30 Day Vegan Challenge: Days 1,2, and 3 – The Bohemian Kitchen

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So I decided to try a vegan diet for 30 days. It is something that I’ve always wanted to do but have always procrastinated and made up excuses for why I “can’t do it right now.” Well, no more excuses. For some reason I’m feeling serious about it now.

I started on Sunday January 11th and have just finished day 3. Here’s how I’m doing so far.

Day 1: Sunday January 11th, 2015

I woke up and failed immediately. I brewed coffee and put in dairy cream. I had meant to buy soy creamer the day before but didn’t get around to it. If I don’t get coffee I’m not fun to be around, and I don’t like drinking it black, so screw you going vegan challenge!!

After drinking my coffee, I felt bad about giving up so fast, so I ate a bunch of Lindor chocolates to make myself feel better. Unfortunately they are milk chocolate, so not vegan either. Oops. I didn’t even notice the mistake until 10 minutes afterwards. Okay, this day is not going well.

I decided to make up for it by making spinach rice.

It is easy to make. All you do is sauté some onions in olive oil, then add chopped spinach, then basmati rice, water and salt. I forget the exact measurements but you get the idea. It’s a versatile side dish, as it goes well with most things.

After the rice, I decided to do something about the leftover chickpea curry that was sitting in my fridge. There is a recipe for chickpea curry filled roti in the cookbook Caribbean Vegan, by Taymer Mason. I hadn’t made roti before, so wasn’t sure what to expect.

It turned out to be not that difficult to make, just time consuming.

First, you make the dough and let it rise for an hour. Cut it into six pieces, roll it out, and fill it with curry. In case anyone is wondering, the dough looks yellow because of the turmeric.

Then you roll each piece into a ball, making sure the filling stays inside.

We let the curry filled dough balls sit on an oiled plate for about 20 minutes, then we roll them out and grill each piece separately.

They were fun to roll out because the chickpeas splattered beneath the weight of the rolling pin. I had to roll slowly and carefully to make sure they didn’t explode through the dough. A few of them did near the edges, but for the most part the filling stayed inside.

Each piece is grilled for about a minute on each side. The book suggested using a Tawa, but I don’t have one or even know what that is, so I used my Cuisinart grill.

They turned out well, or at least I think they did since I don’t know what authentic roti should taste like. I think these would taste better with a dipping sauce of some sort, maybe a chutney or served along with lentil curry.

I didn’t feel like cooking anything else after that, so for dinner I baked a potato and ate it with earth balance and black pepper. Overall I’m not happy with my first day. I didn’t eat enough calories and I ate dairy. Oh well at least I cooked enough roti to last me the week.

Day 2

Oh yes, it’s a glorious Monday. I woke up late and rushed into work without eating anything. I got hungry and used my first coffee break to go buy a chocolate bar from the pharmacy next door. It was a snickers bar, not vegan. I’m not sure if any chocolate bars are vegan. Oh well too bad, I’m hungry. I’ll make sure that lunch is better.

My lunch break is an hour long, so when it came around I walked over to the grocery store down the street. My favourite burritos are vegan: Amy’s organic black bean burrito. For snacks, I picked up lentil hummus with sundried tomatoes, spinach wheat thins, and baby carrots. I had wanted the roasted red pepper hummus but surprisingly, it had milk ingredients in it. Hmm, interesting. I must figure out how to make a dairy-free version at home.

After work I picked up groceries. I had wanted to buy almond milk. They were out, but they had a new product called cashew milk, which looked interesting, so I grabbed that. I also grabbed soy creamer. I had tried the soy creamer years ago and wasn’t a fan, but the package says they have improved it, so I will try it again. If I don’t like it I can go back and try the coconut milk creamer.

When I got home I put leftover roti in the oven to heat up and had that as a snack.

For dinner I fried up the jerk seitan that was in the fridge. On Saturday I had made a triple batch of seitan. On Sunday I had cut some up and put it in a container with homemade jerk marinade. By the end of the day of Monday, it was ready to cook in a frying pan along with fresh green pepper. I served it with spinach rice.

It tastes better with coconut rice, but oh well, this was okay too. I felt much better about my second day. I messed up in the morning, but my lunch and dinner were vegan and I had creamer in the fridge for the next day. yes!

Day 3 – Today! 

I did really well today if I do say so myself. I woke up this morning and had coffee with the soy creamer. It is not my favourite, but it’s not awful either. It’s not as good as dairy cream, but still much better than dairy milk. I might get used to it. I checked the ingredients of the granola cereal I had bought a week earlier. It has modified milk ingredients in it. Damn! No cereal for me today.

At work, I remembered the hummus and crackers in the fridge and had that as a late breakfast. For lunch I had leftover jerk seitan with spinach rice.

After work I came home and remembered that I have wheat puffs, which are vegan. I had those with the cashew milk. That milk is good! I had another piece of roti, then made quinoa and lentil stew.

I like how easy it is to make. In fact, I posted the recipe for this in a previous post quite a while ago. I make this recipe every winter, that’s how much I like it.

I’m not sure how tomorrow will go. I’ve got breakfast and lunch taken care of. Dinner might be tricky because I go to yoga after work and I need to eat something beforehand. Maybe I’ll bring lentil stew with me tomorrow to have for dinner.

Anyway, I’ll try to post an update on Thursday or Friday. I’ll be too tired tomorrow to write anything.

Have you ever gone vegan, or attempted a vegan diet?