As I mentioned last week, my final week of the Tony Horton cleanse had me eating a vegan, gluten-free diet, free of processed foods, added sugar, caffeine and alcohol. In my regular life, outside this cleanse, I do eat meat, eggs and dairy. Even so, it is not unusual for me to prepare vegetarian and even vegan dinners sometimes. Before last week, though, I had never before eaten vegan for every meal and snack for an entire week. I looked at it as a cooking adventure. My breakfasts mainly consisted of a cooked grain served with almond milk/fruit/nuts. My lunches mainly consisted of leftovers. My snacks were fruits or veggies. It was with dinner that I had a little more fun. I give you:
My week of Vegan Dinners
Sunday: Mexican Millet with a mixed vegetable salad. See previous post for details on the millet dish. This is the picture from the last time I made this dish. Obviously, I did not add chicken this time. 😉
Monday: Portabella “Bruschetta”, spinach/strawberry/almond salad, baked potato. I’m calling it “bruschetta,” because that’s what it reminded me of. I brushed the mushroom cap with extra virgin olive oil, then topped with diced tomato, minced sweet onion, rosemary and thyme. I broiled it for about ten minutes.
Tuesday: Brown Rice Asparagus Casserole and Italian Potato Wedges. I got both recipes at VegWeb, which has been a great resource for my vegan week. In retrospect, maybe an odd combo, but both sounded good. I made some changes from the original recipes. Most notably, I omitted the sauce and cheese from my portion of potato wedges (and I used regular cheese, not soy, for my family). First off, I was not eating any processed foods, and I couldn’t quite convince myself that tomato paste and vegetable broth are not processed foods. Secondly, I checked the ingredient list, and my organic vegetable broth contained added sugar. That surprised and disappointed me. In the casserole, I used far more than a dash of curry powder. I like my curry, and I loved this casserole, which also provided me with a few lunches. The crunch of the seeds and nuts made for an interesting texture, and I loved the flavor!
Wednesday: Easy Avocado-Lime Black Bean Salad. The rest of my family had this as a side dish with a taco dinner, and I topped a bed of spinach with the salad as my main dish. I found this recipe at Oh She Glows, but I made a few changes. I wanted to cut the total amount of the salad, so I used fewer black beans. However, I still went ahead and used the entire avocado, and the same amount of juice and herbs (in fact I increased the cumin to a full teaspoon). I thought this was absolutely delicious!
Thursday: Samosa Quinoa Bowl with spinach for me, steak for my family. I got this recipe at VegWeb. I made a couple small changes to the recipe. I used less quinoa, about two-thirds as much as the recipe called for, and I omitted the mustard seed. I really liked this and will be making it again. It’s great as leftovers, too.
Friday: Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie. We had this with spinach and apple slices. This was another recipe from VegWeb. I made a few changes based on what I had on hand. I used almond instead of soy milk. I used an onion in place of a leek, though we should start getting some leeks from the CSA soon! I used water in place of vegetable broth (processed/added sugar in broth). I omitted the turnips, because I don’t have any at this time. I liked the sweet potato topping with the cinnamon and nutmeg, but the filling was a little bland for my taste. I do tend to like things spicy, though, so you might like this more than I did if you’re not into spicy foods. It was okay, but not one of my favorites.
Saturday: Quinoa and Black Bean Vegetable Salad. It was based on this recipe at Oh She Glows, but I made some changes based on what I had on hand. I did not have red quinoa, nor did I have red peppers. I used brown quinoa and green peppers. I liked this salad quite well. I think I will try it again with red peppers to see how the taste differs.
Vegan for a week wasn’t bad at all. I really liked almost everything I made, and let’s face it, sometimes we try recipes we don’t like, vegan or not. I will definitely make some of these again.
And what was for dinner on Sunday night, the first night after the cleanse? Ham, an Easter egg, mashed potatoes (made with almond milk), vegetable salad and fresh pineapple. I went ahead and cooked a ham, which is our traditional Easter dinner. I did not feel like trying to catch up on something I’ve been missing or anything like that, but I was happy to go ahead with our typical holiday. I can confidently say that our meals for the next few days will also involve ham. Even when you purchase the smallest ham you can find, it’s still a lot of ham.
After that, we’ll see what path my cooking takes.