So about a week ago myself and a fellow blogger decided that we would take on the challenge of being vegan for a week. And that is was- a challenge! I have never tried to be a vegan before because I love milk, yogurt, cheese, and eggs! I mean one of my favorite foods is pizza… how could I go vegan?!!! Well I did it! Doesn’t this look amazing… you’ll hear more later!!!
I documented my journey throughout the week to share with you and Carlie, my blogger pal who did the challenge with me, from riceandrepeat.com, will be guest posting about her experience coming soon.
Ok, so being a Vegan is WAY HARD! I mean at first I was like, “I’ve tried being a vegetarian before and it wasn’t as bad, this will be fine..” yeah, no! Although it was hard I enjoyed the journey and learning more about myself through it. I am not one that likes to cook much and usually, especially during the school year, I am way too busy to prep and make food. Luckily I am doing this challenge over the summer where my schedule is a lot more lax. I would say if you are going to be a vegetarian or a vegan, prepping is super important and will help you a lot when it comes to making the actual recipe. Trust me, do it… cuz you will be starving and will want to make your food fast!!! ( this is from my experience). So here are a couple tips:
- Prep your food. Do it.. you will be glad you did! Cut up your fruits and veggies. I went ahead and cut up eveything after grocery shopping and I was so glad that I did. Dave and I would get really hungry in-between meals during this vegan challenge and it was nice to have some veggies to snack on in between meals and have them ready for the meals.
- Prep your recipes or think through your meals- This will help you save money. Think about buying things that you can use in multiple meals.
- Research, Research. Because this challenge happened so fast, I didn’t have much time to really research how to get more protein, ingredients and what’s in them, and what restaurants have vegan options. It was quite an interesting experience trying to do the challenge at the same time of researching and learning. Thank the Lord for Pinterest and for Instagram!!!
- Go to a vegan/ vegetarian friendly grocery! Some of the stores actually have tags up that tell you if the food is vegan friendly… saves so much time and energy! Thank you, Ruby’s!!!
While I am super happy 😁to be able done with the challenge, there are a couple recipes that I would like to continue making and I will continue to think about what I am putting in my body… it is super important. Throughout this time, I felt overall pretty healthy.
Recipes I enjoyed and will try and make again: Enjoy!!!!
Breakfast: Easy Easy
Coffee- I had to do black since I couldn’t have creamer… although I did see that there are a couple creamers you can buy if you are a “cream with a little coffee” person, depending upon where I buy the coffee. The last time I went all black coffee was in college when I was poor and didn’t want to spend my money on creamer.
Avocado Toast– Yum! I love avocado and this was so good! 😀
Granola/ Fruit bowl- Granola-lots of berries (I did Strawberries, Blackberries, and Raspberries) add some bananas, almond milk, and top with chia seeds and coconut flakes! You could add whatever kind of fruit you like… add some kiwi’s like the first photo! So good!
Humus/ Avocado Sandwich– Toast some Grainy bread, spread some humus ( i got some garlic humus), cut and spread the avocado, Sliced tomatoes, add sprouts, and viola.
Vegan tacos– pinto beans, rice, spices, cilantro and onions to top, top off with the cilantro lime sauce, or top with your fav hot sauce or jalopenos
Here’s the recipe:
8-10 corn tortillas
Fresh onion, diced
Pinto Bean Filling
2 (15oz) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup rice or grain of choice, precooked
1 cup veggie broth
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon himalayan pink salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon paprika
optional: 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
optional: 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
optional: cayenne, to taste
Cilantro Lime Sauce
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, packed & divided
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juice, about 3 limes
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon maple syrup
- If you haven’t presoaked the cashews for at least 2 hours you can quick soak them. Boil 1 cup of water. Once boiling, turn off the heat and toss in the cashews. Allow to soak for about 10 minutes.
- Pinto Bean Filling:
- Place all the bean filling ingredients into a saucepan. Simmer the bean mix over medium heat for 8-10 min, stirring occasionally.
- While the beans cook, prep the sauce and dice the pinion.
- Once most of the liquid in the beans has evaporated, mash a few of them to thicken the filing. Continue cooking over low heat until desired thickness. If they become too dry add a bit more veggie broth, or water.
- Cilantro Lime Sauce:
- Place all the ingredients, except 1/2 of the cilantro, in a high speed blender or Nutri-Bullet. Blend on high until the sauce is creamy.
- Add the remaining cilantro and pulse a few times. Don’t over blend, you’ll want to leave flecks of cilantro. If needed, add more non-dairy milk for desired consistency. I usually ad a bit more for a thinner sauce.
- To Assemble Tacos:
- Place a scoop of bean mix on the tortilla. Top with cilantro lime sauce, diced onion and fresh cilantro. Serve along side chips and salsa or Spanish rice.
Recipe Type: Dinner, Lunch
Find more great recipes from Marlena of Whereyougetyourprotein blog:
Vegetable Stir- Fry with Tofu and Sesame Ginger Sauce
We used noodles instead of rice, since we had been eating a lot of rice
- 1 packet frozen brown rice
- 1/2 1 package firm tofu
- 2 cup chopped vegetables
- 1/4 cup seasame ginger dressing or tahini dressing
STEP 1 Cook rice in the microwave for 3 minutes, or follow instructions on package
Cube tofu into 1-inch squares. Microwave vegetables for 2-3 minutes, until tender.
On a skillet, heat 1/4 cup sesame ginger dressing. Add vegetables and tofu and mix to coat vegetables and tofu in sauce and heat tofu, about 3-4 minutes.
Place rice in a bowl or on a plate, and scoop vegetable and tofu mix onto rice. Add hot sauce or more sesame ginger dressing, if desired.
You can get some more awesome recipes from Katherine Baker at http://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/vegan-meals-under-30-dollars-at-trader-joes
Super Easy- Dr. Praeger’s Black Bean Quinoa Veggie Burgers
I cooked the burger in a skillet, and ate inside a pita. ( Couldn’t eat the burger with a burger bun due to it not being vegan, but next time, I am totally eating it like that).
Eating out while doing challenge-
One of the biggest challenges was trying to eat out! Living in Springfield, there are not many places that are vegan friendly and so it was really hard to figure out what I could eat. One thing I would eat again out and about was this amazing indian cuisine- It was Vegan and had tons of veggies in a spicy sauce with rice and Naan! Yum!
If you’re interested in more, make sure you stop by Carlie’s blog (riceandrepeat.com) for the interview and check back here to hear about Carlie’s journey!!! Till next time… Have an awesome day and remember You’re awesome!!!