July 13, 2013 § Leave a comment
Two years ago, on July 3rd 2011, I took the plunge and decided to try a 30 day vegan challenge. It probably wasn’t the brightest idea to start the day before July 4th as I was headed to a party. With every non-vegan dish that arrived, my mom kept saying, “Can’t you go vegan tomorrow?” But after already successfully completing a full day, I stuck with it and surprisingly it has turned into such an exciting journey. I truly believe this diet not only nourishes my body but my spirit as well. Preparing and eating cruelty-free meals is truly a rewarding experience and has become an amazing passion.
Going vegan has done so much for me and my health. Not only do I rarely have that afternoon slump anymore (OK, becoming a new mom was hard and I’ll admit I felt “slumpy” often) but I’ve learned to eat, and importantly love, so many foods that I never touched before! Mushrooms, eggplant, avocados, and beans are just a few of the foods that you’d previously never find in my kitchen and I now can’t get enough of. Plus, finding ways to create old favorites in new ways never loses its appeal.
Taking the vegan plunge also pushed me to do more research and I’ve become such a natural food junkie – eager to learn more about where my food comes from and how it is grown – something I really never thought about before. Plus over the last two years I’ve learned so much about food and its role on health that there is no turning back for me. I’m so happy with the decisions I’ve made and how they’ve impacted those around me.
Here’s some links if you’re thinking of going vegan:
- Why I took a vegan challenge
- How my 30 day vegan challenge turned out
- My vegan pregnancy
- Quick tips for eliminating dairy
- The movie that will surely make you want to be vegan
And last, here’s a link for the awesome raw vegan strawberry pie we enjoyed this fourth of July. So simple to make and satisfying. I was shocked at how quick and easy it was. Plus, this crust is going to be my new go-to! This was a great addition to our July 4th celebration and a perfect two-year celebration treat!
July 3, 2013 § Leave a comment
It’s almost July 4th! You know what that means – fireworks, friends, and… not much vegan food! Here’s some quick tips on how to enjoy the holiday cruelty-free.
First off, get prepared. DO NOT plan on attending a July 4th celebration without bringing a vegan dish – whether or not you were asked to bring something. I can almost guarantee that aside from the fruit bowl and chips and salsa, there won’t be much to eat. I’m not saying this to discourage. I’m saying it as reality. There are so many wonderful vegan BBQ foods that could fill a whole table – but if your attending a party at an omnivore’s house, you’re unlikely to see any of these goodies. Plus, this is a great chance to show all those partygoers how delicious vegan food can be. So take advantage, and enjoy!
Here are some of my favorite vegan recipes that would make a great addition to any July 4th BBQ.
Cannellini Bean Salad – you can make this with fresh or canned beans. Any white, light bean will work. Chickpeas would also be good here. Just throw together beans, onion, red pepper, and asparagus (or green beans) and toss with a vinaigrette and you’ve got a hearty, filling salad.
Garlicky Zucchini Noodles with Chickpeas and Tomatoes – This is one of my earliest vegan creations and remains one of my favorites. Absolutely perfect for a hot day and travels well as the longer it marinates, the better.
“Pigs” in a blanket – The 4th just screams hot dogs. But you don’t need to harm any little piglets for you to enjoy this classic. Pickup the hot dogs from Lightlife Smart Dogs at the grocery – bonus: my Publix carries these so no special trip to Whole Foods required. Wrap in Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (yes they are vegan!) and bake until golden brown. Even my meat eating sister loves these.
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s Tantalizing Thai Slaw from The Vegan Table – I brought this to our July 4th party last year and couldn’t get enough of this crunchy, peanuty salad. The longer it sits, the better it tastes.
Hearty Vegan Chili – Every BBQ needs a good pot of chili and this vegan version loaded with peppers and topped with tobacco leaves nothing to be desired.
None of the above catching your eye? Check out these vegan July 4th BBQ options:
- Raw Strawberry Pie from Plant Powered Kitchen
- Guacamole Appetizer Squares
- BBQ Baked Beans from The Comforting Vegan
- Couscous Tabbouleh from Soni’s Food
- Alice Waters’ Ratatouille
- Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad from Ambitious Kitchen
- Grilled Vegan Tacos from Haley Hobson
- Spicy Black Bean Burgers from Eat Drink Love
- Italian Potato Salad from Green Kitchen Stories
- Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream from Keepin’ it Kind
Happy 4th ya’ll!