In my quest to eat a healthy, mostly-vegan (no dairy, occasional eggs – for now, anyway) diet, I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and baking. I’m having a blast experimenting with different recipes and have found some delicious new favorites. To be honest, other than an occasional cheese craving, I haven’t felt deprived at all, and I’m feeling better than ever (and have fairly easily lost 12 pounds so far).
I’ve found that I can Google a favorite food and add “vegan” to the search and there is almost always a vegan version of whatever I am craving – sometimes more delicious than the traditional recipe! I have two favorite vegan cooking blogs: Oh She Glows and Your Vegan Girlfriend. Your Vegan Girlfriend gave me a nacho “cheez” sauce, so I can eat my beloved nachos, and super-healthy snickerdoodle blondies. Oh She Glows has become my go-to for new recipes. Spinach artichoke dip is my new potluck contribution, and this past weekend I made two amazing recipes: roasted tomato pesto (which I can’t stop eating and have already made a second time) and roasted tomato, onion, and garlic coconut soup. Lick your bowl good. I put the pesto on pizza and topped with Daiya mozzarella – so good! – and ate on whole wheat penne. Having it on pizza again tonight and I can’t wait.
I’ve done a little experimenting on my own as well. Inspired by a vegan spinach florentine recipe (I am forgetting where I found it – will try to remember to add link later), I decided to try a vegan penne alla vodka. I looked up a recipe and followed it, substituting plain, unsweetened coconut milk for the heavy cream, and fresh basil for the oregano (I just like basil better). So delicious! I have made, and devoured, it twice, and plan to make it again soon.
I have also experimented with black bean brownies. I tried one recipe from Your Vegan Girlfriend, which was good but not quite there for me. I found another recipe (another source that is escaping me right now) that used bananas instead of tofu, so I tried that, but omitted the cinnamon and added coffee instead. Success! And only about 85 calories each. Seriously!
All this experimenting is fun and keeps me from feeling deprived. I love feeding my body healthy, wholesome meals, as it is a way to show myself some love, in addition to the love I show through running.