Day 10: A world of possibilities

So many people think that becoming a vegan, even just cutting out meat from ones diet, drastically reduces the amount of options that you have when choosing what you are going to eat.   I think that this is a terrible misconception.  The truth is that there are so many fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries, roots, and other whole foods that you and I have never even heard of.  The abundance of natural food on earth is incredible!  In becoming vegan, Danielle and I have exercised our creativity when it comes to cooking and thus diversified what we are consuming.  The variety of food that we’re eating has increased so dramatically!  We are having so much fun exploring all of these wonderful foods that we only dabbled in or did not even know existed before.

So yesterday we ate Oatmeal Cranberry pancakes again.  If you have been following our blogs then you have already seen that recipe.  We already told you how good they taste. Our eating them again is testament too that.

For Lunch and dinner we ate my new favorite dish.  I had a feeling it was going to be fantastic, so when Danielle was putting the recipe together she said I’ll just double it for 4 servings.  I said why don’t we quadruple that sucker!  Thats just what we did!

Whole-Wheat Macaroni & Sweet Potato Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cooked noodles (according to package instructions)
  • 1/2 baked sweet potato
  • 1/4 tsp mustard
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast and 1/2 tbsp of olive oil for crust

In a medium-sized bowl combine the sweet potato half, juice of half a lemon, mustard, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, olive oil and salt and pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Fold 1 cup of cooked noodles into the sweet potato “cheese”.

Place the mixture into a serving-size baking dish.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast over the dish and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. This will allow the top to crisp while cooking.

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, or until the top begins to brown. Serve and enjoy!

It tasted like normal Macaroni and cheese, but with way more distinct flavors.  If I were to eat as much regular Mac n cheese as I did this, I would have had to sit on the couch for an hour afterwards.  Danielle and I both felt great!   I heated up some today and it was just as marvelous!

We found out today that our apartment managers are going to release us from the lease early because of all of the issues that we have had.  I am not going to get into all of that, but this definitely means that we will commence on our expedition across the country in about 10 days!  We are getting so excited!  It will include but is not limited to…

Big Sur

Santa Cruz

San Francisco

Wine tasting in Napa

Yosemite if the weather permits

Hiking in Utah

Josh Garrels concert in Boulder Colorado

honky tonk with Paul Secord

we are bringing our Vitamix and our juicer!

Stay tuned!

We will absolutely keep you guys posted on that!

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Day 2- seems like day 6

Hi everyone! This is Travis, Danielle and I are going to alternate who writes the post so its my turn! So today was our second day eating as vegans. Im not sure if Im supposed to use that word but, oh well. We are so excited about our month long Vegan fast! However I must note that we did have a couple minor headaches over the last couple of days, we had some urges and a little moodiness. Overall though, Danielle and I feel splendid! We do not feel bogged down after we eat. We do not need that thirty minutes to “digest” on the couch.

Danielle loves structure, so we mapped out our week and what we were going to eat. I woke up this morning and realized that the bananas we needed for this mornings smoothie were not ripe yet. However I had already poured the blueberries in the Vitamix. So we had to change the plan a bit. I walked our beautiful Dog Bella while Danielle made this amazing smoothie she found on Incrediblesmoothies.com…

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Blueberry-Mango Smoothie
1 cup blueberries
1 mango
2 cups fresh baby spinach (or other leafy green)
1 whole carrot
1/2 – 1 cup water

Calories: 258 | Fat: 1.3g (grams) | Protein: 4.9g | Carbs: 66.1g | Calcium: 13% | Vitamin A: 287% | Vitamin C: 166%

It a little leafy at first. But with each sip my appreciation for the leafiness of this concoction my wonderful wife had made for us soared! By the end of the smoothie I was in love! I ended up finishing off what was left in the blender! We chased that down with a couple of pieces of 100% whole wheat flax seed organic bread that we get from Costco with some of almond butter we had made yesterday and a little honey on top. After breakfast we both had a remarkable increase in the amount of energy we had. “Real men eat plants,” I thought to my self. This was a quote from the movie we watched last night FORKS OVER KNIVES.

