july: cranking up the vegan

When I was in college, I read Skinny Bitch out of curiosity. It left me with mixed feelings. Do I think veganism is right for everyone? No. I don’t even think it leads to great agriculture. What I do think is that whole foods & conscious eating = a great feeling body. Why does this matter?

At the back of Skinny Bitch is a four-week plan to kick of your new, lighter, amazing vegan life. I’ve started it a few times. It’s nice… but then I honestly end up hungry. And then I end up broke. There are a lot of ingredients. And a lot of rigidity–foods from all seasons & no use of leftovers. This is a plan that’s insane for one person to do on their own.

My first go at vegetarianism was a lot of soy-based “chicken nuggets” that were really no different for my body than the equally processed meat counterparts. The closer the food is to its original form, the higher the nutrient value will be. Do I love veggie burgers? Yes. But for this food plan, I kicked out the veggie hot dogs & opted for as nutritious–while still delicious–a food plan as I could.

Now, I know the point of the plan is to show you can eat a variety. But I wanted to make the plan work as a real introduction to the frugality and joy of seasonal, largely vegan eating. I took the plan, tweaked it so that it can be used year-round & lightened the grocery list. I put in recipes that are simple to Pinterest the crap out of, and some that I’ll be posting on here. So, here we go. Four weeks of flexibly-planned vegan eating.

Caution: That is not a weight-loss promise; that’s a more-energy-less-puffy-sad-looking-crap promise. I am not a dietician or a doctor. If this doesn’t feel right for you, stop doing it & talk to one. Also:

  • Keep drinking water. Skinny Bitch says limit caffeine. I say, “I do what I want!”
  • Have healthy snacks. You should not be tired or weak from hunger, people! That is not what this is. Munch on nuts, fruit & raw vegetables.
  • Let yourself have some cookies. Believe me, vegan cookies are all bad. Heck, even Oreos are vegan! Feel like you need chocolate? Listen, I’m the absolute last person to judge.
  • And cheers to whatever cocktail you enjoy with your dinner. Again: this isn’t about overly limiting yourself or becoming a skinny little bitch. It’s about a new, balanced way of living & eating.
  • We eat pizza every week, because it’s the meal you can endlessly change. If you get tired of pizza, eat something else. But also, if you get tired of pizza we could probably never be friends.
  • Change up your grains. Try quinoa, barley, millet, couscous, or new kinds of rice. Variety of grain means variety of nutrients, plus it’s just fun. (And pretty affordable.)
  • Be logical about breakfast. Eat oatmeal with almond milk & fruit, or vegan pancakes, or whole wheat toast with nut butter, or a smoothie with almond milk, or tofu scrambled like eggs. Seriously, this one isn’t challenging, people. Take what you eat for breakfast, then substitute a non-dairy milk. That should about do it!

WEEK 1

Mon. lunch: salad with your favorite greens & nuts, carrot, red onion, garlic, tofu & sesame oil
Mon. dinner: sauté your favorite seasonal veggies in olive oil, then toss with pasta, raw (chopped) nuts of your choice & fresh herbs
Tues. lunch: a hearty grain with sautéed tofu, eggplant, peppers & greens
Tues. dinner: veggie nachos with a can of vegetarian chili + peppers + onion + fake cheese if you like (or real cheese–remember, this is about not judging or setting strict limits)
Wed. lunch: leftover hearty grain with sautéed tofu, eggplant, peppers & greens
Wed. dinner: a pumpkin black bean burger with your favorite toppings, on a bun or a bed of greens with vegan potato salad (just use Veganaise instead of mayo!)
Thurs. lunch: another bean burger with your favorite toppings & the rest of your potato salad
Thurs. dinner: seasonal veggie & tofu stir-fry, cooked in sesame oil & ginger then plopped on a bed of hearty grain
Fri. lunch: Vietnamese-style hero sandwiches from The Conscious Cook
Fri. dinner: seasonal fajitas with sautéed peppers, onions & seasonal veggies topped with black beans & salsa
Sat. lunch: seasonal soup + salad with your favorite greens & nuts, quinoa, dried fruit & dressing
Sat. dinner: homemade pizza
Sun. lunch: seasonal soup + salad with your favorite greens & nuts, quinoa, dried fruit & dressing
Sun. dinner: Vietnamese-style hero sandwiches from The Conscious Cook

