The Vegan Challenge Kick-Off featuring Crock Pot Tuesday

Well folks, the day has arrived. 30 days of a strict plant based diet. I’m nervous and excited and half forget why I decided to do this. But only half. My goals…to become more mindful about the things that I eat and how it affects my body and the environment. Will I become vegan for life? I’m not sure. The All-Star has made it quite clear that for him this will only be for 30 days, so I will be purchasing and preparing meat in the future. I will, or rather hope, to only serve meat that was brought to my table in only the most humane ways possible and, I believe, a strong plant-based menu will allow me to do that more effectively and affordably.

I shopped at Whole Foods for the first time yesterday. After watching Food, Inc. I’ve decided that it’s finally time to switch to local and organic. Whole Foods isn’t as scary and expensive as I imagined it would be. If you stay on the perimeter and in the bulk section it’s actually quite reasonable. Plus, without spending any money on meat I was able to splurge on their gorgeous and delicious organic produce!  Sunday I’ll go to the farmer’s market where I’m sure I’ll find some great deals. I hear that carrots are very good right now!

Okay, so back to the Challenge! 30 days. No animals products of any kind.  This includes fish and dairy but does not include honey, which doesn’t actually come from an animal but is sort of made by one, but it’s not the same so I’m chucking the notion. I probably won’t be eating many processed foods, which I really don’t anyway so that’s not an issue. I also don’t plan on eating much seitan or tofu. I don’t think there is anything wrong with those foods necessarily, I’m just not a huge fan. I can easily just eat beans and whole grains for my nutrients, and of course lots of vegetables!  Breakfast is going to be a challenge since we won’t be eating eggs. Hot cereal and breakfast bars I suppose. I have a colleague who eats rice for breakfast, I’m anxious to try that out. Suggestions are welcome!

The challenge commenced at tonight’s dinner table and since it’s Tuesday we went Crock Pot style. I used another recipe from the wonderful Fresh from The Vegetarian Slow Cooker. Page 40 – Moroccan-Style Lentil & Chickpea Soup. It was really amazing. I added some rice since it contained no whole grains. It’s the first time I’ve cooked with harissa sauce, which if you like spicy and fragrant is a sauce you’ve got to try! I made it myself thanks to the recipe on p. 41 of the cookbook but you can also buy it at the store.

Moroccan-Style Soup

This picture does it no justice.

So that’s about that. As I go along I will post about snags I’ve encountered, helpful websites and useful health information. Feel free to comment. You opinions are always appreciated! Good luck to all those playing along or embarking on your own challenges. See you at the finish line!

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