Veganuary is over. I do think we'll make permanent diet changes, for varying reasons. I remember when Chris suggested both trying vegetarianism and veganism I thought it was going to be such a pain to think of all these new recipes. Really, neither time was all that challenging and now having cooked vegan for the past month, I feel like cooking vegan/vegetarian is actually easier than cooking with meat. How many times have I forgotten to pull meat from the freezer, or forgotten to marinade the meat, and now it's dinner time and there's no entree, screw it we're getting a pizza? At least weekly. But with vegan or vegetarian cooking? It ultimately boils down to buying lots and lots of vegetables, varying kinds of grains, different types of legumes, and cooking them different ways. The variety is so fun, too - lots of Middle Eastern or Indian food dishes. Loved it.
Partly for my own future reference, I am going to break my recipes down into three categories: 1) Will Make Again, 2) It Was Just Okay, and 3) No. Just No.
1) Will Make Again:
- Sticky Sesame Cauliflower
- Quinoa Falafel Bowl
- Winter Bliss Bowls
- Black Bean Sweet Potato Bowls
- Lentil Stew (Fakes)
- Vegan Jambalaya
- Tofu Stir Fry
- Slow Cooker Mexican Quinoa
- Teriyaki Tofu and Broccoli
- Moroccan Chickpea Stew
- Stuffed Peppers
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Potato Curry
- Slow Cooker Butter Chickpeas
- Baingan Bharta
- Lentil Shepherd's Pie
- Hummus Bowl with Tabouli
- One Pan Mexican Quinoa
- Aloo Gobi
- Vegan Thai Coconut Vegetable Curry
2) It Was Just Okay
- Roasted Chickpea Gyros
- Meatless Chili (I think the probably here was I added vegan cheese to mine; ick. That does not have an enjoyable flavor).
- Avocado Black Bean Quesadillas (again, felt like they needed the cheese)
- Black Bean Burgers (needs the egg; Pioneer Woman has a fabulous recipe for these)
- General Tso's Tofu
- Hummus Pizza (prefer BBQ sauce or red sauce, and missed the mozzarella)
- Orange Ginger Tofu
3) No. Just No.
- Gnocchi (sorry vegans: gnocchi has to have eggs. It did not cook properly without; though, my kids liked it)
- Black Bean Teriyaki Tacos (my personal taste; I don't like fruit in the entree, the pineapple was a little too much for me)
Ultimately, all said and done, having only two recipes out of basically a whole month of new and very different recipes that I won't make again really isn't that bad. The whole month went pretty well and I loved having the shopping list prepared ahead of time. I am going to make it a new goal to start cooking and shopping this way; it was so much simpler. As I said, I don't think our diets will change much, though we have added dairy back in (half 'n' half for coffee, cheese, sour cream, yogurt). Otherwise, I haven't bought meat and will likely continue to cook these recipes this way. I loved expanding the horizons and trying new things. Most of them we're complex either - taking less than an hour to prepare (and many around 30 minutes).
There were some exciting things this week. Chris won some tickets at work for Super Bowl Week Opening Night - basically, it was an event at the XCel Center (Hockey Rink) where they had press conferences with the players and coaches. You could listen to the various interviews. We were in the FedEx box with a few of Chris' coworkers. As much as I have/had feelings of neutrality towards the Super Bowl this year, it was neat that it was so close and that we got to have a small part in it. We did get some small radios that were used to listen to the interviews and my smart Sophia figured out how to hack them (not making this up) to play regular radio stations. We had her keep it on 98.5 KTIS and she loved listening to her own little personal music device (while the battery lasted).
On Tuesday we went to Chris' soccer game for the first time. I really enjoyed watching them play; while the team is new and not the Top Dogs, they are holding their own and improving. It's cool to see! However, two games ago Chris got kicked pretty strongly in the shin and the leg is still tender to the touch - we're starting to worry he may have bruised bone or possibly a fracture; he is going to go in today and see what they say.
We spent some time this week preparing for our cruise. It is hard to believe that after planning this a year and a half in advance, I think we started talking about it before Bethany was even born, and certainly while Heidi was still in diapers, we are leaving on Saturday! A mere five days away! I can't wait to see all of my family. I have been doing laundry and sorting through summer clothes and looking for swimming suits and dresses and generally trying to get everything prepared.
Brenda and I delivered all of the donations we received to the young Mom; it was such an honor to be able to bring everything by for her. I will be praying that God uses our church family to speak truth and love into her life, and that she may come to know Christ as her only hope. For her, and her sweet baby. Ben ended up watching my three girls and his two girls, and when I picked them up he commented that he could tell what I meant when I said Bethany was active. Poor guy! All five girls! And I'm sure Bethany took full advantage of him being distracted!
We had a bit of a slow second half of the week. The girls stayed with the VerWay's because the Carpenter family was out at the Wisconsin Dells. We are going to get back into a little routine this week and then we will be gone for our cruise. We are leaving on Saturday, staying overnight in Orlando Saturday night, and then Sunday our ship takes off from Port Canaveral. Yay! Here we come, sunshine and warmth!
We had a big praise with our house stuff this week, something which I will blog about in detail later, but I also managed to find all of the volumes of the Chronicles of Narnia in a boxed set for $5. So that was a good score. :)
|Listening to her own radio she hacked|
|Chris is on the far right, breaking into a run.|
|Pastor got the wrong hat on...|
|Sweet, sweet face|