Gettin’ Our Vegan On

My husband put together this film that explains both the tremendous health and financial benefits of eating a plant based diet.  This film tailors that idea to shopping at Whole Foods Market in particular.  I did not expect to hear any new ideas, to tell you the truth, and found delight in learning quite a few unique tricks to shredding the check out price.  Enjoy!

Unlike past posts, I plan to share the way in which we have learned how to actually enjoy this counter cultural way of eating as opposed to a break down of $ spent.  The film explains the profound financial benefit.  Let me show you how we applied the wisdom to our own lives during this week of eats.

To prepare for a week of vegan cooking and baking, I traced my steps a few years back to the early stages of our on again/off again relationship with this no animal products way of life. I chose the recipes that had “Anwar gives it 5 Stars” scribbled in the margin. The least I could do for my bacon cheeseburger

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seafood loving

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husband who agreed to sign up for this! I started the week out with a recipe from the book my Dr. recommended (#ahem! #blowingdustoffcover!), entitled Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes. As I chopped away at the mounting, colorful pile of red & green peppers, onions & button topped mushrooms, I remembered how rewarding the beautiful palette of plant strong foods felt to prepare and cook.

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When I return home after grocery shopping, I very often prepare a dinner that has some element of convenience to it.  I’m kind of spent (especially if I have Samaria with me), and it keeps me from giving into the clarion call of the restaurant.  While a convenience food is not as economical as a pound of lentils, it definitely saves compared to dinner out.  I know our weak area, so I plan for it.  The “just add” Sloppy Joe recipe kept the dollars in our wallets. Restored after dinner, with my shadow tucked in for the night, I whipped up a take on Post Punk Kitchen’s Raspberry Jam Swirl Crumbcake. Oh! happy day!

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We only had whole wheat flour on hand, so the photo does not aptly show the delight that that swirl of jam adds to each bite. It went perfectly alongside a mug of coffee lightened by vanilla soy creamer.

I can front load my week of cooking in a remarkable way when I prepare vegan foods like the above instead of a conventional menu. If we, for instance, grill hamburgers, steaks, and fish all at once, the leftovers depreciate in quality each day. In contrast, a split pea soup,

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pot of chili,

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a container of sweet potato veggie burgers ready to just place in a heated pan on the stove,

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and a lasagna tray full of Carrot Zucchini Chocolate Brownies

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actually tastes better with each passing day. Plants take their time getting to know each other. They don’t rush into things. Just so, since you and I are now three posts in, I think it might be an appropriate time to let you in on a little secret that will reveal the extent of my nerdy side: I have a longstanding personal ambition to have my fridge look like the Whole Foods Market hot bar and salad bar when we open the door up! Selections galore. A little bit of this, a little bit of that. Then when we have friends pop in

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we always have something good to share.  Does anything delight the senses and tempt the budget as much as that hot bar?  It inspires me to think of creating the same beauty for our family.

Having several dishes to choose from that spread over the week provide grace if our plans change and it becomes impractical to make the “eat immediately” dishes, like this picnic ready brown rice veggie sushi.  I bought the sushi making kit at Whole Foods for about the same price as a prepared sushi from their top notch bar.  With the same wholesome ingredients that the in shop sushi chef uses, I find myself rolling these up in 10 minutes with leftover rice and a couple of vegetables quite a bit!

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To get a massive dose of benefits from raw veggies, we alternate between green smoothies and salads for a side.

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When the coffee cake ran out, we used oatmeal as a vehicle for all sorts of cool textures and flavors, like this coconut yogurt, chia seed, sun butter, fresh fig creation.

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My husband, Anwar, and I have had some heart-to-hearts about the topic of plant based eating- and I think it has come to this realization: We have financial goals and we have health goals.  We choose to shop at Whole Foods Market because, flat out, no other store offers the selection and consistent quality.  We feel better when we go in there- greeted by beautiful flowers and folks that clearly enjoy their work.  We also care about our health.  A lot.  As WFM says on their bags, “Health Starts Here.”  And so it does.  So, since plants offer the hugest nutritional  value- and also happen to offer the mega financial value as well… I would expect to see some more posts on this topic.  We shop at Whole Foods Market so we can get healthy.  We have decided to journey into a season of nourishing our family with the most beneficial foods that we can afford.  Sorry bacon… we will probably pick you up for a holiday breakfast… until then, we’ll be shifting that money towards cleansing aloe, cilantro, chia, and almonds!

May you have a beautiful week filled with many a pauses to sit and visit with those you love while you munch away on beautiful, health giving foods!

Lovingly,

The Allens