The Vegan Experiment: Day 1

Day 1

(recipes below)

Breakfast: Steel-cut oatmeal with a sliced banana and walnuts
Lunch: Baked taco filling
Snack: Snack mix
Dinner: Roasted vegetables and quinoa with a balsamic reduction sauce

I woke up excited and ready to start the experiment. I knew what I was having for breakfast before even getting out of bed. Thinking about my food choices ahead of time is critical. I have a 22 month old son and a 2 month old daughter. I don’t have a lot of time to think about going to the bathroom let alone what to cook for breakfast. I made multiple servings of oatmeal and refrigerated the extra to make breakfast preparation for the next couple of days even easier. I added the banana slices and walnuts to the bowl first. That was a good move because I ended up eating less oatmeal than I would have if I was just eating the oatmeal.

While my daughter slept, I made a shopping list. I was gearing up for a trip to Whole Foods to buy some supplies for the start of this experiment. I consulted Freston’s book. At the end, she lists meal ideas and a lengthy shopping list. This made it easy to decide what types of food I should be buying. After my lunch, I packed up my daughter and off we went. I have been to Whole Foods before. Typically, I shop at Giant which is your standard grocery store, but I like to buy organic produce. Whole Foods has the best selection around. I never cared about organic produce until I had my son. Around that time, I read about the dirty dozen of produce which are the twelve types of produce that have the largest amount of pesticides on them. I made a conscientious decision to try and buy organic options of those fruits and vegetables in an effort to provide healthy food for my son.

We arrived at Whole Foods only to be reminded that they have mini versions of shopping carts there. For most people it wouldn’t be a big deal, but moms that need a place to put an infant carseat would understand my dilemma. Regretting that I didn’t bring my baby carrier, I precariously positioned the carseat in the cart and entered the store.

Below is my shopping list for the day. I was successful in finding everything except for the Ener-G egg replacement. I didn’t need it anytime soon, so I didn’t spend a lot of time trying to find it.

First, we perused the produce section. I immediately felt uncomfortable. I was used to my own grocery store, and things were just different here. Whole Foods has such a variety of produce. You can really find anything that you could need, and frequently, you have an option of produce from different geographic locations. I filled up my cart with all the produce that I needed and moved on. I worked through my list and was pretty successful in my overall purchase. I ended up spending $70.50 for the following items:

Gardein beef tips
Gardein Chick’n Scallopini
Earth Blance vegan Butter
Firm Tofu
Lemon Pepper baked tofu (delicous!)
Quinoa (much more expensive that I was expecting but I think the bag will last a while)
Dark chocolate
Whole Grain cereal
Soy milk
Red Onion
Brussel Sprouts
Tomatoes (I’m planning on making some homemade salsa this week!)

I think that I am pretty well set for a little while. I still plan on visiting my local Giant for staples, such as brown rice, bread, etc.

Baked Tacos

This recipe is fast, easy and delicious. For the non-vegans in your household, add some taco or cheddar cheese in the rolled tortillas and as a topping.

6 6 inch flour tortillas


3/4 jar salsa
1 ½ cups of cooked brown rice
1 16 oz can of black beans, rinsed
1 cup frozen corn

1. Mix the filling together in a bowl.
2. Spread ½ the remaining salsa in the bottom of a baking dish
3. Stuff each tortilla shell with filling. Roll up and place seam side down in baking dish.
4. Spread remaining salsa on top of the tortillas.
5. Bake covered with foil in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Snack Mix

I got this recipe idea from the Dr. Oz show. In a segment on how to keep your energy levels up, a similar mixture was suggested except to use hemp seeds. I have been unable to find hemp seeds anywhere, so I made a substitution. I ate approximately ½ a cup, and I was full until dinner time.

2 cups Kashi GoLean Crunch cereal
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup unsweetened coconut
¼ cup dark chocolate bits

Mix together and enjoy!

Roasted Vegetables and Quinoa with a Balsamic Reduction

3 red potatoes cut, cubed
1 cup of cauliflower florets
½ of a large red onion, cubed
1 cup of brussel sprouts, halved
2 beets, cubed
1 cup of mushrooms, halved
1 cup of cooked quinoa
2/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
½ cup of water
¼ cup of brown sugar

Dash of salt

1. Mix together roasted vegetables with olive oil, salt and garlic powder.
2. Bake in a 400 degree for approximately 45 minutes oven until vegetables are slightly darkened on the edges. Stir halfway through.
3. In a saucepan, mix together balsamic vinegar, water, brown sugar and salt.
4. Cook for approximately 25 minutes over medium heat until sauce is thick and syrupy.
5. Combine vegetables and quinoa in a serving dish. Drizzle with balsamic reduction.


2 responses to this post.

  1. We’ve been using quinoa for a long time now – we don’t eat it weekly, but I was surprised at how long the bag lasted! Its expensive, but I would say that it lasts WAY longer than rice or pasta.

    Good luck with your experiment! I can’t wait to see how it turns out!!


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