V is for Victory (and Vegan) – Part I

16 Jul

After 3 months or 13 weeks or 91 days, I have finally completed my 14th Challenge on my #40Before40 list. I have spent the last 3 months eating a vegan diet which means I have completely abstained from eating anything that is produced from animal products. That means no meat, no dairy products and no honey.

Rather than feeling relieved that this challenge is over, I am actually a bit sad. Although the challenge hasn’t been always easy (mainly when eating in restaurants), I have really grown to like preparing a lot of my meals from scratch and learning new recipes.

So, for the last time, here is what I have been eating this week.

Mastering Lentils

I have always struggled to cook lentils properly, which sounds a little bit strange because you just put them in a pan and boil them. But mine have always turned to mush and, although they have been edible, they haven’t had a really nice texture and don’t look good either. Thanks to my friend, Melina, I have now completely mastered the art of cooking lentils. Her advice to me was not to put salt in the water and it has worked a treat. I also read online that you don’t need to aggressively boil the lentils in the water, which I was probably doing the whole time. With the combination of these two gems of advice, I ended up with these perfectly cooked lentils for a salad this week. Finally!

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Korean pancakes

Melina also gave me a packet of Korean pancake mix which is vegan (depending on what you add into it). I added some diced red pepper, spring onions, coriander and some garlic. The pancakes weren’t very round but I think perfection is overrated. They tasted good which was the main thing. I ate them with a spicy salsa dip that I made.

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Pomegranate Debacleย 

I had a recipe for a chickpea and pomegranate salad which I wanted to make. It seemed like it would be a nice alternative, especially as the weather is so hot and the recipe didn’t need any cooking. I have had pomegranate before but I have never bought one and prepared it myself. Perhaps there is a specific way that you should prepare it because I found it a complete hassle. I also found that whenever I cut into it juice would squirt out and all over the kitchen. By the time I was finished, the kitchen looked like it had been the location for the filming of a slasher movie. Also I was wearing a white T-shirt so that went straight into the washing basket as soon as I had cleared up the “blood” splatters! I did enjoy the salad but I think that I will be buying the pre-prepared pomegranate from the supermarket next time, even if it is a bit more expensive.

Amazing Homemade Sandwich

I made an amazingly good sandwich this week. It was so full of flavour and only took a few minutes to make. It was tomatoes, cucumber and a thin layer of vegan cream cheese, with a smoked tofu that had been cooked in a mixture of maple syrup, soy sauce and a pinch of chili powder. I will be making this again in the future!

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And that is the challenge over. Tomorrow I will be reflecting on this challenge and what is means for the future so come back and find read Part II soon.

5 Responses to “V is for Victory (and Vegan) – Part I”

  1. Confuzzled Bev July 16, 2018 at 3:23 pm #

    YESSS! So proud of you.
    You can still make new recipes from scratch… just ones with milk and eggs in them ๐Ÿ˜‰ And you’ve finished in time to have a proper barbecue should you so desire ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • ourgirlinzurich July 16, 2018 at 3:25 pm #

      Thank you!! I canโ€™t believe I made it and that 3 months went by so quickly! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  2. Mel July 17, 2018 at 7:28 am #

    YES you got it :))) You inspired me to do the same, starting on august 1st ๐Ÿ™‚ btw this marinated tofu sounds so yummy, can you please share the receipe ?

    • ourgirlinzurich July 17, 2018 at 5:02 pm #

      Wow Mel! Iโ€™m so happy to hear that. My biggest advice would be to plan ahead ๐Ÿ˜
      Youโ€™re not the first one to ask for this recipe. Itโ€™s really easy. I used smoked tofu (but I think it would work with plain tofu as well). Cut the tofu into blocks that are 1-2cm thick and fry them in some oil until they begin to brown. Then mix together 4 tsp of maple syrup and 2 tsp of soya sauce. I also added a pinch of chilli as well. Turn the heat down in the pan and add the mixture. The sauce should thicken up and coat the tofu after a few minutes. Really easy!
      Hope you enjoy it ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

      • Mel July 17, 2018 at 5:18 pm #

        Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ I will try it for sure!

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