Vegan Tip #2: Protein Sneaks (1 of 5 in a sneak series)
Last Updated: 18 Feb 2011
When your only serving of vegetables are the french fries from your fast food meal and your fruit comes it “candy made with real fruit juice” form, no one says a damn thing. Tell ‘em you’ve given up animal products and everyone flips out.Let me get this out of the way: a well-rounded vegan diet with a large variety of food will meet your nutritional needs.
Not all of our bodies, however, are created equal. Due to lifestyle, allergies, genes, environmental factors, medications and a myriad of other issues that makes biological life awesome and unique, some people seek to give a bit more focus to certain nutrients.
About Nutrient Sneaks
If you’re feeding a picky eater (either yourself or someone else) or just trying to find a way to add nutrition, give these a shot. I will cover protein, iron, calcium, vitamin D and B12 in a 5-part blog posting since these seem to be the big concerns I’ve heard most people bring up. DO NOT do this if someone is allergic to something. I feel I have to say that for some reason. In this 5-part series, you will learn about the nutrient, foods it’s found in, how to select and prepare those foods, and how to make easy swaps and covert “sneaks” (adding it to a dish without raising eyebrows) to work it into your diet.
The savvy vegan should know by now that everything on the planet, except water, juices and oils, contain protein. In other words, you don’t lose out by ditching animal products. Considering the research on high protein diets (spoiler warning: they’re bad for you, says research), you may not even want to add in extra protein.
Without losing 90% of my audience with too much detail, here are the protein basics. Protein is the building block of cells…almost all cells, not just muscle tissue like it’s heavily associated with. This means protein builds your skin cells, bone cells and even plant cells. Protein is “built” with amino acids, of which there are 3 kinds:
-Essential Amino Acids (EAAs), so called because the body cannot manufacture them. These are not extra special or of greater importance in the scheme of amino acids…they’re just called “essential” because the body can’t make them. For adults, phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, isoleucine, methionine, leucine, lysine and histidine are EAAs. For infants and kids under 5, cysteine, tyrosine and arginine are also essential. 
-Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), a type of EAA. These are important to people who need to synthesize more muscle tissue due to activity or disease because your body won’t synthesize muscle without them. Burn victims also benefit from extra BCAAs. Leucine, valine and isoleucine are your BCAAs. 
-Non-Essential Amino Acids, which are essential to the body’s function, are only called non-essential because our bodies can use other amino acids and nutrients to make them…in other words, we can eat them to get them but we don’t have to.
Amino acids each do their own cool thing, like how L-Tryptophan can help you sleep and L-Taurine can help your energy levels, but work synergystically (together) so don’t focus on just one you like the sound of. Also, aminos are named L-Name, but can be found without the L, too. L-Arginine and Arginine are the same thing, and you pronounce the L as an L…it’s not pronounced “Larginine” but “ell arginine.”
Why Vegans Shouldn’t Worry About Protein
As I said, protein is what builds cells, and plants are made of cells. I know you’ve all heard it before: “But plants are incomplete proteins!” The concept of incomplete proteins came about in a book in 1971 which basically said that plant foods are missing one EAA, so the solution to this problem was to eat other plant foods that have the missing EAA . Typically recommended is to combine a legume and a grain, like lentils and rice, because people will tell you that legumes are missing Methionine and Cysteine (sometimes listed as M+C) while grains are missing Lysine. The problem? It’s not even true. If you check out nutritiondata.com, which gives you a protein profile for every food you look up, you can easily see that lentils are hardly deficient in M+C and grains are hardly deficient in Lysine. It’s seriously just make-believe. Now, granted, there are some foods that are lower than legumes and grains in certain amino acids, but you’re supposed to be eating a well-rounded diet anyway. You don’t have to go out of your way to “combine complementary proteins” like you may have heard because a well-rounded diet does this as a default. If you’re eating well-rounded vegan diet, you’re already getting your protein without even trying.
Some new research, called The Protein Myth, promotes the idea that consumption of protein is a waste of energy because it takes so long for the body to break down protein to get the amino acids when you could just be eating enzymes (from raw plant foods), which already are amino acids so your body can just use them . I’m not on a raw diet so I’m not promoting this, but am offering you some new research for your thought.
Padding Your Protein
While your well-rounded diet can provide all the protein you need, you may find yourself wanting more for whatever reason, so here are some easy ways to add your EAAs. While protein is in everything, I’m posting vegan-friendly foods that offer all of your EAAs in one punch. Nutritiondata.com gives a “protein quality” score based on how many EAAs are found in the food…a score over 100 means the protein is high quality. To compare, most cuts of beef have a score of 94 (roasts, chuck, rib-eye, round steak [aka cube steak], short loin top loin [used for Kansas City steak, New York strip and Club Steak], tenderloin, top sirloin, flank steak…lean ground beef has a score of 85 with some cuts of beef going up to 154), chicken meat has a score of 136, various fish scores 148 (with tilapia at 124), pork bacon is at 124 (ham at 134, fresh pork between 140-150 on average), eggs score 136, cow’s milk at 116, and for fun I checked breast milk, which scored 124. Because beef scores 94 and I’m tired of people saying “OMG GO EAT A STEAK STUPID VEGAN U NEED PROTEIN,” anything that scores over 94 will be listed here.
The Food: Quinoa
Protein Score: 106. Technically a fruit, quinoa is a protein-packed “ancient grain” from South America. It can be found in most grocery stores and a good deal of it can be purchased cheaply from membership bulk stores like Costco. It is a quick-cooking food that fluffs up in about 10 minutes when simmered with water or broth. Found in white and red varieties, quinoa (pronounced “keen-WAH,” not “kin-oh-uh”) is small and circular with a mild, nutty flavor.
Instead of, or in addition to (better option!), a dish like rice, cous cous or bulghur wheat (think tabouli), use quinoa. This means not only having it as a stand-alone side dish, but serving chili or soups/stews over quinoa, making a quinoa pilaf, combining with black or red beans, quinoa tabouli, quinoa sushi (the bowl kind, aka “mixed sushi,” since quinoa isn’t glutinous like rice and won’t adhere well to itself), fried quinoa (instead of fried rice), chocolate quinoa (a higher-protein version of champarado), part of a filling in empanadas…you get the idea. Quinoa can be served hot or chilled, like in a fresh, tasty quinoa salad.
The Food: Avocado
Protein Score: 129. Loaded with healthy unsaturated fats, this green, creamy fruit awesomely contains all your EAAs. Avocados come in a few varities, but the main difference you’ll find are in California avocados (fist-sized and dark green, wrinkled skin) and Florida avocados (softball-sized and medium green, smooth skin). The latter is sometimes advertised as a “skinny-cado” because it contains up to 45% less fat; this also makes the Florida avocado lighter in flavor and not as creamy. Avocados cannot ripen on the tree and must be picked to ripen. If you want to use an avocado same day, buy one that has a little give to it when pressed with your finger, similar to a very ripe tomato. If you feel or hear the skin crack when you press the avocado, do not buy it: it’s overripe and starting to rot inside! If not using the avocado that day, feel free to buy an underripe one. Cut an avocado length-wise, keeping in mind a large, very hard pit sits in the center. When the cut is complete, twist either half to split the avocado. Using a sharp knife (the whole blade, NOT the tip), tap the pit, twist and it pops right out. BEWARE: if your blade is very sharp, it may break the pit when you twist and you can end up cutting yourself (speaking from experience). If you’re afraid you’re going to end up in the emergency room when you read that, just use a spoon to scoop out the pit. The pit can be stuck in the flesh, so you may end up losing some of it when you spoon out the avocado’s pit…but if you’re klutzy or accident-prone, it’s a fair trade. After slicing the avocado, inspect it and remove any nasty-tasting brown parts. Then, rub it with a little acid (lemon juice, lime juice or any vinegar) to prevent browning…especially important if you don’t want to use the whole avocado at once!
If you like avocados, using my previously-posted guacamole recipe, slicing it onto sandwiches, chopping it into salads, and stuffing it into all-things-Mexican (including Mexican fusion foods, like Tex-Mex or Southwest cuisines) sounds like a great idea. If you hate avocados, play up their creaminess. Avocados are fat-abulous (fatty + fabulous), but pretty tasteless otherwise. This means they can be added to anything that calls for creaminess so your method of preparation is mashing (or use a blender). Mashed/Blended avocado can be added to: refried beans, rice, smoothies and milkshakes (popular in some Asian countries like Vietnam), spread onto sandwiches/wraps/burritos with a lot of other ingredients, stirred into soups (try potato or tomato soup), stirred into a pot of chili, chilled and used instead of sour cream (try adding lemon or lime juice to get the tartness), added to mashed potatoes (yes, they’ll be green and kids, or the kid in you, will love it), fried with other ingredients into empanads or chimichangas (fried burritos) for a crisp shell with a creamy filling or added to cream pies (green pumpkin pie, anyone?). More fun than just a lousy garnish or dip, right? :)
The Food: Fermented Soy
Protein Score: Between 104 and 107, with natto scoring 97. I have no idea how soy became so freakin’ controversial, but from what I’ve read people seem to agree that whole soy products, typically fermented, are the soy products you want (isolates, pesticide-grown and raw soy tend to get a negative reputation, but consider that Asian countries enjoy non-fermented tofu in addition to soy milk and they don’t seem to be short-lived people…but that’s my thought process…draw your own conclusion!). Fermented soy products can be found as powders, natto, tempeh, miso and fermented tofu, with natto, tamari, and fermented tofu scoring the highest.
