Saturday, July 7, 2012

Weekend Cooking: VeggieChallenge Week 1

As I told in my starting post, I will be participating in the VeggieChallenge. This is a Dutch initiative to make people aware and challenge them to consume less meat, fish and animal products for a month. People are allowed to set their own challenge. Like going meatless for 1 day a week, or for the whole week, it is all possible. Because I already eat vegetarian most of the time, I decided to challenge myself to eat vegan for 2 days a week in July. So for about the next 4 weeks I will post updates on how it all went including tasty recipes!

Peanut Butter Truffles

My two vegan days for the past week were Tuesday and Wednesday and this is what I ate:
Breakfast: Vegan bread with mushroom pate from the store. - I didn't really like this pate to be honest and that won't be a repeater.
Lunch: Vegan bread with mashed avocado, black pepper and some lemon juice. - How I love a good avocado! Simple but delicious.
Dinner: Thai Carrot Soup from the app How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.
Snacks: Cherries and peanut butter truffles.

Apple Cherry Smoothie

Breakfast: Vegan bread and dark chocolate sprinkles.
Lunch: Was supposed to be the soup from Tuesday, but a friend stayed over for dinner so I just made another sammy. This time with peanut butter and cucumber.
Dinner: Fish Flavoured Eggplant with noodles. From the Dutch book Puur Plantaardig. Those were totally yummy!! And my favorite dish of the week!
Snacks: Peanut butter truffles, cucumber and a vegan apple-cherry smoothie.

The recipe for the Peanut Butter Truffles I posted earlier this week as part of the Foodblogevent. Find the recipe here!

Apple and Cherry Smoothie: (serves 2)
- 1 apple, chopped
- 20 cherries, pitted
- 1 banana, sliced
- 1 kiwi
- a handful of berries (blue, red, black, rasp, whatever you have)
- Cloudy apple juice

Put the cherries in the blender first, then add apple, kiwi, banana and berries. Blend with a generous splash of apple juice to loosen.

Fish Flavored Eggplant: (serves 4) (adapted from Puur Plantaardig)
- 2 eggplants
- 500ml oil for frying
- 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 4 spring onions, chopped, white and green parts seperated
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- juice of one lemon
- 1 tsp sesame oil

Cut the eggplants into cubes. Heat the oil in a large wok, until the oil smokes. Fry the eggplant in the oil for about 3-4 minutes in two portions. Scoop them out and leave the eggplant on kitchen towels to soak in the excess oil. Pour the oil in a jar or something but leave a tiny bit in the pan. Add sweet chili sauce, ginger, garlic and the white parts of the spring onions and stir fry that shortly. Add the soy sauce, eggplant and lemon juice and stir fry for another 2 minutes. Lastly add the green parts of the spring onions and drizze with the sesame oil. I served them with noodles but you can also serve it with rice. 

I don't know if it was really fish flavored but the eggplant was so juicy and the combination was just totally delicious! 

Some things I encountered:
- I think it is harder trying to go vegan if your house is still full with non vegan food.
- There are so many things I want to try that it is a bit overwhelming. The vegan Mayonnaise I planned to make didn't happen yet.
- I discovered that I can go without milk products and eggs just fine. It is the cheese that I miss. In the Netherlands we don't have that many tasty faux cheeses.
- You have to make a lot more yourself, which I don't always have the energy for.
- I NEED vegan alternatives for toasties ;)
- The organic store I have access to is rather small and they don't have all the stuff I need. Like natural yeast for example. This makes an extra challenge to plan stuff. (also an obstacle to make cheezy alternatives.)

This may not sound that positive but these are just some things I ran into. I am pretty much enjoying myself experimenting. But I do hate the fact that I don't have all the resources I need and that my chronic illness prevents me from doing everything I want to do. But the latter is just something I have to live with. Sometimes I am just bummed out about it though. Anyway, I already know that now that I have taken the first steps, I will keep on experimenting after July is over. I just needed this push!

For next week I am keeping it simple. I will cook one vegan bulk meal for dinner, so I can focus on making my own spread(s) for my sammies and I have an idea for a vegan toastie. More on that next week.

This post is part of Weekend Cooking. Please make sure to check the other participants as well :)


  1. I'm really interested in following your challenge. I was curious about a vegan recipe with the word "fish" in it, but I see it's eggplant! Sounds like you did okay, despite the limited resources. I understand your frustration because I live in a small town and I often have trouble finding ingredients.

  2. The peanut butter truffles look great -- certainly proves that vegan doesn't have to be boring! Good luck with the rest of the challenge!

  3. Everything looks good, but I'm not a big fish lover.
    Here's Mine

  4. Fun challenge.
    Have a great week.

  5. Peanut butter truffles are a fun vegan treat! I think a good reason to do challenges like this is to figure out what the problems are.

  6. I don't eat much milk and cheese as I have trouble with lactose, but I would miss eggs. I do agree with the idea of adding a few more vegan dishes to my diet. Now I'm going to check your truffle recipe.

  7. I fully support your quest for vegan alternatives. If you could let your local store know that you want to order more things, I'm sure they would oblige...

  8. I am glad you mentioned that the eggplant didn't taste all that fishy because I was trying to figure out where that flavour was going to come from. The recipe does sound pretty good still though!

    Good luck with your challenge for next week!

  9. I commend you on your quest, my nephew is eating vegan and I enjoy learning more about it.

  10. We too live in a smaller community. Our daughter-in-law has milk and wheat allergies. So she really would love to eat vegan. She live in the Phoenix area in Arizona, so she has lots of choices. It really does help to have the resources. Good luck in your future challenges.

  11. Resources make a big difference--as well as what you have in your house already. I'm so wanting to get rid of all the processed food we have in the pantry but don't really want to eat it or throw it away. So food banks? Starting clean would be helpful! Good luck--the apple cherry smoothie sounds delicious!

  12. You're doing well! Of course there are always things to figure out so that they can fit your lifestyle. It doesn't happen overnight LOL. It took me a while to find the right ingredients as well (1.5 years to get my hands on 'black salt'!) but in the end you'll get there. You can always ask the health food store if they're prepared to order nutritional yeast for you!

    Glad to hear the (maybe not really fish flavoured) eggplant is delish - will try that soon! :) Good luck with Week #2!

  13. Succes! :)

    Enneh, ik woon zelf op een afstand van vijf kwartier aan openbaar vervoer van de dichtstbijzijnde grote natuurwinkel af dus ik snap hoe lastig dat is! ;) Ik heb op een gegeven moment overigens een flinke bus edelgist (nutritional yeast) online besteld en daar doe ik nu al een paar maanden mee. Ik kon het namelijk zelfs niet vinden bij Gimsel in Rotterdam en dat is verreweg de grootste natuurvoedingssupermarkt die ik ken!

    Goed, heel veel plezier de komende dagen en ik blijf je volgen. Ben heel benieuwd hoe het je allemaal gaat bevallen!

    1. Edelgist was een poosje niet leverbaar dus was het overal moeilijk te krijgen/op. Ik denk dat Gimsel het nu wel heeft. Staat meestal op een plek waar je niet direct zoekt, namelijk de voedingssupplementen... (net als lijnzaad, terwijl ik dat ook bij de granen of zaden zou zoeken). Maar inderdaad, je doet lang met zo'n bus!