[or how to eat more fruits and veggies!] It’s actually pretty easy and fun, but I enjoy cooking, being creative, and learning new recipes. Trust me though, you can be a lazy vegan — oh, and I hardly eat salads.

For some out-of-character reason, I recorded what I ate for an entire month, early on in the vegan journey. Here’s a sample:

Tuesday, 17th Dec 2019

  • black coffee + orange juice
  • oatmeal with cranberries, flax seeds, and milk
  • banana and berries smoothie
  • leftover pasta (olives, tomatoes, broccoli, flax seeds)
  • kimchi
  • stir-fry veggies (garlic, onions, tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, mushrooms, sesame seeds), tofu and rice + quinoa
  • leftover veggies
  • handful of oreo cookies + milk

Wednesday, 18th Dec 2019

  • black coffee + banana
  • oatmeal with cranberries, flax seeds, and milk
  • banana, pineapple, ginger smoothie
  • leftover stir-fry and rice from yesterday
  • orange juice
  • orzo, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, garlic, bell peppers
  • sweet potatoes
  • 2 gummy bears from student
  • more orange juice

Sunday, 22nd Dec 2019

  • banana, blueberries, chia seeds w/ choc milk
  • black coffee
  • oatmeal w/ cranberries and flax seeds, splash of milk
  • yakisoba w/ cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms, peppers, sesame seeds (1 sm and 1 large serving)
  • a strange cupcake from one of my students
  • A WHOLE BAG OF VINEGAR CHIPS – good job, Lani

Wednesday, Jan 1st 2020

  • banana and blueberries smoothie
  • black coffee
  • oatmeal, cranberries, chia seeds and soy milk
  • tofu, veggies [brussel spouts, tomatoes] and rice + quinoa
  • leftover goulash
  • 2 sm slices of sweet potato bread w/ jam
  • dates and almonds
  • butterfly pea tea

Tuesday, 24th Dec 2019

  • banana, berries, chia seeds w/ soy milk, a touch of honey
  • black coffee
  • oatmeal, cranberries, chia seeds and soy milk
  • leftover veggies and rice
  • chili extraordinaire [potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, cauliflower, corn, black beans, tomatoes, red onion, garlic, cilantro]
  • matcha green tea milk latte
  • English muffin with jam
  • oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (first attempt at baking vegan!)

Friday, 27th Dec 2019

  • banana and berries smoothie, seeds
  • black coffee
  • oatmeal, cranberries, chia seeds and milk
  • homemade hummus sandwich w/ chips
  • vegetables [cabbage, tomatoes, green beans] w/ baked tofu and rice
  • chocolate chip cookie w/ matcha green tea latte
  • leftover spaghetti

Smoothies

This is how you get those 5-a-day fruits and veggies in, folks! The blender is your friend. And after a year of this, I’ve gotten better about variety because it’s so important for your gut health. Sometimes I add pre-biotics, or chia seeds for Omega 3s, or even spinach. Lately, I’ve been adding one or two Weet-a-bix to make the smoothie extra thick and hearty.

Oatmeal

Oats are another quick and simple way to get fiber and nutrition and you can jazz it up depending on what you like. We now add sunflower + pumpkin seeds and watermelon kernels.

Both smoothies and oats are a good way to pack in as much plant diversity before lunchtime.

Why do we see colors? To identify fruits and vegetables πŸ™‚ *I know, you just saw the glass of wine

What I’ve learned

  • There are a variety of egg replacements depending on what you are making.
  • Adding nutritional yeast gives foods a cheesy taste and is used in many vegan recipes.
  • Vegans love to make cashew cream, a versatile sauce, that can be put on just about anything.
  • Squeezing a lime or lemon over many dishes adds flavor, vitamin C, and for some reason vegans love to do this. It’s magic.
  • Topping crushed nuts and seeds to stir frys and pasta dishes is another way to boost flavor and nutrition. [Birds and squirrels approve!]

My favorite recipes

  • Remove the seed in Medjool dates and stick in an almond instead, and you’ve got yourself a sweet and good-for-you snack.
  • Mixing hummus with pasta makes a quick meal. [Add cherry tomatoes or broccoli for extra credit. I like to put in a splash of olive juice and olives, too, because olives…]
  • I like Budget Bytes easy vegan recipes post ~ the first one though, the spicy coconut vegetable stir fry ~ I’ve made so much I know it by memory — mostly.
  • It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken is another site I truly enjoy. Sam has a knack for creating flavors you might miss. Her Creamy Lemon Pepper Chickpeas is simple and filing. I learned the power of zest from her.
  • And honestly, it’s really easy to make stir fry, curries, and even pasta dishes without meat. I mean, I had no idea one pot pastas were a thing.

