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“Going vegan” update + New Vegan Dish Favorites!

It has been a while since I’ve posted any vegan recipes that I LOVE, so I figured I’d post a few new ones here since I’ve been doing this for almost 2 years! Crazy! Here’s a quick little update.

“Going vegan” with a strict plant-based diet was my response to treatment and healing after being diagnosed with breast cancer in March of 2017. I was very strict about it for the first year and now I am vegan about 95-ish% of the time, sometimes more and sometimes less depending on the week. I try to stay away from gluten, soy if its not organic (like tempeh), and foods that are highly processed, fried, have a ton of fillers in them, etc. With the ONE exception… Chick-Fil-A, which I eat at least once every 2 weeks or sometimes every week… because I live in the South and how can you resist CFA. Plus, a coke because I just cant deprive myself of a delicious bottled mexi-coke despite the crazy amount of sugar in them. It’s all about balance, right?

One thing I have only eaten TWICE, yep TWICE since April 2017 because the first time I got violently ill and the second time I tried it again, almost 6 months later is beef. The first time was a hamburger because I was just craving it and I was very upset with myself about 2 hours later when my body turned on me. The second time was a filet this past New Year’s Eve. Thankfully, nothing happened on New Years Eve like the first time, but I still try to stay away from it for health reasons (another day, another post for that) and the overall better feeling without eating meat. I never cook chicken at home and occoassionally I make ground turkey for Steven if we’re making tacos or lasagna, but most of the time he is a good sport about eating vegan with me at home. Most of the time, he actually prefers it if I’m cooking. When he wants meat, he orders takeout.

Since I’ve started working this year, I haven’t cooked as much as I normally do. We’ve gotten into the habit of making a pot of vegan chili (recipe below) that will last for a few days or making my favorite quinoa-kale salad that will last all week. Quick meals like tacos help when were in the mood for something yummy, but just do not have the time.

There are a ton of new recipes that have become regulars at our house, but this one below is the best one of them all so I had to post it first. I originally got the idea from Yeah Burger in Atlanta when they featured a “Vegan BLT” last summer. I was determined to make my own! I did and it’s delicious.

Tempeh and Avocado BLT 

-One package of “Fakin Bacon” Tempeh – cook in a sauté pan (save the leftovers for later, you’ll want another sandwich I promise)

-Bread – we use GF Ezekiel bread

-ripe avocado cut into slices

-tomato – sliced

-romaine lettuce leaves

-*not vegan, but delicious* Primal Kitchen’s Chipotle Mayo (you can also get Just. brand chipotle mayo that is egg-free)

Directions: Toast two slices of bread, spread with chipotle mayo, layer tomatoes, avocado, romaine and tempeh slices. Enjoy! I would eat immediately because the tomatoes can make the bread soggy.

Quick and Easy Appetizers + Sides

Burnt Broccoli from AAG… I don’t think this is actually in any of her cookbooks, but she posted it in her insta highlights so Im sharing it here so I’ll remember it – This is delicious! Cut fresh broccoli, mix sauce together to pour over it (2TB avocado oil, 1 TB vegan butter, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp sea slat, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/8 tsp of cinnamon) Roast at 450 for 20-ish minutes, toss half way through.

Taco Fiesta Nacho Chips – these are easy and delicious!

Life Affirming Nacho Dip – delicious as well!

Vegan Nacho Cheese – I haven’t made this yet, but I want to so bad! Heres one that gets great reviews: click here.

Breakfast Favorites

*Not vegan because it included eggs, but I do eat an egg most mornings because I insist on a hot breakfast and eggs are typically necessary. If you’re cooking eggs, you must season with Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning. You can thank me later. 

Cauliflower Hash – similar to this one. I sauté a diced sweet onion to use for the whole week ahead of time. Cook the onion and cauliflower rice in a pan with avocado oil for a few minutes, add spinach and let it wilt. Then add paprika and a splash of lemon juice and let it cook some more. Then, I’ll add a fried egg on top and stir it in so the runny yolk mixes in to all of the dish.

Toast – so many options! Cut up avocado with lime juice and Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute, Flax Oil, and top with hemp hearts.  Cover toast with vegan butter (Earth’s Choice, soy free is my favorite!) and apple butter, then top with a fried egg and hemp hearts.

