These are my favorite vegetarian foods

Everybody always wants to know what I eat.

Surprise, there’s so much more to life than eating animals 🐷🐔🦃🐄

I’m not perfect, I eat eggs sometimes and fish or shrimp probably once a month. I get it, we’ve been told our whole lives a meal isn’t a meal unless there’s meat.

More: Why I stopped eating meat (hint: cute pig involved)

It took me a while to convince myself that a main course can be a vegetable, pasta (edamame pasta preferably), beans or a substitute like tofu.

(Note: I’m not an expert, just explaining what I do and what works for me.)

Here’s what I’m eating these days:

1. Edamame

Too much soy is bad depending on who you talk to. I eat soy in different forms several times a week. Edamame is great steamed in shell or my favorite is to cook the individual beans and store them in the fridge to add to salad and wraps. They’re a good source of protein and good carbs.

We make an amazing salad or wrap filling using broccoli slaw, cold edamame, red onion, cucumber, hemp seeds and topped with a little olive oil, red wine vinegar and a few spices. You can add diced cheese for extra flavor. It stores well in the fridge for a day or two (the slaw doesn’t get soggy) and can be eaten on its own or in a wrap.

2. Sweet potatoes

This is my current obsession. Yes it’s a starchy carb but it’s on my good can list. We mix sautéed onions, hemp seeds and sautéed sweet potato rounds and top with over easy eggs. SO GOOD.

I also like to mix sweet potatoes with a bunch of other veggies and toss with hemp seeds for an easy lunch at work.

3. Nut tacos

Don’t laugh! It sounds funny but they are so good. I bake and top with avocado, spinach and red onion. Michael likes them, too. It’s great when you’re craving a junk(ish) dinner.

4. Protein bars

These save me in a bind. I bounce between vegan and non-vegan versions. The non-vegan versions have more protein. I look for 20g of protein and less than 30g of carbs. ONE Bars are one of my favorites.

More: Try this vegan chili recipe
More: Here’s what I eat in a day

5: Chia seeds

I’m hooked on chia pudding right now. Just mix the ingredients and cool in the refrigerator for an hour or two or overnight and then top with your faves,

• 2C almond milk
• 1/2C chia
• 1 scoop PB protein powder
• toppings like sliced strawberries and almonds

More:

• Hemp seeds
Amy’s No Chicken Noodle Soup is a good pantry staple
Tofu dumplings from Publix

More: Do you spend more money when you stop eating meat?

Bonus

I posted a friend’s review of the Beyond Burger a few months ago. I’ve finally had the chance to try it for myself.

Some very sweet friends of ours brought these on their boat for us to enjoy while we grilled out at the sandbar. They were great! The burger definitely gave us our burger fix. It’s true, they smell, taste and had the texture of a real burger.

A few restaurants carry the burgers now so it’s REALLY nice to have that option when we go out to eat.

 

Easy (lazy) game time snacks

Hey people, Michael and I stayed home to watch the Super Bowl this year. Mostly because we want to hang with our pigs (hahaha).

I personally wanted to stay home so I could make our vegan snacks and not be around typical Super Bowl food. It’s all about the food anyway, right?

Guacamole is clearly a must. I make mine really simple with avocado, red onion, tomato and garlic salt. That’s it!

Pax & Cooper got to be my taste testers. Pigs shouldn’t have a lot of salt so they only got a bite or two. Spoiled 🐷🐷

Vegan chili

I’ve blogged about this recipe before but it’s just SO good.

Start with fresh onion, green pepper, diced tomato and garlic. Sauté for around 10 minutes then add ANY beans you want. I usually go for kidney, chili or pinto beans but black and garbanzo work, too. I use 4-6 cans.

I also add two small cans of diced green chilis and a can of tomato sauce plus salt, pepper, garlic salt and a lot of chili powder.

Other options include Beyond Meat beef crumbles or quinoa.

Let everything simmer for about an hour and serve with sliced avocado and corn chips!

Banana sushi

OK, we never got to dessert, but here’s the recipe I planned to use:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fdelish%2Fvideos%2F472951509767404%2F&show_text=0&width=476

Bonus content

Let’s be honest, this post was an excuse to add photos and videos of Paxton and Cooper, so here’s them making, er, attempting to make Super Bowl picks.

