Friday, June 7, 2013

Using Up & Making Do

Sorry I abandoned you guys on the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart; the last couple of days' menus weren't all that thrilling to me, and I am still trying to use up the food in the fridge. However, if you want to jump into the official Kickstart, now is the time as they're just begun a new round! My overall impression of the program? Excellent for new vegans as well as "seasoned" ones who want to try new recipes, lose a few pounds, or just want to get back to the basics. If you don't like to cook, however, it's not gonna be much fun for you. I joked to my family that I was burning calories with all of the shopping and chopping! If I were working outside the home or very busy due to whatever reason, I would definitely do the shop/prep and some of the cooking over the weekend so that weeknight meals came together more quickly. Also, it helps if you already have a stocked spice cabinet and a few staples in your pantry; if you're starting from scratch, you might have to spend a few dollars on those items. However, you'll be saving so much money by not purchasing meat, dairy and processed junk, I doubt you'll see an increase in your grocery budget. It's a lot more fun/easier if someone else in your household is joining you on the Kickstart. Not only is it more motivating with a pal, but if you go solo you'll end up with a lot of leftovers!

So, anyway, moving on..earlier this week I baked half a dozen potatoes that were hiding in my pantry. I absolutely love potatoes in any form, not sure I could be a vegan if they weren't allowed! Baked are probably my favorite, but of course I don't top them in the traditional way w/fatty sour cream and butter. You'll see what I mean..

I read this post at Healthy Girl's Kitchen about Chef AJ's new way of eating which helped her lost 30 pounds.  One of the things the Chef does is eat a pile of greens for breakfast! first I thought, yuck! But then, why not? I dusted off my old pressure cooker and steamed a pile of kale, served it alongside a tofu scramble breakfast wrap. It was delicious and really started my day off on a healthy note! The more greens you can get into your body, the better off you are, so why not "front load" first thing in the morning?

Steamed Kale in Pressure Cooker photo 20130603_100025_zps8b222103.jpg

Steamed Kale w/Breakfast Wrap photo IMG_20130603_102049_zpsab9365f1.jpg

While I had the pressure cooker out, I cooked up some black beans, served them with fresh tomatoes & cilantro over a baked potato. Simple but tasty lunch. If you've never used a pressure cooker for your beans, Vegan Coach provides a super-simple how-to video here.  If you have the tools and the time, it's so worth it to cook your own legumes rather than using the canned variety.  They taste fresher and "cleaner," and no worries about preservatives or possible BPA.

Black Beans & Tomatoes Over Baked Potato photo 172d765a-3e16-4b48-a2ec-d5e5d4d21a1c_zpsf357e1e5.jpg

Another day I ate the spinach/potato scramble alone with a drizzle of Sriracha sauce, yummy!

Spinach & Potato Breakfast Scramble photo 20130605_081755_zpsb4797cc9.jpg

Wednesday night I made my "famous" chili, but this time I mixed up my own Chili Seasoning Mix. So much better than the cheapo packaged stuff! (sorry, no pic)

Last night was our standing happy hour date at Quarterdeck, really enjoyed socializing and seeing our friend Artie perform, but I wish the restaurant would update the food menu. I'm tired of the Portobello Mushroom Sandwich, and there is literally nothing else veg-friendly to choose from. Once again, I had a baked potato on the side, had to send the first one back to the kitchen because it was black inside! Ewww!!

(Big thanks to my friend Ginger, by the way, who bought me a congratulations-on-your-blog-award cocktail!)

Today we'll be heading to Ormond for a few days; the family is meeting there to celebrate Brynna's birthday. Hopefully the nasty weather caused by TS Andrea is past us, don't relish the thought of driving through rain.

Have a great day, TGIF!


  1. My first reaction to the idea of front loading with greens was the same as yours - I'm not really sure that's for me! It's not a reaction that makes a lot of sense, given I love greens and your breakfast looks great. Maybe greens for brekkie is the way forward!

  2. I wish I was a bigger fan of green vegetables, but I really only enjoy peas, broccoli, and brussell sprouts. Maybe I'll try adding some of those into breakfast!

    1. Rachel, I totally understand your lack of veggie love as my hubby is the same! I've encouraged him to eat more green vegetables by sneaking them, ever so slowly, into recipes, hoping that he'll acquire a taste for them. I've been pleasantly surprised by the results! While I don't see him sitting down to a plate of steamed kale anytime in the future, he will now tolerate some stronger-flavored vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, in small portions. :)

  3. Love your post on using up and making do. It feels like I am ALWAYS cooking that way. I am a big advocate of greens for breakfast. One of my favorite salads makes a yummy breakfast, I think. I call it "Smoosh Salad." lol. Sounds good, right? Romaine holds up the best, but any greens work well. Smash avocado into your lettuce with your hands, splash in a little lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add in fun things like dried cherries and pecans (I switch it up) and enjoy. Simple, fun to make if you are squeamish about avocado all over your hands, and delicious! Also... not just for breakfast. ;)

    1. Aisling, that sounds amazing! I'm definitely gonna try it soon. :)