Tempeh is an easy swap: simply replace your existing meat replacer with it. Tempeh was used as a meat replacement long before “vegan” was ever coined (those that invented it did so due to their limited access to meat). It’s easily found in the refrigerated vegetarian section of most big grocery stores and I’m sure you can make your own (though I’ve never tried). You can find it plain, multi-grain, or with flavors/seasonings, even pre-marinated. A popular tempeh company also makes “fakin’ bacon,” a smokey tempeh that comes in strips and is delicious but kinda pricey (between 4 and 5 USD for a pack). Tempeh can be consumed without cooking, but if you choose to cook it then it cooks like tofu. I’ve only seen one fermented soy powder and it was made by Jarrow and Now. It can be found online, at health food stores and some GNC stores carry it. To use it, simply add it to a smoothie or blend into mashed potatoes, chili, or any other thick soup. Like sushi? Natto can be found at many sushi places or in Japanese markets. This is a stiiiiicky, gooey, salty fermented soy that is typically consumed as a breakfast food in Japan. Miso paste, which can be easily added to water for a savory broth (for soup, stew or try using it to cook grains or lentils), is another fermented soy product. It’s almost always sold refrigerated and can be found in some larger grocery stores and most Asian markets (and all Japanese markets). It comes in light and dark varieties; the darker the miso, the richer the flavor. Miso can also be blended with rice vinegar and sesame oil to make a dressing or marinade. Finally, fermented tofu is sold in shelf-stable jars at Asian markets. For those who haven’t experienced it, it is salty and stinky, sold either plain or with chili peppers, and is gooey. The flavor is similar to fontina, a hard, salty Italian cheese. Used in small amounts, like adding to mashed potatoes, this adds a remarkably nice flavor and will be the only way to sneak it into anything. For the salt lovers, enjoy spread on bread, crackers or celery.
The Food: Buckwheat
Protein Score: 99. Another member of the vast grain family, buckwheat grows as small, triangular kernels and is usually tolerated by the wheat-free and gluten-free crowd (though not always). It can be purchased as a flour, its natural kernel state, or as a prepared food (like noodles or bread…or even beer). Due to its ability to grow in harsher climates, buckwheat is found in Eastern European cuisine so the whole buckwheat can be purchased in that section of your grocery store or at European markets. Buckwheat flour is found easily in organic or health food stores, with companies like Bob’s Red Mill making it available in most large grocery stores. Health/Organic stores often sell this in bulk as well. Buckwheat products, like breads and pastas, can be found in the same types of stores. Cheaper buckwheat noodles can be found in Asian markets. Soba is a popular buckwheat noodle, but is often mixed with regular wheat so watch out if you can’t have wheat. 100% buckwheat noodles are readily available, so just look…and ensure you don’t buy “black wheat noodles,” which are also found in Asian stores.
Buckwheat noodles are the easiest swap, just switch them out with regular noodles in any dish, hot or cold. Either use immediately or toss with an oil (like olive oil) because buckwheat noodles love to stick together. They have a slightly creamier taste and cook up very dark brown, so the mega picky may be visually skeptical. Buckwheat grains can be made on their own. They cook up quickly and easily, making a suitable replacement (or mix) with rice, quinoa, or other small grains. Use as you would rice. Buckwheat flour is the only tricky one since the taste, colour and texture are not the same as wheat, making it a difficult swap in baked goods. Exchaning some of the flour for buckwheat flour will give you more success. That’s not to say you can’t use it. I’ve used it to thicken soups and have combined it with seasoning and water to make a dough, which I used to make dumplings for a stew.
The Food: Amaranth
Protein Score: 101 (leaves), 108 (grain).This tiny ancient grain is usually fine for the wheat-free and gluten-free crowd. It comes in a few forms. The first is the whole grain, which companies like Bob’s Red Mill sell. The second type of amaranth you’ll see is in flour form, also carried by Bob’s Red Mill. I’ve only seen Bob’s Red Mill carry it as a stand-alone, with some breads or multi-grain mixtures adding it in there for extra texture and nutrition. Amaranth can also be found in its grown form, a leafy green. It comes in white, red, and burgundy. Availability of leafy amaranth depends on where you live, but so far I’ve only encountered it in Asian markets.
While the grain itself is small and calling it an “ancient grain” may leave you with the impression that you need to do an Amaranth Dance and say sacred prayers; it’s still just a small grain that cooks up like any other. If using the grain form, amaranth tends to cook up “goopy” as opposed to remaining in separated grains like quinoa. Because of this, it can be used as a hot breakfast (think porridge or Cream of Wheat/Rice or Malt-O-Meal), with your choice of milk (like hemp milk) and dried fruit thrown in. Tossing in sliced banana and a drizzle of real maple syrup and give yourself and your loved-ones a protein-packed, fiber-filled, complex and simple carb breakfast (if using hemp milk, bonus points for essential fats). You can also mix this half-and-half with mashed potatoes to up the texture and nutrient value. Oh, how do you cook it? 1 cup of amaranth + 2.5 cups of water (or juice or broth), bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Let it sit for a few minutes before stirring to allow the liquid to properly redistribute. Amaranth can also be popped like popcorn by adding a little oil into a pan on medium heat and tossing in the amaranth. Place a lid on the pot or pan you’re using and move around the burner (for even heat distribution) until the popping stops. Amaranth can also just be eaten as-is…apparently it’s technically a nut (8000 years in cultivation and we still call it a grain when it’s a nut? Kinda strange). Feel free to cook with chili, bean soups, lentil soup, rice, etc. to add more protein. Amaranth flour can be made into breads and other baked goods, and some companies already sell bread made with amaranth. As I said, I’m no baker so I don’t know the exact ratio swap for wheat flour. Amaranth greens can be sauteed like chard or served raw. To sneak it into your regular foods, try using it in addition to spinach in salads or in cooked meals, like spinach pie, a cooked spinach side dish, or spinach lasagna.
The Food: Spinach
Protein Score: 119. Yeah, can you believe it? Spinach contains all your essential amino acids! I don’t need to tell you that spinach is a good source of iron and vitamin A, but did you know one ounce of spinach contains 13% of your daily value of vitamin C and 3% of your daily value of calcium? That’s as much calcium as is found in an equal serving of milk! How cool is that?
Many of you are familiar with spinach use. I highly advocate using it in place of lousy lettuce in salads (do yourself one better and mix it with amaranth leaves or other leafy greens), but you can also mince it and use it in tacos, burritos, sandwiches, wraps and burgers. I like using inexpensive spinach in place of sometimes-pricey fresh basil when I make marinara sauces. No, the flavor is not the same but I do it for the nutrition and the green. Spinach also makes a great “bulker” in cooked food, adding a green bulk to mashed potatoes, lasagna, chili and any other semi-solid food you can think of.
The Food: Beans
Protein Score: 95-107. I know, everything you’ve been told about vegan protein includes “combining legumes with a grain to make a complete protein.” I was as shocked as you to learn that is 100% false. I know what you’re thinking: why do people say they don’t if they actually do? I wish I had the answer for you. Beans already contain all your essential amino acids, with the following fitting in the aforementioned protein score: chickpeas (garbanzo beans), black beans (turtle beans), Lima beans (immature seeds score higher than mature, which scored 95), pinto beans, white beans, Great Northern beans, kidney beans, and mungo beans all contain all your essential amino acids, providing between 13 and 19 grams of protein per cup. Awesome! Please note lentils are not on the list…they are missing one essential amino acid.
Beans are a fun one because they have more uses than “make into chili” or “add to minestrone soup,” although those are fabulous on their own. Bean soups are also popular ways to eat your beans and a great slow-cooker meal if you make it at the start of your day. Other ways to use beans are to puree into dips. Hummus is a popular dip made from chickpeas and tahini, but there’s no reason you can’t use other beans to make purees. Please remember that each bean has its own special flavor, so while you can mix black beans and tahini together, it won’t taste like hummus. Beans are also a great substitute for meat and fake meats because they have a great texture, are not processed (assuming you cook them at home…but even canned prepared beans are minimally processed) and provide all your essential amino acids. Another way to prepare beans is to mash them and add a type of flour (whole wheat, buckwheat, rice, etc.) to help hold it together and then form a patty or ball out of the mixture (don’t forget to season it!). These are then cooked and used as a replacement for meatballs or hamburger patties. You can also serve them without a bun and top them with various toppings, sort of like one could do with a slab of nasty meat.
The Food: Certain Nuts
Protein Score: 100-122. Please note: this is not to say ALL nuts contain all your EAAs…only some do (the picture is a stock photo…it is not a picture of the nuts that contain your EAAs). Acorns, cashews, chestnuts and pistachio nuts have the highest protein scores. Most other nuts do technically include your EAAs (with the exception of macadamia nuts, which are completely devoid of lysine) but are a little low in some of them so they didn’t break the 94 protein quality score. As you may read in the other nutrient sneak posts, many nuts are a good source of iron and calcium. Nuts also provide healthy fats that your body needs…fats that typically aren’t found in plant foods.
Nuts are interesting because they’re great to snack on, add to foods (chopped, slivered or whole), but are also cool because you can process them with a little water in a food processor to turn into a paste. This paste can be rolled and firmed up in the refrigerator to use as a cheese ball or even the fillings for homemade truffles! Simply soak raw cashews (or another nut listed above) in water for about an hour, drain the water, process and add seasonings, then roll and chill for at least 3 hours (for cheese ball) or 1 hour (for truffles…the balls are smaller so they don’t need to be chilled as long). There are easy recipes you can look up if you want to read something more exact :) I like adding chopped nuts to yogurt, stir fry, sandwiches, dips, chili, lentils, split peas, bean soups, and halved nuts to stew.
The Food: Certain Seeds
Protein Score: 115-136. Chia seeds, pumpkin/squash seeds (pepitas) and lotus seed. Flaxseed just missed making the cut by 2 points, so for you flax fans it’s still good for you :) Seeds can provide plenty of iron and calcium, with some like chia providing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Please note the picture is a picture of various seeds, not specifically the seeds listed.
Seeds are fun because you can throw them into anything, but the seeds here are best eaten or blended and added to smoothies. Chia seeds can be added whole to a liquid and create a little gel around themselves, so each one is like a tapioca pearl. I like it, but not everyone does. Seed meal (flour) can also be added to various baked goods or used as a thickening agent, which is another option for you. Some people also make seed butters, so if you really like how pepitas taste, consider doing that!