So after a dip in the hot tub and a shower, Danielle and I were ready for Lunch. I think we were more excited about using our new Vitamix than we were hungry. Especially since the next item on our menu was already one of our favorites even before we decided to change our eating habits. Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. No Exclamation need. We took the recipe from the Vitamix website and It turned out absolutely phenomenal.

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Submitted by: Steve Schimoler

Dietary Interest: vegetarian, gluten-free, low cholesterol, no added sugar, vegan

Yield:

3 1/2 c (840 g)

Difficulty:

Easy

Total Time:

11 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces (170 g) roasted red pepper
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • ½ cup (120 g) tahini paste
  • 2 ½ tablespoon (38 ml) lemon juice
  • 2 (6 g) garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 3 cups (720 g) canned garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend for 1 minute until smooth. Add water if necessary to keep mixture flowing freely through blades.

The recipe made more than enough for our meal and Im sure we will be indulging in this heavenly hummus over the next few days. After we were done eating it, Danielle grabbed a pyrex container to put the remainder of the hummus in. “I don’t think it will all fit in there,” I warned her. Her eye brows dropped as she replied, ” yes it will.” She poured the hummus into the container and it was more than filled. “There you see” she smiled.” “The lid won’t fit on there,” I asserted. She put the top on anyway in disregard for what I said and Hummus spewed out of the sides of the lid all over the table, the floor, and the counter, as she carried it over the sink. I love my wife, and our relationship is quite hilarious at times.

We rode our bikes along the stream to the dog park this afternoon. Bella loves the dog park! However she pays more attention to her small green tennis ball than she does the other dogs.

After riding back home and relaxing for a bit we were ready to eat again. Next on our list was a recipe we have been salivating over for a while now. Tortilla soup. One word to describe this dish- delectable! Here is the Recipe…

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Tortilla Soup

Submitted by: Vitamix

Dietary Interest: vegetarian, low cholesterol, low fat, low sodium, no added sugar

Yield:

5 c (1.2 l)

Difficulty:

Intermediate

Total Time:

21 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (720 ml) chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
  • 1 roma tomato, halved or about 1/2 cup chopped
  • 1 carrot, halved or about 1/2 cup chopped
  • 1 rib celery, halved or about 1/3 cup chopped
  • 1 thin slice of onion, peeled or approximately 1 tablespoon chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 thin slice of yellow squash
  • 1 thin slice of red bell pepper
  • 1 thin slice of cabbage
  • 1 mushroom
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • dash ground cumin
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeño
  • 1/4 cup olives, pitted
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) canned corn, unsalted
  • 2 ounces (60 g) tortilla chips

Directions

  1. Place stock, tomato, carrot, celery, onion, garlic, squash, bell pepper, cabbage, mushroom and seasonings into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend for 5-6 minutes or until steam escapes from the vented lid.
  5. If adding optional ingredients, reduce speed to Variable 2.
  6. Remove the lid plug.
  7. Drop in jalapeños, olives, corn, and chips.
  8. Blend for an additional 10 seconds.

We initially forgot to put in the celery, and the soup was quite spicy. So I chopped a half of stock with our chef knife and sprinkled it into our bowls. The celery helps neutralize and at the same time compliment the taste of the Jalapeno. Unfortunately it was still a little spicy for Danielle and she could only eat half of the soup. Of course I was happy to help with the emptying of her bowl (into my mouth). After cleaning up we were out the door and on our way to church. When we got back from church we were in for another treat.

So simple, yet intensely rich and flavorful. Sultry sensations danced on our tongues, yet what we were eating was still vegan. It was the best I have ever had anywhere, and it was made at home. Hot Chocolate. So Smooth, so Creamy, so decadent, the perfect temperature- I could go for days about this beverage!

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Danielle’s Hot Chocolate.

2 cups of almond milk

1/4 cup of semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips.

Blended in the vitamix 6300 on the soup setting.

I will dream of this Hot Chocolate tonight, and for many nights to come. Our vitamix is now a part of the family!