January 24, 2012

Vegan? Subscribe to Netflix & Kiss Your Social Life Goodbye. ~ Kate Bartolotta & Waylon Lewis



 Week 4 {In which the

intimidated imperfect vegans

get a little bit bored.}





Kate says:

There are some wonderful restaurants near me.

Amazing innovative slow food made from local ingredients. Great, right? Not if you’re vegan. Definitely not if you’re gluten free. So…how ’bout that bowl of baby field greens? Yummy? Hmmm. There are a few places that do wonderful veggie sushi (sans cream cheese sil vous plait!) but in general, eating out is tough. Lucky for me, I love to cook.

A few people asked me what my “must have” vegan foods are. Here are a few things that are on my grocery list every week:

1. Hummus. I love it. Sometimes I do make my own, but I usually buy at least one container of hummus a week. If I get there early enough, I can get the local stuff at the farmers’ market–awesome little company that runs out sooo fast. If not, I love Tribe and Sabra. Here’s a tip though, black coffee and garlic lover’s hummus? Not a good combo unless you want breath you can register as a weapon.

2. Spinach. I buy a variety of leafy greens every week, and always at least one bunch or bag of baby spinach. Between green smoothies, salad, and just cooking up a bunch and mixing a little hummus in (my favorite lunch–so good!) spinach is a must have for me.

3. Almond Milk. I’m not that brand loyal as far as almond milk goes. I usually get unsweetened plain. It’s great in anything you want to make creamier, but I mostly use it for smoothies. Mid-afternoon on days I know I’ll need to be up late, I take coffee, half a frozen banana, almond milk, some maca powder and cacao nibs and throw it in the blender. Sounds crazy? Sooooo good! This week I added some blackberry flavored flax seed oil (Impulse buy at Whole Foods. Don’t go there over-caffeinated and underfed. Trouble.) Might have been the yummiest thing I ever ate. Hope I can duplicate it!

4. Sublingual Vitamin B-12. Not a weekly purchase, obviously, but definitely a must-have. I was taking this before I went vegan, but now am more conscientious about taking it daily. I did realize this week that taking it too late in the day was keeping me awake and alert longer. Hello midnight, good to see you again! I didn’t make the connection at first until a friend mentioned that those 5-hour energy shots are almost entirely vitamin B-12. So, taking it mid-afternoon and following up with a big glass of water is great. Taking at 8 p.m. might not be wise. Especially if I had some coffee-maca-cacao-almond-awesomeness mid-afternoon.

5. Daiya Cheese! Yes, that deserved an exclamation point. When I was vegan/dairy-free before, I tried vegan cheese. Once. It was so bad, I had to spit it out. I decided I would rather go without than do the fake stuff. This time around, several vegan friends had raved about Daiya–and they weren’t kidding! I love Mexican food and usually make at least one dinner a week that is some sort of vegan taco/burrito or similar. I could just leave the cheese off of mine and it would still be good. But Daiya Pepperjack shreds? My new food bff.

(photo: vmiramontes)

Other staples for me include beans–dry or non-BPA canned, organic apples and bananas, almond butter, Sriracha, raw pumpkin seeds and other fun trail mix ingredients, gluten free oats, extra-firm tofu, Ciao Bella Sorbet, nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, avocados, coconut oil, Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta, Newman’s Own pasta sauce and salsa, basmati rice, and about half a cart full of whatever veggies and fruits strike my mood, are reasonably in season and didn’t travel a million miles to get to me.

Any vegans want to share their must-haves that I may not have tried? Let me know!


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