And so Vegan Week continued today, and I'm happy to report that it's vastly improved from Day 1. Perhaps I was spurred on from the successful completion of my weightlifting DVD yesterday, or perhaps I just had better food today. Regardless, I think it can be considered a success.
Though it wasn't without its own soy-laced intrigue. For brekkie, I started with a whole wheat English muffin, and topped with my almost-vegan cheese and Yves Breakfast patties. I have to confess to being a little bit perplexed by the idea of almost-vegan cheese...I mean, the cheese is soy-based (i.e., not made with milk) but contains a hefty dose of various milk ingredients. I'm not sure who is supposed to eat this stuff!
I thought the main objectionable ingredient in regular cheese was rennet (i.e., many lacto-ovo vegetarians will eat cheese, but only if it doesn't contain rennet from animals - vegetarian cheese does exist). So why would anyone buy this soy plastic gritty slice of processed garbage? If it isn't suitable for vegans, and most vegetarians can eat non-soy-based cheese (depending, of course, on the availability of vegetarian cheese).....who would willingly subject themselves to that more than once?????
I now have 11 unopened slices. Anyone want them?
The breakfast patties were pretty good though - I didn't mind those at all and would probably stick them in a breakfast scramble with eggs (if it weren't vegan week!). Tasty stuff!
For my mid-morning snack, I experimented with soy again, this time in the form of So Nice Chocolate Soy Milk. I found this in drinking box format and thought it would make a good little treat....21 g of sugar though! Yikes. It was okay. The first sip was not nice, but as I sipped a little more, it got better. ..I just wish it had more of a chocolate flavour (being a sworn devotee of Lindt 70%, I found the chocolatude decidedly lacking).
Lunch was leftover tofu/sweet potato cakes (I know, I hated them yesterday, but I certainly didn't want to let food go to waste!!!!!). It was slightly more palatable today, but it's still not going to see a rerun.
Dinner, on the other hand, was awesome. It was free of processed wackiness, and it was a much more natural take on veganism. This kind of veganism, I can go for.
I made two separate curries and had them over basmati rice (was going to go for brown rice, but figured dinner was healthy enough on its own).
The first curry I made was a mixed vegetable curry....it was spicy, exotic, fragrant and just plain old yummy.
Mixed Vegetable Curry
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T ginger, grated
1/4 c. curry paste (I used Rogan Josh)
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t dried coriander
1/2 t turmeric
1 t vanilla
1 cinnamon stick
1 veggie bouillon cube
1 can diced tomatoes
1 package frozen spinach, thawed
2 zucchinis, sliced
1.5 c mushrooms, quartered
2 stalks celery, sliced
Okay, okay, I know it looks like a lot of ingredients. But it doesn't take long!
1. In a large pan, heat a bit of olive oil on medium heat. Add onions, garlic and ginger (aka "the aromatics). Sauté for about 5 minutes.
2. Add curry paste, cumin, dried coriander, turmeric and combine well.
3. Add zucchini, mushrooms and celery, and saute/combine for a few more minutes.
4. Add undrained can of tomatoes (you could sub 3 c chopped tomatoes and add a little liquid), as well as the spinach. Toss in vanilla, cinnamon stick and bouillon cube. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes to allow flavours to meld.
To make this curry a full vegetarian meal on its own, you could add a can of drained, rinsed chickpeas or other bean to beef up the protein/fibre.
The other curry I made was a perennial fave of both hubs and me. It is dead easy, really yummy - Red Lentil Dal
Red Lentil Dal
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. curry paste (I used vindaloo - this dish is best spicy!!!!)
1 cup red lentils
4 cups broth
coriander and chopped tomato for garnish
Red lentils are great because they cook so fast!
Anyway, the steps for this recipe are super simple:
1. Heat a bit of olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add aromatics and sauté for about 5 minutes (careful they don't burn - scraping off the residue is a big biatch).
2. Stir in curry paste (I love Patak's) and really, as I said, the hotter the better. You want this baby to burn twice.
3. Stir in red lentils until well combined. Slowly pour in stock and bring to a boil. Simmer away for 15-20 minutes until lentils are soft and turn yellow.
It's that easy. ANYONE can make and love this curry. It's fast and healthy and I would recommend it to anyone!!!!!
Plus, then you can garnish with tomato and coriander and it looks so cute. :)
Is that yum or what....and my friends, this one actually was as good as it looks. You should all make it. The added bonus of making all that food is that I know have five containers filled with leftovers. Woohoo!
So now, I'm absentmindedly watching the golden globes (holy self-congratulatory crapfest....though I'm glad Jennifer Hudson won!) and Little Mosque on the Prairie......but the elliptical is calling, so I should probably publish this post and hop my sore butt onto the elliptical.....
Thanks for reading! And feel free to comment.....I live for feedback and I know you're out there reading....what do you think?
Monday, January 15, 2007
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