Meatless Mondays: Intro to Veganism
After Thanksgiving I felt like crap, and that’s putting it mildly.
My stomach hurt, my skin was red and blotchy, and I was SOOOOOOO TIRED. After 10 years in the health industry I now understand these feelings as signs that my body is talking to me. What was it saying….? ”dani! HELP!”
It wasn’t just Thanksgiving that caused my discomfort. Over the past 2 1/2 months I felt the slow fall of my standards when it came to food. It never is all at once for me. . . when I slip its not a on a single banana peel, its more like tripping over my shoelace, while spilling coffee onto myself, only to stumble into a door with sweaters hanging on it, trying to grab onto the sweaters to stabilize myself only to have it come undone and fall down into a puddle of mud.
I have found that eliminating meat 1 day a week is the perfect way to transition yourself into the realm of VEGANISM and improve your health & overall wellbeing. Not only do people who apply Meatless Mondays to their life see great improvements in these areas, but they also have:
reduced their carbon footprint
helped save animals from slaughter
improved their nutrition
reduces chances of scary health issues
lessened greenhouse gasses
improved their gut health
increased their energy
improved their digestion …
and thats just touching the surface!
So here is a FREE one day guide to going VEGAN on MONDAYS (or any day of the week that works well for you!)
Makes 2-3 servings
1 heaping Tbsp chia seeds (whole or ground into a fine meal so they're undetectable)
1/2 Tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup (or sub honey if not vegan)
1 c unsweetened almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4-5 slices bread (It's important to use a sturdy, rustic bread or it can turn out soggy/soft)
Mix all ingredients except the bread in a large, shallow bowl. Place in the fridge to activate for 10-20 minutes.
Preheat griddle to medium heat (~350 degrees F / 176 C) and grease with 1 Tbsp vegan butter or coconut oil.
Dip each slice of bread in the batter for about 20 seconds on each side. If your bread is dry, leave it in a little longer. If you're using sandwich bread, it should only need 25-30 seconds total to soak.
Place on griddle and cook until golden brown on the underside. Carefully flip and cook until the other side is golden brown as well - 3-4 minutes.
Top with a fresh fruit of your choice.
2 large russet potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tsp olice oil
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Optional toppings: lettuce, tomato, avocado, salsa, onion, jalapeno, cilantro
Add chopped potatoes to a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring potatoes to a boil and cook until fork tender, 15-20 minutes. When done, drain potatoes well.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil, potatoes and all the spices. Stir until all the spices are evenly incorporated and then arrange in a single layer. Let potatoes cook for 3-5 minutes, until crispy, and then flip and repeat.
Fill corn tortillas with desired amount of potatoes and top with favorite toppings.
The Best Plant Based Mac n Cheese
1 butternut squash (peeled and cubed into 1 1/2” pieces)
1/4 yellow onion
1/4 c raw cashews
1/4 - 1/2 c milk alternative (I used almond) but make sure it’s unsweetened!
1 TBS minced garlic
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1 box Elbow macaroni
Boil water for elbow macaroni and cook according to instructions on the package.
In a steam pot add the cubed and peeled butternut squash. (If you do not have a steam pot/basket the squash can be boiled in water or tasted in the oven. If roasting do so at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until they start to brown). 3. (Optional!) in a small pan sauté onion and garlic until the stiff white onion becomes soft and the edges become translucent.
Add all ingredients (except macaroni) to a blender. I have found @vitamix works the best! Blend until you have a thick and creamy texture. For less thick add more milk, for thicker “cheese” add less.
Mix everything together. You do not have to use all the sauce! We usually have a little left over :) 6. ENJOY! Top with parsley or nutritional yeast for an added yum factor! .
All together this meal took 20 minutes and was a 100% success! Even the non-vegans in the house were impressed!
I hope this meal plan helps to jump-start your health and introduces you to the amazing flavors and textures that being Vegan has to offer to you and your family.