31 Days to Veganize: Day 7

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Nightly Meal: Leftover Tamales and Raw Bread with Hummus

This is week one of the 31 Days series and I have to say, it’s going pretty well. My hope is that I continue strong and with interesting content.

Today, I wanted to say that to have the option of what type of food I choose to eat and what I feed my family is a rare gift. Most of the world is limited to what is available at the market or garden(if they have one), because selection is limited to the season in which items grows. Where I live and for most people in America, we are abundantly blessed with choices. The choice of quantity and quality are effortless. Effortless, because we can walk into a grocery store and there are isles and isles of food boxed, frozen, fresh, or baked and it’s in one place. This is not the norm in most of the world. So, all that to say, I never want to forget that my choice to have a different or restricting diet is a blessing. A gift.

On a lighter note, here are a few pictures of my kitchen over the weekend.

 

Making Pumpkin Tamales

Making Pumpkin Tamales

 

Roasted Carrots Beets and Eggplant

Roasted Carrots Beets and Eggplant

 

Facon(my sons cute nickname for vegan bacon), eggs(still had a few left), boiling chickpeas for hummus and salad topping, and pinto beans for a bean dip.

Facon(my sons cute nickname for vegan bacon), eggs(still had a few left), boiling chickpeas for hummus and salad topping, and pinto beans for a bean dip.

 

 

31 Days to Veganize: Day 6

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Nightly Meal: Pumpkin Tamales with a green salad.

During the week, usually, I am too busy to eat properly throughout the day. I may have a cup of coffee, if I am lucky, by 10 and then nothing else until my daughter gets home for school. At that point, I will binge on whatever I can get my hands on, healthy or not. To help me to be more consistent with proper calorie intake, I thought I would come up with a list of snack options to grab on the go.

Snack or Small Meal Ideas:

Last night I finished up making a vegan bread in the dehydrator and will be making hummus and a bean dip  to make a sandwich with. So many good ideas.

 

31 Days to Veganize: Day 5

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Nightly Meal: Black bean and Green Chili Tamales, Tomato Onion Soup, and a Beet Salad.

Grocery Shopping 101:

It looks like it’s going to cost more for a while. Some of the items needed to make most of these meals, I just don’t have on hand and It will take time to make over my pantry. I will also be hyper vigilant on produce sales, by what’s in season.

Here are some of my favorite vegan items thus far:

Earths Balance Butter

Earth Balance Butter Sticks

Tofuti Sour Cream and Cream Cheese

Tofutti Cream Cheese

Daiya Cheese Products

Any Cheese from Daiya is delicious.

 

So Delicious Coconut Ice Cream

Ice Cream

Have a great Saturday everyone!

 

31 Days to Veganize: Day 4

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Nightly Meal: We went out for dinner to our local brew pub and hubby and I split a vegan veggie burger and it was delish!

 

Let us talk tamales.

Tamales

Black Bean and Green Chili Tamales

Tamales are very versatile and can be filled with any number of ingredients.

Here is a great link with different filling combinations. Easy Vegan Tamales

My son likes the black bean and green chile combo, my daughter likes the pumpkin, and hubby and I like both.

These tamales are great because you can make a large batch, serve half for dinner and freeze the rest for another night.

When I served these, I set out Tofuti sour cream and my jarred salsa verde. The salsa verde is tart and spicy and pairs perfectly with any type of Tamale.

Tomorrow, I will venture my way to go food shopping. I am diving knee deep into 7 days of plant based meals and I am eager to see how much I spend. I have a feeling that with the purchasing of alternative meat products my bill could be about the same or a little more.

31 Days to Veganize: Day 3

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Nightly Meal: Bread and Fake Butter. *We were fasting and praying last night with our church. To help the kids, we skipped a large meal for bread and butter.

 

I have two kids, my son is eleven and my daughter is 8. My kids are fairly used to my food antics. As a whole, we have been on one food extreme to the other. I have been very open with them on why we are going vegan, making sure they know that this decision is to help our bodies become more healthy and energized. My son freaked out! Literally had a melt down. He was sad to loose his bacon. It’s hard giving up things we love, even if they are not the best for us. Here is what I have found to be helpful in transitioning our family.

Include Them:

I talked to my kids and I am working hard to make them apart of the process. I asked them for input on the recipes I put on the meal plan. I have also explained what a plant based diet vs. other diets means for us as a family and for our bodies.

Give Choices:

I gave my kids the option of eating non-vegan when they are at friends house or if we are out to eat. It’s ultimately their choice on how they treat their bodies. I can control this in the house, but if they have the option outside of home they won’t have the pressure to rebel against the idea and may choose to keep with eating vegan. **This is an experiment, just like anything when raising kids.**

Don’t:

Call meat or dairy alternatives fake! My son is going around calling everything fake. Fake butter, fake bacon, fake apples. Everything is now fake. It sounds so wrong. I explained to him that the alternative is still real food and just made with ingredients other than meat.

Know:

Every meal is going to be a risk until you know what your family likes. Don’t be afraid to try something new. When I served pumpkin tamales for dinner the other night, I was sure my daughter would hate them. Boy was I wrong! She loved them and wants them again and again. Kids will surprise you.

