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Monday, February 7, 2011

Veganish weekend

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.
You just rip it up (make sure it's bone-dry), LIGHTLY coat with olive oil (I poured about a tablespoon in my hand and then rubbed my hands together then just scrunched the leaves up with my hands), and bake. I sprinkled with salt AFTER they were done so that the salt wouldn't make the kale release any liquid and get soggy.
Here is the recipe:
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!!


  1. I'm so pround of you, Jenny!! That noodle dish looks AMAZING. We may need to have another pot luck with that being the main dish instead of pork parfaits!!


  2. Great job Jenny! I applaud you & Millie too ;)

  3. Thank you! And yes, Shannon... I would be glad to share my new creations at a potluck. However, I am SO eating cheese at the fondue fiesta coming up at Traci's. :)

  4. I'm making the fiesta vegetarian! The only animals there will be us devouring the cheese.

  5. :) sounds good! And I just want to throw this out there as something to THINK about. If everyone went vegetarian for just one day, the US would save:
    1. 100 billion gallons of water (enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months)
    2. 1.5 billion pounds of crops otherwise fed to livestock (enough to feed the state of New Mexico for more than a year)
    3. 70 million gallons of gas (enough to fuel all the cars in Canada and Mexico combined with plenty ro spare)
    4. 3 million acres of land (an area more than twice the size of Deleware)
    4. 33 tons of antibiotics