How do you add more variety of fruits and veggies in your diet? What’s your favorite vegan recipe? I know you have one!

42 replies on “πŸ₯¦ What I eat as a vegan

  1. Perfect post for Veganuary! Such helpful tips for people trying to go vegan.
    I love cashew cream, hummus, tahini as replacements for cheese and cream based sauces. Cashew cream isn’t the healthiest so I save it for binge days. Smoothies, overnight oats, overnight chia pudding is how I try to get all my fruit intake. I love how easy and tasty and versatile stir fry vegetables are – you can change one condiment and have a whole new flavour.
    I’ve been meaning to get nutritional yeast and try it out in a pasta recipe. I also saw vegan cheddar powder that I’m hoping will replace feta in my salads.

    My favourite recipe is chocolate peanut butter smoothie – I blend bananas, cocoa powder, peanut butter, oats, chia and a splash of almond milk (tiniest splash since I’m not a big fan) to make a thick smoothie bowl which I top with nuts and seeds. It’s so gooood!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cashew cream isn’t healthy? Girl, what are you putting in yours? πŸ˜› This link has the nutritional values: https://cookglobaleatlocal.com/cashew-cream-a-quick-healthy-dairy-alternative/

      Yeah, I have to order nutritional yeast so I haven’t in awhile but it’s great (B12s!). I totally get why ppl love it. I’ve made a ‘cheese sauce’ from it and we used it to make pizzas and lots of other things.

      I probably could up my smoothie game and put in peanut butter and make chocolate smoothies (decadent!), but for now I’m happy with my fruit. I eat too many chocolate covered almonds as it is! But yes, peanut butter… remember to put in smoothies – do it, Lani. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I usually do low fat dressings/sauces so used to use non-fat milk which I replace now with cashew cream! So in comparison to the low fat and low calories of non-fat milk, cashew cream seems excessive! But it is definitely healthier than cream & cheese! and so yummy!!!

        I love fruit smoothies too – anything with berries is <3!!! Peanut butter for the proteins!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the idea of eating one cup of each color every day! Seems like a challenge but I’m going to start thinking about this when I buy food.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. πŸ˜€ Yeaaaa! Have fun. It makes grocery shopping a little more fun, trying to think about what you haven’t eaten for a while, and adding diff foods to your menu. Enjoy.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, soy (milk, tofu) being a top source because it’s so ubiquitous in Thailand. But fruits and veggies have protein, too, the higher ones being bananas, potatoes, broccoli. Oats are also a good source and we eat that daily. Oil is a controversy topic in the plant-based community, how much? too much? But yeah, oils and nuts are rich in fats, and we take supplements from time to time, like you would on any diet, just to make sure we’re getting everything we need. We try to be conscientious about that πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It is really working for you, Lani. I was vegetarian for about five years and I didn’t feel well, the problem being that one cannot live well on cashews alone! So yes, you have to be diligent about ensuring you get a balanced vegan diet. πŸ™‚ I love soy but there was such a hoo-ha about it that I got put off. I’m glad that some of the criticisms have been put in context and we can now eat it again.
        PS. We very often eat vegetarian meals but we aren’t vegetarians.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yeah, these days there is so much controversy surrounding what foods we eat based on who’s to gain from creating the ‘problem’. I remember the soy arguments. (eye roll) But everyone can find what works for them – it’s kind of crazy, actually, how customizable menus can get and how many diets there are. I understand why folks stick to what works for them! Too many choices these days!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love chickpeas, so I’m going to give that creamy lemon chickpea recipe a try that you added a link to, Lani. There is a spinach and potato curry recipe I have with coconut milk that I love. Mind you, I haven’t made it in a while. Perhaps its time. I love curries in general, although I will never say no to a noodle stirfry or a pasta dish, as they are usually so quick and easy to make.
    I’ve never written down what I eat every day, but that is a great way to see not only what, but how much one consumes. It is so easy to think one’s diet is healthy, until one keeps track of everything one eats.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point. I wish I had kept track before I was vegan because I’d like to see if I was doing as well as we have a tendency to believe. I have a feeling I was rotating the same foods with the occasional ‘new thing’ because I do like variety.

