Wednesday, March 14, 2012

30 Day Vegan Challenge: Weeks 1 & 2

Since I started the challenge a few days before the first of the month, this post marks the first and second weeks of completion. Here are some highlights!

Mi Lah Vegetarian

Two Fridays ago we went to Mi Lah Vegetarian, a 100% vegan restaurant in Center City Philadelphia. Everything on the menu is absolutely excellent and brunch is especially delicious!

I'm a sucker for tofu pad thai, especially when it comes with crunchy bean sprouts and drops of Sriracha on the plate.

For dessert at Mi Lah I tried their vegan cheesecake. I was so excited about it that I forgot to take a picture before I grabbed a bite. I then also realized that they made it look like a face and I had accidentally eaten the happy upturned mouth. It was a little thicker than normal cheesecake, but still super yummy!

Snack Time

I'm all about making it easy, so anytime I see something healthy, tasty, ready-to-eat, and small enough to fit into my backpack I grab it up! TJ's ready-to-eat edamame satisfied my mid-afternoon snack craving perfectly.

And, in terms of the not-so-healthy-but-oh-so-delicious kind of snacks, one awesome web link I found this week was PETA's list of Accidentally Vegan foods. Now I don't want to be vegan and just eat a lot of crap because that's really not the point, is it? That said, I like my snacks and desserts every night now and then and I was extremely happy to see Sour Patch Kids on the list!

Burger & "Fries"

Sunday night I really didn't feel like cooking, so I made a quick meal using Amy's California Veggie Burgers.

I don't really like fake meats, so I tend to avoid the faux chicken nuggets, etc. This burger was packed with veggies and grains, which I could actually taste when I bit into it.

I toasted two pieces of whole wheat bread and spread TJ's Chipotle Pepper Hummus on one side.

I finished the burger by putting some red cabbage on top. In lieu of fries I cooked up some brussels sprouts in a pan with olive oil, lemon, and a dash of salt. A much healthier option!

Speaking of brussels sprouts, I have had a long standing love affair with them that only grows more and more each month. I recently found this quick recipe for brussels sprout chips that I am definitely going to try!

Pasta & (Lots of) Greens

This is one of my go-to easy meals during the week. Heat up a pot of water. Pasta of your choice.* Add massive amounts of your favorite green veggie. Pour olive oil, spices, and sauce (optional) on top, and enjoy!

*Some pasta has egg in it. Be sure to read the ingredients beforehand if you are trying to do a vegan dish. Usually I go for whole wheat pastas, but I noticed that the particular brand I had at home (Barilla I think?) was made with egg whites, so I opted for this tri-color TJ's pasta instead.

Tofu Tacos

Last weekend Mike had the awesome idea to make Tofu Tacos. I cooked up tofu, red and green pepper, and onions in a pan with sweet chili sauce, black pepper, and chia seeds.

Instead of cooking up black beans we settled for black bean salsa both as a taco topping and for the tortilla chips on the side.

We added the tofu stir fry mix and black bean salsa into whole wheat tortillas with brown rice.

And you can't have tacos without a Corona. All that was missing was the beach!

Tell me - have you tried anything fancy in the kitchen lately??


  1. You just made me want some brussel sprouts! I would not have thought some pastas (other than obvious ones like egg noodles) would have pasta in them. I'll have to pay attention just for curiosity.

  2. those photos look delicious! who knew vegan food could make me drool? ;)
    honestly, Hubby and I had tofu pad thai for dinner last night. but otherwise, we're about to hit the road for a couple of days - so my only creativity in the kitchen has been "how can i work 1 egg, leftover refried beans, and a bunch of asparagus into a meal." I call it "Chopped: The Empty Refrigerator Edition"
    Speaking of which, that might be the inspiration for a new blog post...

    1. You are describing every Thursday night in my house: "Hmmm, we will eat out Friday and Saturday so what can I make with all the leftover food until shopping day on Sunday?"

      That always makes for an interesting meal!

  3. man i love hummus, only discovered it a few years ago but yum!

    that cheesecake looks out of this world!! i haven't actually tried out any vegan eateries in miami, but this would be a good time to!


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