What Vegan's Eat: A Week in Review

It happens all of the time. I inform a new friend that I am a vegan and am met with a bewildered “Really?!”  Which is usually followed by some kind of incredulous remark about me “looking so healthy” and how I am (apparently surprisingly) not stick thin.  Instead of rolling my eyes at them, I try to accept their assessment as a compliment and gently remind them about the virtues of vegetables and how they are abundant with protein, nutrients, and healthy fats.

If they are new to the concept of veganism, they will invariably ask me: “So what do you eat?!”  It can be a hard question to answer because I eat so many different kinds of foods and my tastes are constantly in flux.  I try to give them an adequate list of examples even though the truth might really be “I’ve only eaten refried beans out of a can for the last three days.”  Ok, you’re right, I’d never do that.  But I’m certainly not above it!

“Sh*t People Say to Vegans” – Please watch this hilarious youtube video for conversation examples and a hearty laugh  VIDEO

SO. What’s so confusing about eating vegetables?

Plenty, apparently.

I recorded my eating habits for one week in a food diary to help demystify the oft befuddling vegan diet.  Now y’all can get real life examples of what the hell vegans eat!  Or at least what the hell I eat.  I will do my best to leave nothing out and if I prepare it, I will include a recipe so you can make it too!  Have questions?  E-mail me or something.

I have also included an attempt to succinctly explain the cultural phenomenon of vegetable hatred/phobia at the bottom of this post* for your reading pleasure.

Chow Down!


Day 1 Monday

  • Leftover Tofu Stir Fry and Veggie Spring Rolls from Sawadtee St. Paul (a veritable breakfast of champions)

    • Thai food is MY food!  Spicy, salty, and decadent!  Most Thai restaurants will be able to make you a delicious vegan-something.  However, be sure to ask for no fish sauce.

  • Tempeh Sandwich with Carrots (Recipe Here)

    • I make this all of the time because I love sandwiches and excuses to eat vegan mayo.

  • Miso Soup with Shiitakes, Kale, Carrots, and Shirataki noodles.

    • You can find a miso soup recipe anywhere.  On the back of your tub of miso, namely.  I like to jazz mine up with some extra vegetables (listed above).  Shirataki noodles are made from tofu and have a great texture.  They are also low in carbs and high in protein which is all the rage these days, right?  Here’s what they look like LINK


Day 2 Tuesday

  • Bowl of Maple Pecan Crunch Cereal with So Delicious Coconut milk

    • Somehow I forgot all about cereal and its many virtues and now I eat it when I’m hungry and lazy.

  • Tortilla Chips and Hummus

  • Miso Soup Leftovers

  • 1 Handful Pecans (stolen from workplace…)


Day 3 Wednesday

  • Apple

  • Lunch date at Hanabi!

    • I ordered the lunch special that includes choice of soup or salad (I chose soup) and two sushi rolls for $8.  Their options for veggie rolls for this special is limited to avocado and asparagus so I opted for two avocado rolls and it was delicious!

  • Tempeh with Roasted Root Vegetables with Food Babe’s Tahini Sauce (Recipe Here)

    • I simply prepared the tempeh like I did in the tempeh sandwich recipe (Recipe Here) and roasted some beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, and turnips in the oven.  I placed the root vegetables and tempeh over a big pile of salad greens and doused it with the tahini sauce.  So good.

  • So Delicious brand Salted Caramel Cluster Cashew Ice Cream


Day 4 Thursday

  • Apple and peanut butter

  • Eazy Vegan Mac n Cheeze with Broccoli.  Cheezey Sauce (Recipe Here)

    • This Cheezey Sauce rules and makes the best Mac n Cheeze.  I cooked some noodles, steamed some broccoli, and covered it all with Cheezey Sauce. Voila!

  • Leftover Tempeh with Roasted Root Vegetable and Tahini Sauce

  • Late Night Spring Rolls from Red Herring Lounge  


Day 5 Friday

  • Chickpea Noodle Soup

    • I made this for blunch (breakfast&lunch) and ate around 3 servings…. (Recipe Here) The recipe is from the Veganomicon cookbook and is most excellent.

  • Red Herring Lounge hummus with pita chips, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, and spiced nuts ( a nice light dinner after gorging myself during blunchtime)


Day 6 Saturday

  • Red Curry Tofu wrap from the Whole Foods Co-op Deli (HOT TIP: The Red Curry Tofu rules.  It is availabe in a wrap or from the deli counter.  I like to buy it and put it in salads or snarf it on the go.  It’s so damn good.)

  • Cup of Vegan Chili also from the Whole Foods Co-op deli (HOT TIP: The Co-op deli is great for the hustling vegan as they usually have vegan hot bar tempeh/tofu, soups, sandwiches at the deli counter, and plenty of options in the grab-n-go refrigerated case.

