January 27, 2012

Kitchen Makeover: Vegan Edition

Another successful evening of vegan goodness with this excellent Mexican Lasagna (recipe here)!

Here are a couple photos of the preparation process - none of the final product because it was eaten too quickly:

 

The photo on the right shows one of the layers of the lasagna - on top of this went more tortillas, enchilada sauce and olives.  YUM!  The photo on the left shows that Ann needs to chop her onions into smaller pieces.  Dear lord that one piece is the size of my face!

Today, I ran out of cookie dough balls, so I made another quick double-batch at lunch time.  A great tip - if you know you like something, and you don't always have tons of time, make a double batch and freeze leftovers.  This tip is invaluable to us vegans plant-based diet peeps.

This little anecdote brings up an important tip - when you want something yummy, and you're anticipating upcoming cravings for aforementioned yumminess, then just make a quick batch of your favorite treat.  Not only do you control all of the ingredients, it's also less expensive and it makes you truly appreciate every bite.

When I used to eat a store bought cookie, I didn't think twice about the effort that was made to create the cookie - because I could just go to the store and get more if I ran out.  BUT, when I bite into my homemade raw brownies, I think, "this was such a friggin' pain-in-the-ass to make.  I will be damned if these are scarfed down.....these will be savored to every last bite."

Works every time.  Gotta love psychology.

Since we're still at the beginning of our Project Kale journey, I wanted to mention one of the most important parts of transitioning to a whole-foods, plant-based diet:

THE KITCHEN MAKEOVER!

Some people can jump right into something, both feet in.  Most, however, need to test the water with their toes, then foot, then the other foot.....you get the point.

I truly believe that there are two ways to fail in making this lifestyle change:

  1. Don't do any research. 
  2. Do it all at once.

Inherent in the meaning of the word transition is a process - this isn't an overnight transition - although on the flip side, it's not a year long transition either.  In a few weeks, you should be able to psychologically prepare for the transition, gather and try recipes, get rid of the foods you will no long be eating, while testing and eating new ones that you will be eating.

I made my decision over the course of a couple of months.  After making the decision, I was in the right mindset to make the change.  It was time to start thinking about the kitchen overhaul.

To give you an example of the kitchen makeover you'll make during the transition, here is a list of the changes you might be making:

  • Out with the cow's milk.  In with the almond milk (or rice milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, soy milk).
  • Out with the coffee creamer.  In with the Silk French Vanilla soy creamer.
  • Out with the white flour.  In with the whole grain oats (for homemade oat flour).
  • Out with the chicken broth.  In with the veggie broth.
  • Out with the white pasta.  In with the whole grain brown rice pasta.
  • Out with the butter.  In with the Earth Balance (to be used sparingly!).
  • Out with the oils.  In with healthy substitutions, depending on the recipe (veggie broth, applesauce, bananas).
  • Out with the ranch dressing.  In with the homemade vegan ranch dressing.
  • Out with the white sugar.  In with the dried fruit, maple syrup and honey.
  • Out with the cheese sticks.  In with the celery sticks!
Start small, start now.  Don't let the door hit 'cha on the way out mayo!!

Happy weekend everyone!

Love and Kale,
Ali





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