Paleo Breakfast Casserole – this recipe is so so good! Yes its filled with eggs and has sausage, but I sub the sausage for vegan sausage (Field Roast brand Vegan Breakfast Sausage) and its actually delicious! Its a little on the sweet side because the sausage has maple syrup in it and the sweet potatoes also make it sweet, but you won’t regret making this! I also made it with Aidell’s chicken sausage for my husband. The vegan and chicken sausage probably will make it not paleo, but I’m not paleo so I cant help you there.

Lunch… usually leftovers or the protein shake below.

Protein Shake – I eat this almost everyday. Orgain brand chocolate protein powder (2 scoops), 1 scoop of greens powder (this brand), a big handful of fresh spinach – always organic, a handful of frozen berries, and unsweetened plant-based milk (usually this brand).

Veggie Superfoods Bowl – Its a quinoa based, vegan Mexican bowl and its delicious!

*These are all random links I found while searching for the product, I am not affiliated with any of these links, just providing a visual for what I’m talking about. 

Dinner

Tacos – Typically, we fill tortillas with black beans, cooked onions, Mexican rice, fresh tomatoes, and avocado. Sometimes I sauté halibut to make fish tacos, sometimes I add broccoli slaw, sometimes I make this roasted cauliflower and romesco sauce and it is the most amazing, delicious meal! The sauce calls for much more than you actually need so make more taco fillings and eat on it for a few days. It is delicious. Another good sauce-ish type thing to make is cashew sour cream. Google it, the recipe is so easy!

Salad – My new favorite way to quickly make a salad is easy. Romaine, shredded, a bag of sweet kale salad (this is not organic, but I just deal when I’m in a pinch), shredded carrots (I put them in everything, so there’s always a bag in our fridge), a can of drained chickpeas, some type of seeds or nuts (whatever I have at home – walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds…), hemp hearts because they’re packed full of good protein, and dressing. I typically make my own dressing because most pre-made dressings have soybean oil in them and I just prefer my own. My favorite dressing of the moment is… sugar (I use xylitol), red wine vinegarette, oil, and coconut aminos. I mix until it tastes right depending on how much I’m making. It will last for a few days in the fridge.

Vegan-Gluten Free Cornbread – Aquafaba (aka Chickpea brine) is a GREAT egg substitute. You need a mixer too. This cornbread is so delicious and pairs perfectly with my favorite vegan chili. You can get the chili recipe here, BUT I don’t use the “beef” crumbles anymore. I just prefer it without. I also tend to lessen the sugar because it can be really sweet, but its necessary to get the right consistency with the aquafaba.

You can find all of my other favorites that are still regular rotations at our house, here. 

Dessert – because I love chocolate and everything store bought has soy in it, so here you go, friends.

One Bowl Vegan, GF Chocolate Muffins – I recently made this because I wanted something sweet and had all the ingredient in my pantry. I’ve never cooked with a chia egg – usually I use flax instead, but I went for it with the chia and was glad I did! I was pleasantly surprised with how delicious it was too. I made it into a loaf instead of muffins.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes – Some of my students are dairy and gluten free and a teacher I teach with is allergic to eggs so I needed to find a delicious recipe that everyone could enjoy. After several failed attempts, I finally found a DELICIOUS chocolate cupcake recipe. It does require a few “weird” ingredients that most people may not have in their pantry so it can get pricey… and xanthum gum – which some people aren’t fans of- but its delicious and worth every bite! I also topped it with chocolate ganache – mixing Enjoy Life brand semisweet chocolate chips with full fat coconut milk that had been chilled in the fridge for a few hours – here’s a recipe that I sort of helped guide me… click here. I bet this one is good, too.

Gluten Free, Crustless Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes *Not vegan* – These are delicious! But, dont make these thinking they’re cupcakes. They have more of a consistency of pumpkin pie. Top with So Delicious brand CocoWhip in the frozen section.

Speaking of CoCoWhip (in the freezer section at any grocery store by the Cool Whip)… I eat it with EVERYTHING! In my coffee to make it like a latte, dipped in fruit- mostly blackberries for me, or THIS 2-ingredient lemon whipped fruit dip recipe that is so dang delicious with fruit.

My favorite vegan cooks to follow and their recipes are delicious 100% of the time… Oh She Glows, Minimalist Baker, and A Couple of Cooks (they’re not strictly vegan, but make some really fantastic food!).

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