...Keeping it simple.
This week was a busy week, and I found myself thankful to have random food options around the house. For example, on a busy morning before work, I threw some spinach and a frozen Morning Star veggie pattie, banana and a cutie clementine, and some oil and vinegar salad dressing into my lunch bag and rushed out the door. All of that was easy stuff to grab. It may not have been the fanciest lunch ever, but it was yummy and satisfying.
Simple, yet filling salad- veggie pattie, as much spinach as you want, and 1-2 tbsp of dressing. I would have liked some veggies in it, but life doesn't always go that smoothly! I ate a bunch of it before I remembered to take a pic...
Then, by the end of the week, I still just had a bunch of random items in the fridge that I had bought for other meals and not used all of. So another opportunity for a salad came about! I get bored with salad sometimes, and like to throw in fun twists for unique flavors. I had some spinach...
Some carrots, red peppers, tomatoes...
Some Gardein brand vegan buffalo "chicken" pieces (which were SOO GOOD MMM!!!)
The directions said to cook them on stove top in one Tbsp of oil, but I just used a little water in the pan. I don't like using oil all the time, it's really not necessary for certain things!
I threw all my ingredients into my just-emptied spinach container, sprinkled a few pinches of Daiya brand vegan cheese on top, and threw in two tbsp of barbecue sauce. This is what I mean by adding unique flavors- the buffalo flavor from the Gardein pieces plus the bbq sauce is so fun and different for a "salad!"
I put the lid on this and shook it all up...
And chowed downnnn...!
Yum. And Veg. Yay.
For dessert...I had this ice cream made with coconut milk in the freezer and had yet to try it. This was the first time I'd ever had it. Dairy free, woohoo! Pomegranate with chocolate chunks has been a favorite of mine in terms of the more popular dairy ice creams...I thought if I wanted to start cutting out dairy from my diet I just wouldn't be able to have it anymore.
I was WRONG!
Oh. M. Geeee. For reals. It really is easy and rewarding to eat vegan food when there are amazing, yummy options that give you such an uplifting positive feeling. Love it.
It was hard not to eat the whole container. But the serving size says 1/2 cup, so I stayed close to that amount...barely. Mmmmmm.
Of course I couldn't help but bake something this week as well... I made another item from the cookbook The Joy of Vegan Baking!
(image found using Google image search)
Soft Pretzels. Again, I don't want to post the exact recipe on here because it is not my right to if the owner has not themselves already posted it online. But you can get it fairly cheap at Amazon, see: http://www.amazon.com/Joy-Vegan-Baking-Compassionate-Traditional/dp/1592332803/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327887169&sr=8-1
But I can tell you that the ingredients list is very short! And as long as you can get your yeast to rise, the rest is easy easy easy!
You basically just let the yeast rise, mix your ingredients, and you only have to knead the dough for 3 minutes! You wont even break a sweat. Then let it rise for two hours, separate it into 12 balls. Then you roll the balls into long cylinders, make fun shapes, dip in baking soda/water mix, and put in the oven! I was curious to see if the recipe was floating around online anywhere. The first link I found was this one- it's not the recipe, but another person blogging about how easy it was! : http://cadryskitchen.com/2011/07/03/soft-pretzels-from-jovb/
Then I found the recipe posted at another site. So. I can tell you that other people have posted the recipe and it's quite easy to find online.
I cut the recipe in half when I made it...
Cute little dough ball, about to let it rise.
Separated into balls:
Rolled out. It said roll it into 16 in long sections, so I set a measurer out, lol.
Don't mind the dirty oven :/
And yes, there is something else in the oven cooking with the pretzels...you'll have to wait til next week to hear about what it is!
15 minutes, and not a second more, of baking- and PERFECTION!
The "P" is for Pooches For Peace of course :)
They were the perfect texture. A little firm on the outside, and fluffy on the inside. I ate some dipped in mustard, some dipped in hummus...
And some smothered in White Chocolate Wonderful vegan peanut butter. I have an issue with peanut butter in that I'm completely obsessed with it...
What I've been thinking about this week is this- it's so much easier to eat vegan and/or vegetarian food if your house is stocked with options. When I very first started trying to eat more vegetarian meals in 2008, it was easier than I thought because my stepmother is vegetarian, so I had always seen what she ate. Now that I'm working more vegan options into my diet, a big part of making it work is just shopping differently in general and stocking your cupboards with those options. And not doing it all at once probably makes it easy- I just slowly started changing what I bought as I tried different recipes (i.e.- vegan butter instead of dairy butter, vegan cheese instead of dairy cheese..etc). and before I knew it I had all these vegan options in the house.
-Hoping you all have a week full of yummy, ~Anna (&The Pooches)