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Happy New Year friends! It’s a new year which means many of you will be making resolutions for the year to come. Most of these are probably to be healthier, lose weight, exercise more etc.

In honor of that healthy mindset, why not take a pledge to try a vegan diet for 30 days?! Because in case you haven’t heard…everyone’s going vegan in January! 🙂

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My mom has taken the challenge (hooray!) and has hired me to be her personal food slave….I mean chef! I will be blogging all month long about her journey and of course posting the recipes from her meal plan. Here’s a look at Week 1:

Mom’s Veganuary Meal Plan, Week 1:

Upon Waking: warm water with juice from one half lemon

Breakfast: Isa Chandra’s Muffin Pan Mini Omelets
Makes 12 mini omeletes

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Ingredients:
– 2 cloves garlic, peeled
– 1 (14 oz) package soft (silken) tofu
– 1/2 cup water
– 2 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes
– 1 Tbs olive oil
– 1/2 tsp turmeric
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/2 cup chickpea flour
– 1 Tbs cornstarch

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Chop garlic in good processor. Add tofu, water, nutritional yeast, olive oil, turmeric and salt. Blend until smooth. Add chickpea flour and cornstarch and blend for 10 seconds until combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides so that everything is well incorporated.
3. Brush a 12-cup muffin pan lightly with oil. Pour the batter into each well until a little over halfway full. Bake for 25 minutes or until edges have pulled away from the sides a bit and the top is firm to the touch.
4. Let cool for 10 minutes, flip onto a cooking rack and enjoy!

Mid-Morning Snack: gala apple with natural peanut butter

Lunch: Tomato Lentil Soup
Makes 6 servings (I doubled the recipe)

Ingredients:
– 4 1/2 cups water
– 4 medium carrots, sliced
– 1 medium onion, chopped
– 2/3 cup dried lentils, rinsed
– 1 can (6oz) tomato paste
– 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
– 1 Tbsp brown sugar
– 1 Tbsp white vinegar
– 1 tsp garlic salt
– 1/2 tsp dried thyme
– 1/4 tsp dill weed
– 1/4 tsp dried tarragon
– 1/4 tsp pepper

1. In a large saucepan, combine the water, carrot and lentils; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and summer for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables and lentils are tender.
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients, return to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered, for 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Afternoon Snack: freshly chopped peppers and carrots with hummus. Cup of herbal tea.

Dinner: Asparagus Pasta with Creamy Sun Dried Tomato and Asparagus Sauce

This lovely recipe came from one of my favorite bloggers, Gluten Free, Soy Free Vegan.

Ingredients:
– 4-5 bunches of asparagus
– GF pasta, I really like this Quinoa garden pagoda pasta
– 1/4 cup olive oil, plus some for frying
– 1/4 cup minced sun-dried tomatoes, plus extra for topping
– 1 avocado
– 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
– 3 tbsp soy free vegenaise
– 1 tbsp oregano
– 1 tbsp So Delicious coconut milk (not canned coconut milk)
– Juice from 1 lime or lemon
– 2 tsp paprika
– Salt to taste
– Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Set aside 6 stalks of asparagus (you will broil these for a topping). Chop the rest of the asparagus stalks and divide into two piles. It would be good if one pile had nicer pieces such as the heads and slim stems and the other pile had the chunkier stalks. Make sure you have about 3 cups of chunkier stalks which you will use to make the sauce.
2. Start to cook the pasta. When it is almost cooked, but has maybe 30 sec – 1 min left to be fully cooked, add the pile of nicer pieces (heads and slim stalks). Let this cook for about 1 minute. The goal is to cook the asparagus until it is bright green and tender, but not so much that it starts to lose its color. If you haven’t already, steal about a cup of water from the pot and set aside, you will use this in the sauce. Then, after about a minute or when the asparagus is bright green, drain the pasta asparagus mixture, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
3. While the pasta cooks, you can start cooking the sauce. Start by braising 3 cups of asparagus stalks: sauté the asparagus on high heat until it browns. Then add about a cup of water from the pasta pot and continue to cook until tender, about 5-10 minutes.
4. Combine the braised asparagus with the rest of the ingredients (minus the toppings) in a food processor and puree until smooth.
5. While this is happening, drizzle some olive oil over the 6 reserved whole asparagus pieces. Broil these in the oven until crispy (but not burnt). Chop, and leave with the extra minced sun-dried tomatoes (this will be a topping).
6. Finally, combine the cooked pasta and asparagus with the sauce and top with broiled asparagus pieces and minced sun-dried tomatoes.

Enjoy and check back next week to see what’s coming in Week 2!!

Happy Veganuary!

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