Vegan for Lent, Week 2

20130220-105942.jpgThis week in my lenten discipline has taught me something about my psychology: I don’t like being told what to do. The minute there is a rule about something, all I want is to break that rule. I may go weeks without eating meat naturally, but the minute I make a rule that I have to be vegan, all I want are runny yolked eggs, things covered in cheese, and bacon cheeseburgers. I may have taken advantage of Sunday to have both a cheeseburger and cheesy pizza. I could spiritualize this into a nice post about how sinful I am, or something, but the reality is, from the very beginning, people don’t like being told not to eat (of the fruit of that tree, or of the fruit of Five Guys). I may be a bad Christian, but it seems to just be the way people are, and I’m people too. I can’t imagine God not knowing that we’d be this way from the start. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with cheese, really, but doing without it has definitely required me to think harder than I would otherwise think about my food.

Breakfasts are especially difficult. I tend toward the hypoglycemic in the mornings and have always preferred protein to carbs or fruit to start my day. Before, my go-to was homemade Egg McMuffins, or a cheese stick. Rarely I’ll have a KIND nut and grain bar. Now, I find myself having an extra cup of coffee to tide me over, because I don’t want to eat cereal or oatmeal or fruit. So, easy vegan breakfast solutions that are not cereal with almond milk would be appreciated.

Another thing I’ve noticed with being a vegan is: I get bored with the leftovers really fast. Even if a meal was really great the first time, I don’t really want to eat it again very often. This has led to some weird ass dinners when I am avoiding leftovers. The other night I seriously ate a baked potato with green goddess salad dressing on it because I couldn’t face any of the zillions of tupperwears in my fridge. Usually, I’ll put a poached egg on leftovers, or turn them into a frittata, to shake it up a bit, but I can’t do that with this diet.

This week I tried to use some of the online recipes I’d collected on my Pinterest board so you guys can try them too. Here’s what we ate in the last week (it’s so few meals because they always seem to make a ton of leftovers, and because I was home alone for several days, so I did less cooking):

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This gumbo was really tasty served over brown rice, and the friends we had over for dinner who aren’t vegan seemed to think so too! The key, to me, to make up for the lack of sausage is the addition of some liquid smoke seasoning.

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These cookies use coconut oil instead of butter, and I veganized them by using applesauce and a little baking powder and soda to replace the egg. The texture was slightly different than the average cookie, but they were decidedly cookie-like and very tasty. They basically taste like a slightly coconutty sugar cookie.

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I wanted to try a cheese substitute, just for the experience, so I largely gave this casserole a try just to use the Daiya cheese. While I couldn’t get the cheese to melt like it claims it will, I found it to have a good flavor, and will buy their products after Lent is over for my lactose-intolerant husband. The casserole itself was a little dry, so I added salsa to my plate. If I made it in the future, I might just pour some enchilada sauce in with the veggie mix to make it saucier.

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This squash and kale bowl had a great flavor but wasn’t quite filling enough to be a whole meal. I might add bulgur or quinoa to make it more filling next time.

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OK, so I didn’t really cook this tofu banh mi. Consider this a plug for The Root Cafe here in Little Rock. All of their food is local and delicious. It was great to know there was a place I could go and have something yummy for a lunch out with a friend.

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This tagine was a dish I had made and liked even before my Vegan Lent, so I knew we’d like it this time around. I was short on zucchini, so I subbed in some frozen green beans, and they worked beautifully. I also didn’t have preserved lemons, so I used lemon infused olive oil, lemon zest, and some extra lemon juice.

2 weeks down, one month to go!

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5 thoughts on “Vegan for Lent, Week 2

  1. I don’t think you have to worry about being a “bad Christian” and I think you know that. Really loved your thoughts in this post though, I accidentally gave up impatience for lent, and the moment I realized it I suddenly felt all my patience leave me!

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  2. I made a Mediterranean dish last night with veggies and quinoa instead of the couscous it called for, because I need a little extra protein. I’m actually snacking on the leftovers RIGHT NOW, and they are even more delicious than last night’s meal–let me know if you want the recipe.
    I also have a recipe for a cinnamon quinoa that’s great for breakfast instead of oatmeal, and it’s such a good protein source.
    Also, just so you know, I make a really fabulous vegan chocolate cake :) You can order one from Melanie B’s Baking if you need to curb a craving. Chocolate cake with peanut butter would be great for breakfast, but the sugar to protein ratio might not quite work for you.

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  3. I’m not the most adventurous vegan (I’m super picky), so I’m not sure if this will help, but these are some of the things I usually have for breakfast: I know you said not to mention it (ha!), but granola/cereal is my easy go-to. Bear Naked Fruit & Nut granola is fantastic. Though, I think it may have honey, which is a gray area in veganland. Van’s make super good frozen vegan waffles. The flax ones are my fave. You can make simple eggless french toast or pancakes too. I use the recipes from “How it all Vegan”. I’m sure they’re google-able. Then there’s always fruit, smoothies, Clif & Luna bars, good ol’ toast, bagels, etc… :)

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  4. “…people don’t like being told not to eat (of the fruit of that tree, or of the fruit of Five Guys). I may be a bad Christian, but it seems to just be the way people are, and I’m people too.”

    I enjoy how grounded you are about your faith. Thanks for keeping it real.

    Not vegan here, but I’m a big fan of sweet potatoes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Baked and mashed with a little cinnamon/brown sugar = can’t go wrong. Walnuts/pecans if you’re feeling a little nuts (ha). Chock full of vitamins, inexpensive, traditionally Southern: what’s not to like?

    Love your updates. Best luck for the rest of Lent.

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  5. Vegan waffles, yes. And while I’m not the biggest fan of substitutes,you can make a DANK hash brown casserole using Daiya (it WILL melt in the oven, I promise) and soy sausage crumbles, so there’s that. Also, sauteed avocado with quinoa. I know it doesn’t SOUND breakfast-y, but it is good in the morn with a teeny bit of Bragg’s tossed on it.

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