Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WIAW: Vegan Week

I have been a "flexitarian"  for a while now.  A few years back I gave up red meat and pork primarily because I found that eating a lot of meat aggravated my ulceration colitis/crohns disease.  I began to reincorporate it at the end of 2010, but still only eat red meat 1-2 times a month.  I haven't had any pork products since returning from Spain (where I did consumed it almost daily).

I've often contemplated going vegetarian, but I do enjoy  meat  chicken, eggs and fish.  As a result, I've been making an effort to purchase hormone free chicken, locally produced eggs and dairy.  Obviously local products are more expensive which does limit the amount I consume.  (of course unless someone else is buying.. don't judge I'm underemployed which is a different rant for another time)

One of my bucket list goals was to try following a vegan diet for one week.  Since the roommates/parents have left for Florida, I have free range of the kitchen and my meals so I've decided to give it a chance this week.  Following a vegetarian diet for me is very easy.  Vegan however is far more challenging.

Thankfully my usual breakfast is already vegan friendly.  Old Fashion Oats, raisins, and a bit of brown sugar.

I made a batch of quinoa to add onto salads and to eat alone.

spinach, mushrooms, cukes, tomato, chickpeas & quinoa 

And then to make life a bit easier, since I babysit during regular dinner hours (5-10 or 4-9)  I made a large batch Black Bean- Sweet Potato Chili (from the cookbook "The Meat Lover's Meatless Cookbook")


  • Black Beans (1 pound) book recommends dried, I didn't have the patience and it still taste great. plus Goya was buy 4 for 3 dollars this week at my local supermarket.
  • 1 medium-size sweet potato(12-16 oz), peeled and cut into 1/2 cubes
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 medium size onion chopped finely
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried cinnamon ( I skipped this, couldn't find cinnamon in the cabinet when I went to cook!)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2-2.5 cups tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste, dissolved into 1/4 cup water
  • 2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, minced


  • Boil sweet potato
  • Heat oil in deep skillet and add onion (soften for 6 minutes or so)
  • add garlic followed by cumin, cinnamon, oregano, cayenne, smoked paprika and salt
  • Add sweet potato for 3-5 minutes before
  • Adding 2 cups of tomato puree and bring to a lively simmer
  • stir in tomato paste and chipotle chilies.  
  • Lower heat and cook until well blended, stirring regularly to keep from 
  • sticking and burning.
  • Mix with beans and stir to combine.
  • Simmer over medium-low heat until you are satisfied with the overall consistency and texture of the chili

Review:  I love it.  It was a very unique sweet and spicy flavor.  I made mine over some jasmine rice for quick and easy dinner to go.  

As for remaining Vegan?  I'll stick it out until Friday. (5 days is still considered a "week" even if its not the whole 7)  So far, there are definitely components that I'll keep with me, but there are some things I could never live without (ie Parmesan Goldfish Crackers). 

1 comment:

  1. I inadvertently made this past week an entirely vegan dinner night, without even meaning to! I've found some great recipes on Fat Free Vegan ( Good luck!