Eating Vegan & a Recipe: Tofu & Green Bean Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday! We had a nice quite Christmas and then were later joined by my parents for a few days. Our week also included a variety of illnesses so it’s nice to have everyone feeling better!

As the New Year approaches, I am eager to get rid of the remaining 10 pounds of baby weight and I’m ready to eat some super healthy foods after all the rich, dessert-laden meals we’ve had over the last 2 months (including Halloween, 4 birthdays and Christmas).

If you aren’t already a fan of my facebook page, I encourage you to join it. I post more frequently there- random health tips, what we’re having for dinner, quick recipes that I don’t post here and other riveting stuff. What I mentioned over there was that I was ready to change up my diet in order to start the year off right. I decided that I will follow a vegan diet for the month of January which will help me increase my vegetable intake as well as hopefully cut down on my overall calories. Now remember vegan means no animal products (like eggs, dairy, honey, seafood, meat, etc) which is more restrictive than eating vegetarian (vegetarians exclude meat, poultry and seafood, but typically include dairy and eggs).

Now a couple things I want to discuss. First, it’s a lifestyle change, not a “diet”. I am not counting calories or measuring portions. I am simply avoiding animal products and eating more fruits and vegetables.

If you’d like to join me or just want to try to eat more vegetarian meals in general, join me on my facebook page. We’ll exchange meal ideas and I’ll also plan on posting more vegetarian/vegan options for the month of January.

Like I mentioned on a post over at facebook, I personally don’t have anything against eating animal products, but there is a lot of poor quality, unhealthy options at our local grocery stores. What I do know is that research has shown that people following a vegan diet typically have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, decreased risk for heart disease and cancer. On the other hand, a vegan diet doesn’t always equates to a better diet. You could live off peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pasta, oil and loads of white crusty bread and eat very few fruits and vegetables and that certainly wouldn’t be any healthier than a diet full of fish, eggs and other lean meats along with your fruits and vegetables. You still need to make a conscious effort to eat more fruits and vegetables even when eating vegan for the first time.

I need to sum up that I love food way too much to avoid eating entire food groups forever. Like feta in my salad, the delicious herb crusted lamb I just made and I can’t forget the cinnamon rolls (which I made over the holidays with butter)! Oh YUM! I truly believe that a healthy diet can include all foods in moderation. The typical American diet does not follow the motto “all foods in moderation”. I plan on doing this for a month and I know I will discover even more vegetarian/vegan meals that I love and want to include in our regular diets.

Want to join me?

You’ll need to stock your pantry and fridge full of some staples:

Pantry:

  • Canned beans (black, pinto, garbanzo, etc)
  • Dry beans
  • Nuts
  • Nut butters- almond, peanut, soy
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Quinoa
  • Coucsous
  • Tortillas
  • Bread (check label for eggs and milk)
  • Vegetable Stock/Broth
  • Oatmeal
  • Oil- olive, grapeseed, coconut, etc.
  • Coconut milk
  • Green chilies
  • Sun-dried tomatoes

Refrigerator:

  • Soy, Almond or Rice milk
  • Herbs (basil, cilantro, parsley, etc.)
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Green Onions
  • Vegetables- all the colors of the rainbow
  • Fruit- ” “
  • Tofu
  • Seiten
  • Tempeh
  • Salsa
  • Peppers- serrano, jalapenos
  • Lemons & Limes

Freezer:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruit

And I will conclude with one of my favorite vegan meals that I discovered when I experimented back with the vegan lifestyle a few months ago. It is SO yummy. The peanut sauce is delicious and really makes the meal. It would be awesome on anything really. I plan on making this next week as we kick off vegan month! I eat it just as is, but if extremely hungry or wanting to stretch it out to feed more mouths, you could serve it with some rice.

Do you want to include more vegetarian meals into your diet? Leave me a comment!!
Have a safe and Happy New Year!

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Comments

  1. I’m pretty sure that peanut sauces are my favorite sauces of all time! I love them. And even though I also love meat, I think peanut sauce can make it ok to eat a vegetarian meal. It provides that meaty taste and texture for me, some how. Maybe because it’s usually sort of heavy? I don’t know. But thanks for the recipe!

  2. Eating more vegan meals is one of my goals for 2012. While I could never go completely vegan, they will definitely be incorporated into my weekly meal planning! :) Looking forward to some great vegan recipes.

  3. Jane Easton says:

    Congratulations for eating more vegan food; good for you, the environment and the animals. It’s heartening to see more people moving towards such a diet. And while you say you couldn’t do it full-time, the range of vegan products gets longer and better everyday. I ate such amazing food when I visited LA last year, just incredible! My non-vegan friends loved it too: pizza with melty cheese; faux meat, not to mention gourmet raw and cooked high end fresh vegan food.
    However, don’t meant to lecture but just want to raise some uncomfortable questions…! Many people say they have ‘no problem’ eating animal foods – but often haven’t seen the footage of them being tortured and slaughtered. They love their domestic cats, dogs etc but ignore the terror other species face. It’s a dark place for humans – we don’t want to think how our food is reared or killed and let others do it for us. And the impact on those slaughter workers is damaging and brutalising and that’s well-documented in the US, the UK and just about everywhere else. I’ve seen footage from UK organic small-scale slaughterhouses that would make you weep – and that’s supposed to be the best practice.
    So keep on keeping on – and be proud that you’re saving lives and suffering as well as improving your health and environmental impact. Best wishes

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