Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Updates!! :)

Its been awhile since I have posted last but I have been busy busy leading my fabulous vegan life and eating fab vegan food! :) I forget a LOT of the time to document all the amazing stuff I try or learn about etc! I'm super excited to blog next week after I attend Veggie Fest in Illinois this Saturday!

UNTIL THENNN :) Here are some random updates!!!

Not only are these becoming more popular but they are better for you then traditional fries bc they are lower on the glycemic index MEANING that it doesn't effect your blood sugar (and your weight!) like white starchy fries do. That's good news for everyone not just vegans. I actually prefer to make sweet potato fries myself by buying a sweet potato, cutting into strips, drizzling some olive oil and roasting in the over at 400 or more degrees for a half hour. I have heard- but haven't tried yet- that if you roast them for 10-15 minutes DRY and THEN add the olive oil that you will get a crispier fry. Def. worth a shot bc it IS hard to get these guys crispy. In a pinch the other day I made THESE out of a bag:

The brand that I used was "Alexia Natural Gourmet". I have found her products at Whole Food and Outpost so far. I use her other frozen mixes too- will talk about in a minute! The fries wereeee crispy BUT a little too spicy for me. She use chipolte seasonings and it was hot!

Well were are on the topic of Alexia products I made 2 other packages tonight. This is the roasted red potato and mushroom mix. It also have green beans BONUS! :) I havent tried it yet just made it to have on hand. I haveee however tried the next one I made:
This one is sooo good and its great bc it has beans in it so I am getting some protein! Sometimes I just cant stomach another burrito. This is a fun twist on getting your beans. How these products work is that you have the frozen veggie mix and then you get a packet of oil mix. For the mushroom/potato/green bean one the mix is a thyme infused olive oil. For the bean and potato one (which also have spinach, onion, and other amazingness!) you get a pesto basil olive oil! They are really simple to make: You put the oil packet in warm water to 'melt' it and then after a couple minutes you cut it open and add it to the frozen mix in a skillet. Heat through on medium heat til everything gets browned, fragrant, and ready to eat! :) Thats the mushroom and green bean mixed all cooked up and ready to go. Here is the bean mix:
My camera phone does not do any of the food Im posting about justice but it at least gives you an idea and seeing the bags of food sometimes makes it easier to find it in the store :)

I find that I need to have things ready to eat. Like everyone else you get home from work, school, whatever.. are famished and just want something quick and easy. So I pick a day and I just prepare. I get everything ready for salads - washed greens, cut up nuts, dried fruits, etc. so that I can throw it together quickly. I prepare things like above ahead of time bc even if they only take 10 minutes sometimes I dont even want to wait that long! I often keep cooked whole wheat pasta or brown rice in the refrig ready to go as well. Eating healthy is 90% about preparation for me. Once I make a bunch of stuff I have to make sure I dont FORGET ABOUT IT! I like to have my options laid out so that when I open up the refrig I can clearly see my options- soooo... I label! :)
Sometimes I even make a list and put it somewhere in the kitchen so when its time to make a meal I can look at it and see my options that I sometimes forget. I often get into a rut where eat the same thing for days on end. By having a list and having options I have more variety in my diet, feel better, and have more energy.

Eating healthy requires more preparation but it doesn't necessarily require a hugeee time commitment. Today I whipped up this vegan 'snack wrap'.. Looks like a mcdonalds snack wrap to me except sooo much better and sooo much healthier. For my revised snack wrap I used a whole wheat tortilla that is high in fiber and only 50 calories. This is a mini tortilla and creates the same size snack wrap that mcdonalds has. For the inside I cut up a vegetarian chicken patty (Mine is boca brand). I also through in some spinach leaves but you could use any green. (Remember the darker the better!) Then I wanted to add some healthy fat so although you could use veganise, salad dressing, or whatever else you want I whipped up some guacamole and used a couple tablespoons. (I use Wild Tree Guac mix which requires only 2 TBS of seasoning and an avocado. so easy!) The result was a yummy, quick snack... protein, fiber, and healthy fat. And no chickens were harmed in the process :) *and side note, no humans either ;) This snack wrap is totally heart healthy!!*

Last but not least I want to talk about going OUT to eat. Im not going to lie- going out to eat and trying to eat 100 percent vegan isn't easy. There are several GREAT resteraunts- more so on the east side of milwaukee and downtown milwaukee- that offer vegan options but a LOT of times your options may be limited to a 'garden salad' (0 nutrient iceburg lettuce with 2 slices of tomato and a few stale croutons) with vinaigrette dressing (Which i hateeee!). Sometimes though you just have to ASK!! If might be embarrassing at first but you will be surprised how cooks can get creative in the kitchen and whip you up something thats not on the menu or MODIFY something for you. Two great examples- Last week I went to a pizza buffet place with friend. I knew they had a salad bar so I figured I could at least have that. I actually pretty impressed with some of the salad toppings they offered but I am MORE impressed when they offered to make me a cheese-less pizza with sauce and veggies on WHOLE WHEAT CRUST! They didnt even blink an eye. In less then 10 minutes a whole wheat vegan pizza was sitting on the pizza line. Sure it wasnt the most amazinggg pizza ever (like the vegan pizza Milwaukee's Olive Pit offers!) but it did the trick and it was nice to be accomodated :) Heres a pic:

Another example was this past weekend when some friends and I went to Molly Cools in Milwaukee. They used to have a veggie burger which I was planning on ordering but upon getting there and reviewing the menu the veggie burger was no where to be found! :( I asked the waiter about it and he said they took it off awhile back and asked me if I had any dietary requirements that would lead me to order it. I laughed nervously and made a joke of my veganism, planning on ordering the 'garden salad'. Instead he offered to pop back in the kitchen and see what the chefs could whip together. He came out with the most amazingggg pasta marinara with roasted broccoli, asparagus, and other assorted veggies. It was soooo unbeleiveably good. He joked (or maybe not?) that he 'knew what he was ordering after his shift"! AWESOME :) So lesson here; take control. Prepare foods at home, ask for the foods you want when you go out, and dont ever feel like you are limited or dont have great stuff to eat on a vegan diet.

The world is your... er.. soy patty.

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