Try this easy vegan chili

My family was in town for a few days and I wanted something easy to make and keep in the fridge for me or them to eat whenever.

I used to make a great turkey chili so I reworked the recipe to make it vegan.

My meat-loving grandfather even enjoyed it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium white onion
  • A few garlic cloves
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 small can of diced green chilis
  • 1 small can of tomato sauce
  • 1 medium can of diced tomatoes
  • Beans, beans, beans (whatever kind you like) around 4-6 cups.
  • 3 tbs chili powder and any other seasonings like black pepper or garlic

Toppings (optional but encouraged)

  • Diced red onion
  • Sliced avocado
  • Corn chips or any kind of chip or cracker
  • Vegan or real cheese
  • Vegan or real sour cream

Instructions

  1. Sauté white onion, pepper and a few garlic cloves. I used a large pot for everything but you could cook these in a frying pan then toss in a crockpot
  2. Add diced tomatoes and diced green chilis, and let cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add tomato sauce and beans, I use two cans of chili beans and two cans of pinto beans
  4. Add chili powder and any other seasoning you might like
  5. Optional: add half a cup of water to thin it out a bit
  6. Let simmer on low for about 45 minutes or in a crockpot on low for a few hours
  7. Add topping and enjoy.

First veggie Thanksgiving: The good & the bad

I’ll make this short and sweet because I don’t want to dwell.

My first Thanksgiving since giving up meat was tougher than I anticipated.

I went to a Friendsgiving last week and when I saw the turkey, I was excited to eat it for a split second. Then I remembered, “oh hey, I don’t eat dead animals anymore” and suddenly I felt really left out.This led to feelings of anxiety (something I deal with regularly) and then I was pretty bummed out. So I poured a glass of wine and sat at the table solo and started coloring. (There were cool placemats to color so stop judging me). I was soon joined by a 4-year-old … and eventually several other adults, because coloring is cool, people.

I spent the next few days thinking about that experience and how I could avoid those same feelings on the real holiday.I chatted with some veggie friends about their plans and then I stumbled upon a veggie pot pie recipe from Thug Kitchen. I was sold after reading this:

I prepped these suckers the night before and was so excited to try them for dinner I wasn’t even thinking about that (poor) dead bird on the table.

MORE: These pigs inspired their families to stop eating meat

I’m vegan(ish); here’s what I eat in a day

What do you eat? And ohmygod where do you get protein?

OK relax. I eat plenty of protein and I don’t live off salad. I get these questions so often I thought I’d share with you what I typically eat in a day.

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ACV, organic with the “mother”

7 a.m.: I always start the day with a glass of water. I take a shot of apple cider vinegar (diluted with water) and eat two tablespoons of nut butter — if I can control myself, sometimes it’s more like three … or four.

I eat first thing so I can get something in my system to jump start my metabolism. I like nut butter for the protein and because it tastes like heaven, duh.

9 a.m.: Breakfast during the week is usually a protein shake or bar. I use plant-based protein and avoid whey. I include fruit in my shakes, typically frozen bananas, and sometimes I’ll add flaxseed, greens, more peanut butter (don’t judge) and either almond or soy milk. I’m not crazy about Shakeology but its vegan shakes aren’t bad so I use those or Perfect Fit protein.

Overnight oats is another go-to with fruit and (surprise!) nut butter.

1 p.m.: OK, fine. I did have a salad today. But it was broccoli slaw (obsessed with this stuff, it’s very versatile and my pigs love it, too). I’ll toss it with olive oil and red wine vinegar, red onion, hemp seeds for protein and whatever other forgotten foods I can find in my fridge.

Hemp seeds are a great source for protein, they are small and soft, similar to chia seeds, and have a nutty flavor. I’ll add about three tablespoons to wraps, mix with hummus or toss with pasta.

Lunch might also be a sofritas bowl from Chipotle or vegan chili.

4 p.m.: Yes I eat every 3-4 hours. Snack time is something small like hummus mixed with hemp seeds and snap pea crisps, a small apple and a handful of almonds, or a protein bar if I haven’t had one already.

