Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Quinoa and Black Bean Lettuce Wraps

One of the things I find absurdly amusing is when people find out you are a vegan they all of the sudden have their PhDs in nutrition!

"How can you be getting enough protein with no meat?"

"But, but, but....don't you have to drink cow's milk to get all your calcium in?"
           -Nope. Not at all.

I find it pointless to try to argue or reason with people who have already made up their mind that they are right and you are wrong. So, yeah...

Tonight was another quick, easy, and yummy meal. I like stuff like this on the nights I work!
(Original recipe found here:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tostadas on Corn Tortillas w/ Re-fried Beans, Salsa, and Lettuce

We used to eat a LOT of flour tortillas. A Lot. We used them in place of bread. We are working on liking corn tortillas. They are definitely better when cooked! The beans are vegetarian. I was surprised to learn a lot of re-fried beans have lard. Gross. We always have a huge jug of salsa around so this meal came together very easily which is good since I work tonight!

Monday, April 22, 2013

How Did We Get Here? A Vegan, Gluten Free Family.

I'm going to start keeping track of our dinners. I want to do this for a couple reasons. One: I want to be able to look back and see what meals I have made so I can reference them when making future meal plans. Two: maybe somehow someone on the vast Internet will come across this blog and be in the same situation and find some hope. So how did we get here? How on Earth did we become a vegan, gluten free family? It is not something I ever imagined doing but here we are. Here is out story:

The bug first bit me in my Nutrition class during nursing school: around November of 2010. It suddenly hit me that being a vegetarian was something I wanted to try not only for me, but for my family as well. The trick  was going to be getting my meat and potatoes husband to go for it. When I came home and presented it to him, his response was, "Ok. I will eat whatever you cook." Fair enough! It was on! I started by making things we ate anyway (tacos, lasagna, etc) but replace the meat with other things or just eliminated it all together. It went over well and everyone was fed and happy.

Fast forward to February of this year. I was feeling really crappy, really tired, and really worn down all the time. It got so bad I actually went to the doctor. My vitamin D level was critically low and I was referred on to a Rheumatologist. At that point, I decided to go ahead and make the jump to vegan. I had witnessed my brother's amazing success being vegan (check out his awesome and hilarious blog: Fat Kid Chronicle) and had been doing some of my own research about it as well. For us it came down to 2 reasons: cheap and healthy. Cheap: people like to think eating healthy is expensive. Really, it is not the case. A bag of lentils and a box of quinoa does not cost much at all. You know what is expensive? Meat, cheese, and milk. Healthy: you cannot deny the health benefits of this diet. Is it the only healthy way to eat? No. Are there many other healthy diets out there? Sure. Do I care that you are not a vegan? Not really. I am in the school of thought that most people do things in their life because they have done research and are doing what is best for them. I respect that about you so please respect that about me.

Now, let's throw another little monkey wrench in. At our youngest son's 1 year well child check we discovered that he had been consistently loosing weight since he was 6 months old. He only weighed barely over 15 pounds at 1 year old. We started keeping a food diary and found that he was eating plenty and the weight loss did not make a lot of sense. I started using my nursing knowledge and the wonderful Internet and came to the conclusion that the poor baby in gluten intolerant. Once we removed the gluten in his diet, he started gaining some weight and some of his other symptoms disappeared! Wonderful! But finding things that are gluten free as well as vegan is quite a challenge. In fact, it is overwhelming at this point. I'm hoping that by keeping track it will become easier. That is the goal anyway. So that is how we got here. I will try and post what we have for dinner every night but I am a full time nurse and a mom of 6 so bear with me if I miss and night or two!

Chickpea Patties with Curry Mayo and a Side Salad with Apples and Red Peppers
(adapted from original recipe found here: