I love the evolution that occurs when we embrace our true nature. After an amazing 30 day challenge where I ate a plant based diet and skipped the poultry, pork, red meat & most seafood ( I love Sockeye!!) I simply did not feel like stopping. My husband has been supportive and interested which makes eating a vegetarian diet all the more sustainable.
I have a blog post about the first month that you can read if you haven’t already. This second month has been even better! Whenever I think about what kind of life & death these animals have just to be my meal, I feel so much better about my new diet.
I now stock my kitchen with a repertoire of nut and bean products that deliver a lot of my protein. Organic almond butter, organic tahini, organic peanut butter, organic tofu, dessert tofu, yummy sweet & salty nut snacks, refried beans and a nice range of legumes.
I am enjoying some flavourful vegetarian dishes from a range of ethnicities that are filling and delicious like Spicy Cauliflower Steak (Vij’s At Home Relax, Honey) served with naan bread, brown basmati rice & peas, Vegetarian Chili (Plenty: A Collection of Sarah McLachlan’s Favourite Recipes) and another great find are the Edamame & Kale Fritters served with Gorgeous Green Chutney (Kale Cookbook).
There are so many delicious recipes out there and I am so excited to keep experimenting in the kitchen!
Here are a few things I have learned in my adventure into vegetarianism:
1. A well stocked spice cabinet makes all the difference.
2. Invest in a good quality rice cooker. You can experiment with different grains from short, long, basmati, sweet, the list goes on. And don’t forget alternative grains too; you can use the white rice setting for perfectly cooked Quinoa every time.
3. Grow your own herb garden! It can be done in a window sill if need be, saves you lots of $$$, brings you joy and adds tremendous flavour to your dishes.
4. Experiment with new ingredients. There are so many markets out there where you can discover new flavours. Think about sun dried tomatoes, miso paste, rice noodles, coconut milk, goat cheese or garam masala!
5. The less processed foods I eat the less bloating I experience.
6. A shot of beet juice is really good for the oxygen levels in your blood, helping with intense workouts. If you think that sounds dreadful, think again, it is yummier than you might think – try it! On the other hand, peeling roasted beets is much harder than it is made out to be in the recipes. I would appreciate any tips you have on removing the skins!
7. Try adding coconut tofu to your smoothies. I also add pineapple, kale, carrot juice, chia seeds, wheat germ, a banana, frozen mango cubes, apple, plain yogurt and ice cubes. My kids love them more than I do!! You can freeze the left overs into popsicles too. Sometimes I throw in 1/2 an acocadoe, melon &/or some cucumber slices too.
8. Toasted Sesame Oil makes a delicious, healthy and QUICK marinade for tofu.
9. Shallots make a wonderful substitute for garlic; I am allergic:(
10. Make your own pizza dough to skip on the high fructose corn syrup ingredients & add Italian Seasoning for flavour. You can really experiment with your toppings and have a make your own pizza party.
11. I am not built to be a vegan, even thought I totally get it and appreciate the benefits. My current love affair with goat’s cheese is intense and proliferating daily! I even have plans to visit a farm and buy their fresh goat cheese in the Okanagan thanks to a neighbours amazing cheese plate last weekend. Thank you Randi & Charles!
12. -I have rediscovered my love of veggie bacon on an english muffin with salsa and a poached egg.
I still feel like I COULD have some free range, grass fed organic beef. But I haven’t felt the urge yet…one day at a time.
Thanks for your support and I appreciate any suggestions for yummy recipes!
Light & love, Lisa