Thursday, February 28, 2013

DAY 28!!!!

So. To answer all the questions, yes! I'm gonna keep up the vegan diet as long as I can. I feel great inside and out. One of the strangest things is that I feel happier overall. I don't know if it's the extra yoga classes, or the diet, or just because I'm in control of food, but who cares. I feel happier, so I'm gonna keep it up.

I will keep posting here, craft and non craft related posts (this blog was meant for craft stuff, but then was taken over by food stuff!). I am going to try a gluten free diet in the month of April to see if that helps get rid of the last remaining ouchies and ickies that I have. Between now and then I need to research, and get rid of the gluten stuff that we have in our cupboards. So - favorite gluten free, vegan resources?

On a food note, I made this the other day, and it was incredible. I try to stay away from tofu because I've never been able to make it well, but this recipe was a hit. Even Jefferson liked it!

I missed the first day photo, and my day-after leftovers aren't as glamourous looking, but you get the point.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

vegan potstickers and fried rice!

So. I had planned to make potstickers tonight, with fried rice on the side. It all started this past weekend, when I was digging though some vegan cookbooks, and blogs (see previous post). I knew that I had some egg roll wrappers stashed in the freezer, and I was ready for a little culinary challenge.

I was so proud of myself that I remembered to put the egg roll wrappers in the refrigerator on Monday. I knew that they would be ready for cooking today, so I just started making dinner. I put a cup of brown rice in the rice cooker, and started chopping for the potstickers.

In the potstickers, I scrambled some tofu (holy crap, it looks just like eggs when you crumble it), added some cabbage (we only had purple cabbage), onion, green onion, cilantro, mushrooms, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame sauce, and a little bit of oil for it to cook in. I roughly followed this recipe (just minimized the amounts by quite a bit.. and I hardly ever measure).

After they insides were done cooking, I reached in the fridge for the egg roll wrappers.. that's when I realized that they're made with eggs! (duh!). I did a quick google search, and decided to make my own wrappers. I roughly followed this recipe (again, minimized quite a bit, and I did not let the dough sit. and I used wheat flour), rolled it out as thin as I could and wrapped it up. I wrapped it in this style, because I think it looks way cuter.

Meanwhile, the rice is done cooking. So I put a bit of oil in a pan, plopped the potstickers in the oil, and let them cook for a few minutes, roughly following this idea. After they were browned on the bottom, I added a little bit of water, and put the lid on. While they were cooking, I put some onions, broccoli, peas, and carrots in a pan with the brown rice. I heated it up a bit, and added some soy sauce. Inspired by this recipe.

This is me in the kitchen for a night. Jefferson gave the recipe an "8" (high on his scale, an 8 means make it again), and grabbed an extra potsticker before I could put them away.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

E2 challenge - resources

I thought I would write a blog about some of the things I've been using to get through the 28 day challenge.


Serious Eats has been a favorite blog of mine, even in my non-vegan days (ya know, 18 days ago). The site is a little hard to navigate sometimes, but if you're not looking for something specific, it can really be inspiring. Like -

frito boat

Frito boats. I don't even need to say any more. I filled my bowl up with Fritos, Trader Joe's organic vegetarian chili, some avocado, red onions, salsa, and chopped tomatoes. 

Vegan Lunchbox has been another favorite. I've made a few things from here (like the amazing pita pockets), but I want to make everything! The blog itself is so colorful, and just filled with one amazing recipe after another. 

A few of my dessert recipes have come from Oh She Glows. This is another site that seems like it's spot on every time. 


I already wrote once about The Kind Diet. It's been a great resource to have.

I just picked up Vegan Cooking for Carnivores  from the library. At first glance it seems like a lot of the recipes rely on fake meat products. They seem simple though, and I've bookmarked a few recipes to try. 

I'll add more as I think of them. 


Monday, February 11, 2013

28 day challenge - day 9, 10, 11 favorites

Exercise, vegan, yadda yadda yadda.

Here are some highlights from the past few days.

Thanksgiving-style pita pockets. I thought were delish, Jefferson thought had too much cranberry. I microwaved the sweet potato and smashed it into the other ingredients. The recipe is a little vague on what to do with the ingredients, so I improvised. Next time, I will cook the carrot as well.
brussels sprouts

Shredded brussels sprouts and apples. My friend, Georgia, braved this one with me. I used field roast apple sausage instead of tofu, and golden delicious apples because that was what was on sale. It was delicious, and super quick to make.

peanut butter + banana ice cream
with apple-oatmeal cookie

With that dinner, I made banana-almond butter ice cream. I only had one banana, but I used the called-for amount of almond butter (peanut butter) and I thought it was a little bit chewy. I made oatmeal cookies for an almost cookie sandwich dessert.


The last favorite was the vegan breakfast tacos I made on Saturday for breakfast. Jefferson and I used to make breakfast tacos with corn tortillas, hash browns, morningstar bacon (which is not vegan. :-( ), and eggs. I made him the usual breakfast taco, but subbed mine with roasted grape tomatoes and bell pepper, smart bacon (which is vegan), and avocado.


Friday, February 8, 2013

28 day challenge - day 5, 6, 7, 8

No! I didn't fall off the wagon. I just fell off the blogging wagon!

On day 5, we had a super early morning run/walk. When I came home, I made vegan biscuits and had peanut butter on them. My dear husband made me some cut up fruit on the side. For lunch, I made these crazy bean pizzas with fake cheese sauce. They were delicious, especially on the whole wheat tortillas. I brought some veggies for dinner, since Tuesday's are my long day at school.

