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The Struggle is Real

I recently decided to become vegetarian. I thought it would not be hard for me to give up meat and fish since I wasn’t a huge fan anyway. It wasn’t. I continued eating dairy and thought it was healthy. I have since binge watched way too many documentaries on Netflix and reading about the agriculture and climate change. If you haven’t seen them, let me enlighten you. When you eat dairy / meat you contribute to greenhouse gas way worse than driving your Ford 150. It also contributes to the deterioration of your overall health. Meat and dairy clog your arteries and can lead to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. There is also another factor that I can’t ignore and that is the cruelty that goes into the processing of animals. How is it that we can rescue dogs but be okay with the slaughtering of cows, pigs, and chickens…..we separate those animals for some reason and think of them only as food and don’t acknowledge that they have a very difficult existence and death so that we can eat. Watch them and make your own decision.

I am trying to phase dairy out of my diet so that I can be focused on a plant based lifestyle. The only thing I haven’t been able to get rid of is cheese. I mean real cheese…..the kind you serve on the side of red wine. I have tried many vegan cheeses and so far I haven’t found one that satisfies my craving for cheese. I am trying to stay away from processed food which is another struggle. I love fresh produce and cooking but when I am at work and it is time for lunch, I want to go out for an hour. Restaurants do not have many options for me. I love Panera because they have plant based options but other than that I am bombarded with fast food. I have completely cut it out of my diet but it is still there to tempt me with it’s fries and soft drinks. All I can say is if you decide to go vegan/plant based know that it will have challenges.

 

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I went to Aldi and spent $30 (actually $30.08)

I have been trying to save money and budget my grocery trips. I decided to see what Aldi offered. It is not far from my house and I had never been there before.

At first glance, I couldn’t do all my shopping there. Their selection of produce is not bad, but I think it just depends on what they get. I had already looked at my pantry. I have brown rice, french lentils, and black beans. I didn’t need any grains at the moment.

I was able to get quite a bit for $30.

PRODUCE:

  • 1 pt of grape tomatoes $1.69
  • 3 bell pepper pack $2.99
  • organic mini peppers $3.49
  • iceberg lettuce $0.95
  • 1 (2 lb) bag of lemons $2.99
  • 1 (5 lb) bag of yellow potatoes $3.49
  • 1 (2 lb) bag of red onions $1.69
  • Bananas $0.63

FROZEN:

  • veggie stir fry mix $2.69
  • steamed asparagus $2.49

OTHER:

  • coffee $4.99
  • vegan noodle bowl $1.99

Not the best spread but I was able to find some stuff cheaper there. I didn’t buy any plant milk because I prefer soy milk and they only had vanilla soy milk which I don’t like. They did have 3 different types of almond milk.

Anyway, in a pinch, I could shop there and save money. Let me know what you think of Aldi. Leave a comment below. Follow me on Instagram @amyeatskale and Twitter @amyrenee1110.

Craving Chocolate?

I have figured it out. How to get your chocolate fix in a healthy way. You’re welcome people. Oh, and did I mention the recipe is vegan and plant based?! Well, it is. Here you go! Leave me some comments after you try this. At least say thank you!

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Chocolate Banana Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana (cut in 4 pieces)
  • 1 tsp of hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp of ground flax seeds
  • 1 handful of raw cashews
  • 1 tsp of cocoa powder
  • 1.5 cups of soy milk

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I made mine in the magic bullet but you can add the ingredients to a blender if you like. Blend for a minute or so. Check the consistency. Mine comes out like a shake/malt (thank you flax) every time!

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Enjoy!

When you don’t feel like cooking……

20180620_184852I thoroughly enjoy cooking but there is at least one night a week where I take full advantage of an easy mindless meal. My favorite “go to” meal of this type is a stir fry-less stir fry dish. I love the flavor of soy sauce (1 tbsp), sesame oil (1/2 tsp), and sriracha (1 tsp)mixed together. If your kids are not big on spicy, then you can add the other 2 together and add the sriracha just to your bowl. I have to do it this way as well since my husband and daughter do not like spicy food.

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I usually will steam edamame in the microwave, make some jasmine rice on the stove (2 cups), and roast some veggies (broccoli,cauliflower, and carrots) in the oven. Once the rice is cooked, I add it to a bowl and top with the edamame and roasted veggies. I pour a little bit of the sauce I mixed together on the rice and veggie bowl. Then, enjoy!

This is such an easy delish meal. You can add toasted sesame seeds on top and even some avocado slices! I also love this meal because you can leave the kitchen to do other things….since most of us can’t stand and babysit the stove anyway. Try this recipe and let me know what you think. Follow me on Instagram @amyeatskale and Twitter @amyrenee1110. If you like this post please leave a comment.

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Vacation – How to Stay on Track….. and Enjoy Yourself

20180615_185040.jpgWe are on our way home from a great vacation. I am thankful for my very understanding family. They are not vegetarians but they are so accommodating. I had some initial stress about eating different food the entire trip. I was able to overcome that by finding a nearby grocery and getting my staples for the week.