  • Bowl of Leftover Chickpea Noodle Soup


Day 7 Sunday

  • Pizza Luce Brunch!  My favorite!  I like to reward myself after a long weekend of slinging drinks by going to brunch at Pizza Luce.  They have plenty of vegan options and a bloody mary bar which is the real reason I go there   On this visit I had the “Buckaroo” -the vegan version of their breakfast burrito– with extra hash browns -because I am a glutton- It was dank.

  • “Creative Salad” and Chickpea Noodle Soup (starting to get tired of this soup now…)

    • I like to do this thing called “Creative Salad” where I take all of the vegetables in my fridge that need eating, chop them up, and cover them in flax oil and dressing.  I’ve recently become addicted to the Wildbrine brand sriracha kimchee fermented hot sauce (info here) and find it to be an excellent addition to any food item; especially a Creative Salad.  Go ahead, make a Creative Salad yourself!  You can put anything in it.  Try greens, nuts, vegetables, beans, sauerkraut, kimchee, leftover lasagna, sprouts, leftover potato salad, roasted vegetables, etc.  The opportunities are endless folks.

    • HOT TIP: Mixing flax oil and something tangy like the aforementioned hot sauce, vinegar, or fermented foods makes an ultra dank salad dressing real quicklike.


Assessment

After examining my weekly diet, we can see a few patterns emerge that are integral to a successful vegan diet.

  1. A balanced mix of home cooking and eating out.  It’s nice to switch it up and be cooked for every now and then.  It is also important to enjoy social and celebratory meals with friends and family  which often involve restaurants.  However, I try to restrict my dining out as it is expensive and usually not very healthy.

    1. HOT TIP: Get more bang for your buck by not snarfing the entire meal in one sitting and saving some for your next meal or a late night drunken snack.

  2. Leftovers.  You can see that I eat a lot of leftovers.  I find that making large meals and enjoying the leftovers throughout the week is cost and time effective.  It can be a tricky balance as after the third meal of Chickpea Noodle Soup I was ready to move on.

    1. HOT TIP: Try freezing unwanted leftovers for a rainy (or lazy) day or make your coworkers love you by gifting them the leftovers you’ve become bored with.

  3. Sauce.  It is smart to prepare a few versatile sauces for quick meal preparation.  This week I relied heavily on the Food Babe Tahini sauce (I make it about every other week because it is good on everything), Cheezey Sauce, and the Wildbrine Kimchee fermented hot sauce.

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR MORE HOT TIPS ON BEING A SUPER COOL VEGAN PLEASE BUY MY E-BOOK “VEGAN BY VAAGEN” BY CLICKING HERE.

Thank you and love you forever,

Ellen


 *Why Americans Hate Vegetables and Don’t Understand Veganism – A Brief Synopsis

  1. The post-WWII shift from small family-run farms to the industrialization of agriculture and the mechanization of food preparation created a large accumulation of wealth for those who put themselves in charge of food production and distribution.

  2. This changed the types of foods Americans eat and they way they prepare meals.  Food production shifted from family farms to large, single crop mega farms that require more pesticides, fertilizers, and irrigation than their smaller counterparts.  Industrialized agriculture also entails less biodiversity as they focus on single “cash crops” (wheat, corn, and soy) which are often genetically modified and inefficiently used as animal feed.

  3. Food preparation shifted from the home to the factory placing more value on convenience than nutrition.  People stopped growing their own food and took jobs unrelated to their own sustenance to make money to buy food from corporations.

  4. Our “food pyramid” was created by the (lobbyist funded) FDA to place more emphasis on simple carbohydrate based on bleached wheat flour, meat, and dairy.

  5. Over consumption (culturally encouraged) of these sugary, fatty, and addictive foods leads to health problems (diabetes, cancer, heart disease, dental problems, thyroid issues, etc.)

  6. Many people make money off of this by: farming it, producing pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers, shipping it around the world, processing it into junk food, advertising the junk food to you, selling you insurance for your impending health problems, producing drugs to mask your unhealthiness, advertising the drugs, telling your doctor to sell you the drugs, producing coffins etc.

Thus, we have been cut off from the world that feeds us and gives us life only to have money hungry, morally bankrupt, middle-man corporations stand in between.  When you eat lousy food a lot of people make money.  Monsanto, Cargill, Pharmaceutical companies, Politicians, Insurance companies, Hospitals, Doctors, Dentists, Ophthalmologists, etc.  You get the point.  There is a vested interest in Americans remaining ill and therefore the powers that be continue to purport the vilification of veganism as something weird, unsatisfying, and only for weak, sensitive people.  Vegetables are portrayed as foul tasting, boring, and something you’re forced to eat as a child.