On Wednesday (day 6), I did yoga at the studio for the AM workout. I had hot cereal for breakfast, again with fruit. I made some ramen for lunch, with udon noodles and some green onions. It was a little plain - I usually put an egg in it, and I was definitely missing that flavor. For dinner, I made a vegan sausage and wild rice pilaf.  The Field Roast brand sausage was delicious - I got apple sage to try, and it was better than most meat sausages I've had. and I LOVE sausage.

On Thursday, I had the run/walk again. It was super cold (my car was still frozen when I left!). When I came back, I had cereal and coconut milk yogurt for breakfast. After breakfast, I had my regular yoga class (still going even though I'm doing this 28 day thing!). For lunch, I made potato leek soup. I added kale and avocado to mine, J added bacon bits to his. I had some chips and salsa with black beans for dinner.

Today, so far, I went to pilates this morning. I had cereal and soy milk for breakfast, leftover potato leek soup for lunch (with kale and avocado again!), and a couple of vegan cupcakes (I used beet juice to tint the frosting!).

I'm really starting to fall into a stride with this vegan thing. I really like the taste of soy milk and especially the coconut milk yogurt. The whole wheat flour is delicious, and I could pretty much live off oatmeal. For a few days I felt like I was missing something, but I'm feeling okay now. I still wouldn't say no to a melty piece of cheese, and when someone mentioned McDonalds earlier, I nearly cried. But I'm feeling strong (and losing weight!) and I'm generally excited about the whole thing.


Monday, February 4, 2013

28 day challenge - day 4

Today starts the first full week of 5AM workouts. Yoga today, running tomorrow, yoga on Wednesday, running on Thursday, and pilates on Friday. This in addition to my already scheduled yoga on Thursday + Sunday, plus the daily dog walks. I'm gonna get buff. :-) 


Today was better. I've been craving peanut butter, so I think tomorrow I'm gonna get a piece of toast with peanut butter for breakfast. I'm also having sugar cravings pretty bad, and I assume it's part of the withdrawl. I'm trying to satisfy it with juice/fruit, but I did eat some twizzlers (not as many as yesterday, thankfully) and some leftover vegan birthday cake today. Tomorrow will be better. again. 

For breakfast - oatmeal and fruit. I'm getting good at this. 

Lunch - sushi roll! brown rice, avocado, bell pepper, cucumber, and carrots. 

Dinner - beet burgers! I tried to also make rutabaga chips, but they burned. So I had cucumber salad on the side (sliced cucumber and a little bit of rice vinegar), and hubby had chips and salsa. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

28 day challenge - day 3

Today was the day of the snacks. 

For breakfast, I had my leftover birthday-dinner fajitas in a whole wheat tortilla with a bit of flax seed. It was served with a side of fruit - pear, apple, banana, and tangerine. 

food stuffs!
For lunch, my husband and I went to a diner with my in-laws. We thought the diner would be safer than fast food, but it seemed we might have been wrong. I had a cup of veggie soup (tomato broth with potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery) with a side salad (lemon wedge instead of dressing). I ate a ton of saltine crackers to soak up the tomato broth. 

As a mid-afternoon and evening snack, I had a lot of twizzlers (I won't tell you how many.. ). I prefer the cherry flavor, and boy are they delicious. 

In the mid-afternoon I had a yoga break. I went down to COIL yoga for their slow flow class. It gets me started on a good week note. 

As a pre-dinner snack, I had a toro bread bun that I found at an unnamed-asian grocery store in town. I stopped there to get a bamboo sushi rolling mat - which leads me to, 

For dinner! I made sushi. The insides were: brown rice, bell peppers, cucumber, carrot, and avocado. The first one (shown) didn't turn out to well, but the one I made for lunch tomorrow actually looks like a sushi roll! 

Let's hope tomorrow I am stronger, and will stay further away from the sugary stuffs. 


Saturday, February 2, 2013

28 day challenge - day 2!

Day 2
Day 2 started off with breakfast with my parents. We went to Patio Cafe, a fancy-ish brunch place. I had their baked oatmeal. It came with a few strawberries and blackberries, and a side of brown sugar, and raisins. I opted out of the brown sugar, and asked if I could get a little side of sunflower seeds instead. There was soy milk on the side.

I skipped lunch, since we ate so late.

For dinner, I made baked falafel. I stopped at the Fresno international deli and got some pita bread, fresh hummus, olives, and lotsa peppers. We had some friends over, and made our falafel sandwiches.

We all ate leftover vegan birthday cake for dessert. :-)


Friday, February 1, 2013

28 day challenge - day 1!

Today started with an early morning wake up call - 5:30 AM pilates. Like I tweeted earlier, you shouldn't ever have "5:30AM" and "pilates" in the same sentence. It didn't end up being that bad - after the initial shock, it was actually kind of fun. It certainly made the morning go by faster, and I was wide awake for my 8AM class.

For breakfast, Jefferson cut me up some fruit, and I had a little bit of oatmeal with apples, flax seed, and a tiny tiny bit of agave syrup. 

On the way to school I stopped and got my free starbucks drink (free drink on your birthday, yo) - a decaf, soy latte. 

For lunch, I made myself a salad with lettuce, bell pepper, and celery. I used some of the trader joes balsamic vinaigrette for dressing - even though I'm technically not supposed to have oil, I only used a super tiny bit. Just for flavor. 

For dinner, I went out with my husband and parents. We went to Plaza Ventana for my birthday dinner. I had veggie fajitas (had mushrooms, onions, squash, and peppers), with black beans and guacamole on the side. I got corn tortillas, since the waiter wasn't sure if they used lard in the flour ones. 

My dear husband, Jefferson, bought me a vegan cake from Charlottes BakerEatery to celebrate my dinner. It was a white cake, with white frosting, but it had creamy fresh fruit layers in between. 

Rockin it so far. I can't wait to see what the rest of the month will bring me.