-I do not work for or advertise for any companies. I only mention these companies because I’ve seen them in multiple places so I’m suggesting certain brands that I think you may easily find in your local supermarkets.
-I have given full credit to the photos I used, but if one of these photos is yours and you don’t want it used for whatever reason, please let me know and I will promptly remove it.
-If you’re curious as to which foods have a full EAA profile, check out the food in the nutritiondata.com database.
This is a good tip for any person of any dietary choice, but I find many inquiries coming from fellow vegans (or curious omnivores) regarding nutrition. I will start out with my one rule and then offer suggestions.
The “Nutrient Cramming” Rule
This is a simple one so please don’t feel lik I’m insulting your intelligence: cram as many different foods, spices, herbs, etc. as you can into your meal. That’s it. Too often, people will settle into a food rut and going vegan tends to restrict and confine instead of just being an animal-free way to feed your body.
Tasty (and super easy) Examples
As I said, some people feel restricted/confined on a vegan diet because they just remove animal products, maybe swapping meat for a plant-based meat replacement. I say nay! Instead of falling into your food rut, ask yourself what else might taste good. The following are recipes I’ve used, but keep in mind that these are just ideas. Add or subtract whatever you like!
Spaghetti: make a sauce by sauteeing diced onions, garlic, bell pepper (capscicum), carrots, polenta, eggplant and potatoes until potatoes soften. Add fresh or canned diced tomatoes (add as much as you like, depending on how tomato-y you like it), toss in chopped nuts (I like raw almonds, but use what you like), a can (or 2 cups, prepared) of beans (like cannellini beans, which are Italian white kidney beans…but any bean will do) and season to taste (if you suck at seasoning, use an Italian blend like Mrs. Dash). Simmer until everything is heated through, simmering longer to meld the flavors. About 5 minutes before serving, add in fresh kale, fresh or frozen spinach, and quartered mushrooms of your choice. Prepare your pasta (any you like, but try non-wheat pastas for variety), then toss with the hearty sauce and drizzle olive oil atop. Serve with homemade garlic bread (slice of any bread, gluten-free okay + vegan butter or olive oil + fresh or powdered garlic, toast in an oven at 400 F [200 C] until toasted) and/or a nice salad.
Salad: there is simply no reason to use iceberg lettuce…don’t even buy it. Try fresh mixed greens, like fresh spinach, fresh cabbages, fresh watercress, fresh kale, fresh baby greens, fresh arugula…you get the ides. Shred or thinly slice any larger greens, like the cabbage, and place in a bowl. Add in whatever you’d like. Some ideas: nuts, strawberries, sliced bananas, dried fruit, carrots, celery, radishes, raw beets, cooked and cooled noodles, cooked potato, spaghetti squash, raw cranberries, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, olives, cooked and chilled beans, chilies, diced tomato, sliced cucumber, sliced onions, diced green onions, diced apples, cubed or crumbled tofu, your favorite meat replacer, avocado, fried noodles, vegan chili, grilled vegetables, sesame seeds, baby corn, fennel and fresh herbs like dill or cilantro. Season your salad (why not?) and either use a pre-made dressing or make your own with an oil of your choice + a tart liquid of your choice (any vinegar, lime juice, lemon juice, orange juice, grapefruit juice, kombucha) + anything else. Try various seasonings, nutritional yeast, Chinese hot mustard, barbecue sauce, vegan mayonnaise, hummus, dill mustard…the possibilities are so varied that there’s no reason to get bored.
Sandwiches: just about every part of the sandwich can be changed up, from bread to spread to filling. If you’re good with baking bread, by all means use your own and come up with new creations. For those of us that aren’t skilled with bread-making, buying different breads, including wraps, helps add variety and flavor. The typical “mayo & mustard” spread can be easily enhanced by using hummus, guacamole, olive tapanade, bruscetta, sauces (like barbecue sauce, hot sauce or sweet chili sauce, for example) or bean spreads instead of mustard and mayo (or in addition to). Different mustards, including gravlaxsas (a sweet dill mustard sauce for lox), also add interest. Infused oils are great for drizzling onto the bread, and a simple dusting of seasonings, like Italian seasoning or garlic powder, add flavor and nutrients. For the filling, you can use the usual standbys like greens (remember, iceberg lettuce sucks) and tomato, but cucumber, grilled vegetables (try eggplant or polenta), avocado, crushed nuts, olives, radishes, raw or roasted peppers, sesame seeds, mushrooms, thinly sliced apple or pear, sprouts of your choice, thinly sliced potato (raw, baked or pan-fried), carrots, zucchini, minced celery, sauteed onions, raw leeks…these are all good ideas to try. Want a “meat” in there? There are a variety of vegan meats, including trying thick, grilled vegetables like thickly-sliced eggplant, portabello mushroom (whole or sliced), thick cut polenta, thick cut squash (try zucchini), thick cut (or even mashed) potato, and baked or fried tofu. Certainly you can do these raw as well. It doesn’t hurt to toast your sandwich, either. Want something sweeter? Opt for a nut butter of your choice and add sliced fruit. Try dusting with cocoa powder, crushed nuts, or real maple syrup.
Soups (including noodle soups) and Chili Followers on my Twitter account know I love packaged ramen. Growing up poor, this dried foodstuff became a staple in my household and is now a comfort food for me as an adult. You can make your own noodle soups from scratch (including noodles from scratch…very easy to do) if you want to avoid the MSG-laden pre-packaged version (and I encourage you to avoid it!). Whether packaged or homemade, a noodle soup can be hearty and nutrient-dense. Depending on the overall flavor you’re going for (more Italian, herby, Japanese, or heavy on a single ingredient, like lots of different mushrooms or various onions), you can try adding vegetables to complement the flavor. Don’t know what that means? Well, what do you like to eat? In the mood to experiment? That’s all you’re doing here. There’s simply no reason a potato soup should contain only potatoes, milk and a little seasoning. Adding chopped broccoli and cauliflower along with peas and cubed carrots (conveniently found in almost all freezer sections of any store…even dollar stores) add in flavor, color and nutrients. Bump it up with chopped kale, sauteed onions and roasted garlic. Why not, right? Other additions include any hearty vegetable, like diced potatoes, diced rutabegas (aka “turnips” or “swede”), broccoli, diced onion, diced carrots, diced celery, peas and parsnips. Vegetables that wilt, like any leafy green but also easy-mush ones like yellow squash or zucchini, can be added later in the cooking process (if you don’t plan on simmering, then add them all together). Don’t forget things like mushrooms, tomatoes, corn, beans, roughly chopped nuts, green onions, leeks, tofu or seitan. No reason to stop there, though. Bulking out chili dishes with different beans, split peas and lentils (try thick channa dal) are great. Thanks to the consistency of soups/chili, flavorful oils can be easily stirred in and distributed evenly throughout the dish. Try sesame oil, olive oil, or infused oils (I like white truffle infused olive oil…sounds expensive, but buying at discount places like TJ Maxx and Ross get you great deals). Why stop there? Herbs, seasonings, and pre-made sauces/dips are easy ways to add flavor and nutrients. I love stirring in some garlic hummus into pretty much every thick soup or chili I make. And if you opt to make your own noodles/dumplings, add different grain flours (like buckwheat, corn or rice, for example) and different seasonings/herbs. I’ve even minced frozen broccoli and mixed that in!
That’s all well and good, but what about specific nutrients? Stay tuned for “Nutrient Sneaks.”
Pronounced “koo-SHER-ree,” this is apparently the Egyptian dish everyone needs to make. There are many recipes, but my friend helped me make this because she’s familiar with the dish. Like other dishes, there’s no “right” way to do this. Get all the basics and have fun!
-1 cup lentils (we used brown)
-1 cup rice (we used basmati)
-1 cup macaroni noodles or other short noodles (use non-wheat if you’re gluten-free)
-5 to 6 cups of water (or broth) + more water to boil the noodles
-2 to 3 cloves of garlic, minced (optional)
-Cumin and coriander to taste
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Olive oil to taste (some recipes call for up to an entire cup of olive oil…just see what tastes good to you)
-1 onion, minced (optional)
-1 can (15oz) tomato sauce (optional)
Step 1: On high heat, add the rice, lentils and 4 cups of the water or broth. When it boils, reduce heat to medium low.
Step 2: Keep an eye on the rice and lentils, as the water/broth will get absorbed quickly by the lentils. Add in another cup of water/broth when this starts to happen. Kusheri is not a brothy dish, it’s pretty dry in this regard, so you’ll have to keep testing the firmness of the lentils and adding in water/broth as needed.
Step 3: While the lentils and rice are cooking, boil the noodles until soft. Drain and add to the rice and lentils, even if it’s still cooking.
Step 4: Once the lentils are cooked (the rice should be cooked by this point), add in your seasonings, garlic, onion and olive oil to your liking.
Step 5: If using tomato sauce, heat it in a small pot or other container. I added garlic powder and onion flakes to mine, but you don’t have to.
Step 6: When everything is heated through and seasoned to your taste, serve. If you choose, top with the tomato sauce.
We cooked the rice and lentils together to save space on the stove and to try to save time. Every recipe I’ve seen calls for cooking the rice and lentils separately and then combining them. This is all up to you, but we found it to be easier this way. This isn’t a traditional thing, even my friend was skeptical, but don’t be afraid to try cooking the two together. The rice will cook sooner than the lentils, but won’t get mushy.
Don’t be worried, “foul medammes” basically means “delicious fava bean magic in a pot” and doesn’t mean it tastes foul or contains fowl :) Apparently, this is a huge deal in Egypt and other countries, typically consumed with pita bread for breakfast (or so I’ve read). Once you try it, you’ll know right away why it’s so popular. This stuff is seriously addicting! In fact, I started making it after trying it at a Lebanese restaurant…it was so delicious that I had to learn to make it myself!
