Vegetarian week is out of the way, and compared to what I was thinking, it was pretty much a breeze. Vegan week is another story. In anticipation for these weeks, I’ve planned most of my meals ahead of time so I have the right ingredients (always important), but also so when I get home from work and I’m hungry, I have a plan and I’m not tempted by any non-vegan treats around the apartment. Tuesday threw a curveball into the plan, but you know what? That happens in life. I can’t avoid eating out or seeing people just because I’ve decided to eat a certain way. Vegans don’t just sit in a yoga studio eating quinoa all day. So I helped out a friend yesterday, and I’m going to a dinner party Saturday. It’s not the end of the world, and even if more things come up, I’ll figure it out, no meat or dairy required.
Breakfast – Green smoothie, except without the Greek yogurt. So, soy milk stepped in with my protein boost, complete with the usual spinach, flax seed, and banana.
Lunch – Leftover vegan pad thai ala Katie
Dinner – Confession time: I’ve never had quinoa before. I’ve heard how amazing it is, how delicious and versatile the flavor can be. It’s super healthy and packed with protein. I’ve been hearing all of that for a while now, I just hadn’t gotten around to it. Well tonight I did, and WOW. It really is that good. It’s like a puffier version of couscous, except it’s not even a grain, it’s a seed. And it was all so easy – I roasted whatever vegetables I had around, and tossed them with the quinoa and some kidney beans. Very filling and tasty, and loaded with protein. The recipe is at the bottom of this post.
Breakfast – As I said above, I needed to help out a friend today, which resulted in watching a baby. To me, this is heaven, so I had a great time on Tuesday playing with one of the sweetest kids I know. It also resulted in me forgetting to eat breakfast…oops!
Lunch – This was the tricky part. I had to make a vegan lunch in a standard buffet-style lunchroom, which would be fine, except the salad bar was HORRIBLE. Which is strange, because the rest of the food was fine. But anyway, I thought I was quite clever; I ordered a veggie hoagie with roasted mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, onions, some lettuce, and grabbed a side of french fries (not so healthy, but the sandwich made me feel like a saint, so it balanced). Until I sat down to eat and realized – lots of bread has some sort of egg in it, and I had no way of knowing whether or not this was one of those rolls. So I dumped the veggies out of the bread and had a mini-salad. Still pretty good.
Dinner – By the time the baby went to bed, I was HUNGRY (see hoagie-less hoagie, above). I considered Italian (excuse me, sir, is this pasta made with egg?), and a standard pub veggie burger, until the boyfriend had a brilliant idea – Sushi! Now sushi is probably the number one thing I miss about eating fish, or really any meat. But as I looked at the menu, I realized Japanese restaurants have a lot of vegan fair, so I made myself a little takeout feast: Avocado sushi, miso soup, edamame, and veggie tempura. I was full and happy.
Quinoa with Beans and Roasted Vegetables
1 large yellow onion
10-15 small baby carrots
1 green bell pepper
5 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (oregano, parsley, basil)
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1 can red kidney beans (any type of bean will work)
Preheat oven to 350°. Dice carrots, onions, garlic, and pepper. Combine in baking pan and toss with olive oil, Italian seasoning, and a pinch of sea salt. Roast in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. Prepare quinoa to package directions and set aside. Remove vegetables when they’re soft and cooked through. Combine beans and vegetables in a saute pan over medium heat, cooking until the beans are warm. In a mixing or serving bowl, combine vegetables and beans with quinoa, and toss. Add olive oil and sea salt to taste. Yield – 4 entree portions.