All the above backstory aside, though, I did learn some excellent new recipes, so I figured I’d post the meal plan for the vegansperiment. I’ve numbered the meals, and I made them in quantity, so a single meal fed James and I for 2-3 days (sometimes more). In supportive-but-independent James fashion, he made himself massive tray of not-vegan enchiladas and took those to work, which is probably why he didn’t accidentally starve himself to death. Sigh.
Meal 1: Fake-y bahn mi. Portobellas, whole-wheat baguette, cilantro, pickled carrots w/ ginger and garlic, Sriricha. Results: Seared the portobellas in teriyaki sauce, pickled some shredded carrots in rice vinegar, then made sandwiches. I am in love with these and definitely prefer them to any meat ones I’ve tried.
Meal 2: Fake-y New Frontiers salad. While I was home in AZ, Mom brought home several delicious salads from our local health food store. One of them I liked so much I attempted to recreate it. Dressing: maple syrup, mayo (I used an olive oil mayo; couldn’t find veganaise), cider vinegar, pepper, sage, lemon juice Veg: Garlic-roasted cauliflower, and sweet potato, steamed broccoli, green onion, red pepper Other: raw pecan, dried cranberry, black bean, brown rice Results: delicious, but I made WAY too much. Like, two weeks’ worth. I was sick of it halfway through the leftovers.
Meal 3: Potato leek soup. Baked the potatoes first, seared the leeks in olive oil, dumped them into box veggie broth, then immersion blendered the whole thing until creamy, no dairy required. Results: Delicious and hearty, especially with Chicago’s recent cold snap.
Meal 4: Roasted red pepper soup. Same as above, but with red peppers. Results: Same as above.
Meal 5: Spicy peanut sauce over rice noodles with baked tofu and green onion. Results: peanuts noodles were amazing; I wound up eating them with handfuls of fresh spinach. The tofu…not so much. I have yet to find a tofu recipe I like. I adore tofu in curries and such; I order it often when I eat out. But man, it is rough to make store-bought tofu taste anything other than blandy McBlanderson.
Meal 6: Mushroom risotto. Used veggie broth and no parm. Results: I have to say, since risotto mostly tastes like the stock one uses to cook it, this recipe was much the worse for wear. I need to invest in some better grade broth next time, or make my own.
Meal 7: Pineapple-cilantro-avocado guacamole w/ white corn tortillas. Results: Used too many jalapeños and cauterized my mouth. Oops. But tasty.
Meal 8: Pan-fried potatoes with rosemary croutons in olive oil. Results: Exactly as good as that sounds.
Snacked constantly, too, mostly on nuts. Granola or shredded wheat for breakfast, and then midday snack was a green smoothie. I went with the cucumber/ginger/rice dream/apple/kale combo. That habit, I’m keeping.