This past weekend was my first weekend experimenting with the vegan diet. I would say from Friday night to this morning I have been vegan 80% of the time, and vegetarian 100% of the time. It's hard to avoid eggs I have found. But, I survived the weekend and actually enjoyed what I ate. Being a snacker, one of my first things to try was a replacement for chips. Now I know potato chips are allowed but I was looking for an un-fried alternative... and let's face it, Lay's isn't fooling anyone with those baked chips. Please...
I tried kale chips and I was pleasantly surprised! I had my doubts with this since I associate kale with garnish on plates that no one ever eats. However, these kale chips are actually very crispy (when eaten fresh- do not attempt to store these for snacking later, they lose their crunch) and had great flavor. Another good thing about them is you can buy a huge bunch of kale at the produce stand for like a buck, AND it really couldn't be easier.
1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
3. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.
So that was a success. I will definitely make these more often.
I found a couple of recipes on my free Whole Foods iPhone app so I went to buy the ingredients. I have to say, Whole Foods is kind of overwhelming and confusing at first. Plus, I had to buy a few "staples" that were expensive, but I won't have to buy them again for a while (i.e. tahini, almond butter, tamari). Before I get into the next recipe, I just have to vent. I really don't think the layout of Whole Foods makes sense. They have soy sauce located on 3 different aisles!! What is with that?? THEN- my grocery store pet peeve.... one of the things I purchased, which was on my receipt did not make it into my bag and of course I didn't notice until I go to make the damn thing. $4 soba noodles!! Luckily I happened to have whole wheat thin spaghetti in my cabinet that I used for a subsitute, but that just really ticks me off. And it's not like I could have just run back over there, it's like 20 minutes away. Anyway, I am forgetting what the point of this blog is.
So last night I made Sesame-Peanut Noodles. I have to say, I was really impressed. The sauce was perfect (although I did add a splash of saracha hot sauce because I like that extra heat)! Here is the recipe:
1 (8-ounce) package 100% whole grain soba noodles
2 cups snow peas, strings removed
2 tablespoons roasted smooth peanut butter or almond butter
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon reduced sodium tamari
1 tablespoon sesame tahini
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 cup sliced green onions
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Add snow peas with 1 minute cooking time remaining. Drain noodles and snow peas thoroughly. In a large bowl, whisk together peanut butter, vinegar, tamari, tahini and crushed red pepper. Add a splash of warm water if needed to thin the sauce so it will coat the vegetables and noodles. Add noodles, snow peas, carrots, bell pepper, green onions and sesame seeds. Toss to coat noodles and vegetables thoroughly with sauce. Serve room temperature or chilled.
And here is what my finished product looked like.
Oh, and I almost forgot. I had dinner at Darbster's on Saturday night. Awesome vegan place on Dixie (the old Tree's Wings). I had palm cakes, made from hearts of palm, with mashed potatoes, black beans and mango salsa. YUMM!! Love that place, and they are super dog-friendly and encourage people to bring their dogs, however, I really don't think they want to deal with this...
Check them out!!