Monday, May 18, 2015

Meatless Monday—I FINALLY have this down!

big vegan bowl lfs
     For the past few years I have worked really hard at making sure that I always adhere to my goal of having a Meatless Monday.  I have to admit that I was overcomplicating things to an unreal level.  I think that is why so many people struggle with the concept, we over think it.   I have poured over tofu recipes, tried to figure out how to master seitan, (still working on that one) and so many other things.  Its hard.  Sometimes, many times I had no idea what to make.  However it was good for me.  It has caused me to broaden my horizons and try new things.

     As I have mentioned earlier this year, I have made some MAJOR changes to my diet.  For the month of February I went completely vegan.  It was hard, but also very rewarding.  I learned quite a few things that month.  Some of the lessons I learned would help anyone no matter what they chose to eat.  I learned far more about meal planning and making correct shopping lists.   I also wanted to make sure that I wasn’t a “junk food vegan” that month.   There are so many junk foods that are technically vegan, but that was not the approach that I was going for.

     I tried the vegan substitutes for chicken and beef that you can get in the frozen food section.  They were not bad by any means (Morningstar makes some delicious things), however it wasn’t what I wanted.  I wanted to focus more on the whole foods approach to eating and being more conscious of the things going into my body.  I have discovered some new things that I truly love (nutritional yeast anyone?), and a few things I did not. 

     Produce has always been something that I love.   Farm fresh produce is amazing.  I was worried when I decided to make some of these changes, I was afraid that I couldn’t afford it.  Surprisingly I spend less on food now then I used to.  And I eat. I am not feeling deprived or that I am going without.  I have more energy, my hair and nails are stronger and I am in less chronic pain.
     Now I have to admit I am not a vegan, after February was over I did add a few things back into my diet, I have butter and eggs and some dairy.   I haven’t gone back to red meat though,   I seem to be better without it so I have stayed away for the time being.  I have never liked labels when it comes to defining how you eat, to me it just feels so confining.  So on that note, what I will say about how I choose to eat it that I LOVE food, and I choose to listen to my body cues.  Sometimes that means my body is going to want or need more vegetables than others, sometimes I may just need an egg or two.

     Changing the focus of my eating has helped me focus on these internal cues, which in turn has helped me to make sure that I always have a truly satisfying meal for myself.   I have been reading lots of blogs lately to learn what others are doing. and others best practices.  So many of you have so many great ideas!  I have also just finished participating in a month long online whole foods workshop.  I will tell you more about that later.  One dish that I see over and over again is the humble Buddha bowl, and I have to tell you I love this dish.
     I went on so many different blogs for this dish.  So many different recipes, so much confusion at times.  I can tell you my favorite resource was this tutorial,  it is a resource on how to make these little beauties.  Check out that blog too while you are at it, she definitely has a lot of wisdom to share.  Buddha bowls are so simple you can really use anything.  This is a great dish to use up your leftovers.  I can tell you that as a single girl this is a great way to use up those odd quantities that you sometimes have left over.  Its fresh and delicious, you can top it with a sauce or keep it plain.  I love to squirt a lemon wedge on it and some freshly ground pepper.
     This is a meal that I can put together in less than 10 minutes.  healthy, delicious, satisfying and budget friendly.  This is exactly what I have always wanted from Meatless Monday.  I’d love to see any of the Buddha bowls that you come up with!


Arianne said...

I tried kimchi in our latest Buddha bowl and really loved it. It seems like I always make these bowl meals too dry and bland. Some (mild) kimchi really freshened things up for me--and hurray for getting a fermented food into the mix, too.

Hope the whole foods workshop had some useful ideas for you. I liked the part where someone showed how messy their kitchen gets when you cook whole foods. Glad I'm not the only one!

Love from Scratch said...

Arianne, My last one tried I with Kimchi as well with leftover edamame and all sorts of other tasty things. It was my best combo yet. Definitely have lots more combos to try!