Monday, January 18, 2010

Vegan Challenge - Week 1

So I have made it through a full week of vegan eating. While the start up costs hurt my budget (By hurt, I mean doubled my grocery bill!!) I have to say it did not take long to get me on board with this diet. I am way less tired all the time, I rarely feel hungry, it takes less food to make me feel full, I am drinking more water than ever, and best of all I have not craved meat or dairy once. Well, that may not be completely true, on day two I was drooling over every steak house that I passed. Even as a meat eater I didn't crave things like steak.. How weird is that!?

I am completely surprised that I have not wanted milk or cheese once since starting. Before, both were a part of almost every meal. I was completely hooked. I have no idea why I don't crave either now.. I really don't want to know, I am just glad I don't have to feel the pains of detox.

It has been a learning curve for me. I thought I started off so well; I went to Asian markets for most of my food and then got the few last things at Planet Organic. I made a food plan for the week and tried to reuse ingredients to waste less. I tried have balanced meals and treats and snacks so I wouldn't feel deprived.

Things that I have learned:
1. Beans - who knew how much work goes into these things? And who knew that they pretty much are involved in every meal I eat now... You have to soak them and cook them for hours.. and you can't even leave them to cook, because the water might boil out and need replenishing. I have not quite gotten the hang of the bean situation yet, but I have vowed to try at least eight different bean dishes this month. I have already had two and two more on the menu this week. i wish someone could tell me the easy way to deal with these things.. They confuse me.

2. Tempeh is gross - Ok well that might be exaggerating a bit, but I made a slow cooker meal with tempeh and it was not good. The tempeh had the consistency of spam and the taste of rubber. I don't know if I will try it again... we'll see.

3. Tofu prep - I learned a great trick to prepare tofu. When you buy it, freeze it right away, then let it sit and thaw on the counter. If you do this you can wring the tofu out like a sponge. So much easier than weight down tofu with paper towel and plates etc.

4. Vegan Jello - my dessert this week was Vegan jello. Jello is my favorite thing in the world.. so good light and a million flavours. So I got the recipe for fruit juice, berries and agar agar with ginger juice... I didn't try it until today in fear from my life (something about gelatinous sea vegetables that freak me out) well... verdict - it was really good! not really jello.. but it jiggles and tasted great. Success!

5. Quinoa - Weird super grain.. looks like couscous, cooks like rice.. tastes pretty good, but wouldn't eat it on its own.

Well on to week two - bean dishes, black eyed peas and vegan peanut butter rice crispy treats... I think its going to be a good one.

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