My Veggie/Vegan Diary – Aquafaba, Couscous and a Husband in Distress.

Well, vegan month rolled around fast. I can honestly say that vegetarian month was a doddle. As a vegan, I can’t use any of the artificial sweeteners in my cupboard. Cheap biscuits, cakes and chocolate bars are out, and I can’t eat eggs but the best thing has happened, I’ve recruited my lovely husband Nigel as my sidekick in this experiment. We’ve both weighed in and have high hopes of feeling full of energy and dropping a bit of weight in the knowledge that we are doing good for the environment and not harming any living creatures. We’ll report our loss (or gain) at the end of the month. This was his reaction (below) when I told him of ‘our’ plan for the month. He is going to miss everything especially when he finds out that most beer isn’t suitable for vegans. Month in front of the telly? I’m thinking, what we spend on vegan substitutes, we’ll save on not going out.

 

How did vegetarian month go?
Finding food that is marked up ‘suitable for vegetarians’ is easy and vegetarian food is available in abundance. Most restaurants have a few options on the menu and will adapt to your dietary requirements with ease, making the vegetarian’s world a good one. Everyday convenience foods are cheap and the frozen food selection is vast, from bean burgers to pies, to soya protein. As for my weight over vegetarian month, I put on 3.5 lb. I could’ve approached the month with a healthier mindset but I chose not to. I can’t blame vegetarianism for my weight gain but I can blame my holiday and my increased reliance on cheeses and ice cream.

How does vegetarianism compare to being vegan?
Well shopping was difficult. All my weekday evening shortcuts to quick meal making have been scuppered. The bean burgers and veggie sausages are suitable for vegetarians, not vegans. Most of them seem to contain egg. The substitute chicken I used during vegan month does have a vegan option – is however more expensive.

So – what next?
I’m going to have to back to basics. Instead of bean burgers, I’ve bought many tins of beans. Butter beans, kidney beans, chick peas, borlotti beans etc. Tonight will be a chick pea and Indian spiced rice night. I have 3 bananas that are on the turn. I hate waste. I’ve discovered that vegans use something called aquafaba as an egg replacement in baking. Aquafaba is the gloopy bean juice that you drain from the can. The stuff that normally ends up down the plughole! I’m going to make a chocolate (cocoa) banana sponge using chick pea juice as an egg substitute. This could be interesting. I’m worried it will end up in the bin. It sounds so wrong but then again why do eggs sound so right? Fun night in for me. I’ll keep you posted on my aquafaba chocolate banana cake.

My lunch today.

Roasted vegetable couscous with kidney beans. Yesterday, I roasted a pan full of thinly sliced carrots, sliced courgettes, peppers, onions, a chilli and mushrooms for about 20 minutes at 180. I threw in a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, some cumin and my beloved chilli powder.

While the veg was roasting, I made up a bit of couscous, adding vegan stock powder, tomato puree and a bit of onion powder to the mix. When the veggies were roasted, I added them to the couscous along with a tin of kidney beans and sweetcorn. This concoction is my vegan lunch for the next four days and it is rather tasty.

 

Hope your day’s going well. Hope you’re enjoying your cheap convenience foods while I’m slaving in the kitchen. I’m not jealous of all your extra time – honest. I’m jealous of your cheap bakery cookies though – humph!

Tootle pip,
Carla Kovach.

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With the help of best friend Beverley, forty-five-year-old primary school teacher Annie Henderson, is hanging up her beloved cardigans and rediscovering her sexy inner-siren. Why? Because of a proposition made ten years ago. Jason’s words have never left her. ‘Meet me at Marmaris Castle, ten years from now, seven in the evening.’ 

As she battles with killer heels, bikini waxes and ill-fitting underwear, she toils with the doubts that swim through her head. ‘Will he turn up? If he does turn up, will he like me? Will I like him?’ After all, her only dream is for a happy ever after. Corny, yes – but it’s true. She wants her dream man, she wants him to fulfil all her desires and most of all she wants him to be the one. Is ten years too much of a gap though? 
Meet me at Marmaris Castle is a romantic comedy full of mishap, awkwardness and severe problems with fashion. 

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