The Vegan Experiment: Day 25


Day 25

Breakfast: Kashi Golden Sunshine cereal with soy milk, banana
Lunch: Brown rice salad, crackers and hummus, mandarin orange
Snack: Almonds and cashews
Dinner: Tacos with refried beans, mango salsa and guacamole, tortilla chips

When you think of the typical American diet, you definitely don’t think vegan. Most people make dinners consisting of a meat, vegetable and starch. Vegan meal ideas can come from variety of sources, but one approach is to start thinking of other ethnicities. Chinese food doesn’t have to be provided only by takeout. Whip out your wok and throw together your own stir-fry or you can try my number one ethnic food choice – Mexican.

I certainly don’t remember all of our family dinners all that well but some stick out. My dad did a lot of the cooking, and he was very good at it (except for that time he made tuna noodle casserole – ewww). I remember his parmesan cheese sauce over homemade pasta. That was a good one. He made great soups too, all from his own homemade broths. We ate well, but one meal that I always loved was taco night. My parents would put out the fillings in different bowls on the table, and we would grab our tacos and start assembling. It was fun and delicious. To this day, I still love tacos and Mexican food in general. In my poor college days, I would enjoy an $.89 bean burrito from Taco Bell. My culinary inclinations have improved, and we frequently have homemade Mexican fare or a quick meal at Baja Fresh (they have the best Baja salsa!).

Fortunately, my husband is on board with the whole Mexican food as a staple in our house and has perfected homemade guacamole. Two reasons that I love guacamole are cumin and fresh cilantro. These are my two favorite spices. Each has a unique individual flavor and when combined together, they can enrich a simple combination of beans and veggies in no way you can imagine. Using these spices gives so a full flavor that you won’t ever miss the cheese if you’re eating Mexican vegan-style.

Here’s a tip on fresh cilantro that I just got from a friend. Buy it, wash it, let it dry and then freeze it. When you need some fresh cilantro, just pull a bunch from the freezer and add it to your dishes. I’ve been doing this for the past month, and it tastes just as fresh as when you bought it.

Guacamole is one of those things that everyone loves but how often do people really think about making it. I consider guacamole a health food. Avocados have tremendous health benefits. They are full of good fats that help maintain and even lower your cholesterol, and they are high in potassium which helps to regulate blood pressure. Guacamole is also a very popular food with kids. I think that it is the combination of the green color and a dip. What kid doesn’t like to dip foods? Of course, my son just eats it by the handful. Since I love guacamole so much, I’m going to share our recipe so that everyone can try it.

Guacamole
Making your own guacamole is about personal taste. There aren’t any measurements here, so just throw everything into a bowl and add more spices until you find your preferred flavor.

2 Avocados, mashed with a fork or use a mixer if you want it really smooth
Cumin
Garlic powder (can use fresh garlic but garlic powder isn’t as potent)
Onion powder (same argument as garlic powder)
Salt
Hot Sauce (Chalupa is the best!)
Fresh Cilantro, chopped
Fresh tomatoes, chopped (not necessary to still have good guacamole)

Mix together and enjoy!

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5 responses to this post.

  1. That recipe for guacamole looks delicious. I could live on guac. But you know, to me guacamole isn’t guacamole without lime. Sometime try just ripe avocados, lime and salt. Dip and enjoy. Sublime.

    Reply

  2. Oh and way to go on the vegan diet. I’ve been there, it ain’t easy, but oh so worth it.

    Reply

  3. Posted by nickybentley on August 4, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I really admire you for being able to stick to a vegan diet. I was a vegetarian for four years, and a vegan for 6 months. Had it not been for severe anemia, I would be right there with you. Keep doing what you’re doing, girl!

    Reply

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