Kicking-off My First Ever Vegan Week …

I have been toying with the idea of giving the vegan diet a whirl for some time now.  After all, I am half way there with dairy-free living and I often feel energized from meat-free meals.  Yet, it wasn’t until two inspirations emerged that I decided to declare our house vegan for this week. 

First off, thursday is World Vegan Day.  Really, what better time could there be?

The second inspiration came from two great vegan friends, Hannah and VeggieGirl.  As if they coordinated with one another to coax me over to the vegan way of life, each sent a package of wonderful baked goodies! 

For my birthday (it seems I have had a month long celebration!) Hannah sent a dozen Vegan Ginger Biscotti …


Though I am not a cake person, she insisted on making me some cake for my birthday as well …


VeggieGirl sent an entire (very large!) loaf of her famed Pumpkin Raisin Nut Loaf …


So with a taste of the good vegan life, I have begun vegan week!  Today I started the morning with some leftovers.  I fortified a large serving of the Orange Spiced Whole Wheat Couscous from The Hippy Gourmet with garbanzos/chickpeas for some extra staying power.

mangocolada.jpgLast night we met with friends at the new Trader Vic’s on the Las Vegas Strip.  I ordered a virgin coconut drink, which hit my taste buds just right.  So, for a lunch starter, I decided to make my unsweetened mango colada.  It contains frozen pineapple and mango, a small ripe banana, a tablespoon of unsweetened coconut, and a bit of unsweetened almond milk.  Seriously, I must have used some super-ripe fruit, as it was the sweeetest thing I have had all week!  It kicked the pants off of the Trader Vic’s drink.  Perhaps I should share my secret with them? ….

Since this was more like a large snack than a lunch, I continued on with an afternoon of snacking:

  • Steamed broccoli (yes, I really do get cravings for it)
  • Raw carrots for crunching
  • Rice cakes slathered generously with cashew butter and sprinkled with cinnamon
  • Apple cake from recipe trials for a new cookbook we are publishing
  • Tea, and lots of it

At last, it was time for dinner, my vegan stumbling block.  Breakfast and lunch are a breeze, but dinner, when my hearty cravings set in, can be a problem.  Luckily, an old friend was nestled in my vegetable keeper, a large Chinese eggplant.  I stir-fried it up with broccoli, red bell peppers, onions, and ooops… I accidentally left the neatly chopped mushrooms on the counter, uncooked.  Well, I have done some prep-work for tomorrows meal I guess! 

For the sauce I used a Hoisin (sweet potato base) with some tamari (soy sauce) and of course, garlic.  Set alongside a hearty helping of brown rice, and dinner was served.  To my pleasant surprise, my husband scraped up every last bite within mere minutes and proclaimed, “really good!”  He was right, simple but tasty.  Though I am sure all of the salt in the sauces helped a little.


It did fill me up … temporarily, but I can now feel a void coming on.  Thank goodness for that leftover apple cake and some pints of Purely Decadent “ice cream” chilling in the freezer!