Monday, 14 December 2015

Second month vegan

My second post on vegan food through the past month, don't worry I'm not going to spam you with food pictures every month but just documenting my finds over the first few weeks!

November saw some new meals for me, my first roast dinner at someone else's house for one. My dad cooked it for me, I brought Linda McCartney pies and left one in his freezer for next time, he did all the veg and potatoes with no dairy :) We had the second one shortly after and Toms mums and I took Tesco nut roasts.

First take away too, from Eurasia in Cheltenham - no photo as we got a power cut as it arrived so we ate in the dark! Tom likes an Indian takeaway so I knew this would be a hurdle to cross and bulk emailed a load of local restaurants to see who offered a vegan choice. I had mushroom sagwalla, chapati and poppadoms - just not having the mint and yoghurt dip. I like a korma so am looking for somewhere that does vegan korma (theirs has dairy), but it was a really good alternative and they were very helpful emailing me back and also answering questions on the phone when we ordered. Naan breads seem to mostly have dairy, but shop bought ones don't always so next time I might buy some in before we get takeaway.

Also had a Papa Johns pizza with no cheese, and lots of garlic sauce.

We also found out that the Asda create your own bases are vegan, so Tom picked me up a cheeseless one. I swear I've eaten more pizza since going vegan than I did before!

I began meal planning for work lunches, as there is little to no choice in the work canteen and also I want to make healthy choices to support my training and making sure I have food to take to work is part of that. I did vegetable bake, with satay tofu. Alongside some Alpro yogurt with frozen fruit, chopped nuts and chia seeds it was a filling and very nutritious lunch.

I tried my new protein...it's pretty gross...but on talking to the people at the pulsin' stall at the vegan fair last month their pea and rice powders mixed are the best for vegans trying to gain muscle. I am seeing some improvement but also started working out and lifting weights a lot more in October and November than ever before so probably down to that.

Also forgot to post a picture of my new badge from the vegan fair.

It makes me chuckle.

I started taking a small carton of soya milk to work for tea, and it seems to be better than my previous system of taking it in a flask as I kept forgetting to take the flask home to refill. Only I can't find resealable small cartons, anyone know of any? Not the large ones as I only need it for tea and I move work place every week so only need 5 days worth at a time.
breakfast - mushroom, avocado and spinach on toast
Tried out the Tofutti sour cream, it's OK not exactly sour cream if you have it alone but it's a nice enough substitution on stuff. I add some chopped chives to flavour it a little. So far have had it on nachos, fajitas and chilli.
Chilli and sweet potato for lunch
Cheeses - Well I got more Tesco ones, the cheddar style spread and the other cheeses from the range. I talked about the smoked one here, and the strong flavour soya one is good too. The tangy one not so much, it has a weird after taste.

I also tried more Bute Island Sheeze ones. Still a no from me. Although the garlic and herb cream cheese is very good! It's nice in a sandwich etc but also in a pasta sauce, and I even used some on a random tart creation to add a bit of flavour, using jus roll pastry.

Snack wise I am loving cheese and crackers still, plus Bourbons and Jammie dodgers are vegan. Life changing for tea and biscuit situation. I was keen to eat less rubbish but I need a treat every now and then and a cuppa with a few biscuits is a must when the going gets tough at work.

I made a great chilli and froze a few portions, basically 5 types of beans, some sweetcorn, mushrooms, spinach and soy mince with a load of herbs, bbq sauce and chopped tomatoes. It froze well and I had some for lunches, some for dinner and it lasted ages. Great to have some portions in the freezer for when I run out of time to make work lunches.

I had my first vegan meal out at a nice restaurant, more on that here. We also went for a meal at a local pub The Swan, they have 2 clearly marked vegan options on the menu. I had vegan pesto linguine, it was lovely. Tom had steak and said it was overcooked, karma for you.

I made some vegan cakes, with a betty crocker mix and a can of cherry coke! Just mix the 2 together and bake. They were really good, nice and moist and chocolatey, they didn't raise quite so much so fill the cake cups a bit more.

Tom made a lovely vegan cottage pie one night in early November as his first attempt at making me something vegan, he ate it too with no meat/dairy added and it was really filling and nice. It’s a Jamie Oliver recipe, took about 1.5 - 2 hours in total. It would be nice for a Sunday dinner or if you are having people over, but it was maybe a little complex or time consuming for what we would usually have on a Tuesday night. He’s been very supportive and has been buying me stuff that’s vegan with the shopping, and been very patient about eating out and having takeaways. He’s still not convinced about nutritional yeast and vegan cheese though.

Next month is the start of the set menu Christmas meals out, so we will see how that goes. Some I am looking forward to, some have not been so helpful so we will see how they do. Also the big meal of the year, Christmas day. I'm looking into what to take round to peoples houses!

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