William

William at the farm

 

Birana and Her Violin

Birana and Her Violin

31 Days to Veganiz: Day 2

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Tonights Meal:Tacos made with soy crumbles, cheddar(trying to use up), lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and salsa. Dessert: Green Tomato Cake *For the cake I subbed regular flour for oat flour and for the eggs flax)

I have two words for you, recipe research and two more, meal plan! It’s been helpful for me to put together a two week meal plan. To do this I have called on a fellow Veganite and I have spent a bit of time on Pinterest.

One of my treasured friends is an experienced vegan, wife, and mother to four girls. She has blessed me with her time by sending me her favorite recipes with tips and tricks. Also, she has recently taught me to preserve food and make tamales, but more on that another day.

Pinterest is great for recipes. It’s like creating small personalized cookbooks with the bonus of having a picture with each recipe. I’m not very good at creating dishes from scratch, so a recipe is imperative for my family to have a tasty meal.

Below is my current meal plan, with links.

Day 1: Bulgogi Style Tofu served over Rice and a green veggie

Day 2: Vegetable Lentil Loaf with salad and broccoli

Day 3: Pumpkin Alfredo with salad

Day 4: Onion Rings with sliced red peppers and salad

Day 5: Tempeh BLTA

Day 6: Summer Vegetable Tian

Day 7: Satay Pizza

Day 8: Vegan Mac and Cheese

Day 9: Unfried Green tomatoes on Sandwhiches

Day 10: Spiced Chickpea Jackets 

Day 11: Chow Mein

Day 12: Quinoa Tacos

Day 13: Mac and Cheese, again. This is a different recipe(in attempt to find the best one).

Day 14: Black Bean and Vegetable Cottage Pie

If you would like to follow me on Pinterest, there is a little button to the right that will bring you to my boards. I am trying to make it more attractive, but this is a work in progress.

31 Days to Veganize Day 1

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Vegan: The Practice of abstaining from the use of animal products particularly in diet, as well as following an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals. The follower of veganisn is known as a vegan. Wikipedia

My personal definition:

Excluding meat, animal fats, dairy, and (mostly) eggs and gluten. I will include honey and occasionally chicken eggs from happy fat hens raised by my friends.

Am I allowed to call myself a vegan with these exceptions? I like to be humored, so let’s say yes.

Along with this diet transformation, I would like to make an overhaul on household and hygiene products by making them at home with safe ingredients.

For the next 30 days I will walk you through my journey of revamping my diet from a little bit of everything to a whole lot of fruits, veggies, and grains. I am a take it slow gal and I am most likely to achieve my goal by slowly processing the steps to take. My food stock pile currently has animal products mingled in, in an attempt to keep from wasting food, I will use up the ingredients and disregard purchasing it again or find replacements for the ingredients.

Did I mention I will be bringing my husband and two kids along on this adventure with me? I want, my kids especially, to learn how to take care of there bodies and part of that is learning self control, portion control, and denying their taste buds of the desirable. If they can learn to sometime say no to their third sweet serving of the day or to listen when their stomachs are satiated, they will have longevity in their healthy eating habits.

Is this a permanent lifestyle change?

I don’t know. It will mostly depend on how my body reacts. From the time I was 18 until 21 I was vegetarian and at my heaviest. That said, I didn’t exercise and I ate tons of cheese and pasta. My plan is to wait and observe.

Challenges:

  1. Finding alternatives to our favorite meals
  2. Kid lunches
  3. Finding alternatives to certain ingredients
  4. Finding adequate recipes
  5. Getting over the one protein two veggies and a starch that I am used to mimicking my menu to
  6. Eating out or at a hosts meal
  7. Fear of the unknown(I hope it taste good)

Thank you for joining me!

31 Days to Veganize

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Tonight marks a new series that will follow my journey on revamping my diet and transforming to the world or vegetables! Join me as I move from a diet of animals to not and how it effects my body, family, and outlook on food.

My Perfect Cup

I aim to have one cup of coffee a day. I have come to love the taste and I don’t want to give it up, but I do think it needs to be enjoyed in moderation. Caffeine has a bad rapt and rightly so, in large amounts it can be damaging to the liver, brain, immune system, effect hormones, the heart, and other places that I won’t go into. So for me, it’s important to get that one 8 oz. cup perfect.

There are many different ways to brew coffee, the standard coffee machine that comes in as little as four cups and up, a french press, pour over, and my favorite the Aero Press. The Aero Press is a simple, easy to clean and store, system that uses air and pressure to extract that velvety goodness right into the coffee mug.

AeroPress_action2When you purchase the AeroPress it comes with all these items below. Easy to store and the system comes with a years supply of filters.aeropress_system3

I like milk in my coffee and I like to make a mix between a latte and cappuccino. I found this awesome frother wand from Ikea, I believe it was around $2 or $3. I will heat a mixture of milk/half n half, a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1/2 tsp turbinado in the microwave, froth it with my wand and add it to my AeroPressed coffee.

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It makes the perfect cup each time.

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In place of vanilla extract, I have tried maple extract for a maple latte. I am eager to try other extracts to create other subtle flavors.

**photos taken from  AeroPress, pinterest, and luxpresso.