-2 cans (15oz each) of fava beans (prepared or whole, do not drain)
-1 onion, diced
-1-2 tomatoes, diced
-Cumin and coriander to taste (about 1 teaspoon each if you want a measurement)
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Pita bread and/or chunked vegetables (like tomatoes cut into quarters or large chunks of cucumber)
Step 1: In a pot on medium-low heat, add in the fava beans.
Step 2: Add the raw onion, tomatoes and seasonings. Stir well and heat through.
Step 3: If you used whole fava beans, mash them a bit, depending on what you like (chunky or creamier).
Step 4: Serve in a bowl and use it as a dip for pita bread or cut vegetables.
I decided to add macaroni noodles (made with rice) to this one time. It was actually really good, so I recommend giving that a shot. Any short noodle, like macaroni, ziti or shells, will work just fine.
I realized I never posted my Christmas menu so it would be a good idea to do so. Thanksgiving was a seasonal celebration of native foods, so I looked back at where the Christmas traditions were ripped from. Turns out that everything from the day (December 25th) to caroling was all taken from The Feast of the Son of Isis, so I’m doing an all-Egyptian menu. I will be serving: chickpea cucumber salad, tabouli, falafel, baked cous cous (the large-grain kind), foul meddames, kushuri, almond rice with vermicelli, pita bread and hummus. To my delight, I had almost all the ingredients I needed!
This is a snack made using the creamy refried beans from the Sorta Torta recipe. Nothing super fancy, but I realized that most people don’t use their leftovers as ingredients (they just make the same thing over and over), so I wanted to float this past you :)
-Leftover creamy bean dip of any kind (I used leftovers from the Sorta Torta)
-Diced veggies of your choice (I used tomato, bell pepper [capsicum] and cucumber)
-Anything else you want to add, like hot sauce or chili powder (I topped mine with pink pepper)
-Food to dip, like raw vegetables or tortilla chips (I used blue corn tortilla chips)
Step 1: Top the creamy bean dip with the veggies and any hot sauce or other seasonings you want to add. Serve with tortilla chips or raw vegetables.
For those of you expecting me to tell you exactly how to make a Torta, a sloppily fabulous Mexican sandwich, you’ll be disappointed…hence the title of this is the “Sorta Torta.” You see, my partner awoke hungry asking for a Torta sandwich, something we never have made because he never had one before. Having eaten one last week, he awoke with a craving that I attempted to satisfy.
I’m posting this recipe to show that you can have all the wrong ingredients but still make a good meal. :) I remembered some of the components to the torta: sloppy, soft bread, lots of fresh filling, lots of creaminess. With that in mind, I created:
-2 pieces of bread (the thicker the better, but all I had was thin sourdough)
-Veggies of your choice, thinly sliced (I used yellow bell pepper [capsicum], tomato and cucumber)
-1 can (2 cups) of refried beans of your choice
-4 tablespoons vegan cream cheese or plain hummus (hummus for soy-free)
-Seasonings (I used garlic powder and a blend to make dirty rice since I didn’t have any cumin on-hand), all to taste
-Veggie patty of your choice or large portabello mushroom.
Step 1: Combine seasonings, refried beans and cream cheese (or hummus) in a pot and heat through. If using cream cheese, ensure it’s melted.
Step 2: Cook the veggie patty or mushroom until browned.
Step 3: Lightly toast the bread.
Step 4: Add very generous amounts of the creamy refried beans mixture to both pieces of bread. Top with the veggie patty/mushroom and all your thinly sliced vegetables.
-If you have it on-hand, use some leafy greens of your choice, including cilantro.
-Add in pico de gallo or thinly sliced onion along with the tomatoes. Salsa or hot sauce would also be a good addition.
-If you have some, serve with pickled carrots and jalapenos.
-Serve with tortilla chips and an extra helping of the creamy refried beans (pictured).
-Make it gluten-free by serving this all over rice or using a wheat-free bread.
-The amount of refried beans and cream cheese or hummus that you use will create leftovers. Hey, this is a good thing!
I had a better picture but apparently didn’t capture it on my phone like I thought. Shame!
Lumpia, pronounced LOOM-pee-uh, is a fried food from the Philippines. This is an island-style lumpia, which is larger than the Filipinio version, which is small and packed only with seasoned meat. The recipe below is a vegan take on my mother’s recipe that is absolutely delicious. Please make these for yourself or to bring to a potluck. Warning: I know they say “2-3 appetizers per person” but you’ll need to make SIX per person and I’m not kidding…they go THAT quickly.
Don’t let the length and pictures here fool you, it’s just to show you how to wrap them. This is a ridiculously easy dish to throw together!
-lumpia wrappers, spring roll wrappers or egg roll wrappers (see Notes, below)
-chopped mushrooms, about 1 pound (or 1 pound ground vegan “meat” of your choice)
-1 bag (about 16oz) shredded cabbage/carrots (coleslaw mix, minus the dressing) OR shred cabbage/carrots yourself
-vegetarian oyster sauce (it’s mushroom-based…check for possible soy content if you’re watching your soy)
-a flour water paste (add a little water to flour to make a thin paste, see Notes)
-sweet chili sauce for dipping
-oil for frying (I add enough to the pan to cover half the lumpia…you use less oil that way)
Step 1: Combine cabbage/carrots and mushrooms (or veggie meat) in a bowl. Add enough oyster sauce to lightly coat, but not drench, the mixture. If you’re scared of screwing it up, don’t be: just add in 2 tablespoons at a time, mix thoroughly, and if you need more to lightly coat then add in more by the tablespoon. Still worried? Just taste it as you go. No big deal, this is stress-free cooking, trust me and trust yourself!
Step 2: Lumpia wrappers and spring roll wrappers are sold frozen and must be thawed a little bit before using (egg roll wrappers are sold in the refrigerated section and can be used immediately). . They should never be completely thawed to room temperature because they’ll crack. You can tell when they’re ready because they’ll peel apart easily.
Step 3: Set wrapper on a flat surface so it looks like a diamond.
Step 4: Add some of the mixture, about 1 tablespoon, on the tip nearest you.
Step 5: Roll the tip nearest you over the mixture, tucking it.
Step 6: Roll the wrapper up halfway.
Step 7: Fold the left and right sides in.
Step 8: Roll it the rest of the way up, placing the flour paste on the remaining tip. This will help create a seal. It’s just flour and water, if you put “too much” it’s not going to hurt anything. It’s just flour and water!
And the completed roll:
Your fabulous stack of lumpia:
Step 9: Now comes time to fry. In a pan or pot on medium high heat add enough oil (like corn oil, vegetable oil, walnut oil, grapeseed oil or any other high-heat oil) to cover the lumpia halfway. Test the oil with a piece of the lumpia wrapper to see if it’s hot enough. If it bubbles as soon as it enters the oil, it’s the right temperature! Add in your lumpia to fry it:
Flip after the first side is golden brown to cook the other side. If the oil is at the right temperature, this should take about 30 seconds per side:
Set atop paper towels when done cooking, serve with sweet chili sauce and watch it disappear!
-Try making your lumpia sweet by mixing peanut butter, a mashed ripe banana and some kind of chocolate (cocoa powder, chocolate syrup or chocolate chunks) and frying that in the lumpia wrappers. They’re really delicious and great for breakfast.
-I like using different dipping sauces…you should experiment to find what you like. Sweet chili sauce is the classic deliciousness, but I also enjoy BBQ sauce or even ketchup.
-NEW: Make it GLUTEN-FREE! A friend with Celiac’s asked if she could use the rice/tapioca wrappers (like for spring rolls), so I gave it a go. You can, but ensure the outside is as dry as you can get it without ripping it so you don’t put water into hot oil. Also, swap out the vegetarian oyster sauce (which has wheat) for a mix of tamari and a sweetener you like (to taste), with pureed shiitake mushrooms if you’d like to throw those in. These will fry to a very, very light brown color (no where near a deep golden brown) and make a very delicate wrapper. Very crisp and does taste like the bits of rice in fried rice that get a little crunchy. I really liked it!
-Lumpia wrappers, as mentioned earlier, can be found in the frozen section of some stores and almost all Asian markets. Spring roll wrappers are the same thing, just a different name. Egg roll wrappers, as the name implies, are made with egg so I highly suggest avoiding them but you will find a couple that are vegan-friendly. These are found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store, near the tofu. I don’t care for these because they’re thick and bubbly when fried; lumpia wrappers and spring roll wrappers fry thin and crisp. Many lumpia wrappers include the color orange. Here is a brand I’ve used:
-If you make too much filling, keep it in a container until ready to use. Only roll lumpia that you will fry immediately. If you pre-roll it and store it in the refrigerator, the oyster sauce will seep through the wrappers and they’ll burst when frying.
I served these alongside some yummy vegan Pho but you can have these as a great dish on their own. Please experiment with the filling…I almost always do! These are crisp, fresh and amazingly addictive!
-1 package of tapioca wrappers (pictured in Variations section, below)
-Greens of your choice (lettuce, fresh spinach, romaine, whatever…in one of the above, I used kale and beet greens)
-fresh bean sprouts
-sesame seeds (optional)
-fresh cilantro and/or fresh mint (you need one or both, either/or is a MUST)
-tofu, fried tofu or fried gluten (totally optional, I have only used it once)
-sweet chili sauce or plum peanut sauce for dipping
Step 1: Remove your tapioca wrappers from their package. They’ll look like woven plastic.
Step 2: Place tapioca wrapper on a plate and run or submerge in hot water until softened.
Step 3: Gently remove softened wrapper from the water, dab gently with paper towel to help dry it a bit. If it becomes too sticky, just submerge it in water again to get it to stop sticking to itself. Place on a flat surface, like a cutting board.
Step 4: Add your ingredients on the softened wrapper, ingredients near you.
Step 5: Roll the edge nearest you over the filling, roll halfway up the wrapper.
Step 6: Fold in the left and right sides.
