This month, as part of my company’s “Health and Wellness” month challenge, my co-workers and I have set health goals for ourselves. My challenge was to go vegan for the month – normally I am just plain old vegetarian. It’s something I did last year as well. Thus far, it’s been going so fabulous – I feel more energized, less guilty and overall have lost about 5 pounds. Here’s what I’ve been eating!
Source: Gluten Free Delightfully Delicious
This is an easy way to use up vegetables that might be going bad. I made this last night for Mark and I, and my recipe was: 4 cups of vegetable stock, a bag of corn (or maybe 2 cans), half a bag of cauliflower (or maybe 1/3 a head), half cup diced potatoes, 1 stalk celery, 1 carrot, and half a red onion (fried). For seasoning I used cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, Cajun seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. I added in way too much cayenne pepper, so Mark was coughing the whole time, but I’ve heard cayenne pepper has lots of health benefits, so that’s good! I imagine this recipe would be really good with kale and asparagus too, so throw in whatever ya got. It’s fantastic for cold weather and it’s full of yummy vitamins.
This one is delicious and better than Taco Bell! (Almost… I freaking love Taco Bell.) Heat up a skillet with a bit of olive oil and warm/toast your tortilla. Flip it over once it begins to brown. In another pan, fry up some onion and pepper. On your tortilla, add in a spread of hummus (any flavor you want – I used cilantro and jalapeno hummmus), a scoop of black beans, hot sauce, salsa, and Tofutti sour cream. Add in your fried veggies and fold it up! I like to add lots of extra hot sauce to this one because I hate my lips and want to burn them off.
Source: Canadian Health Expert
Fresh fruit and nuts
Once you get on the fresh fruit train, you might not want to get off. Chugga chugga. I’ve had a banana, apple, pear, strawberries or blueberries for breakfast almost every day and now I look so forward to it since my body has grown accustomed to it. I’m sort of obsessed with avocados and love to eat half of one with a spoon as a snack. It’s weird to think avocado is a fruit, but it totally is! And sweet mother of God, have you ever tried cocoa almonds? These are an absolute perfect vegan substitute for chocolate lovers. If you’re thinking of going vegan but could never give up chocolate, just TRY some of these.
This is a recipe from Eden, a vegan cafe in Scranton. The owner, Christian, was nice enough to cater lunch for my office and he brought turkey clubs! It’s fake bacon (some fake bacon has egg, so be sure to read the ingredients) and tofurkey, on whole wheat bread with veganaise, tomato and lettuce. It’s easy – sandwiches are usually easy… and good for picnics and crap. One of the easiest vegan “dairy/egg free” switches I made was to veganaise, so if you’re unsure of how fake dairy and eggless products are going to taste, my recommendation is to start with veganaise.
Source: The Corner Kitchen Blog
Tofu red curry
This is something I order from our local Thai restaurant, Thai Thai in Wilkes Barre, PA. It has tofu, coconut milk, bamboo shoots, string beans, eggplant, bell peppers, kaffir lime leaves and basil leaves. As long as you order it without egg and fish paste, it’s vegan! I have made similar dishes at home, but nothing ever quite like this. I am quite picky about my tofu, and do not even buy block tofu since I tend to screw it up. If you want to try to make this on your own, try this recipe.
Sausage, potato, and kale soup
I took this recipe from the Pioneer Woman and made it vegan! Silk soy milk instead of milk and cream, vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and Field Roast sausage instead of meat sausage. My recommendation is to make sure the kale is chopped up fairly fine and fry the sausage in some oil before throwing it into the soup.
Quinoa and edamame salad
I had this in the cafeteria at Wilkes University. Quinoa has a really really awesome texture and consistency and it was really filling. Fun fact: Quinoa is high in protein, low in calories, and gluten free! And for all those non-Asian people out there, edamame is Japanese word for soybean or young soybeans or something. I’m Japanese, get over it. Soy is a good source of protein and a few other good things. If you’re savvy and want to try it on your own, here’s a recipe!
Tomato and cucumber flatbread with hummus and cilantro
This is a dish I love to order in one of my favorite local restaurants, Rodanos, in Wilkes Barre, PA. it’s grilled flatbread topped with hummus, diced tomatoes, and cucumber seasoned with lemon and cilantro. I tried to make my own version of it, which was pretty good, but not as good as thee one at Rodanos. To make your own, simply smear hummus on some flatbread and dot it with diced tomatos and diced cucumbers – a perfect summer flatbread treat!
I order this from a local Indian restaurant called Lett’s Eat in Wilkes Barre, PA, and it’s just divine. Indian places are renowned for being super veg friendly. When I told the waiter that I was looking for vegan options, he pretty much read off half the menu! So delicious and so filling. Since it’s full of “9 gems” you can pick and choose which 9 vegetables or nuts you want to put in here to get all the yummy vitaminy benefits. I’ve also read good things about the turmeric it contains. Here’s a recipe if you want to try to make it on your own!
Source: Manitoba Harvest
3 bean salad
The 3 bean salad is one of the quickest and most filling things you can make. It’s cheap, full of protein and fiber, and delicious as leftovers as well if you make a whole big batch. This is also one of my favorite summertime foods, when it’s too hot too eat anything hot! Grab 3 cans of beans (cannellini, navy, black, red kidney, green, garbanzo, kidney, soy, whatever your fancy), drain and rinse. Add half a chopped red onion, a handful of some fresh chopped cilantro, parsley, and/or rosemary, some apple cider vinegar, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and voila. I usually eyeball the stuff I add in, but you don’t want it too soggy. Here’s a recipe to go by if you need one!
By the way, you can add “secret little superheroes” to many of these dishes. For example, if you’re looking to add some fiber, omega-3 healthy fatty acids which are good for the heart, or just some nutty flavor, throw some ground flaxseed in the mix. This is one of those things you can hide it in but still get the benefits.
Thanks for reading peeeps! What are your favorite vegan or vegetarian recipes?
Featured image from juicingcollection.com