Vegan Week

 

The Challenge

This past week I was a Vegan

For four days I ate nothing but vegetables and roots. I had to cook and prepare each meal by myself, with no help. I had to survive from an ordered box of vegetable supplies. 

I do not know how to cook. I had never used an oven before…. This is my story

What is Vegan Week?

Vegan week is a one-of-a-kind culinary and health experience created to test and expand the limits one’s physical, emotional and mental endurance. 

I created Vegan Week for the following purpose:

  1. Health: An intense immersive experience of eating vegetables and roots; a sort of detoxification and time away from sugars, processed foods and meats.
  2. Craft: A sink-or-swim challenge of sorts, to push me to rapidly research recipes, experiment with flavours and cooking techniques in the kitchen.
  3. Explore: To experience being vegan for a week. To try something new and different. To expand my horizons with a new perspective.
  4. Challenge: Personal growth by testing my limits and challenging my comfort zone; requiring disciplined behavior over an extended period of days and abstinence from habitual cravings.

How does it work?

The rules of Vegan week are simple.For an entire week, I can only eat ingredients from a box of vegetables I ordered. That’s it.

nor

There are of course a couple exceptions that I was free to add to my cooking:

  • Olive Oil
  • Salt, Pepper, and other herbs
  • Soy Sauce
  • Hot Sauce

Why a Week?

Vegan week was initially called as such, due to poor estimations and expectations. I thought that a week is what it  would take to finish all the ingredients in the box. Oh boy was I wrong…

Day 1: ‘Stuffed Pepper Stir Fry

The Ingredients and The Recipe (How to Cook It)

Follow these steps with these ingredients to make the magic happen…

  1. Slice 1 carrot into thin slices.
  2. Chop 1 broccoli into small chunks.
  3. Cut 1 red pepper open and take out the seeds.
  4. Mince ½ of 1 onion
  5. Mince 10% of a ginger root
  6. Put about half (50%) of the carrots, broccoli, onions into a food processor.
  7. Stuff the red pepper with the processed carrots, broccoli, onions and garlic.
  8. Add the stuffed pepper with the minced vegetable mix to the pan.
  9. Add the remaining 50% of sliced vegetables to the pan.
  10. Sauté until browned; add pepper and soy sauce to sizzle for 5 minutes.
  11. Snack on a 1 raw carrot and 1 raw tomato while you wait…
  12. Serve on a bright white plate and appreciate the color of your delicious tasting food.

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The Masterpiece

The pepper and vegetable stir fry was actually delicious. The vegetables and onions were sautéed in olive oil and sizzled with soy sauce. The pepper was packed with flavour. Definitely recommended.

dav

Day 2: ‘Baked Eggplant and Veggie Delight

The Ingredients and The Recipe (How to Cook It)

Follow these steps with these ingredients to make the magic happen…

  1. Preheat Oven to 400º. Should take 10 minutes.
  2. Chop ½ broccoli
  3. Chop 3 small mushrooms
  4. Chop 2 small green peppers
  5. Chop 3 eggplants; 1 in long slices, 1 in cube chunks, 1 in round slices
  6. Chop 4 small tomatoes
  7. Take out a flat pan and wrap in tin foil
  8. Add olive oil to the flat plan
  9. Place all the vegetables on the flat pan
  10. Add salt and pepper
  11. Add chili powder
  12. Add thyme
  13. Add olive oil
  14. Let it bake for 30 minutes. Wait for glory.

dav

The Masterpiece

This recipe was a lot of fun and best of all very easy to do. I simply chopped everything up, added oil and spices and let it bake to perfection. It felt like the ferrari equivalent of a baked vegetable salad.

nor

Day 3: ‘Not so Mashed-Rootatoe

The Ingredients and The Recipe (How to Cook It)

Follow these steps with these ingredients to make the magic happen…

#1. Slice

  • 3 Golden Potatoes
  • 3 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 Ñame Baboso
  • 1 Yuca
  • 1 Otoe
  • 1 onion
  • ½ of a ginger root
  • 5 garlic pieces whole
  • Raw Snack: 1 beet with hot sauce

#2. Boil

  • Place into hotpot with cold water
  • Turn temperature to high heat
  • Add a lot of Salt… (when you think you’ve added enough, add some more)
  • Let sit until boil (40 mins)
  • Simmer for an additional 15 minutes or until soft

#3. Mash

  • Mash with your weapon of choice: Potato Ricer, Fork, Knife, Another plate +  downward push
  • Mix and Mash ⇒ Keep mixing new items in and mash as you go.
  • Add Olive Oil
  • Add Salt and Pepper

dav

The Masterpiece

I was thoroughly impressed by how well this one turned out. Not gonna lie, I was worried. I had never prepared any of these roots before, and I had no clue how the thickness or texture was going to turn out. To my surprise, the sweet potato and the ñame babosos added a rich sweetness to the flavour profile, while the yuca added a sturdy texture to the mash.

dav

Day 4: “Zero Waste Leftover Smoothie.”

The Ingredients and The Recipe (How to Cook It)

Follow these steps with these ingredients to make the magic happen…

#1. Soft Veggies:

  • 1 Red Pepper (chopped)
  • 2 Green Peppers (whole)
  • 1 Broccoli (chopped)
  • 1 Cucumber (sliced)
  • 4 Mushrooms (sliced)
  • Lots of Spinach Leaves (whole)

#2. Flavor Components:

  • 2 Garlic Cloves (whole)
  • 1 Ginger Root piece (minced)
  • ½ White Onion (chopped)
  • ½ Red Onion (chopped)
  • Add Salt
  • Add Diente de Perro Hot Sauce
  • Add Chili Powder

#3. Blend

  • Put it all in a blender. Press. Add ice as you please to smooth it down.
  • Voila, you get “Garden Smoothie”.

dav

The Masterpiece

Honestly, this dish was disgusting. There were chunky bits of poorly blended vegetables. I added way too much hot sauce and garlic. I relied on the vegetables for the ‘watery’ base when blended. And it just tasted like a pile of leaves and clumpy mud. Oh well, worth a try.

2018-07-26-20-14-31.jpeg

Reflection

This was a great week.

I conquered the Vegan Week challenge. I experimented in the kitchen. I levelled up my chef skills. And most importantly, I viciously leapt outside my comfort zone and hopefully expanded it in the process. The food was great, if not good enough, too.

The best part of the week are the lessons I take away from it.

  • Spices make the world go round… and make food more interesting and tasty.
  • You can make vegetables interesting by preparing them in different ways while serving together; sliced, chopped, minced, baked, sautéed, etc.
  • Beware of excess fiber shocking your system. This was a real issue.
  • Save money! For an entire week I ate for less than $20. I couldn’t even finish the box and had to give away most of it by day 4. I understand it wasn’t a balanced diet; but you’d be surprised how much you can save if you find these healthy bulk deals.
  • You are tougher than you think. Often we underestimate our own capacity to exercise restraint over our desires and impulses.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and are ready to take on the challenge.

Cheers till next time!
 

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