Well, we made it.
Ron and I did a little experiment recently. As part of a cleanse, we went seven days without eating any animal products – and that was despite Ron’s best efforts to argue that a chicken is a bird, and not an animal, and therefore we could eat chicken wings.
We could not eat chicken wings. We did not eat any chicken, beef, pork, fish or seafood. We did not eat any eggs. We did not eat any dairy – no cheese, no milk, no butter. All of these things are usually staples in our diet.
While Ron panicked about going a full week without chicken wings, I worried about living without cheese and eggs. I do make vegetarian meals sometimes, but going completely vegan was a challenge.
With a bit of effort to plan for the week, it actually wasn’t that difficult. There are so many non-animal protein sources, including plant protein, nuts, seeds, and beans. My energy level was great, I found I didn’t drink as much coffee, and I slept really well. Perhaps this is something I need to consider doing more often.
We even went for supper twice, to our favourite ribs place, Tony Roma’s, where we ordered roasted vegetables on flatbread and a salad, and to Earl’s, where we had a delicious Thai carrot soup, a salad and sourdough bread.
I used the weekend to make a couple of suppers. First, a batch of a really tasty vegan chili with black-eyed peas and quinoa, and then a batch of vegan baked beans (minus the molasses). The chili was a meal on its own, and we ate the beans with a roasted veggie quesadilla.
A work colleague who happens to be a vegan was my inspiration for the week giving me ideas on things to eat. She also gave me a vegan breakfast bar that she makes, and I got the recipe and made it this weekend. It is delish and packed with healthy stuff. I am sure kids would love this as a granola bar – and you know the ingredients are healthy, unlike the packaged kind. I am not big into baking, but this is easy and quick to make.
First, the wet ingredients – melted coconut oil, honey (from my favourite local producer, Zee-Bee Honey), maple syrup, vanilla and almond butter (I used 3/4 cup almond butter and 1/4 cup peanut butter).
To this I added the oats and then a combination of nuts, seeds and sweet stuff – pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, unsweetened coconut, non-dairy chocolate chips, and chopped dates.
Press it firmly into a pan and bake it, then chill it before cutting it into portions. I am going to bag portions of it and freeze it – easy to grab breakfast or a meal replacement when I’m in a rush. Lots of protein and flavour in this, and kind to animals!
Vegan Breakfast/Granola Bar
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup Zee-Bee honey
- 2 tbsp vanilla
- 1 cup natural almond butter
- 4 cups large flake oats
- 2 cups seeds/nuts/coconut/chocolate chips combo
- mix all wet ingredients then blend in dry ingredients
- press into greased 9×13 pan
- press firmly into pan
- bake at 325 for 15-20 minutes
- chill to set before cutting into portions
NOTE: a variety of seeds and nuts can be used, but hemp seeds lose their nutritional value when cooked so avoid using those.