Saturday, January 28, 2012

Vegan Month

One of Kyra's goals for this year was to eat a vegan diet for a month.  She has since decided to do it for three months over the course of this year.
Today is the last day of her vegan month (a friend comes to visit tomorrow, thus four full weeks have been deemed sufficient).
In our family Kyra has been the only one to be completely vegan, though the rest of us have mostly kept to a vegan diet.  Allen and Kyle have had meat on occasion.  I have had the occasional cheese and meat, though I would have to say that the meat I have consumed over the past four weeks is roughly equivalent to what I would have eaten in about 5 days.  So not much meat at all.
The biggest challenge for me was not the diet itself, but the meal planning.  I'm already limited by Allen's allergies and then meat was taken away as well.  I had to completely ignore many of our family's staple recipes.  I spent more time flipping though my cookbooks (yes I have more than one vegan cookbook) and more time preparing our evening meal.
As you might expect we ate more healthy food, though by American pre-processed/fast food standards our diet is already quite healthy.  We ate more beans and more vegetables.  I felt a bit anemic about three weeks in and did buy some ground beef and eat a bit of it over the course of four days.
We are no strangers to tofu and I do know a bit about cooking with it, but I had never done an all day marinade for it before.  Now I have.  The verdict was - eh.  Not great, not horrible.  Kyra pronounced that it would probably taste much better with chicken.
My favorite recipe would have to be curried sweet potato soup - I'll definitely be making that again.  Just wish I had found that recipe earlier in the month so I could have repeated it several times.  Golden spaghetti pie was also a family favorite - spaghetti baked with chopped olives, capers, raisins and bread crumbs.  Simple, fast, tasty and vegan.
There were a few changes I noted with our switch to veganism.  Even though I bought significantly more fresh produce and more organic products, grocery bills were lower without the meat.  I really miss my immersion blender!  I needed it at least four times a week.  Transferring everything to and from the blender was a pain!  My food processor would have been nice as well.  Both appliances are in storage in the states as the voltage change is especially not good for appliances with motors.  I don't know how I would have done it without Post Punk Kitchen (cookbooks and blog).  Love her recipes and love her food.  To mark the end of vegan month, I will be making her chocoate raspberry vegan brownies - and there isn't a single thing about those brownies that says deprivation.
We start veganism again in March (months have been strategically chosen so as not to limit her diet around favorite food holidays - Halloween, Thanksgiving- or family gatherings - family reunion in July - or vacation travel).  Just as I am ready to have some more meal planning flexibility, I suppose I'll also be ready to return to being and almost vegan again a month from now.

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