Sunday, February 13, 2011

So What Do You Eat?

  When I created this blog, it wasn't going to be just about food. I wanted to inform people about a vegan lifestyle while showing that it isn't hard to live a peaceful, compassionate lifestyle.
To read about my story and how I became a vegan, read this. On the right side of this blog you will see my recommended websites, including a link to watch the movie Earthlings and a link about the movie The Cove, which is amazing and inspiring without being too terribly sad. To read about how I feel about animals, including my own, click here. If you want my answer to some of the most frequently asked questions including How do you get your protein? click here.

That being said about the meaning of this blog, I think it's also important to show some recipes and pictures of vegan food. That way the food becomes more realistic instead of just a far-off, scary idea. Enjoy, and double enjoy if you try the food! :)

Most of these take less than 15 minutes to throw together. So just when you thought vegan cooking could not get any better, it did! It's not only guilt-free and healthy, now its easy!

Bacon Lettuce Tomato Grilled Sandwich
  Throw some buttered bread, tempeh bacon, lettuce, tomato, and vegan mayo on some bread and toast it on the pan or in a George Foreman. Goes great with a side salad, baked potato, baked sweet potato, hummus, veggies, chips, anything you like as a side. Quick and easy no brainer sandwich. All ingredients can be bought at the grocery store.

"Beef" and mushroom stroganoff

 Seitan is "wheat meat" and is made from vital wheat gluten. It is a soy free protein option, but obviously not gluten free, so if you have celiac disease, I apologize, this might not be good for you. It has 22 grams of protein per serving. It's about the size of a chicken breast when you buy it, and I cut it up into pieces and warm it up. You can put it in fajitas, skewers, anything you want. I used it for stroganoff, along with dairy-free sour cream, mushrooms, some garlic powder, and mushrooms.  Creamy & delicious!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad
This is one of our favorites. My Mom introduced this to my family three years ago on christmas and we have been obsessed ever since! Here is her recipe

6 tomatoes (about 2 pounds) seeded and chopped
1 (12-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (3.8 ounce) can sliced ripe black olives, drained
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1 (4-ounce) package feta cheese, crumbled into large pieces and divided ( I didnt use this because vegans don't eat cheese but this is my mom's original recipe)
1/3 cup olive oil   (note: I use a half a cup or more of a high quality olive oil)
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons Greek seasoning* (or other mixed seasoning that you like)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
12 ounces uncooked penne pasta

Place first 4 ingredients and half of crumbled feta cheese in a large bowl.
Whisk together olive oil and next 7 ingredients.
Pour over tomato mixture, stir to coat, then cover and chill 2 hours.
Cook pasta according to package directions in a large pot; then drain (do not rinse).
Return pasta to large pot and pour tomato mixture over hot cooked pasta. 
Toss to combine.

You literally put the ingredients together and toss over pasta. It doesn't get any easier, I promise. In the picture next to the pasta is a mustard greens salad.

Minestrone and Vegetable Soup

I got this recipe from my sister & her boyfriend (Thanks Nikki & Reid) I ate it while visiting them in Colorado and bugged him for the recipe until he forked it over :) It has got to be the easiest soup I have ever made. Chop up the veggies, throw them in with the noodles and broth, and bring to a boil, then eat! So amazingly flavorful and easy! 
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  1. Heat three tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.
  2. Saute onion, celery, garlic, green beans, and zucchini in the oil for 5 minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent.
  3. Add vegetable broth to pot, plus drained tomatoes, beans, carrot, hot water, and spices.
  4. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until desired consistency.
  6. Makes about eight 1 1/2 cup servings
Sage Stuffing

This recipe actually came from Neal's grandma's cookbook of her own personal recipes. We omitted the two eggs and milk (she admitted there was really no reason to have either one of these ingredients in this recipe, and i've ever cooked stuffing with eggs or milk anyways) and it is a total hit! French bread that I tore into pieces, some vegetable broth, celery, onions, and the secret ingredient: sage. I also added some meat-free sausage crumbles and mushrooms, but you don't have to do this if you don't like either one of them.

 So there you have it.. a few simple and delicious recipes. I have more food folders on iPhoto but this is a sneak peak of my vegan cookbook, considering this blog has been in existence for a few weeks and I hadn't posted any food photos.

There is more to life than food. There is more to life than being vegan and eating vegan food. However, food is necessary to sustain us, so we might as well make it delicious. Please do something wonderful today: take care of yourself. You will be benefitting not only your own body, mind, and soul, but you will be setting an example and leading the way for generations to come.

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