Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lifestyle Change.

Whew! It has been forever since my last post & so so much has happened!
I guess the most prominent one would be that my husband & I have both become vegans.
Around Christmastime I discovered a site through Pinterest that had TONS of oatmeal recipes. I adore oatmeal. Seriously I thrive on it. The site is called Chocolate Covered Katie & it is just full of different desserts (a ton of which I have tried. All good). But for me the main attraction was the oatmeal. Peanut Butter Breakfast Pudding & Coffee Frappuccino Oatmeal are two of my favorites. I made them so very many times with the whole milk that was always in my fridge. Then I started wondering how different they would taste with soy or almond milk. I love soy milk & always get them in my lattes. I started wondering how big of a change it would be to become vegan. How hard would it be? Could I live without cheese & whole milk? What about my cold cereal? Bottled Starbucks drinks? Olive Garden soup & breadsticks!?!?

I didn't think I could do it. But I couldn't get it off my mind. So I got realistic.
Of course I could live without all of the aforementioned things. Would it be hard? Maybe. But the fact is I could do it. The real questions were.. What would my husband think? Would he be supportive? What would happen to our date nights?
Would he be okay only going to restaurants with vegan options? Would he mind if I didn't eat the same meals. Could I handle giving up meat & dairy but still preparing them for my husband & kids?

I decided to ask his thoughts on the matter. And to my surprise he said he would be completely fine with it. His only question was, "Do I have to become vegan?" I said I would never make him & he replied with, "Well , then we'll have to find some good vegan restaurants for our date nights."
What an amazing man I married. ;)

I decided that I was going to become a vegan for one year & see what I thought. Derick started doing his own research about it. He watched a bunch of documentaries & read info on the web.. After just a few days he informed me that he would be joining me on my vegan adventure! :)

We're still in the process of stocking our vegan pantry. It's definitely not something you can do all at once. But our inventory is growing. :)
It's so fun to try out new recipes. One of my favorite things about this switch is that my husband cooks with me now on the weekends. And he enjoys it! I love sharing the stove with him. Both of us leaning over a pan of sauteing veggies & soaking in the aroma together.
We've been vegan for a little over a month now & I have realized something... I am pretty confident that I would have failed on my own. My husband has been such a great support & motivation for me. It's almost too easy. :)

Well, after all of that.. I want to share a recipe. I have a handful of recipes to share, but this one was just too easy & too delicious not to share first. Have you ever had Cantaloupe stuffed chicken salad? It's amazing. But obviously the chicken is a no-no. I was craving it this afternoon & I asked Derick what he thought we could sub out for the chicken. I couldn't decide between spinach, spring salad or some sort of grain.. Then he suggested coleslaw! And the rest is history. :)
This was our dinner tonight:

This is the Perfect dish for summer. It's so light, but incredibly satisfying. We paired it with some Tofu Tom Kha Phak Thai Coconut Soup (it was from a can, I'm not quite that awesome yet). It was delicious!
And there's really no measuring. Just kind of eyeball the amounts.

Cantaloupe Coleslaw Salad:

1 cantaloupe
Shredded green & purple cabbage (or a bag of undressed coleslaw)
1 carrot, grated.
A couple tablespoons of vegenaise
Purple grapes (Green would totally work too. The purple just look prettier, I think)
Slivered almonds (or you could even do pecans)
Pepper to taste

In a large bowl. measure out enough of the cabbage for two people & grate in the carrot (if you use pre-made coleslaw, omit the carrot). Mix in a couple of tablespoons of vegenaise & mix well. Add enough to cover all of the cabbage, but you don't want it to be runny or overdressed. The juice from the cantaloupe is going to help moisten the slaw. Toss in a handful or two of grapes, about 1/4 cup of almonds & pepper to taste.
Cut your melon in half & remove the seeds. Stuff it with your slaw & enjoy! :)
This makes a perfect lunch on a warm day & pairs well with soup or maybe a small serving of pasta for dinner.

Also! You could easily make this for a group by making the slaw in a large bowl & adding cubed cantaloupe to it instead. Tastes the same, just a different presentation. :)

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Please let me know what you think, if you try it! :D