We’re a little more than halfway thru Dan’s vegan diet and here’s what I’ve learned so far: Going out to dinner is no longer fun unless it’s a vegan/vegetarian based restaurant because we can no longer share dishes. Cooking dinner is more fun because it has forced us to be creative and try new products, techniques, and recipes. There’s an insane amount of vegan dessert out there which is both great and not so great because part of Dan’s “plan” was to eat less indulgent foods and pounding bittersweet chocolate doesn’t exactly seem healthy. That being said, vegan donuts are tasty. Tofu is really good if you dry it out first and then bake it. Soba noodles in stir fry are great if you’re not a huge fan of rice (sorry, not sorry). Almond milk, soy milk, and coconut milk ain’t got nothin’ on real cream in your coffee. And most importantly(!), always keep extra snacks for your non vegan significant other in the house so she doesn’t start cursing when she needs protein and doesn’t wanna eat your darn tofu, protein shakes, or peanut butter. What can I say, I’m supportive until I’m hangry and then I’m just a pain in the ass.
Now that I’ve shared a few tidbits about the pluses and minuses of a vegan lifestyle, it’s time to share some awesome vegan recipes, because let’s be honest there is no way most of us could tackle going vegan if the food wasn’t yummy. Lucky for you we’ve collected a few choice recipes over the past couple of months, and have even had a chance to play around with a few of them. There are a couple recipes here that we really want to try, particularly the Italian pressed sandwich since I know Dan has been wanting olive tapenade. The bottom line here is that going vegan does not mean you need to give up eating well. Just be prepared to be surprised. Who knew we’d enjoy mushroom and bean meatballs so much! Like all the other tasty recipes below, don’t knock it til you try it, folks.
Deconstructed Falafel Salad | Honestly YUM – We’re making this tonight! We’ve made it once before and my only comment is make sure the chickpeas bake long enough so they’re crunchy. It’s so filling with such bright flavors.
Easy Chana Masala | Minimalist Baker – This was so insanely easy to make! We made this last week and it was the easiest and most flavorful Indian recipe we’ve made so far. We’ll be making this one often.
Italian Pressed Sandwich | Vanilla and Bean – We’re both dying to try this crazy stacked and pressed sandwich. It looks insanely good and if you’re a fan of salty, savory Italian flavors then you’ll love this.
Baba Ganoush | Well and Full – We’re making this to pair with the falafel salad for a more complete meal. This stuff is addicting, like so tasty and complex. It’s a bit more labor intensive than other dips (say, hummus) because you have to roast the eggplant but it’s so worth it.
Miso and Soba Noodle Soup with Roasted Sriracha Tofu and Shiitake Mushrooms | The Bojon Gourmet – We haven’t made this but Dan mentioned wanting to experiment with miso and I’m all about soba noodles so this sounded perfect. Plus sriracha tofu!
White Bean Mushroom Meatball Subs | Sobremesa – This was so different from anything I’ve ever tasted before and I’m sure a few of you have raised your eyebrows at this blasphemy – meatless meatballs? But here’s the thing, if you have a tasty red sauce your mushroom meatball sub is going to taste glorious, hearty, and healthy.