Eating Vegan ~ Day 2 ~ What Am I Doing Wrong?

No, we haven’t had trouble sticking to the diet … actually today was easy.  We even sampled a few vegan convenience foods, but on my behalf, they were foods that I likely wouldn’t have tried if we weren’t eating vegan this week.  More on that in a minute.

More importantly, I am doing recipe trials for a food allergy cookbook (egg, dairy, nut-free).  This week I thought I would try a few of the quick breads which are consequently vegan.  They have each been delicious (my family positively raving about the results), but in my oven, they keep caving in:


While a novice at cooking, I have been baking for years, though I probably haven’t attempted anything that needs to rise in quite a while.  The strange thing is, the other recipe testers are yielding beautifully fluffy loaves with the exact same recipe.  So what is it that I am doing differently?  I noticed that I was using a white-wheat flour, which is supposed to mimic white flour in baking.  Could it perhaps be too heavy?   I am just barely living at 3000 feet, could I be having some altitude issues?  Has my baking powder gone bad?  Any ideas.  Oh well, as you can tell, it is still an awesome loaf, a very tasty Banana Orange Chip Loaf (sans most of the chip as my husband ate almost all of the little chocolate morsels).  I did the baking powder test, and it does look feasible that mine has fizzled out, so I will head off to the store tomorrow to give it another go!

As for the rest of our vegan noshing day:

Breakfast:  Jumbo smoothies (a mango colada for the husband and a black cherry smoothies for myself) spiked with good stuff like ground flaxseed

Mid-Morning Snack: Rice Cakes topped with almond butter and cinnamon (PB & J for the husband)

Lunch: The beginnings of my new product adventures, my very first mock-meat ever.  Sure, I like a good veggie burger now and then, but really I only eat the grainy ones.  This was true mock-meat, Carey Brown’s Chicken Free Chicken, actually formed in the shape of a chicken.  A little creepy, but it did taste quite good.  In both taste and texture it was like a cross between a real chicken breast and packaged chicken sausage.  My husband kept repeating “smoky.”  We both thought it was surprisingly good, an excellent sub for meaty cravings really. 


However, due to its soy protein base, I probably won’t go for it again.  This specific ingredient isn’t a good one for either of us.  Anywho, I made a wonderful salad with it, a few veggies, and a quick and creamy salad dressing I whipped up.  We both agreed that the salad dressing deserved a repeat performance:


The quick bread was an afternoon adventure.  We noshed on some fruit while waiting for it to emerge.  Though it sunk in the middle, we both wolfed down two thick slices with huge smiles.


Dinner: I got home a bit late from a soccer game, but was feeling energetic enough to whip up a new recipe.  My eye had been on the Quinoa with Sweet Veggies and Almond Butter, and it looked easy enough to give a whirl.  Since I was out of squash, I subbed some steamed kale to get our greens. 


We both liked it, scarfing down every last bite, but the recipe still needs a bit of work.  I thinned the sauce just a bit with a touch of almond milk, and I ended up adding about 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup as it had way too much tamari.  It was very overpowering.  Perhaps if I lowered the tamari and added a pinch of crushed red pepper, or even serve up a bit less sauce than the servings imply.  I also think just a hint of maple helps to temper the overly salty blend.  Anyway, I willl likely experiment with this one some more.