Collard Roll Ups

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Who wants a salad when you can have some of these little collard roll ups?

Instead of using taco shells or quesadillas – I just use some collard greens!  Inside is some guacamole, beans, rice, and corn.

What do you think?  Delicious 😀

 

I have been doing this vegan diet thing for a year and 9 months.  Before that, I was a vegetarian for about a year.  Now, I know I have posted something similar in the past, but I’d like to reflect on how difficult the vegan diet is.

When I say that, I know there are tons of people who will go on about how cheap it is, and how easy it is if you are just prepared etc. and more often than not I would agree.    Basically, I think the vegan diet is completely accomplish-able if you set your mind to it.  Just be ready to eat more, more frequently.  I do think, however, that depending on who you are, where you live, and the circle you have around (for example do your friends always want to go to a steak house?) that there could be more challenges.  It’s obvious, by my 21 months of being a vegan, that it is not impossible even without endless smoothie shops and dedicated vegan restaurants in your area.  I just do my vegan thing using a regular grocery store and some interesting attempts at cooking where I basically alter every recipe I find because I don’t like to have too many steps, and I prefer to use what I have.

I would also like to make a note that in the 21 months I have been a vegan, not a single friend who lives close by to me is also a vegan.  The BF who I live with is also an omnivore, but he is trying to eat more plant based, although he hasn’t made a complete switch.  I have been unable to tap into a local vegan community with real people here where I live to go to places with and try and make recipes.  I have met plenty of people online, and have been completely inspired by the enthusiasm there, but in terms of a real human being in my area – it has yet to happen.  Part of it might be a reluctance to share my information over the internet, and my hope that I will just run into people.  I even went to a local vegan restaurant to read by myself (a book called How Not To Die).  I ate vegan appetizers and expressed to the wait staff that I was hoping to meet some vegans! Guess what? The one I spoke to was a vegetarian.  At least the food was vegan.  I guess it time, maybe it will just happen.

What I am trying to say is, even though I will never eat meat again, it is just exhausting when you go out to restaurants and you have to ask a million questions.  What is this made with? Can I see the ingredient list for your home made “power bars”? Does that have egg in it? Do potato pancakes have egg in them? Can they be cooked with olive oil and not butter?  What about Chinese noodles? Some are rice noodles, some are egg noodles – how do you know?  And Chinese brown sauce? It’s all over the broccoli but is it made with beef broth or oyster sauce and am I allowed to eat that?  Is it thickened with a gelatin? Or agar? Or is it just corn starch to thicken it?  I just can’t tell.  So sometimes, you think you are getting just a veggie dish, and it turns out the sauce might be made from something else – how do you send it back?

That being said, I am still trucking along.  Also, I am trying, to be perfect.  We can’t always be perfect all the time.  Sometimes you mess up.  Sometimes, especially if there is a language barrier, you might now know exactly what is in what you are getting.  The best bet here is to eat out less often, and make more at home.  But guess what? Sometimes you are on the road a lot and it just can’t be helped.  We all do our best.  I do my best, and I will continue to do so, but I recognize that this path is more of a journey, where I find things that work for me, and some that don’t.  And with each little bit of discovery, I try and make it work towards my vegan goals the best I can.  I hope that people can at least recognize my efforts and know that they are based in a strong belief that we are meant to get our nutrients from a plant based diet.

Chickpea Salad

 

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This Chickpea salad was modified from Oh She Glows.  The origional has additional ingredients like onion, pepper, cilantro, and peanuts.  My sister and I chose to make this salad with other ingredients because we like the flavors of carrots and tomatoes better.  Either way, I am sure the original is great too! It was simple to make, and easy to modify, which makes it a perfect salad to me!

Snacks Snacks and More Snacks!

It seems like I eat a lot of snacks 🙂  I have to make sure throughout the day that I am getting enough calories.  So between meals I have little fruit salads, or veggie platters, or hummus plates.   I’m wondering how everyone else makes sure they get enough calories and what kind of snacks they eat?

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My Best Banana Ice Cream Yet – Raspberry

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It was so delicious, so tart, and I spent extra time blending it so I didn’t add more almond milk.  That gave it a creamier consistency.  Fantastic!

2.5 Bananas (some frozen)

12 oz. Raspberries (frozen)

A splash of almond milk to help it blend.

Smoothies Are My Life

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I am assuming this is what all vegans say.  Smoothies are a quick and easy way to get a LOT of fruit in one serving (or five servings depending on how you look at it).  I love my new Ninja blender that I have been using since Christmas.  For the most part it gets everything blended really smooth.  It works better if you do the thicker items first before adding in the liquid, or else it doesn’t get those little pieces small enough.

Smoothies really are my life now.  I have them multiple times a week.  That and nicecream.  The one in the picture was a banana pummelo smoothie, which came out pretty good, but next time I will use less pummelo, which has a bitter grapefruit like taste, and put a few sweeter ingredients in.