Step 7: Roll the rest of the way up. The wrapper sticks to itself so you don’t need to add anything else to it to get it to hold.
Step 8: Finish making as many as you want, only softening one wrapper at a time (otherwise, they’ll become too sticky if left out of the water and waterlogged if left in the water).
Step 9: Serve with the sauce of your choice.
Some Other Ingredient Ideas
-cooked thin rice noodles (rice vermicelli)…that’s how the traditional recipe goes but I’ve never made mine with them
-sliced tofu…a lot of people like this but I don’t care for it
-thinly sliced mushrooms
The tapioca wrappers can be found in any Asian market or the Asian section of any store. This is the most common brand:
For those of you who know just how many ingredients go into a Pad Thai sauce, don’t worry: we’re using it from the jar. I don’t have all the time in the world and neither do many of you, and I’m not a fan of super complicated dishes. Pad Thai sauce can be found at your local Asian mart or in the Asian aisle of your nearby grocery store. Please check the ingredients because Pad Thai is usually made with seafood extracts. There are vegan-friendly ones, they’re easy to find and just as cheap…but you gotta read! :)
Pad Thai is slightly sweet and savory, and is incredibly satisfying. I opted to serve mine with potstickers even though they are Chinese and Pad Thai is not. Who cares? It’s still gooood!
-12 to 16oz rice noodles (may be called “rice stick” or even “rice stripe”)
-1 package extra firm tofu, cubed (pre-fried tofu is fine, half fried and half regular is great)
-4 stalks of green onions, sliced (whites and greens)
-1 jar Pad Thai sauce
-vegetables of your choice (I use frozen mixed, nothing fancy)
-sliced fresh jalapeno (optional)
-1 handful fresh bean sprouts per serving
-1 lime wedge per serving
-fresh torn cilantro
-oil for pan frying (preferably with sesame oil included for flavor), just enough to lightly coat the pan…you’re not deep frying!
Step 1: Boil rice noodles until done. Drain well.
Step 2: While rice noodles are boiling, add oil to a wok or pan on very high heat. Add in tofu and half of the green onions.
Step 3: When the tofu gets a little browned, add in the vegetables and drained noodles. As pictured, you can see that I just used a regular pea-carrot-corn-green bean frozen vegetable mixture…nothing fancy.
Step 4: After the ingredients are heated through (if using frozen vegetables, ensure they’re cooked) add in your Pad Thai sauce to taste. That means you add in a couple tablespoons, mix well, try some of it and if you don’t think there’s enough flavor add another tablespoon and repeat until you find what you like.
Step 5: Place the Pad Thai in a bowl and garnish with a big pinch of the still-raw green onions (the half you didn’t cook), bean sprouts, jalapeno, Sriracha, lime and cilantro. This is the personalization step and everyone can make it how s/he likes it. There’s no wrong way, just eat!
My goodness, it has been a while since I’ve had a chance to update! I’m thankful that I have access to my Twitter from my phone! I tried updating this blog once from my phone and none of the formatting came out correctly, so I can’t do that.
I realized that because I update my Twitter account regularly and because you can access my Tweets from this blog, I don’t need to post my daily menus here…this will be my recipe blog. From this point on, I will be titling recipes instead of calling them Food Flashbacks since we don’t need to call them out :)
Thanks to all my followers for putting up with this hiatus, please make room for some serious recipe updates!
Leftover foul mac. For those of you that just think toast or cereal for breakfast, I encourage you to expand your horizons. Foul is actually considered a breakfast food in places like Egypt, with noodles being a breakfast food in some countries in Asia. Think outside the plate!
Jja Jang Men, a type of “ramen” (dried noodles + seasoning) from Korea. It came with a package inside that had a wet seasoning with all the vegetables you see on the package, except they’ve been sitting in there and fully marinated in the color! While it doesn’t look like much, the noodles were really hearty and the sauce was slightly sweet and very savory. I bought a bunch of different kinds of packaged noodle meals, so you’ll see some new ones popping up :)
Iced quad venti gingerbread soy latte from Starbucks. Since it’s pretty large and full of protein and vitamins (from soy) and carbohydrates (from gingerbread syrup), I count this as a snack and not a drink! I love Starbucks because not only are they easy to find, but they also treat their growers very well…better than most places. In fact, Starbucks created C.A.F.E. standards for equitable treatment of growers. It’s pricier to buy their beans, sure, but as a woman I know I like equal pay for equal work so I’d be a big ol’ hypocrite otherwise.
I made a type of noodle soup based on the udon but I just didn’t use udon noodles. I did use two whole stalks of green onion, some shanghai choy, and seaweed…was feelin’ green! I also decided to FINALLY make some tempura with the dry mix that I bought about half a year ago. Mix with ice cold water, dip veggies, fry until crisp and you’re done! It was so incredibly delicious. It’s been ages since I’ve had tempura because it’s made with egg, but I found a dry mix (see picture) that doesn’t contain any animal products! I added this into the soup when serving and it made the flavor sensation go through the roof! The broth and the tempura combined into something absolutely amazing! For the veggies, I used small sweet peppers (halved and seeded), diced potatoes and thawed frozen broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and squash.
I found some protein powder…er, a “meal replacement powder,” so I decided to mix that up. I combined the Shaklee brand Cinch protein powder with water, chocolate hemp milk and BCAA powder. The protein powder left a bitter aftertaste. I’m glad I mixed it with the chocolate hemp milk, otherwise it would have been even worse.
Peanut butter chocolate chip Clif bar.
One of those small bags of Fritos…no the 99 cent kind, but the smaller ones from a vending machine.
Veggie burrito bowl with chips from Chipotle. I think I’m going to stop ordering the chips with my burrito bowl. They are too salty!
Vegetables with hummus as a dip.
Udon noodle soup leftovers. These are great when you’re drunk, too…like I was that night!
Half a pack of Oreos. Hey, just because I’m vegan doesn’t mean I can’t still PMS!
Cinnamon granola with coconut milk and dried fruit. If you haven’t tried coconut milk by So Delicious, it’s worth a shot. It tastes like a watered-down dairy milk (without the sour, nasty taste) but is very thick. It’s great for granola, fruit and cooking.
Breakfast today was at a diner, so I had a bagel sandwich. They didn’t put on what I asked (not a red onion fan, asked to swap out for mushrooms, but I didn’t care that much). It was freshly grilled and very delicious, even with those onions!
A friend of mine came into town from out-of-state, so I took her to a popular restaurant chain that we have in the area…which was another diner! They’re big out here! I had some french fries with diced tomatoes, banana peppers (they were out of jalapeno), ketchup and Frank’s hot sauce.
Chocolate-covered goji berries.
Udon noodle soup. I love that stuff and it lasts so long in the fridge.
Tortilla chips with pine nut hummus, horseradish mustard and dill relish as a dip. It was actually quite good, but then again I love sour!
I have my Thanksgiving menu all ready to go. The point is to celebrate the generosity of the Native Americans through some food that originates in the Americas.
-Garlic Mashed Potatoes
-Pumpkin Minestrone in Bread Bowls (main course)
-Candied Yams (using real maple syrup and Dandies brand vegan marshmallows)
-Roasted Corn on the Cob
-Lumpia (I gotta use my mama’s recipe…so delicious)
-Cherry cranberry cobbler (dessert)
A friend is bringing vegan stuffed grape leaves (she’s making them here, so I get to learn how…don’t worry, I’ll share) and tres leches cake, a deeeelicious Mexican dessert that I haven’t tried to make vegan-friendly.
If anyone is interested in serving these, please contact me prior to Thanksgiving. You know I like to post recipes with pictures, and that would mean making all this stuff before Thanksgiving…no thanks!
Once you remove the pit, you can just scoop out the flesh with a spoon. NOTE: if your avocados aren’t quite ripe, add all of them in and top with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and mash. The salt seems to help break it down more.
Step 3: Combine thoroughly, taste and add in your salt, pepper, garlic powder, and lime juice to taste.
Step 4: Serve with vegetables, on nachos, as a sandwich spread, or with tortilla chips. This will keep in the fridge for a few days.
Feel free to replace half of the avocado with another smashable item, like black beans or peas.
I was going to call this “Not Another Bloody Salad” but felt it’d be shorter as “Bloody Salad.” I’m considering changing it to “Blood Salad” because that doesn’t sound as gross as “Bloody Salad.” You’ll be making the salad and the dressing, but trust me it’s easy. Remember, if I can do it then anyone can :) The amount this will make is for about 6-8 servings (depending on size), which is fine because this salad keeps for a few days if covered in the fridge.
You’ll Need (for salad)
-4 leaves raw red cabbage, diced
-1/2 a large red apple or 1 small red apple of your choice, diced
-1 handful of raw organic walnuts, chopped
-4 leaves of raw red kale, diced
-1/4 raw beet, thinly sliced
-1 handful raw cranberries, halved or chopped (you choose)
Step 1: Combine everything together into a large bowl, set aside to make dressing.
You’ll Need (for dressing)
-1/4 cup oil of your choice (I like olive oil and walnut oil)
-2 splashes (about 1/8 cup) white vinegar
-About 1 teaspoon each garlic powder and nutritional yeast flakes (savoury yeast if you’re in NZ or Australia)
-1/2 teaspoon of Chinese hot mustard
-1 drop of very hot hot sauce (optional)
Step 1: Combine in a small bowl or cup, pour immediately over the Blood Salad and toss.
Step 2: Serve as-is or as a side dish.
-If having this as-is, consider crumbling in a veggie patty to add more bulk and flavor.
I was turned onto chili mac a few years ago. I had never heard of it before it seemed to be a popular dish. Chili mac is “Chili Macaroni,” which just means chili that has macaroni noodles in there. No big deal, but somehow it comes together magically. You can make these by soaking your own beans if you’d like, but I like to keep things simple since I know most people won’t pay attention to a meal they have to pre-plan. The amount this makes is about 6 servings.
