I’m going to just lay it out there. Drastically changing our diet has proven to be stressful. Much more stressful than I anticipated. I knew going into this that meal planning and cooking would take a bit more work, but I didn’t expect it to be a source of stress all week long. As a supermarket dietitian, I am surrounded by food and have many opportunities to try new products. I get samples sent to me almost daily (and what do you know, I walk into my office on Thursday and find a sample of organic raw honey). So, I begrudgingly put the honey to the side for next week and have plans to add it to my Greek yogurt come Saturday.
I think most of the stress (outside of the actual meal preparations) is because I now have to read every single label and can’t just simply eat. I enjoy eating and am not one of those people that simply eats for fuel. My food needs to taste great, have a nice texture while also being nutritious. I have found this week that eating is work. It really hasn’t been fun. I also really enjoy cooking and this week’s meal prep has been stressful and I find myself looking at is as yet another task added to my day, rather than the opportunity to unwind and spend time with my family. I think in time, this would change as I find recipes that we like and that don’t take so much work, but for this week, cooking has been w-o-r-k, work!
Enough of my sob story….
Tuesday's supper was heaven-sent. We had Supreme Veggie Burgers with sweet potatoes and strawberries. Finding a vegan bun was challenging, but we used Brownberry Pocket Thins and it was delicious. Just the right amount of bread. This meal was great for so many reasons. It tasted wonderful, was easy to make (I had prepared and frozen the uncooked patties a couple weeks before) and provided a sense of familiarity that I know I was craving. This meal allowed us to go on “auto-pilot” and not have to worry about yet another new recipe with unfamiliar ingredients. I never thought I would say that since we seem to make at least 1 new recipe each week (but not the 3-4 new recipes per DAY we have been trying).
Wednesday was another day of new items. I found a vegan coffee creamer and was very excited to give it a try. It was much better than the almond milk we were using, and a very good substitute for my usual creamer.
Then it was time for supper. Having learned from my previous mistakes on Monday with choosing too many recipes and too little time, I started my meal prep in the early afternoon (I had the day off work). We made Marinated Asian Tofu and served it with a Pad Thai Salad and apples.
I made sure to follow the directions to a “T” and even remembered to press my tofu. (Old college text books really do come in handy.)
I marinated the pressed tofu and baked it as directed. The Pad Thai salad was a bit easier than the Sushi-Roll Edamame Salad from Monday and was DELICIOUS. The tofu was my least favorite part of the meal, but after I cut it up and put it in my salad, it was alright. The salad we will be adding to our normal meal rotation. I think I can say with confidence that tofu will NOT be making a reappearance on our future menus. The texture really gets me and the after taste is a bit odd.
We also tried vegan ice cream. The long list of ingredients was a bit scary, but we gave it a try anyway. The verdict from everyone: “I’d rather have frozen bananas“.
So, as you can tell from the tone of my posts, this Iowa girl has no intentions of going vegan for good, but I think the experience has been eye opening for many reasons. My next post will touch on vegan toiletries and other products and was a big surprise.