People are also threatened by vegans because they are afraid to look at the ugly and cruel practices involved in animal slaughter that they know exist but have been hidden from them.

To sum up:  If Americans are healthy, the corporations don’t make as much money.  It’s that simple.  The less processed food people buy and the more vegetables they eat, the less money there is to be made by the aforementioned industries.  Keep this in mind next time you see a food advertisement on TV.  What are they actually suggesting?

For more information on this rather depressing subject (and to back up my statements as I was feeling too lazy to cite sources) I suggest you watch the following documentaries:

  • “What the Health”

  • “Cowspiracy”

  • “Forks over Knives”

  • “Eating You Alive”

 

Thanks for reading! Love you Forever!!!!!

Product Review: Superior Small Batch “Hearty Burger”

Hey Faithful Readers!

Have y’all Twin Ports folks heard about Superior Small Batch?  If not, I’m about to catch you up to speed.  Superior Small Batch is a local couple, Shane Dickey and Gail Francis, who retail a line of vegan meat substitutes that are both delicious and satisfying to veteran vegans and meat eaters alike!  So far I’ve sampled two of their products.  One is the “Brimson Bangers,” a seitan-based sausage analogue that is available as patties or crumbles, and the “Hearty Burger” their flavorsome and filling vegan veggie burger that also happens to be gluten and soy free.  Wow!

So I made one of their “Hearty Burgers” and it blew me away!  Owner, Shane, told me he concocted the “Hearty Burger” after feeling disappointed with commercial veggie burger brands.  He was looking for a vegan burger that would fill him up and taste great and be made with whole food ingredients.  Thus the “Hearty Burger – The Burger that Makes a Meal” was born.  Made with mushrooms, oats, chickpeas, brown rice, and walnuts the “Hearty Burger” has a rich, umami flavor and a toothsome, firm texture.  Now instead of eating several wimpy burgers, just one patty will do the trick.

To sum up:  I loved it!  I simply pan-fried the burger patty with a little olive oil until it was browned on both sides.  I also sprinkled a little water in the pan and steamed the patty with the lid on to ensure it was heated through and would stay moist. – I’m not sure if that step was necessary but it turned out well –  Then I placed the “Hearty Burger” on a toasted ciabatta roll and piled on my favorite burger toppings – onion, tomato, greens, and of course, lots of vegan mayo.

DSC_1580.jpg

Not only was it easy to cook, but it was very tasty and could satisfy any guest at your next backyard grilling party.  I also think a grilled and cut up “Hearty Burger” would make a delicious addition to a salad or as a meat substitute in a Mid-West style potatoes and gravy affair.  I’m really looking forward to experimenting more with these burgers, especially because I can serve them to my gluten-free friends who often have trouble finding gluten-free meat substitutes.

You can order frozen “Hearty Burgers” or “Brimson Bangers” in five pound increments online at: https://www.superiorsmallbatch.com/

The Superior Small Batch website has all nutritional information for their products as well as a list of local businesses that retail their products.

Stay tuned for more product reviews and Fun Times with Vaagen’s Vegan Sauce!

Until next chow,

Ellen

Big Fun News!

Great news everyone!  Vaagen’s Vegan Sauce snacks and salads are now available at The Juice Pharm.  Now when you stop in for your delicious health juice and energizing smoothies you can get a dank food from the Grab-n-Go cooler!

I’m really diggin’ my new gig!  It’s been so fun making new meals every week and watching my products sell.  I’m very excited to expand my product line to frozen items, sauces, and entire reheat-able meals!  Instead of just learning about my dank eats you can go eat them in real life!  It’s really a dream come true.

This Week’s Selections:
Cous Cous Tabbouleh, Spring Rolls, and Fleetwood Macaroni Salad

 If you haven’t yet visited The Juice Pharm, now is the perfect opportunity!  In addition to their obviously magnificent Grab-n-Go cooler, juices, and smoothies, they also have awesome lunch specials during the week like their “Mexicali Tacos” made with a walnut-based taco filling, acai bowls, toasts, and salads.  If you are a vegan living in the Twin Ports you muststop in.  I’m not even saying this because we are in cahoots.  You will LOVE it!

They also make everything from scratch which is evident in every decadent bite.

Fresh Vaagen’s Vegan Sauce creations will be available at The Juice Pharm every day Tuesday – Saturday at 12 S 15th Ave E, Duluth, MN – Right below Anytime Fitness.

I should also mention that The Juice Pharm will be opening up a *new downtown location* near the end of May 2018 in the Skywalk at 31 W Superior Street Suite 303.  It will be open 7:00am-3:00pm Monday – Friday.  They will mostly be doing juice cleanses at the new location but may add food later on.  Follow them on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date!

 CHOW DOWN!

Love,
Crafty