WEEK 2

Mon. lunch: salad with your favorite greens & nuts, corn, peas & tofu with vegan Ranch
Mon. dinner: mac & cheese with a salad
Tues. lunch: lentil-based tacos with your favorite shells & toppings
Tues. dinner: more mac & cheese with a salad
Wed. lunch: a salad with your favorite greens, chickpeas, fresh veggies & vegan Ranch
Wed. dinner: seasonal veggie & tofu stir-fry, cooked in sesame oil & ginger then plopped on a bed of hearty grain
Thurs. lunch: hummus sandwich on whole grain (with fake cheese, if you like), topped lots of veggies + Asian slaw & fruit
Thurs. dinner: big bowl of greens & veggies with sun dried tomato, pesto & quinoa
Fri. lunch: raw spring rolls + Asian slaw
Fri. dinner: lentil loaf with garlicky greens & mashed potatoes
Sat. lunch: more lentil loaf with garlicky greens & mashed potatoes
Sat. dinner: homemade pizza
Sun. lunch: seasonal soup + salad with your favorite greens & nuts, quinoa, dried fruit & dressing
Sun. dinner: pasta with seasonal squash, pesto & a side salad

WEEK 3

Mon. lunch: Mediterranean wrap from The Conscious Cook
Mon. dinner: spicy spring samosas & steamed vegetables
Tues. lunch: another Mediterranean wrap from The Conscious Cook
Tues. dinner: baked potato with Tofutti sour cream & a big salad with black beans
Wed. lunch: grilled, balsamic-glazed portabellas on rice with greens & steamed green beans
Wed. dinner: pita, simple falafel & Mediterranean goodness like olives, hummus & even tofu feta
Thurs. lunch: burrito with your choice of beans, brown rice, guacamole, Tofutti sour cream & salsa
Thurs. dinner: lentil burgers with your favorite toppings, potato wedges & teamed veggies
Fri. lunch: sweet potato ravioli (make a lot some Sunday & store it in the freezer)
Fri. dinner: pita & hummus turned into mini pizzas, topped with your favorite veggies
Sat. lunch: lots of steamed veggies (carrots, broccoli, kale, cabbage) & tofu over a hearty grain, drizzled with sesame oil
Sat. dinner: homemade pizza
Sun. lunch: more lentil burgers with your favorite toppings, potato wedges & steamed veggies
Sun. dinner: maple-glazed seitan & beer-braised onions & chard sandwich

WEEK 4

Mon. lunch: big salad with seasonal veggies + whole grain nut butter sandwich
Mon. dinner: the remaining seitan & chard sandwiches
Tues. lunch: the last lentil burgers with your favorite toppings, potato wedges & steamed veggies
Tues. dinner: chili & corn bread
Wed. lunch: spiedie wrap
Wed. dinner: pot pie
Thurs. lunch: more pot pie
Thurs. dinner: nori rolls (an investment that’s totally worth it–you’ll have wasabi powder for ages)
Fri. lunch: seasonal soup & a big salad with lots of fresh veggies & your favorite nut
Fri. dinner: pasta with squash, olives, fresh herbs, garlic, almonds or pine nuts & tomato (fresh or sun-dried, depending on season) with whole-grain garlic toast
Sat. lunch: lots of steamed veggies (carrots, broccoli, kale, cabbage) & tofu over a hearty grain*, drizzled with sesame oil
Sat. dinner: homemade pizza
Sun. lunch: tofu scramble with roasted red pepper, shallot & squash, whole grain toast & an orange
Sun. dinner: BBQ tofu on a bed of greens with corn, peas, tomato & quinoa

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About meganbetz

human geography PhD Student at Indiana University; wife, reader, writer, baker, gardener
This entry was posted in being conscious and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to july: cranking up the vegan

  1. Pingback: july: cranking up the <b>vegan</b> | francofile: Vege Bun ~ Vege Food on Vege Bun, Vegetarian Bun, Veggie Bun, Vegan Bun, Vege Life Products, Vege Baking Buns, Vege Pastry Buns

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