Food, Health

Food Updates and the Processed Vegan Trap

So it’s day 4 of our own little vegan challenge and and I must say that I am insanely proud of the Hubs. He’s still going strong and even starting to get excited about vegan cooking. The Hubs loves to cook and he loves to cook meat so it’s pretty amazing that vegan cooking is getting him excited! I’ll be honest, I had my doubts that he would even last 24 hours!

Day 1 of the vegan challenge started with Sunday morning breakfast. Sorghum flour pancakes and tofurkey breakfast sausage.

The Happy Hubby Cook

I topped mine with a little organic peanut butter, fresh sliced organic strawberries and bananas.  Hubs topped his with Earth Balance and Eaton’s Vermont maple syrup. I think VT maple syrup is the Hub’s third true love (next to myself and Stella of course). Thankfully,  we still have more than 30 mini bottles left over from our wedding!

peanut butter, strawberry and banana vegan pancakes

I am not much for eating the processed faux-meats, but the Tofurkey breakfast sausage was really good. Hubs LOVED it. I learned early on in my first vegan challenge in 2009 that just because something is vegan does NOT mean it’s healthy.  I spent the first challenge trying to replace the things in my diet I thought I “needed.”  Of course I really didn’t need them. Eating processed vegan crap is just as bad as eating processed normal crap. After the first 20 days I realized that I had actually gained a significant amount of weight. Since that first challenge I have been extremely conscious about what sort of processed meat/dairy substitutes I choose. Vegan challenge 2 and 3, I eliminated the processed stuff entirely.

The Hubs is making it a bit more challenging for me this time around. This is his first time attempting a vegan diet, and he feels he needs the substitutes (just like I felt I needed them!) so I want to support him in any way I can!

Dinner on night one was my vegan stuffed peppers. Recipe here. I love these peppers and could eat them more than once a week. Hubs? Not so much. He doesn’t even like regular stuffed peppers. (I don’t get it. But there are LOTS of taste differences that we have that I don’t get – and that’s another blog entirely). Night 2 I compromised and we had veggie burgers on sprouted grain english muffins with Daiya cheese. I could have made healthier veggie burgers from scratch, but we all lead busy lives and we wanted quick and easy. Frozen it was.

Southwest Organic Sunshine Burger on a 7 grain sprouted english muffin with Daiya cheddar cheese and honey mustard accompanied by a fluffy garden salad.

Hubs had his veggie burger with chips and apple sauce (such a kiddo!) and I had a leafy green salad (boston lettuce, mesclun mix, cucumbers, tomatoes, red bell peppers and carrots). The entire meal was delicious.

I am trying to get Hubs to eat more veggies and less processed stuff. It’s not an easy task. We’re taking baby steps. I’m just grateful he agreed to do the challenge with me, it really makes life SO much easier when I don’t have to drool over his Friday night pizza!  This morning I made him drink a green juice consisting of a head of kale, 4 celery stalks, a cucumber, an apple, a lemon and some ginger. If he won’t eat the fruits and veggies, I’ll make him drink them! I can be sneaky about navigating the processed vegan traps! 🙂

Tonight we’re having vegan mac & cheese, sauteed broccoli and carrots and a garden salad. I’m excited to test out the vegan mac & cheese recipe I found. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Any new vegans get caught in the processed vegan trap?  How did you find your way out? 

Food

Dinner, Night 1

Night 1 of the vegan challenge, my favorite stuffed peppers.  These have been a staple in my diet for quite some time now. They’re perfect for any season and you can tweak the recipe and the vegetables you use to the season and/or your liking

Vegan Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients
4 large bell pepper (your choice of color)
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup black beans
1/2 cup salsa (I used Green Mountain Gringo)
1/2 cup corn (canned or thawed, frozen is fine)
sauteed veggies of your choice (I used zucchini, onion, mushrooms, carrots and broccoli)
Shredded “cheese” (I used vegan cheddar, but if you want full dairy, go for it)
cumin, salt and pepper to taste

Start cooking the quinoa (remember to rinse before you boil or it gets sticky!!)
Saute your favorite chopped fresh veggies in olive oil with fresh minced garlic.

Add salt, pepper and cumin to taste (I like a lot of cumin – at least 1 tsp)
Rinse black beans and set aside.
Cut peppers in half (lengthwise) – try to leave the stem intact so the filling doesn’t fall out and remove inside and seeds
In a large bowl mix quinoa, salsa, black beans, corn and sauteed veggies. – taste, add more salsa if you like.
Stuff peppers with quinoa/black bean mix.
Place stuffed peppers in a glass baking pan with a 1/2 inch to 1 inch of water in the bottom, cover with foil.
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes to brown/melt the cheese.
Enjoy!!!