Vegan week has come to a close. This week presented a few challenges to my willpower, including a dinner party and a night at a friend’s parents’ house, but I made it through. Will I become a vegan now? I don’t think so. I do think it was healthier than my normal diet, so I hope to keep aspects of it in my normal life. But I don’t have personal objections to the use of animal products (milk, cheese, eggs), and to maintain this type of eating, I think you have to have that strong moral drive. I tremendously respect everyone who feels this way, and I know there’s a huge difference between doing it for a week and living it.
As for health advantages, I did feel lighter, my grocery bill was certainly cheaper, and I never felt deprived. I think going forward I’ll be more conscious of where my food comes from and how it’s made, and isn’t that the ultimate organic goal?
Breakfast – Green smoothie with soy milk
Lunch – Leftover Quinoa with vegetables
Dinner – Slow cooker vegan enchiladas – I made basic enchiladas in my new, fancy slowcooker. I just didn’t top them with cheese, and filled them with beans, onions, and peppers. Delicious!
Breakfast – Green Smoothie with Berries (changing it up!)
Lunch – Leftover enchiladas
Dinner – Slow cooker soup – a combination of a few recipes I found, I basically just threw tomato puree, vegetable broth, white beans, rice, and artichoke hearts in the slow cooker. One mistake – I should have put the rice in when I got home; as it was the rice basically dissolved into the soup. Then, right before serving, I threw in some baby spinach to add some greens.
Breakfast – Purple smoothie (banana, berries, soy milk, flax seed – I was out of spinach)
Lunch – Leftover Pad Thai ala Katie…I made way too much of this stuff.
Dinner – Delicious sesame tofu and snap peas over fried rice. The recipe is below, and I heartily encourage you to make it
Lunch – Buttery noodles, made with vegan butter…sometimes I just want comfort food – no judgement.
Dinner – Dinner was at a dinner party at a friend’s house. Since she’s a great Italian cook, and I knew she would have lots of cheese and meat in her meal, I brought my own pesto pasta. That way it didn’t stick out like a sore thumb. She also made a homemade white bean dip for me, which was so sweet and tasty. For dessert I made a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting that was entirely vegan (pictured above). Even this stromboli-loving group thought it was pretty good.
Breakfast – This was pretty difficult. My friends took me to a New Jersey bagel joint. I kid you not when I say the entire menu was comprised of combinations of bagels, eggs, cheese, and bacon. Luckily (so lucky) they had Naked juices. I bought two and called it a breakfast. To be fair, I probably (definitely) got more nutrition from my juices than my friends got from their bagels with bacon.
Lunch – My weekend tour of the Mid-Atlantic continued on to New York. Lunch was grazing on carrots and hummus.
Dinner – A mish-mosh sort of dinner that my friend’s mom made for us, I lucked out again in that my friend is a vegetarian. So their house was stocked with plenty of vegan-friendly food. I had noodle soup, “chicken” strips, salad, and zucchini. Just the right sort of dinner to usher me in to raw week.
And now, for the recipe I promised.
Sesame Tofu and Snap Peas over Fried Rice (Vegan)
*All sauce amounts are approximate and to taste
12 ounce package of firm tofu
1/2 cup terriyaki sauce
1/2 cup sesame oil
4 cups cooked rice, cold
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup soy sauce
2-3 cups sugar snap peas
Cut the tofu into 1 inch square pieces. Then press between sheets of paper towels until most of the water has come out. Put the tofu into a bowl and pour the terriyaki sauce over it to marinate. Cover and set to the side while you make the fried rice. To make the fried rice, pour a couple of tablespoons of sesame oil into a saute pan over medium high heat. Once hot, add rice, garlic, and onions and saute until onions are clear. Add 1/3 cup soy sauce, stir until the sauce is mixed in. Turn heat down to simmer, and stir occasionally.
Uncover the tofu bowl and pour any excess sauce into another bowl (you’ll use it later). Spread the cornstarch on a plate, and roll the tofu in the cornstarch to coat. Then heat 2 tablespoons of sesame oil over medium heat in a saute pan and, working in batches if necessary, stir-fry the tofu until the outside is browned and crispy. Once cooked, set the tofu aside and stir-fry the snap peas in the same manner. When the snap peas are warm and soft, add the tofu back in and mix with 1/3 cup soy sauce and any extra terriyaki sauce. Serve over fried rice and enjoy. Yield – 4 entree portions.