-Half a pound (about 8oz) rice macaroni or other gluten-free short noodle
-1 15oz can of tomatoes (I used stewed tomatoes cooked with green pepper, onion and celery)
-1 15oz can of black beans, drained (I like black beans but you can use any beans you like)
-1 15oz can of red beans seasoned for chili (many have wheat added, so if you’re really sensitive then just get another 15oz can of a different type of bean)
-1 small onion, diced
-3 small potatoes or 1 very large potato diced, skin on
-4 small sweet peppers or 1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
-Enough oil to cook in (about 3 tablespoons)
-Cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, soy sauce or tamari, coriander and chili powder, all to taste
-Torn cilantro, sliced avocado and/or black olives (optional)
Step 1: In a large skillet or large pot, saute the onions, peppers and potatoes until potatoes are soft. As you can see, I have about equal parts potato, pepper and onion.
Step 2: In a medium pot on high heat, boil enough water to cook the macaroni. Drain.
Step 3: In a large pot, add the drained macaroni and your potato-onion-pepper mixture and add in all your canned goods. Simmer on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes or until heated through.
Step 4: Add in your seasonings until you get a flavor you like. Simmer another 10 minutes.
Step 5: Serve with torn cilantro, avocado and/or olives (if you’d like).
-Use this as a chip dip by serving with tortilla chips on the side. I like to crush tortilla chips into mine.
-Add in more hot sauce of your choice if you’d like.
-For an even quicker version that doesn’t require as much seasoning, use only tomatoes and beans “seasoned for chili.” These typically contain wheat, so watch out if you’re sensitive to gluten.
The traditional udon noodle soup calls for bonito added to the broth, bonito being dried fish flakes. Some people get around this by adding in fish sauce, but as vegans this option just isn’t open to us. Instead of trying to recreate the exact flavors of the traditional stuff, I instead just opt to make a really tasty broth that also has udon noodles in it. There’s a lot of variation in what you can do, but as long as you get some kind of good broth + seaweed going, you’re fine.
-3 cups of water + vegetable bouillon OR 3 cups vegetable stock per person
-A small handful of seaweed
-Miso paste (to taste, optional)
-Garlic, ginger and onion powders, to taste
-An Asian hot sauce, like Sriracha brand chili garlic paste (my favorite) or a chili oil, to taste (optional)
-Fresh or frozen vegetables of your choice (mushroom lovers should try thinly sliced crimini [baby portabello], button and shiitake mushrooms)
-Diced extra firm tofu (optional)
-1 package of prepared udon noodles per person*
-Sesame oil, to taste (optional)
-Soy sauce or Tamari, to taste (optional)
-Sesame seeds (optional)
Step 1: In a medium or large pot (depending on how much you’re making) add the water/bouillon or vegetable stock, placing the stove on medium heat.
Step 2: When the water begins to simmer, add in the seaweed. Never heat the water to boiling while you’re cooking this…a gentle simmer is all you need.
Step 3: When seaweed has softened, add in your other spices, oils and sauces and let the broth simmer for about 5 minutes.
Step 4: Add in vegetables and noodles, cook until noodles are softened and vegetables are cooked through.
Step 5: Serve in large bowls with sesame seeds sprinkled atop.
*Prepared udon noodles come vacuum-sealed and are sold shelf-stable, in the freezer section or in the refrigerated section of any Asian market.
-To make this gluten-free, substitute udon noodles for your favorite noodle.
Another “ramen” from India. This one was supposed to be spicy and had some nice lime flavor to it, so in addition to the usual suspects I added in some cilantro.
Iced black coffee, two deep-fried hash browns and some orange juice. I was on the road and subject to where ever the others wanted to stop, so I didn’t have a say in the matter!
A diner-style hash browns meal. Again, didn’t have a choice but did have a choice in the vegetables! We have: tomatoes, mushrooms, black olives, bell peppers, onions, pickles, sauerkraut, and after the picture I added jalapenos, Frank’s hot sauce and black pepper. Everyone else had meat-based dishes but they all commented on how good my food looked!
Udon noodle soup for dinner tonight. Mine is on the left…it’s the spicy one! After this picture, I also added in the beets I’ve been “pickling” in vinegar.
Another breakfast at the veteran’s hospital. I would have brought something but I didn’t anticipate it taking as long as it did, so I ended up snagging a banana and some baked Lays from the cafe…in addition to two iced Americanos while I waited.
The cafe also sells vegan muffins, so I snagged one of those.
Another meal on the road: 6” veggie sub on wheat, orange juice and baked Lays potato chips from Subway. Just an FYI for you Subway fans: the vinegar is vegan, but the vinaigrette is not!
I was with my younger cousins and wanted them to try some new veggies, so I made a game out of it by telling them they could pick any vegetable in the store and we would have to cook with them. One picked eggplant, the other picked red potatoes and a green bell pepper (she was indecisive, so I let her have both). I let each girl help in the kitchen with her vegetable. We ended up making some roasted, heavily herbed eggplant, spiral noodles and a very chunky sauce with a red onion, yellow squash, zucchini, green bell pepper, two red potatoes, a large can of crushed tomatoes, a small can of white beans and some seasonings to taste. They were eager to eat, but I think the younger one was more excited about dessert so she didn’t really finish her plate. The older one was the one I was worried about, but she liked everything. :)
Breakfast was on the way to the dentist’s office…and sweating. I packed leftover chili mac but accidentally put on way too much hot sauce. I crushed tortilla chips on it to try and dilute the burn, but it was to no avail. I only got through half!
Finished the rest of the hellishly hot chili mac and tried to use an apple to cool down. Didn’t work, I was still sweating! I also had some raw organic walnuts.
Handful of dried fruit (two types of mangoes, strawberries, blueberries).
Another take on the Bloody Salad with a Don Lee Farms veggie patty, this time with some Daiya brand melted mozzarella cheese on it.
There was only enough chili mac for one serving, which I gave to my partner with four pieces of sourdough toast. For me, I had some Maggi noodles (like ramen, but from India, usually whole-wheat and not supposed to have a broth…but I always do the broth) with tofu, tumeric, shanghai choy and hot sauce. Both of us enjoyed more Bloody Salad. Hey, don’t get on me…the stuff is delicious, raw and I have a lot of beets and red cabbage leftover!
Had just an apple (grabbed it on my way to class). I was excited to get home for lunch!
A nice, big, delicious pot of chili mac…gluten-free chili mac, that is! Well, I think there may have been wheat in one of the beans but that can be easily avoided. I used macaroni rice noodles and I must say they’re much better than anything else I’ve used. I will be posting a recipe, keep your pants on!
Another large, crunchy-juicy apple and some raw organic walnuts. For those that don’t care for raw nuts because they taste different than the roasted, raw walnuts taste pretty much the same as roasted ones.
I was out at a bar and subjected to the food there. I had a veggie sandwich with olive tapanade, hummus, avocado, tomatoes, banana peppers and roasted red pepper.
Drinks today included water, an iced Americano (black) aaaannnd plenty of alcohol. 25oz of Pabst Blue Ribbon, Rogue’s Hazelnut Brown, hard cider, something made with Bacardi Coconut and something made with Absolut Mandarin. Nope, no hangover the next morning :)
I saw some winter melon at the Asian market. Since I never had it before, I bought myself a slice (about 1/4 of the whole melon, if I was to guess). After removing the seeds, I was a bit disappointed because the flavor was…well, it wasn’t what I expected a winter melon to taste like. It wasn’t sweet and tasted more like a cucumber. Still, I was sure that, like every healthy food God has growing out of the ground, it must have some health benefit and I could at least make it edible. I blended it into a smoothie with strawberries, blackberries, strawberry soy protein powder, blueberries, BCAA powder, and a fruit-flavored greens blend. It was pretty tasty.
The Bloody Salad kept well, so I packed some for a quick lunch. I added a Don Lee Farms veggie patty (no soy, no processed crap, just veggies and sunflower seeds in patty-form) and it was pretty legit!
A really crisp apple and a handful of organic raw walnuts.
I had some leftover Pho, but for my partner I made something else: a toasted sandwich with hummus and sweet chili sauce as a spread and a Don Lee Farms brand veggie patty, leftover Bloody Salad, corn tortilla chips and a generous serving of hummus.
Tostitos makes some artisan flavors now (apparently), found them at Costco and decided to try them. They’re made with something like 9 different grains and have black beans and roasted garlic baked right into them. I tried dipping them in hummus…hummus or not, they’re really great.
Cinnamon multi-grain granola with coconut milk, dried fruit and crushed walnuts.
Vegetable soup with big chunks of potatoes. I would have had big chunks of everything, but this was purchased at school so beggars can’t be choosers. Had a seaweed snack with this.
Lunch was vegan-friendly sushi. It’s been a while since I’ve had this so I was taken back to a time when sushi was pretty much the biggest repeat meal I would eat!
Vegetables with two kinds of hummus: garlic hummus and pumpkin hummus! You heard me! The pumpkin hummus was a surprise…it tasted too bland alone, but dipped with vegetables it was the perfect celebration of the fall.
Had a second evening snack due to my “long day” (classes until past 8pm). Three-bean salad and dark-chocolate covered goji berries.
Dinner today was a delicious Pho soup with summer rolls. Yes, I’ll show you how to make them…they’re ridiculously easy!
Breakfast today included veggie hash browns because I was at a diner. I paired this with two large iced Americanos (taken black…you know me).
Created something called a “bloody salad.” Recipe to follow after menu updates.
A gluten-free, soy-free pizza I made at home from scratch! It was really easy! Like the Bloody Salad, a recipe is to follow.
More late-night ramen. This kind was interesting because it was tomato soup flavored and came with a vacuum-sealed pack of rice noodles. I also decided to start taking a picture of the ramen packages. Added shanghai choy, cilantro, and hot sauce to this guy. The noodles were really amazing.
More Insomnia Ramen! This time with tofu cubes, black sesame seeds, shiitake mushrooms (previously dried), green onions, sesame oil, garlic powder, and shanghai choy.
