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A vegan food diary

24 Sep

Inspired by all the great “What I Ate Wednesday” posts, I decided to do my own little food diary entry today.  I think it’s really helpful to see how other vegans construct their meal plans and it gives me ideas for things I can do to mix up the inevitable weekday monotony.  Today was a lot of purchased foods because I got up too late for breakfast at home and was super busy at work.

Breakfast: Berry Upbeat smoothie from Jamba Juice

Lunch: vegan hummus wrap and Peet’s soy pumpkin latte. The wrap was pretty disappointing–bland hummus and the veggies consisted of shaved carrots and purple cabbage. Who thought that sounded like a good idea??

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Snack: salad from my university’s cafeteria

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Dinner: leftovers from a pretty disappointing casserole I made last week from the new book One Dish Vegan. It’s layers of butternut squash, potato, cauliflower, spinach, and walnut parmesan with a white sauce drizzled on top. It was super bland even though I added loads of fresh herbs and made extra walnut parm. It also makes for terribly unattractive food porn. Sorry, folks!

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So, not my proudest day of food but at least it was pretty healthy! 😛

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MoFo #3 — Soup! Chipotle Butternut Bisque

3 Oct

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Happy Wednesday! It’s soup day here in Mofoland and I’ve got a yummy chipotle butternut squash bisque from Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Foods.

One thing I can say about grad school is that it’s *stressful*, and when I’m stressed I binge. I’ve gained quite a bit of weight my past five years of grad school due to lethargy, depression, and unhealthy eating habits. While I think I have a pretty healthy body image, I do hate the way I feel and that half of my expensive professional clothes don’t fit. So since the summer, I’ve been calorie counting, practicing portion control on sweets and snacks, and most importantly, exercising. I’ve lost weight and thanks to my workouts I feel strong and healthy again! A lot of credit should go to some great vegan cookbooks, mostly Appetite for Reduction and Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Foods. These books have delicious, inventive weeknight meals that are tasty and leave you feeling full (for me, this is the biggest obstacle to weight loss). They’re also packed with protein, fiber, healthy carbs, vitamins, and an assortment of veggies, beans, and grains. I really haven’t eaten so well or so diversely in my life! What’s also nice is that a lot of the recipes in these books (especially AFR) have been added to “My Fitness Pal”, a calorie counting app that I use a lot, so I don’t have to enter all the nutrition info on my own. Even once I’m done with this whole weight loss thing, I will probably cook from these books 95% of the time because of how good they are AND because I can really eat until I pop (one of my favorite activities) without worrying about negative effects on my health. I wish I had a few more books like this to expand my weeknight repertoire.

So back to Mofo, I was really excited to try out this soup from Quick & Easy. It’s got two of my favorite ingredients – butternut squash and chipotle. I actually only ever use chipotle in two recipes, hummus and tamales, so I was curious to see how this turned out.

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The only thing I didn’t like is that you have to roast the squash, which makes it really delicious but takes 45 minutes! Not something you want to wait for on a weeknight. I try to remember to roast squash the night before so it’s all ready for me the next day but I’m sort of a space cadet & this doesn’t always happen. I had to add extra chipotle and a few extra teaspoons of adobo sauce because the flavor was lost with only one pepper. I also added a sprinkle of brown sugar, which brought out a lot of flavors. I never thought to combine chipotle and squash, and it’s definitely a winning combo! I served the bisque over a half cup of cooked quinoa, which made this a really hearty and filling meal. The recipe calls for toasted pumpkin seeds but I discovered that mine had been sitting around long enough to taste funky so I just sprinkled on some pistachios.

I’m always on the lookout for more fall and winter soups. What are your favs?