Monday, August 8, 2011

Vegan Week Part 2!

I had so much fun during my vegan week challenge a few weeks ago, that I have decided to do it again! I learned so much about the foods we put into our bodies and what they do (or don't do) for us, and so much about new foods I didn't know about before. 
This weeks recipes come from another food blogger, Sarah Matheny. I discovered her website, Peas and Thank You, only recently, but am already loving it! I went to Borders yesterday (I was trying to wait for the next set of markdowns before getting in there, but couldn't wait any longer!) hoping to find some treasures, and I did! As I made my way to the cookbook section, I perused over to the vegetarian/vegan shelfs and found, there on the very bottom shelf, all alone laying face-up, the brand new cookbook Peas and Thank You! I'm not kidding, this cookbook just came out a few weeks ago! I snatched that baby up so fast, and nabbed the last copy! And with the Border's close-out markdown, it was a serious score! I couldn't wait to get home and dig in; in a matter of minutes I had a weekly menu planned out and a grocery list ready to go! Thanks to my previous vegan week, the pantry is pretty well-stocked with the staples, so this list was mostly produce, a fraction of the cost of last time!
Due to a little too much Sangria last night (is there even such a thing as too much Sangria? :), I went to bed last night forgetting to make my overnight oats. A bowl of Cheerios and soy milk did me just fine, however. Simple, that's how I like it in the morning.

Lunch was tofu...don't go running for the hills just yet! This recipe can make a tofu lover of even the harshest critics! One day last week I was craving some good tofu (it's true), and found a dee-licious recipe! It has been such a hit, I've made it three times and yesterday my mom requested I make a triple batch! It is so simple to make: Slice a block of tofu into fourths, wrap in paper towels and weigh down, allowing the water to press out, anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours. Combine marinade in a pot and bring to boil and reduce to simmer until ready. Combine 1/2 c. water, 1/4 c. red wine vinegar, 1/4 c. Tamari (Tamari is similar to soy sauce, it has a deeper flavor but is more healthful, it is both wheat and gluten free), scant 2 1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (I think coconut oil would work well here too, to boost the health factor), 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar or mirin, 1/2 tsp. each oregano and cloves, 1 tbsp. sugar, and a pinch of salt and pepper. I added red pepper flakes to mine, I like things spicy! Place tofu and marinade in a shallow dish or bowl, cover and let sit in fridge overnight, stir occasionally. In the morning grill it up, and slice into cubes. I added cilantro and peanuts, and a little reserved marinade back in (just enough to coat, you don't want it swimming) and refrigerate until ready to eat. So simple, so good! I had seconds...and thirds. And by the way, Fresh and Easy has the cheapest tofu I have found, 98 cents! Delicious AND easy on the budget, double win!

I've loved Larabars for a long time, and stocked up on them today as they were on sale. These treats taste indulgent, but are one of the healthiest products on the market, and leave all other protein/energy bars in the dust: every bar is gluten-free, vegan, raw, kosher, low carb (carbs that come from natural fruits and nuts only, I'll take those carbs!) and contain no colorings, additives or preservatives. How they manage to do all of that and still produce a quality product is beyond me, but I am so glad! They actually are the best tasting energy bar out there, in my humble opinion. While I found them on sale today and am happily munching away on one as a snack while I write this, they aren't always budget-friendly, so you can make your own! Oh She Glows has several recipes for the different flavors; each with only a few ingredients, each one so tasty! I would really like to try my hand at making them myself one of these days, if I do I'll let you know how they turn out!

Thai food was on the menu tonight! I LOVE Thai food. It's probably my favorite ethnic food ever, I could eat it every night of the week! I usually refuse to cook anything strongly ethnic (I also adore Indian food but will not ever make it myself, how could I possibly compete with the professionals at my favorite restaurant??), but the recipes and accompanying photos were drool-worthy, so I decided to give it a go...

 Dinner was Seitan Lettuce Wraps and Thai Crunch Salad (from the Peas and Thank You cookbook). The lettuce wraps were almost ridiculously simple to prepare, it took mere minutes! Seitan is a meatless...meat-like...thing. Lol. I guess it's kind of like tofu, but more substantial. I'm actually not entirely sure that I used the right product, but wasn't willing to make the trek to Whole Foods to be certain I got the right product (they always have the name brand or exact product I'm looking for, too bad it's so far away!). Anyway, 

Seitan? Who knows, but it was for dinner in the form of lettuce wraps, and it was actually good! I combined it with chopped water chestnuts and mushrooms in a pan, and added a sauce of Tamari, brown sugar, garlic salt and pepper, and sauteed until done, yum!
The Thai Crunch Salad was so good, but would have made a better lunch than dinner. The crunchy cabbage and carrots and peanuts contrasted nicely with the creamy edamame and Lime Ginger Dressing, it was made with almond butter and again, seemed so rich but was really so light! 
Dessert went out the window when my hubby called halfway through dinner. :) Nothing stops me from Skyping with my love when he's halfway around the world!

Overall, a great start to the week, can't wait for tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. That tofu sounds so good. I am totally pinning you :-)