Bowl of cinnamon granola made with various grains.
Breakfast was really late, so lunch was just an early dinner.
Had some leftovers from a Middle Eastern restaurant: vegetable gallabah, pita bread and seasoned fries. Put the bread and fries in the oven and heated the veggies (with rice) on the stove. In the two smaller bowls are sweet chili sauce (red) and a mix of dill relish, horseradish mustard and Vegenaise (white-ish) for dipping the fries in. The bigger bowl with the yellow and the black specks is pine nut hummus with olive oil and truffle-infused olive oil drizzled atop and a splash of black sesame seeds added for extra iron and calcium.
My whole eating got out of whack today. I had a blood draw to do that didn’t happen until 2pm, which meant I had to fast in order for it to come back with the appropriate numbers. I broke this fast with baked Lays and a banana (I was subject to the cafe at the veteran’s hospital) and then had acupressure and foot reflexology done, which took out another hour and a half.
I went to Chipotle (right near the acupressure place) and bought a burrito bowl and a side of tortilla chips. Just an FYI for anyone who was unaware, Chipotle’s pinto beans contain pork, so you want to use the black beans. In fact, most prepared pinto beans contain pork while most prepared black beans do not…keep that in mind! I topped this with Tabasco’s jalapeno and chipotle hot sauces. It was super delicious.
I was a little peckish and had some of a vegan muffin I bought earlier, but wasn’t interested in the whole thing. It’s 4:30 in the morning (I have insomnia in addition to chronic fatigue…don’t know how that works but it’s apparently very common) and I’m starving…gonna make some ramen.
Drinks today included water, two iced black Americanos, and about 6 ounces of Mt Dew Voltage.
I wish I could tell you this was “from scratch” in the sense that I made the seitan and made the sauce. If you want to make your own seitan, more power to you! For me…well…just not this time. Part of this food blog is to show how easy vegan cooking can be, so please forgive me when I use quick substitutes.
-Vegetables of your choice (I use a frozen stir fry vegetable blend that includes red bell pepper, mushrooms, yellow bell pepper, carrots, and water chestnuts)
-Seitan of your choice, cut into bite-sized chunks (I used a can of “stir fry vegetables and vegetarian mock meat,” which is what I found at my local Asian market)
-Noodles or rice (pictured are green mung bean noodles)
-Vegetarian stir fry sauce, hoisin sauce, or other sweet/salty sauce of your choice
-Nutritional yeast extract, garlic powder, hot pepper paste, black sesame seeds to taste
-Sesame seed oil, either on its own or blended with a high-heat-friendly oil (like grapeseed, corn, canola, or vegetable oil) for frying
Step 1: Place a large skillet or wok on very high heat, adding in enough oil to just coat the bottom of the pan (about 4 tablespoons)
Step 2: Add in vegetables and seitan, stirring/tossing frequently (preferably with wooden cooking utensils as they don’t scratch)
Step 3: Boil water and cook noodles, drain noodles.
Step 4: To the vegetables/seitan in the wok, add your spices and sauce, to taste.
Step 5: Serve vegetable/seitan mixture over noodles and enjoy.
Last night’s drinking left me with a hangover, so I opted for a peanut butter banana sandwich (dusted with cinnamon). A good tip is to slice the banana lengthwise instead of into round slices. This allows for better coverage and a lot less “slippy” banana slices that slide out of the sandwich.
A fresh three bean salad with balsamic vinaigrette.
Because it was Veteran’s Day, I was able to take advantage of a local Arabic restaurant’s free meal. I was always interested in their ghallaba but never tried it…it was on the menu today so I tried some and it was really good. In addition, I had almond rice, lentil soup, spicy hummus and pita bread. Absolutely fabulous.
One of those “late night” snacks but I put it under 10 November because technically that was the date. I enjoyed a bowl of Hwa Ramyun, which is a Korean version of ramen. The “hwa” indicates that it’s spicy. I added frozen vegetables, shiitake mushrooms, Sriracha brand’s chili garlic paste, tumeric, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, sesame oil and black sesame seeds. Oh, it’s soooo good. So super delicious.
Hmm…Twitter isn’t really uploading like it should. Banana, clemintine and green tea for breakfast.
A super delicious veggie seitan stir fry served over glass noodles (green mung bean noodles in this case). It was insanely delicious and I will go ahead and post a recipe for those of you that can’t cook :)
I had leftover stir fry so I cooked up some rice-pumpkin noodles and served them over that.
Drinks today included water, green tea, mineral water, whiskey and vodka (mixed with Cherry Coke).
I had a dental visit so I wasn’t able to eat a proper breakfast. I had a banana on the way because I was really hungry and it was the only thing I could eat that didn’t require chewing.
Somehow my meals didn’t upload to Twitter…the snack I had after my dentist’s visit was a peanut butter Clif bar and baked Lays potato chips.
I’m sure I had something to eat, probably involved fruit, too…but because it wasn’t uploaded to Twitter I can’t rightly remember. I wonder what happened, I know I made updates like normal.
I had dinner at…a movie theater! I know, it’s terrible! I ended up having fries with ketchup, mustard, sweet relish and jalapenos. Terrible, I know, but hey, I’m a regular person and life’s not perfect all the time…or ever! :)
Drinks included water, mineral water (high calcium content), black coffee and a little Mr. Pibb.
Cinnamon granola cereal with soy milk. The soy milk is something I’m trying to reduce out of my diet because I don’t really care for soy. The problem is that it’s so inexpensive because I have a Costco membership, 12 one-quart containers for about as many dollars. Compare this to $2 per quart of almond milk and about double that for hemp milk (my personal favorite). I’ll figure something out :)
Chocolate chip Clif bar, a banana and a clemintine. I’m really happy I bought those fruits from Costco (aka, in bulk). I can’t wait until it warms up again so I can buy these locally.
Peanuts and another banana, lol. Lightly salted and super delicious.
I wanted ramen but had class, so I made a noodle salad. I made extra to bring to class and will be posting the recipe…don’t worry, it’s ridiculously easy! When I ate it in class, I paired with another banana.
Drinks today included water and an iced Americano (black).
Made a “mega sandwich” for my friend to thank him for picking me up. You guys gotta try these…will post recipe. :)
Since it was a weekend, I had a little more time to prepare something. It wasn’t anything “special” but was a sit-down breakfast of gluten-free waffles topped with peanut butter, cinnamon and a ripe banana.
Apples with organic creamy peanut butter and cinnamon was a tasty snack. It was something I used to eat at work but just stopped…not sure why. I’m trying to incorporate more fruit and nuts into my diet as of late because I noticed I tend to consume a lot more vegetables and grains. I am currently trying to reduce grains and increase vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds.
I opted for a methi roti sandwich again. Leftovers were done with but still had the other ingredients (including avocado). I decided to add Sriracha brand’s chili garlic paste, nutritional yeast, gravlaxsås, horseradish mustard and dill relish. Super tasty and super healthy!
Another peanut-butter extravaganza, lol! I snagged a banana, smeared it with peanut butter and dusted it with cinnamon. It’s a fabulous snack.
Dinner was a little…unconventional. I made some fritters from sweet dumpling squash and used up my ripe avocados to make a heap of guacamole. I’ll post recipes in a bit :)
Hi! Just came across this site you might like
http://veganmofo.wordpress.com/ ◄ all vegan stuff and check out the blogs they link to. You could ask them to link to yours too.
Thought you might find it useful.
Thanks for the link! I also really like your blog (that’s why I’m following you, lol) because it shows all the different ways one can approach such a “simple” meal!
These potatoes came into existence because I had a bunch of potatoes that need to be used and some peppers going bad. This is for one gigantic serving, as in you’re making this your main dish. If you’re making this as a side, then you’ll want to have one potato per person. The potatoes I have are small and I used three.
-1 potato per person (or 2-3 medium/small potatoes per person to make it a heftier course)
-1 habenero pepper per serving
-All the hot sauces in your kitchen, to taste
-Generous amounts of garlic and dried herbs, with salt to taste
-Mushrooms (I used dried shiitake mushrooms I reconstituted in warm water); saute them if you prefer, or use diced and fresh.
-Nutritional yeast and any other “cheesy” thing you have on-hand (I used Daiya cheddar)
-Milk and butter of your choice (to make it soy-free, I would recommend unsweetened unflavored hemp milk, and Earth Balance makes a soy-free vegan butter)
Step 1: Fill a medium pot about 3/4 of the way up with water. Put on high heat.
Step 2: While water is heating, scrub and dice your potatoes, leaving the skin on. See the end of this recipe if you don’t know how to chop potatoes easily.
Step 3: Add potatoes to water and cook until you can stab one easily with a fork. Turn off heat, drain water completely, and return to stove.
Step 4: Add in butter, about 1-2 teaspoons.
Step 5: Some people use a potato masher, but I like to use a spatula to mash the potatoes. Whatever you like, use that and mash the potatoes up.
Step 6: Add in a splash of milk, mash (or stir if you’ve mashed well) the milk into it, repeat until you have a consistency you like. Add in mushrooms.
Step 7: Add in your cheese, nutritional yeast, garlic and herbs. Keep adding until it tastes good to you.
Step 8: Mince your habenero pepper and add this to the mashed potatoes. Add in all your hot sauces, to taste…the more the merrier! I used the Sriracha brand’s chili garlic paste, The Ghost (made with ghost chilies), a habenero hot sauce with mustard in it, chili oil, and Texas Pete.
Step 9: Taste your potatoes. Adjust seasonings. Serve.
You can really add whatever you’d like to these…chives, bacon flavored salt, tempeh “bacon,” sour cream, chopped broccoli…but the fun is getting your mind to rethink mashed potatoes. There’s no reason we can’t have them burning hot, but I’ve never seen anyone spice them up!
Also, for those that don’t know how to dice potatoes for roasting or boiling, here’s how:
I feel so bad lately because I’m not posting anything fun! As the winter sets in, my joints ache and it’s difficult for me to want to do anything.
