Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"Where do you get your protein?" and Other Common Questions Pt. 1

Only 1% of US citizens identify as being "vegan", so it's pretty natural that when I went vegan I began to get asked a lot of questions from family, friends and co-workers. I'll admit sometimes it's hard not to snap at people when you hear the same questions being asked over and over, but I truly understand where they are coming from...and let's be honest I had the same questions at one point. 

1. "Where do you get your protein?" Probably my favorite question of all the time? It is often asked with a kind of affliction that suggests you are on the verge of collapsing at any moment from malnutrition. Well to answer my favorite question of all time, I compiled a list to end all lists...enjoy...

Protein: Soy Beans, Black Beans, Lima Beans, Kidney Beans, Green Peas, Lentils, Quinoa, Peanut Butter, Almond Milk, Hemp Milk, Almond Butter, Cashews, Sunflower seeds, Chia Seeds, Chickpeas/Hummus, Tempeh & Tofu (meat alternatives made from soy beans), Seitan (meat alternative made with wheat gluten), Spinach, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Kale, Mushrooms, Asparagus, Garlic, Sprouted Grain Bread, Whole Grain Bread 

Still have questions? Just listen to my man Macka B real quick...

2. "How can you be healthy and get the same vitamins from being vegan?" A big misconception is just because you don't get protein from animals, vegans are then required to take endless supplements, which sounds fun to..... nobody. In fact there is only 1 supplement vegans can take and should monitor which is B12. 

3. "What CAN you eat?" Ill admit, I sure am lucky to be going vegan in 2015. There are so many options and a way to "veganize" everything from burgers and pizza to sushi and tiramisu! Don't believe me go.... try anything at Fiction Kitchen in Raleigh, NC, where I have had friends claim their Vegan BBQ is better than any pork based BBQ they have had *That's saying a lot in our state!*.  

I am sure more questions will arise in the future, and more addressing will be needed.

Until then...

-The Tofu Warrior-

How I Cure Monday "Hangry" Syndrome

Tofu-Mushroom Stroganoff - Isa Does It

It sometimes feels like nothing can cure my "hangry" Mondays (new favorite word... hungry + angry)... except something creamy, cheesy or fatty. It's those exceptionally cranky days when I crave something satisfying and warm, that possibly goes well with a beer or a glass of wine or two. 

Last night I tried out the perfect vegan cure for my creamy cravings. I made the "Tofu-Mushroom Stroganoff" from my favorite cookbook, Isa Does It,.  

I flipped by this recipe a few times when going through the cookbook, but was always turned off by the cashew "cream" part. It seemed complicated and involved soaking cashews and honestly I didn't know if I could make it work. For Christmas I received a Nutri-Bullet, and only recently have started to use it for things other than smoothies. After last week seeing how easily it handled mulling flax seed into a smooth powder, I knew my cashew cream fear could be conquered.

I simply left about a cup of cashews to soak in the fridge for 2 hours while I went to the gym and ran some errands, all I had to do was add a little veggie broth and Nutri-Bullet the cashews for about 40 seconds and I had a creamy sauce. With some cremini mushrooms, sautéed cubed tofu, garlic, onion, tomato paste, white wine, dried thyme, and salt and pepper I ended up with a decadent dish that I was eager to have for leftovers at work today. 

Isa you did it again...

-The Tofu Warrior