For breakfast I ate either raisin bran with soy milk or peanut butter toast with sliced bananas. For lunch I made myself a generous helping of chickpea salad (can of chickpeas drained, dill relish, spicy mustard, and vegan mayo) which I put in a wrap with sliced cucumber. I paired the wrap with carrots and hummus. I scoped out the frozen section and found a delicious quinoa burger which I had for dinner a couple of nights. One night I crumbled it over jasmine rice with a side of a chopped kale salad. It was filling and delish!

We ate out some and I had a Costa Rican bowl one night that was spicy and fresh with pinto beans, rice, pico, and guacamole. The possibilities were endless for me. I never felt like there was only one safe item on the menu for me. We have all felt the anxiety of going to a restaurant and not knowing what is on the menu. I try to look before I so I already know what I am ordering.

My staples for the week were:

  • Bananas
  • Chickpeas
  • Cucumber
  • Peanut Butter
  • Mixed Nuts
  • Baby Carrots
  • Quinoa BurgersBurgers
  • Soy Milk

These got me through the week stress free! I want to hear from you. What do you eat on vacation? Do you go out to eat or do you make your own food? Is it stressful? Is your family understanding? Let me know what you think! Follow me on Instagram @amyeatskale or Twitter @amyrenee1110

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List it – Grocery Shopping

I love going to the store. When eating plant based it is important to remember that you only need whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits, and veggies!!! This cuts out a lot of the aisles and makes shopping and meal planning easier.

I usually will make note of what I already have and then go through the list of recipes I am making for the week and add any items I need. There are some items I buy everytime I go shopping and below I have listed the items:

My Five Staples:

  • Sweet Potatoes  (the possibilities are endless from taco inspired to just topping it with cinnamon)
  • Kale (it should not be a surprise there but anyway…..you can do so much with kale. It can go in smoothies, salad (😋), soups, stir fry…..and you get the point)
  • Broccoli  (I crave broccoli so I eat it all the time. It is great just steamed with some brown rice or added to stir fry, roasted in the oven, and even fresh dipped in some hummus)
  • Bananas ( from smoothies to nice cream this fruit is the best because you can do so much with it and it is so cheap)
  • Lemons ( I consider myself a lemonaholic. I have to have it squeezed in my water but more importantly I use it for dressings and sauces)

 

Let me know what your staples are. Be sure to like this page and follow me on Instagram @amyeatskale and Twitter @amyrenee1110.

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Kale Chopped Salad

So no surprise that I would post a chopped kale salad recipe. It is so good. The sesame flavor with the kale is such a good combo! The possibilities are endless…..I added quinoa but you could add rice noodles for more Asain flair. Try it and don’t forget to let me know what you think! Share with me On Twitter @amyrenee1110 or Instagram @amyeatskale. Also be sure like my blog! #plantbasedstruggle

 

Here is the recipe-

Chopped kale (about 6 cups) ( juice of lemon and drizzle of sesame for massaging)
1 shallot chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 cucumber chopped
3 cups of broccoli steamed and chopped
1/3 cup of fresh cilantro chopped
1 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa (I made mine using veggie broth for more flavor)
1 can of white beans drained and rinsed

Dressing-
1/4 cup of almond butter
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
Juice of one lemon
1/2 shallot
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp of olive oil

For the salad-
Put the chopped kale in a large bowl. Squeeze the juice of a lemon and drizzle a little bit of sesame oil. Massage into kale until it is coated and reduces in size about 1 minute.

Add into the bowl, red pepper, cucumber, shallot, cilantro, broccoli, beans and quinoa. Mix together.

Add dressing ingredients into food processor and process on low until blended.

Pour over salad and serve immediately. If not serving right away place salad and dressing in fridge. Add dressing right before serving.

Ahhh, Sunday…What to Make?

I have decided that if I am going to meal prep on Sunday, it is going to be something easy. As I examine my pantry and decide I am not adding a grocery trip to the list…I take note of what I have on hand. Black beans, a yellow onion, one sweet and one white potato. I will make this into a super filling nutritious soup. I have some spinach I need to use and cilantro. So without further ado…yada, yada, yada….here is the recipe. Tag me on Instagram @amyeatskale or Twitter @amyrenee1110 and let me know if you like It! I want to see pictures people! Ok so really here you go!
1 lb of black beans cooked
1 sweet onion chopped
1 sweet potato peeled and chopped
1 russet potato peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1.5 cups spinach
1 veggie bouillon cube
1/2 cup nutrional yeast
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
6 cups water
1 tbsp oil (can be omitted)

Cook the beans according to package.
Saute’ onions in oil until translucent.
Add spices and veggie bouillon. Cook for 2 minutes and add 1 cup water.
Cook 10 minutes on a simmer.
Chop sweet potato and russet potato. Boil until in a small saucepan with 3 cups water until tender.
Reserve potato water. Pour potatoes in food processor and add the nutrional yeast.
Process on low to mash. Add potatoes to beans and reserved water.
Add onion mixture and remaining water.
Cook for 30 minutes on medium stirring occasionally.
Take 1/4 of the bean mixture and add to food processor. Add cilantro and spinach. Process on low until mashed. Add back into soup and stir. Cook for 20 minutes. I added salsa and sriracha…oh yes and blue corn chips! You could also garnish with more cilantro. Delish!