      But it takes discipline, right? Talking to you though makes me want to cook up another curry. Ha πŸ˜›

      Thanks, Jolandi. Hope you are enjoying a toasty house and shower these days!

      Like

  4. Every other day I make a smoothy with strawberries, bananas, parsley, celery, and spinach for breakfast. On the other days, I have blueberries on my oatmeal. For lunch, I usually have either soup or salad. For dinner, stir fries or steamed veggies along with fish, meat, or tofu. I’m not a vegan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like you follow a plant-based diet πŸ™‚ overall. I think if folks would or could greatly reduce the amount of meat and dairy they eat it would make a huge environmental impact. Many people simply are ignorant or don’t want to change, which I understand, so I just do what I can… Thanks for stopping by, Nicki.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post with some good ideas. My cousin put me on to Vegan Richa – she’s Indian so her meals are designed with vegetables as the centre piece and not substituting for meat (I find a lot of European veg/vegan food is a meat meal without the meat but extra carbs to fill you up. I hate that. If I want vegan or vegetarian food it’s because I want more vegetables, not more starchy carbs.) That said she does do ‘meat’balls and ‘meat’loaf. But the two recipes I turn to most are Cannellini and Lentil Jamaican curry (other curry spices can be substituted – we’ve used premade Mexican or Indian spice mix if we’ve run out of the Jamaican one) and Sheet Pan veggie dinner with broccoli, sweet potato, tofu, chickpeas and miso maple dressing. She also does some very fine and decadent desserts which we made for dinners with a friend who was vegan (she’s now lapsed back to plain vegetarianism).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH, I do miss a good oven. What can be easier than cutting up some veggies and sticking them in the oven? Curries and ethnic or ‘non-Western’ foods can be great for vegan/vegetarianism.

      Yeah, potatoes are a starchy vegetable and are incredibly filling. I could see how that might be annoying though, but I love carbs πŸ˜› so seriously, if I’m someplace that can’t handle what I like to eat, then give me some bread. Hahahhahaa.

      I’m checking Vegan Richa out now ~ Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ooh yes I think I might invest a mini-but-powerful blender for smoothies. My blender now sort of gets the job done but it’s such a hassle to clean every day. I don’t think I will go full vegan or vegetarian right now but definitely trying to cut back on animal products and incorporate more veggies. To be perfectly honest, bags of frozen veggies are often my go-to. I think it’s better than getting a whole bag of fresh vegetables and having to throw some out bc I can’t finish them before they go bad.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. πŸ™‚ Hello, there. Frozen veggies are so nice for that. During the initial lockdown scramble, I was like, frozen, frozen and what else can we keep forever?

      I have a normal blender (wish I had a better one), and it does the job. I’m surprised by how much I use it. You might like an immersion blender – takes up less space, good for soups too.

      Yeah, I don’t want to beat a dead horse (let alone a live one), just sharing what works for me, but if I can help influence ppl to eat more fruits and veggies, that’s a good thing! πŸ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I heard on a podcast that it’s healthful to have 30 varieties of fruits and veggies each week. I’ve been trying to do they but often have to end up freezing some of the veggies I buy each week since I’m cooking for 1.

    Reading about dates with almonds reminds me of a St. Lucian snack (often served at parties) – prunes with peanut butter in the center!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh. Isn’t that interesting? Sounds good. πŸ˜€

      Yes, I think we both heard the same podcast. But I believe grains are included in that mix as well. It seems the most important thing to try to strive for is variety and just do the best we can!

      Like

    1. πŸ˜› Unfortunately, it was from a nearby bakery so I don’t have a recipe! Sweet potatoes though… so good for you.

      Like

  8. I don’t like smoothies because I feel it’s too much to drink in one go hahaha. But we eat many fruits and vegetables in this household. Also nuts and dried fruits. I don’t buy chips, cookies and the like, so when I want a snack it’s either fruit or nuts…

    As I’ve said many times I love pulses! Every week I do a lentil or chickpea curry and it lasts for 2 or 3 days haha. Most times they’re vegan. I love this one for example: https://www.theendlessmeal.com/chickpea-tofu-eggplant-curry/
    Another of my usual ones is chopped onion, lentils, sweet potato, tomato and spices. One pot lunch, hahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome. Pulses are so so good for you and it sounds like you have good eating habits in general. I love chips and chocolate so I definitely have my weaknesses… I probably eat lentils the most because they’re easy to cook since I buy all my pulses dried. They’re much more affordable and canned beans are just not as available here. Thanks for the recipe!

