Month Anniversary+Meal Prep+Baking

Hello all,

I am really excited because I’ve been vegan for one month!  Over one month, actually!  I am super proud of myself and have found it easier than I initially thought it’d be mainly due to meal prepping and staying organized with grocery shopping.  It’s actually one of the easiest things I’ve ever done!

That being said, I decided to branch out a bit this weekend and do some vegan baking.  I am an avid baker, and I love making treats for my husband to take to work.  In the past, I’ve perfected macarons, biscotti, pies, tarts, cakes, various cookies, and different types of quick and yeast breads.  One of the reasons I was so worried about going vegan was because I LOVE to bake, and, let’s face it, there are some things that are difficult to veganize, at least in an authentic way.

I decided to first veganize baking I know best and have done the most of–cookies and quick breads.  I planned on making vegan banana muffins this weekend, but I turned the old bananas I was going to use into a smoothie, so I just made some chocolate chip cookies instead.

This cookie recipe is what I used and is SO amazing! I was so pleased with how these cookies turned out, and I really love the subtle coconut flavor.  The extra chocolate chunks added at the end make them a decadent treat.  My husband also enjoyed them, and he is very picky about this whole vegan thing in general.  I hope to make more vegan cookies soon, and I’d love for people to share any solid vegan cookie recipes!

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After making some cookies, I did some major meal planning for the week.  I am honestly not really a sandwich for lunch kind of person, but I was craving them this week, so I decided to make Forks Over Knives recipe for a “no-tuna” salad sandwich. (BTW, FOK has been really integral in helping me go vegan–I love their website and cook books!)  I already had most of the ingredients, so it was a breeze.  It is also super delicious and making for some great packed lunches this week!

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And last but not least, I decided to go back to an old stand by recipe I’ve been making and enjoying for years.  This slow cooker lentil recipe is one of my favorites.  You can substitute Earth Balance for the butter, and it tastes exactly the same.  Although it says it makes four meals, I can get five out of it when serving it with rice as I did here.  It is super filling and delicious even though it only calls for a few ingredients.  I would highly recommend it!

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I would like to do my next blog entry on some major changes I’ve seen in my health in just a month since going vegan, so stay tuned!

 

 

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Veganizing Breakfast

Hello everyone,

I hope you had a great week and are ready for the weekend!  I know I am–I had a stressful week as my student teacher decided to quit after only a few weeks in.  The resignation came out of nowhere, so I really had to scramble to make sure I was prepped to teach all of my classes each day.  I was upset at first, but now I’m glad to have complete control of my class back as I don’t want someone who isn’t passionate about teaching running my classroom.

I decided to make ahead some breakfasts for the week as I knew my life was going to be crazier than usual. I honestly have a really tough time with breakfast and don’t eat it half of the time.  I get to work around 6:30 or 6:45 a.m., and I’m usually very busy from then on.  I will drink a lot of coffee, but sometimes I can’t make myself eat breakfast even if I bring it.  I also try not to ever eat in front of my students, so if I don’t have time to eat before they arrive, I just forget about it.

I know it’s really important for me to eat breakfast if I want to be on top of my game, so I’m going to try my best to be organized enough to make that happen.

Something I used to do to “treat” myself in the morning was stop by Starbucks once a week and get a fancy specialty latte and their spinach feta wrap.  But I was starting my day with a lot of sugar and sodium (not to mention $10+), so now that I don’t do that, I definitely feel better.

This week I decided to use some steel-cut oats I had forever (and just now expired) to make mason jar oatmeals.  I wanted to customize them each day in order to entice me into eating them since I get bored so easily.  I have a microwave in my classroom, so these were easy to heat up each day.  I came up with so many combinations with items I already had in my pantry and need to use up.  I did (left to right): apple pie (oats, almond milk, cinnamon applesauce, and fresh apples), raisin oatmeal cookie (oats, almond milk, cinnamon agave syrup, raisins, and toasted almonds), peanut butter chocolate banana (oats, almond milk, banana, cacao powder, peanut butter powder, and peanuts), cashew coconut banana (oats, almond milk, banana, cashews, unsweetened almond flakes), and berry delight (oats, almond milk, blueberries, blackberries, and toasted almonds).

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Each one tasted great, but my favorites were the oatmeal cookie and cashew coconut banana.  Since I am almost out of steel-cut oats, I think I will try it with regular oatmeal next week.

And even though I meal prepped pretty well this week, I needed something different tonight, so I made some mashed potato waffles.  I have been craving potatoes lately, so I steamed some russets in my Instant Pot and mashed with sauteed onions and garlic.  I then put in some almond milk, Earth Balance, and Daiya cream cheese and seasoned with a ton of smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. IMG_20180125_183533518.jpg The result was even better than I imagined!It was honestly one of the best things I’ve ever eaten!  I made enough for a few waffles, so I am really looking forward to eating them as leftovers!