Vegan Week – Days 6, 7 … 8 and 9?

As some of you may know, I decided to trial a vegan diet for one week, and my husband hesitantly joined in.  I hear often of people who convert from vegetarianism to veganism, making that final leap from dairy and eggs.  However, I hadn’t heard of the other approach, those who already live without dairy and/or eggs foresaking meat to become vegan.  Honestly, I really wasn’t expecting much from the venture … just hoping to incorporate more fruits and veggies into our daily diet as an end result.  After all, how much difference could one week really make?

To give you a little background, one of my husband’s favorite phrases is “if we weren’t supposed to eat meat, then why does it taste so good?”  He has always leaned more toward the carnivorous side of omnivorous eating.  But on Saturday, the final day of our vegan week, he actually said, “you know, I’m okay with continuing on this vegan diet.”  Over a decade we have been together, yet somehow, he always finds a way to shock me.  He said he feels better, less tired and heavy.  He is also hopeful that it might help him to lose those last pounds around his middle.

So, will we remain on a vegan diet?  Mostly.  At the moment, we have a lot of non-vegan food in our freezer that must be eaten.  Seeing as how neither of us feels like eating a lot of meat at this point, it may take us a while to get that cleaned out.  As well, we may not be ready to dissect menus even further when it comes to eating out.  (okay, okay, we both love seafood and sushi too, what about a pesce-vegan?) However, we both agreed, that once our old stocks of food have dwindled, our home will become vegan.

It sure will save on grocery bills!  Our groceries this past week were 1/3 cheaper, we didn’t waste an ounce of food (a truly amazing victory), and our appetites were always fulfilled.  I think we were both quite surprised. 

So last night, I finally made that watermelon-sized spaghetti squash, going the pesto route, with VeggieGirl’s suggestion to add sun-dried tomatoes.  I served up just 1/2 a squash, but the portion sizes were huge!  The dish was yummy, even my husband finished every last bite.  For added “meat” the pesto was spiked with sunflower seeds, walnuts, and flaxseeds.  Overall, a delicious dish, but really not photogenic.  The beauty was on the inside.  Regardless, here are a few more photogenic items that we have enjoyed in our continued vegan week …

Pumpkin Bread – Another successful recipe trial, not to sweet and perfectly moist.

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Vegan Pizza – Follow Your Heart’s Vegan Gourmet “Cheese” did melt … with a little coaxing.  It was good, I will admit, very mild in flavor (I have always hated the pungent taste of real cheese).  However, I think I am still okay with a cheese-free pizza.  This one is on a homemade whole wheat crust, with some garlic tomato sauce, mushrooms, caramelized onions, and chopped olives.  Simple enough!

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Veggie Burger Salad: We picked up a box of Nature’s Burger Mix from Fantastic Foods on clearance.  It was an insanely good price, especially since the box makes 6 veggieburgers with just the addition of water.  Alas, it was on clearance for good reason.  These bland veggieburgers received two thumbs down from this household.  Luckily, the avocado dressing helped to save the day.

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Amy’s Thai Coconut Soup – Our spirits were lifted by this awesome souop.  It is quite hearty on its own due to the coconut milk, and full of flavor.  however, there weren’t many bonuses, it was truly soup.  So I spiked it with some sweet potatoes and poured the whole thing over a bit of brown rice for that full meal feel.

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More great meal ideas to come!