      Like

  9. Really loved reading this post and seeing your food diary, Lani! For health reasons I can’t go a full vegan diet but I have been trying to incorporate veggies in my diet. I absolutely love one pot pasta – and pasta is sooo easy to make. So easy to make more than a few servings too which can last you for a few days. I do like a good truffle oil pasta.

    I have been wary of smoothies as you can so easily overdo it with sugars and calories in a drink. The more things you put in a smoothie, the more calories and sugars it might have. Never heard of Weetbix in a smoothie but I like the idea lol.

    The option of vegan food also gives me more dairy-free options which is great as my body doesn’t tolerate lactose too well. Over the last year I have found a few vegan cheese the grocery that taste just like normal cheese. The downside is that it is so pricey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Um, I don’t think you or I need to worry about calories. πŸ˜€ I mean, correct me if I’m wrong but you look like a tiny thing.

      I know drinks can have a lot of calories, but I think I’m pretty safe with a fruit smoothie πŸ˜› and I feel like the fight against sugar has been overplayed. But maybe I’m wrong? I don’t drink sodas or eat a lot of processed foods or sweets, if anything I need to be more worried about SALT!

      I love salt on my food! More soy sauce please!

      Thanks. I’m glad you liked this ~ normally this isn’t my thing but I was getting a lot of ‘what do you eat?’ questions and this seemed like a good answer! Happy eating!

      Like

      1. Haha! I am more concerned about building muscle overall. Working on getting a better muscle to fat body ratio.

        I think the more smoothies you consume in a day, the more your sugar intake is. It is definitely healthier than processed sugar foods though.

        It’s so interesting to hear about what others eat πŸ˜€ It’s also a great way to learn about different foods and meals.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, I think the don’t-eat-sugar craze created some generalities that can be taken too far. It’s impossible to eliminate it from your diet, and god, why would you want to? πŸ˜› Not all sugar is the same, and I think it’s the added kind that is the stuff we need to watch out for. I mean, sugar from fruit vs donuts? I suppose someone could argue that donuts from the local bakery are not processed.

        But I totally get it. Sugar is in all foods these days and if you’re trying to keep your glucose level down for health reasons, it’s hella challenging.

        Yeah, what ppl eat is so fascinating. It’s a great conversation starter. I also like learning about what ppl ate during their childhoods. πŸ˜›

        Like

      3. It would be silly to completely eliminate sugar from your diet! As you mentioned, sugar comes in different forms, from fruits to chocolate to bread to pasta to dumplings… It’s just a matter of choosing wisely and eating everything in moderation πŸ™‚ The only scenario I think food is not a good topic if someone is sensitive to eating.

        Childhood foods bring back such good memories for me πŸ˜›

        Like

  10. Yay to that whole bag of potato chips! πŸ˜‰ And I’m really impressed by how many veggies and fruits you eat during a day! I try really hard to incorporate more of the stuff but it’s a challenge. I see from that list that green tea also counts – yeah!! I drink 2 or 3 cups of that stuff each day!! πŸ˜„ Used to do lots of smoothies 2 years ago but gave up on it once my blender died on me. Should get a new one. πŸ˜„ Thanks for this post – you inspire me to work harder on that aspect in my diet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, great! I’m happy to hear that. Yeah, I’m in no position (and nor do I want to necessarily) be one of those folks trying to convert anyone, but if I can help get folks eating more fruits and veggies ~ then I can get behind that!

      Oh, I regularly can take down a bag. They’re my weakness…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Admittedly I don’t think vegan.
    So I guess the Chinese steamed noodles are probably made with egg substitute. Too expensive to use real eggs. So I have that and stir fry.

    My favourite more temperate weather Asian twists: Stir fried butternut squash or stir fried red beet greens with tomato and chili garlic paste. It’s delish for either dish. When my Anglo friends talk about roasting squash..honest that just sounds boring to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do something similar, interestingly. We like to stir fry out pumpkin ~ it’s so good that way esp with tofu. πŸ™‚

      Like

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