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Friday, December 30, 2011

"So What Do You EAT?"

This has been the #1 question people ask when when I tell them that I'm not eating meat anymore.  I decided that to answer this best I could show what I eat on a typical day.  
So yesterday went a little like this:

*Breakfast - Rolled oats made with almond milk, walnuts, craisins & a drizzle of maple syrup
*Lunch - I made the most awesome israeli couscous/wheatberry salad the night before, left the flavors to really come together, marinated tofu, pan fried & threw it in the salad 
*Dinner - Stir fry (aka - clean out all the veggies in the fridge that are about to go bad) It was so good even my meat loving husband ate 3 bowls! 

(You can find the recipes at the end!)

Throughout the day I had some snacks like clementines & green peppers and drank lots of water with lemon to help detox all the ridiculous food I ate over the holidays.  Everything we ate yesterday was very yummy and fulfilling, I am loving finding new recipes and having fun in the kitchen again!  It felt like we had gotten into a food "rut", every week we were eating the same boring things.  Since changing my diet I have been adding foods & spices I would never have thought to do - and its pretty awesome!

Here's a list of some other fun questions/comments I've been getting:

1. How do you get protein? (or even better, "You're not going to get enough protein you know")
2. What do you eat, tofu?
3. But don't you think we're supposed to eat meat?
4. What are you going to eat when you go out to eat?
5. (my personal favorite) You know, you should really be eating ____ (insert anything: gluten free, just fish, chicken, low carb...) 

Israeli Couscous & Wheatberry "Fresh" Salad 
(inspired by Ohsheglows Red Quinoa & Black Bean Salad)
This is more of a summer salad - but we felt like we needed something more fresh and less of a comfort food after the holiday indulgences!
1 c uncooked Israeli Couscous (I used the Harvest Grains Blend from Trader Joes - it has Israeli couscous, red and green orzo, split dried garbanzo beans, and red quinoa - pictured right)  
1 c uncooked Wheatberries(from the bulk bins at Whole Food)
1 can black beans - drained & rinsed
1 pepper chopped (I used a red pepper but I think a jalapeno would be awesome next time)
1/4 c fresh cilantro 
2 green onions chopped 
1 c corn (I used Trader Joes fire roasted frozen corn - and left it to thaw in the salad)
1 chopped avocado

Juice of 2 limes 
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp pepper 
1 garlic clove minced 
1/4 c fresh cilantro 
1/4 c EVOO 
1/2 tsp cilantro 
2 tbl honey (PS - honey is not vegan - you could use organic sugar or agave nectar) 


1. Cook couscous mix  & wheatberries - I cooked them separately 
2. Chop vegetables & mix dressing 
3. Cool couscous & wheatberries 
4. Add veggies, beans & dressing 
5. Leave in the refrigerator for the flavors to come together for at least 1-2 hours or overnight & enjoy!! 

I added tofu - which I pressed all the liquid out of, marinated in Brianna's Ginger Mandarin salad dressing (pictured left), and pan fried in small pieces.  

Left-Over Stir Fry 

(any veggies you have, we used:)
1 head of broccoli chopped
1/2 bag of organic baby carrots chopped
1/2 onion chopped in large pieces
1 green pepper chopped
3 cloves garlic - minced 
1 tbl chopped fresh ginger
1 c chopped green beans 
1 tsp sesame oil (for flavor)
1 tsp EVOO (for stir frying)
1 c brown rice 
1/2 package tofu leftover from lunch - marinated again in Brianna's Ginger Mandarin Dressing

Stir Fry Sauce:
1/2 c Tamari
2 tbl Hoisin Sauce 
1 tbl EVOO 
1 tbl Organic Brown Sugar 

1. Start cooking your brown rice 
2. Chop veggies 
3. When rice has about 15 minutes left, heat the sesame oil & EVOO over med-high heat in a wok or large pan along with the ginger & garlic - being careful not to burn the garlic
4. Add onions & carrots and cook until they become softer 
5. Add the rest of the veggies 
6. In a separate pan, fry up the tofu in a small amount of EVOO or cooking spray until it becomes nice and crispy - mix up your stir fry sauce 
7. Add stir fry sauce, mix together 
8. Watch for begging dogs hiding under your feet
8. Serve over brown rice and you can garnish with sesame seeds to make it look pretty

I hope you enjoy the recipes & this gave you a small window into what I am currently eating!

Peas & Love 

PS- I just got the best text ever from J! melted my little vegetable-lovin' heart ;) 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Moving in a New Direction

My apologies for posting a whopping 3 times and then taking a 9 month hiatus, you must have been waiting on the edge of your seat all this time just waiting for more!  OK so really, although I was selling the idea of balancing it all I guess I just couldn't do it and the blog was the first to go.
Over the last 9 months many things have happened 
  • I have somehow kept my teaching position and will continue throughout the rest of the school year (yippee!!!)
  • In August I went from Miss K to Mrs. M and we had the most amazing wedding we could have asked for

  • We honeymooned in Costa Rica and contemplated never coming back ;)

  • I became a vegetarian (again) about 2 months ago
  • ...And the reason why I have come back to PLB... I will be giving up eggs & dairy for the month of January as I "test drive" a vegan diet!! 
As I research about "veganism" I am becoming more and more excited about it!  I felt like I wanted to document this journey and educate my friends & family about why I am doing this (and maybe  even inspire some people to make some changes in their diet as well).   My main concern about following a vegan diet is that I never want to inconvenience anyone else and I really never want to push my beliefs onto anyone else.  

I will try to update often with recipes & fun tidbits so check back!  

Peas & Love