8 p.m.: Michael makes us dinner almost every night after we get home from the gym — I know I’m spoiled.

(If wine counts as a meal, you can insert that here.)

Otherwise, these are some of my favorite dinners:

2. Edamame and mung bean noodles (from Publix) with onions, mushrooms and vegan sausage

 

2. Veggie dumplings (from Publix) with sweet potatoes, onions and spinach

3. Fried eggplant and jackfruit. The recipe was so amazing, I blogged about it that night. (This recipe does have cheese but can be made without.)

10 p.m.: Every now and then I’ll have my homemade dark chocolate (with tons of) almond bark but I really try not to eat after about 8:30 p.m.

See, that wasn’t so scary, was it?

If I try, I can easily consume about 80-100 grams of protein in a day and none of it comes from meat. If you’re new to my blog, that’s the whole idea.

Not everyone needs that much protein; I like to lift heavy shit at the gym so I do.

I’m on Pinterest if you want to follow my food board.

Review: The plant-based burger that actually ‘bleeds’

I haven’t gotten my hands on The Impossible Burger yet, but my friend Sarah has.

She and I met in Denver when we both worked at The Denver Post, and she was kind enough to let me use some of her review.

impossible burger

Impossible Burger patties (Photo from impossiblefoods.com)

So what is The Impossible Burger? It’s the first product launched from Impossible Foods. It’s made to taste, smell and cook like meat from a cow, but is made entirely of plants, according to the company’s website. It originally launched at a New York restaurant but is now sold at locations all across the U.S.

The only places in Florida serving the “burger” are in and around Tampa, but that’s two hours away so Michael and I will have to make a little trip out of it.

I know he misses meat; burgers, steak, ribs …  I, however, do not but I still wanted to blog about this plant-based option.

Here’s a full list of locations selling the “burger”.

So did it taste like a real burger? Sarah over at Lo Que Será Sarah says:

YES!

I was shocked that I was eating a plant-based beef substitute. The texture of the “meat” looked and tasted just like a medium rare beef patty. It’s not as heavy as a true burger, but I think that’s a good thing! If I were in the mood for a cheeseburger and the impossible burger was an option at a restaurant, I would most likely order it over a real beef burger.

Now, if you’ve been a vegetarian or vegan for YEARS, I would say this burger tastes so authentic it might be too hard for you to stomach. But if you’re open to trying it and miss the taste of a beef burger, the Impossible Burger is the real deal and worth ordering if you see it on a menu.

Read her full review.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
The Impossible Burger uses 25% of the water used, 5% of the land used, and emits 13% of the greenhouse gases emitted to make a burger from cows. One Impossible Burger saves the equivalent of a ten minute shower’s worth of water, 75 square feet of land, and 18 miles driving in a car.

INGREDIENTS
Water; Textured Wheat Protein, Coconut Oil, Potato Protein, Natural Flavors, 2% or less of: Leghemoglobin (“Heme”), Yeast Extract, Salt, Soy Protein Isolate, Konjac Gum, Xanthan Gum, Thiamin (Vitamin B1), Zinc, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12. Contains: Soy, Wheat

LEGHEMOGLOBIN (“HEME”) Heme is an iron-containing molecule found in every living organism — both plants and animals. The abundance of heme is what gives blood its red color, allows animals to carry oxygen, and is responsible for the decadent “meaty” flavor of a beef. The Impossible Burger is made using plant-based heme carried by soy leghemoglobin, which is atom-for-atom identical to the heme molecule found in meat. Heme is what gives the Impossible Burger its rich, meaty flavor.

Read the sustainability report

This jackfruit recipe has us foodgasming

All credit goes to my boyfriend, Michael, on this one. The whole thing was his idea.

He’s been wanting to try jackfruit for its barbecue “meat” consistency. We haven’t been able to find the fruit fresh, so we tried a packaged version that comes with a vegan barbecue sauce.

He layered the jackfruit in a casserole dish with fried eggplant rounds using breadcrumbs, sautéed onions and mushrooms, and provolone cheese.

(This recipe could easily be made vegan if you use egg alternative when you fry the eggplant and use vegan cheese or no cheese.)

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Try not to eat it all at once.