart started off a breeze, I’m beginning to regret it. However, I’m on day 12–9 more days to go. To put it bluntly, there no way I could be a vegan for life. No way. I miss seafood the most. Cheese. Yogurt. Eggs. I will not miss making 6 meals a day–my kids and husband are not following along on this vegan adventure. Do I think that a vegan diet is the healthiest diet? Short answer: no. How can a diet lacking an essential vitamin (B12) be a healthy one? Of course there are B12 fortified foods available to vegans–all are processed–not my cuppa tea. For more info on B12, CLICK HERE.

So, I’m counting down. Nine more days. There’s a nip in the air lately, and I’m in the mood for some beef stew. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about the pumpkin pie!

🙂

Day 2: Dinnertime, and the Vegan is Easy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2010 by smalltownhealth

Day 2 of the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart: Almost out of fruit, wanting some Ezekiel 4:9 tortillas, and a mad craving for chocolate–time to shop. First stop, Kroger. Managed to pick up some cheap organic/gluten-free cereal for the kiddos, some wasabi powder, a couple loaves of Ezekiel 4:9 bread (on sale, plus coupons!), and some vegan soups (on sale, too, of course). I had planned on picking up some veggie burgers, but a quick glance at the ingredients (MSG!) changed my mind pretty quickly. I’ll make my own. This decision led me to my friendly neighborhood health food store.

There, I grabbed some TVP (texturized vegetable protein) for my veg burgers, some nutritional yeast, and the bargain of the day–Ezekiel 4:9 tortillas ($3 less than at Kroger!). That store has so many goodies, I could stay there all day. Alas, one more stop.

Meijer! This is where I stocked up on everything else for the week. Tons of fruits/veggies, some quinoa hiding way on the back of the shelf, navy beans, pinto beans, refried beans (vegetarian), black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans (that’s a lot of beans!), plus a few other necessities.

Three stores, one shopping cart, and two baskets later I was finally ready to go home. I hadn’t even had lunch yet (thanks, in part, to my filling breakfast of leftover oatmeal. It was 3:30–might as well make an early dinner. Grocery shopping night is always taco night in our house. They’re fast and easy, and most importantly delicious. The husband and kids had grass-fed beef tacos. I, being the good 21-Day vegan that I am, had portobello soft tacos w/ all the fixin’s.

Oh, avocado, how I love thee. ❤

I suppose I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m not a fan of MSG, and you shouldn’t be, either. Those little taco seasoning packets at the store are LOADED with it! After many failed attempts at making my own seasoning that actually tasted yummy, I finally found one. Trust me, this is the last taco seasoning recipe you’ll ever need. You’re welcome, in advance.

Nacho Mama’s Taco Seasoning
1 Tbsp chili powder (I use Hot Mexican-Style Chili Powder)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cornstarch or flour (to thicken and keep from clumping)
Adjust the red pepper flakes to your heat preference. Add 2-3 Tbsp of seasoning per lb of meat. To make it thick and saucy, after seasoning has been added to meat, stir in 1/3 cup water.

There you have it! Also, for all you cheese lovers (myself included!), I added a few slices of avocado to my tacos tonight and never even missed the cheese. Their creamy texture makes for an excellent mayonnaise substitute as well.

Green Goodness

Final thoughts for the day?

  1. Read your labels. MSG is hiding everywhere–be sure to know its aliases, too!
  2. Eat beans and oatmeal (not together, ew)–cheap and filling.
  3. Avocados are your friend.

Eat on, foodies.

Day 1: The Veginning

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2010 by smalltownhealth

The day has finally arrived: Day 1 of the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart. After a weekend full of roasted meatiness (read: Annual Family Pig Roast), I am beyond ready to go vegan. Looking back, four chickens and sausage stuffing all sewn up into a pig on a spit DOES seem a little over-the-top.

And how could someone eat something with a face as cute as this?

Poor piggy. Let the conscious, cruelty-free eating begin.

For breakfast: a bowl of ooey gooey apple-cinnamon oatmeal with raisins, walnuts, and a wee-tad bit of maple syrup.

So filling, I couldn’t finish the entire bowl.

For lunch: a portabella, onion, pepper, and spinach wrap w/ spicy homemade salsa. Simply scrumptious.

Portabella fajita? Yes, please!

And finally, for dinner: Tofu/Veggie Stir-Fry

With homemade tofu, no less! 🙂

Today was a breeze. I did catch myself one time reaching for the carton of cottage cheese to snack on–oops. No worries. I grabbed some nuts and raisins instead–satisfied. Twenty more days and tons of recipes to look forward to! This is gonna be a piece of (vegan) cake.

Oh, and if you see anything you like, drop me a comment and I’ll post the recipe!

Until tomorrow, food lovers.