Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Day 87 - No such thing as a quick bite

When I started this blog it was more about trying to amp myself up to get off my large rear and lose some weight. The past two weeks I sort of shifted to vegan topics. I decided to do this vegan month on a whim really. I didn’t have a plan, I just wanted to do it. I really wanted to focus on exercise and weight loss but I was Shanghaied by Auntie Flo and this work conference waylaying my plans for early morning work outs and evening power strolls. Next week, things will get back to the comfort of the rut and I’ll be better able to focus on those items. I think I just needed to take some time and investigate the different food options out there and not get too sucked into what I’ve called the “Cheese Doodle Vegetarianism” mentality (would that be “Potato Chip Vegan”?). I’ve know many people over the years who would call themselves vegetarian but survive on meals of Blue Box Mac and Cheese topped off with some Ben and Jerry’s and Cheese Doodles. All technically vegetarian foods, however, not exactly picture perfect health wise. One thing I have noticed about forgoing animal products is that convenience food and “grabbing a quick bite” is very difficult. When I was vegetarian and in a rush, yogurt was always my friend. Its fairly health, moderate in calorie count, not a bad choice. Now they have little packages of cheese and crackers in convenience stores, also not a terrible choice. You could even pop a donut or Danish or muffin in your bag and call it a meal. Not eating eggs, butter or milk makes that exceptionally difficult. I’m pretty much assuming that every baked good, save for straight up bread and bagels will have either butter or eggs in it. So if you’re not eating at home and have a freezer full of read to go treats, you are pretty much screwed. Even if you want a quick dinner before heading out to evening activities (like tonight, I’ll have just under an hour to walk the dog, relax and have a bite) if you don’t have stuff good to go, you might go hungry

So what are vegan quickie food options? (if any pro-vegan can help this amateur with ideas, let me know!)

Dump some leaves on a plate, splash on some vinaigrette and you’re good to go right? That’s certainly a quick option if you’re not chopping ingredients. I have some concerns about falling in to the ease of the salad bowl. While a nice salad can be a dieters friend, its not exactly up there on the nutritional level. No protein. Its all fiber and some minerals. Salads should be a frequent guest star on your table, but not the featured actor. Oh yeah, and while salad might be easy to toss on your plate, you do kind of need a plate and some time, not a food for eating on the go.

I adore hummus, but as we all know, its tres high in the fat content. And again, you can’t live off hummus alone.

Veggie Burgers.
I like veggie burgers. They’re quick, tasty albeit a bit dry. They were my go to option back in the vegetarian days. I’m sure most brands are vegan, but I haven’t looked to make sure. OH Garden Burger has these “Veggie Ribblets” that were quite tasty tho pricy at like 4 bucks for two servings, but they did a pretty good job of easing the need for BBQ when I started this adventure. And Boca has these meatless Italian sausage that are not bad.

I think I might have to do a cooking marathon this weekend, some muffins, bread, some beans or something and have a good stash of freezer items so I don’t have to look dejected into a bowl of cereal every night.


Anonymous said...

yay! Sounds like you have found healthy vegan "fast food on the run" options! I"m not sure if you consider this healthy or not ( kinda pricy too) but when I'm out and about and want a quick lunch I stop at Subway:D Their veggie sandwhich is vegan ( depending on which bread you choose- I *do* eat honey, so I get the whole wheat bread) and tastes delicious with a little mustard:] Also, I've heard alot of people raving about Luna bars, they sound good!

MsMeiss said...

I know this isn't really a "fast" option, but it freezes and nukes really well! This is really yummy tossed over a salad, especially when heated piping hot and poured over baby spinach.

* 12 oz Lightlife Smart Ground Original Vegetarian Meat Substitute
* 1 medium vidalia onion(s)
* 1 oz Vegan Parmesan cheese
* 14 oz fat-free veggie broth
* 1 cup cabbage, all varieties
* 1 slices 100% Whole Wheat Bread, diced small
* 1 Tbsp dried oregano
* 1 Tbsp Adobo
* 1 bell pepper(s), chopped
* 2 second spray PAM Cooking Spray

Saute veggies until softened/cooked to your preference. Add broth if needed during cooking.

Add everything else, cook thru until warm.

1/2 cup is a serving, and is wonderful either packed into a pepper, tomato, or over a salad.

This reheats wonderfully!

MsMeiss said...

Here's one more. It is creamy and utterly indulgent tasting!

* 2 cup uncooked millet
* 11 oz cooked cauliflower
* 1 large vidalia onion(s)
* 4 clove garlic clove(s)


Place ingredients into pot in layers i.e. onions first then cauliflower and millet third. Cover and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Millet should absorb the liquid and be soft.
Mash or puree in a food processor. Add a little water if necessary. Garnish with raw parsley.
You will think you are eating potatoes.

Now, I think they're bland, so I add some salt, pepper, and roasted garlic.