Non-existent like yesterday. I don’t know why, I just didn’t really “feel” it. Didn’t help that I woke up at noon!
Finished up the leftovers with yet another “leftover salad.” I like the fresh veggies, it’s easy to make, nutritious and tasty. Can’t really complain!
Three Oreo cookies. Not the healthiest thing, but it was pretty yummy :)
I was going to make a meal for my partner and I but he ended up eating something so I didn’t feel like going all out. I had a packet of ramen and added some stir fry vegetables, dried shiitake mushrooms, garlic, sriracha (the chili garlic paste kind), sesame seeds and sesame oil. It came out incredibly tasty and really hit the spot.
We didn’t use squash growing up and I was exposed to pumpkin like most people: in pie form. Now, there’s nothing wrong with pumpkin pie but aside from the odd scone or doughnut, there has to be something else pumpkin works in, so I set out to mess around with squash this winter.
The first squash recipe I made was pumpkin ravioli. Please keep in mind, again, that I use no measurements so you just have to feel it out. I have never made ravioli and if I can figure it out, so can you! :)
For the Pumpkin Filling:
-1 pie pumpkin, seeded, baked until soft, and skin removed
-1 fire roasted red pepper
-garlic and herbs (to taste)
-yellow squash, zucchini, and any other vegetables you’d like, sauteed
-1 veggie patty of your choice, cooked and chopped
-Flour, about 1-2 cups (I didn’t measure)
-Baking soda, about 1 teaspoon
-1 egg equivalent (I used Ener-G Egg Replacer)
-a little salt, a little garlic
-Enough water to make a dough
-a little flour (to make a roux)
-1 can Italian diced tomatoes (or 2-3 roma tomatoes, diced)
-garlic, herbs, balsamic vinegar to taste
-a little mustard and horseradish (don’t know why, just did it and it worked well…cuts the overpowering creaminess)
Step 1: Combine all the ingredients for the dough, mix well and keep adding a little flour at a time until the dough stops sticking to your hands. Set aside.
Step 2: Cook your vegetables and puree everything together. Add in diced shrimp or diced veggie patty. Set aside.
Step 3: Halve the dough and roll out both halves. One half will be for the bottom of the ravioli, and the other atop.
Step 4: Drop in filling, spaced evenly. I used about 1 rounded teaspoon of filling per ravioli.
Step 5: Place other half of rolled dough atop the filling. Run your finger between the filling lumps to seal the fillings in their own ravioli.
Step 6: Using a sharp knife or special ravioli cutter, cut out your ravioli by running your knife between the filling lumps (where you pressed your fingers).
Step 7: Now that the raviolis are separated, take a fork and, using the bottom side of the tongs, press all around the ravioli to seal it. When I say “press,” I mean to press all the way down and hard, then slide the fork straight back away from it. This will seal the edges.
I neglected to photograph it so here’s a little MS Paint action:
Step 8: With the leftover dough, re-roll and make more ravioli until it’s used up. If you have a lot of filling left, by all means make more dough!
Step 9: Now you need to cook the ravioli. We pan-fried it but you can bake it or cook it in the sauce, up to you.
Step 10: To make the sauce, on medium heat add butter and flour, enough to make a paste. Add in your soy milk or cream, and whisk well to combine the paste (roux) and the liquid. Add in the rest of the ingredients and simmer.
Step 11: Serve with whatever you’d like. I served mine with vegetables sauteed in vegan butter and minced garlic, garlic-herb bread, and olive oil infused with white truffle essence for dipping the bread. My two friends raved about it!
SF: Simply replace the soy milk with another milk of your choice. The vegan butter can be replaced with vegetable oil or with Earth Balance’s soy-free vegan butter.
GF: I happened to have white flour hanging around, but there’s no reason you can’t use buckwheat, spelt, rice, etc. flour. The garlic bread can be omitted or swapped out for your favorite bread.
Yes, you guessed it, I was in hangover city this morning! Unfortunately, I had to awaken early for a doctor’s appointment. To keep the puking feelings at bay, I only snagged water and a Clif bar (chocolate chip) on my way out. I was not feeling good!
I decided to create a couple meals based on the leftover udon chili. The first was a sandwich made with hummus, hot sauce, garlic, mixed salad greens, orange sweet peppers, tomatoes and udon chili all atop Methi Roti (fenugreek and other seasonings baked into Indian roti). I also decided to make my own “salad cup” by layering udon chili, diced tomatoes, hot sauce, balsamic vinegar, salad greens, diced orange sweet peppers, hot sauce, garlic, tumeric and hummus in a coffee tumbler. After eating about half the sandwich, I became very full and decided to wrap the sandwich and take it to class, while leaving the salad cup in the fridge. I snagged a clementine and headed to class.
I believe in sharing and I shared the clementine with the classmates to my left and right. I was really, really hungry but didn’t crack into the rest of my “leftovers sandwich” because of the strong smell. I was so hungry! After class, I dug in and was still very hungry. A friend of mine had a gigantic pear and was happy to give it to me. Super juicy, even if it was a little bruised from his backpack! :) See? It pays to be nice!
After coming home, I cracked into the salad cup I had made. I poured it on a plate and wow it looked cool…and tasted great! The balsamic vinegar was taking a chance, but quite honestly it matched the chili really well and helped take away the bite while pairing with the sweetness of the peppers and tomatoes.
I made a smaller version of the leftovers salad because I had to make something with potatoes. I bought a big bag of them and they’re getting close to going bad. I used three of them (they’re kind of small) to make something I titled Cheesy Herb-Garlic Lava Potatoes. They’re pretty awesome so I’m making a recipe entry for them.
I did start eating early this morning…more like “late night” but it was around 3am for studying so I’ll slap it under 3 November. I had a Gnu brand orange cranberry fiber bar followed with a slice of spelt bread that had peanut butter and raspberry blackberry jam on it. I studied some more, fell asleep, and my “real” breakfast was an orange and a quinoa salad (pictured). This was the same kind I’ve had before, with two kinds of quinoa, edamame, currants, walnuts, and red bell pepper topped with a balsamic vinaigrette. Paired with this was an orange.
This wasn’t for me but was something I made for my partner: a chocolate peanut butter Oreo soy milkshake. I used unflavored soy milk, three Oreo cookies, a generous scoop of creamy natural peanut butter, chocolate syrup, ice cubes, and a little bit of hemp milk ice cream (chocolate biscotti flavor). It was really yummy and he downed it!
I was still full from breakfast (soy usually leaves me bloated, so I tend to eat it sparingly) but awoke from a nap a bit hungry. I had a falafel, a stuffed grape leaf, tabouli, and a few bites of the leftover udon chili.
Snack? Dinner? Dessert?
I didn’t eat the rest of the day because I ended up drinking…a lot. I think there was a bowl of cereal at one point, but I know I didn’t eat it all since I found it sitting on table the next morning.
Drinks today included water, an iced Americano (black), vanilla vodka and lime vodka mixed with RC Cola, and some Soju brand sake.
Many apologies for the lack of updates the past few days. I have fibromyalgia (why I went vegan) and I still am affected by chronic fatigue. Chronic fatigue isn’t just “Oh gee, I’m tired” but doing simple stuff like opening my computer to type an update is too much. I have my phone on me all the time, so that’s why the Twitter updates continued…best way to track these, really :) I decided to make separate posts for separate days to avoid it being too wordy.
I was in a hurry today so I ended up leaving the house with nothing! Had to drop a friend off at the airport and drive over an hour after that to get to the dentist’s. On the way, I stopped at a Starbucks and enjoyed one of their oatmeals with dried mixed fruit and mixed nuts. I was only able to eat about half of it (grains tend to bloat me) and finished the rest after the dentist visit.
After eating the rest of the oatmeal, I ate a raw snack bar (raisins and chocolate flavor).
Finally, sustenance! I had a fresh three-bean salad (with balsamic vinaigrette) and an orange.
I made an earlier post regarding lentils and udon noodles…did that again only I used beans ready for chili and spicy diced tomatoes in the mix as well. So lentils, split peas, udon noodles, beans, tomatoes, and I started it all by sauteeing a mix of sweet peppers from the Farmer’s Market. They smelled amazing and let off this really great oil. I also added in frozen mixed vegetables (peas, corn, carrots and green beans). It’s pictured below. With this, we also had some roasted diced potatoes (herbs, garlic, a little Himalayan pink salt tossed with oil and vegan butter). The kitchen smelled like Thanksgiving, it was really delicious and had plenty of leftovers.
Drinks today included water, orange juice, and a “vitamin enhanced” flavored water.
“Black forest mocha” smoothie made with frozen cherries, 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I used Lipotropic pea protein), a BCAA powder (if you don’t know, don’t worry about it), ground coffee and crushed flax seeds.
Leftover kare (Japanese style curry) that contained chunks of potato, carrots, orange bell pepper, and extra firm tofu. I didn’t have rice made so I boiled some sweet potato noodles. After the noodles were done, I drained and added to the kare. I decided to add in more veggies, so in the same pot I sauteed some frozen vegetables (corn, peas, carrots, green beans). Added in tumeric, bhut jolokia hot sauce, and Indian chili powder.
I was at school all day and working on a project so I didn’t have a proper dinner but did have some snacks. An apple, an orange, hot peanuts and baked chips. These weren’t all at once, but spaced out to help sate me until later.
I enjoyed a quinoa salad made with regular and red quinoa, edamame, red peppers, green peppers, currants and walnuts with a balsamic vinegarette. Yummy!
I satisfied my sweet tooth with Tempt brand hemp milk ice cream in coffee biscotti. Creamy hemp milk ice cream blended with organic coffee and chocolate biscotti pieces, who can say no? :)
Drinks today included water, iced Americanos (black), cooled black coffee, and I had a little sake and a bit of an IPA while doing homework. I’m updating today from my phone so I can’t add pictures, but did take a pretty picture of the kare so I will add that later!