January 30, 2014

5 Full Days of Vegetarianism & Recipes

Watching a scary episode of Chicago PD whilst typing this....

So it's been five days since I've unintentionally been a (lactose-ovo) vegetarian...
and for the first time, I never felt tempted. Crazy, huh? I've tried several times in the past
to be go vegetarian for five days and I've always found it to be a real challenge.
Now I'm not committing to being a full time vegetarian cause I still want to be able to enjoy
food and eat non-vegetarian options, but being a semi-vegetarian has always been a real goal of mine. 

It was pretty easy last summer since all those summer
fruits and veggies (especially watermelon) were abundant and they were
basically everything I ate ;) But when winter rolled around, everything basically went out of season,
and it was hard for me to come up with recipes that were healthy yet satiated my fall/winter comfort food
cravings. Missing those summer fruits were even harder when I realized that I really have 
an intolerance to gluten and needed to cut it out of my diet. All those comforting, cold-weather desserts, from cinnamon buns to apple pie to donuts to pumpkin bread had to be cut out completely.
It drove me crazy and I was constantly tempted; it was one of the most challenging mental struggles.

 I was able to maintain a predominantly healthy diet but over this past month, I've been
able to put everything into perspective and to resist all the temptations around me with a lot more ease.
 I'm proud to say that after much experimenting, I've come up with tons of vegetarian recipes 
(that I'm going to share in more detail in the future) that are light, guilt-free, and absolutely delicious that have helped me maintain a vegetable-based, gluten-free diet.
Here they are ;) :

Gluten-free pizza: the crust is made of onion, broccoli, garlic, and cheese.
Yes, cheese is not the healthiest thing but I opted to go with 
raw cheese which personally digests better and has a lot more benefits
for you than regular cheese.

My go-to California-Asian Salad: Broccoli has seriously become a major
staple in my diet, and I've just rediscovered my OBSESSION for avocados.
The best part of this salad: my homemade peanut salad dressing ;). 
(Okay, peanuts aren't the best thing for you, but it's the guilty pleasure
that I allow myself since the rest of my diet is pretty clean. Plus, why
waste money and calories on store-bought dressings?).

Minestrone Soup: Can anything be more comforting?
It's a tomato based soup (my favorite kind) with tons of vegetables and brown-rice pasta.
The best part about it is that it doesn't take hours to make :) it's a win-win!

Broccoli Pasta Salad: Steamed broccoli with tangerine slices,
brown-rice pasta, mushrooms, and lots of stuff that's good for you 
(and in season during the winter!). 

This isn't a recipe, but I've begun to just make a lot of hot salads,
basically just lots of veggies that are cooked (I usually try to steam as much
as possible) and toss everything together. A great alternative to salad dressing
is salsa :) Unfortunately, my stomach can't handle anything insanely spicy
so I always go with mild ;) 

Vegan Banana Dibs: I completely gave up ice cream over the summer
since dairy doesn't go particularly well with me (I'll eat greek yogurt and raw cheese
but I try to limit my consumption of dairy as much as possible). I thought banana
ice cream was good, but ZOMG, banana dibs are amazing. And the 
chocolate coating on the outside is 100% scratch-made, vegan, and delicious. 

Veggie "Pasta" : Grain-free and super light, unlike most pastas ;). 
I'm going to be posting a recipe for this on my YouTube channel
(www.youtube.com/thevintagecroc) very soon. 

Gluten-Free Bread: I'll be honest, this doesn't compare to regular
bread. The texture is different and it's not as yummy, but I can't eat gluten, so this is the best
that I've got, and hey, it's actually pretty good (not amazing, but pretty good).

Vietnamese Spring Rolls: My twist on them includes no vermicelli (rice noodles) and 
lots of veggies. Since I rarely have bean sprouts and mint on hand, 
I basically just make these by tossing a simple salad (usually just shredded iceberg lettuce and 
some really yummy toppings that add unique flavors) and making my own peanut sauce. 
It's essentially a salad in a little rice paper wrap and it's absolutely delicious.
It's light and filling and addicting (without the guilt!). 

So tha'ts a preview of the recipes posts to come ;) 
Get excited for those recipes!!!!!!!!!!!
xoxo, Hannah

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