I’m doing a “cleanse” with some friends — really, just a few weeks of vegan (and gluten-free, in this case) eating, which is not unusual for me, but it usually makes me feel better, and I’ve been feeling a little puny lately. Anyway, I thought I’d write down the menus I’m using, for my reference, and others’. On this particular challenge, there are no animal products, gluten, alcohol (which I don’t drink), caffeine (which I rarely drink), or refined ugar. Not too tough for me, but it’ll be fun to be in a group with people new to this way of eating, so here goes:
Breakfasts will be one of the following, with lots of repeats. I’m boring at breakfast.
- O’Brien potatoes, fried in olive oil or “fried” in water
- Oatmeal with raisins, with or without agave syrup (I know not everyone counts honey as an animal product, but I do)
- Cold cereal with homemade (unsweetened) soymilk or rice milk or nut milk (for rice/nut milk: 1 cup cooked brown rice or raw nuts or soaked nuts, 4 cups water; blend and strain if desired. Vanilla and sweeteners and salt are all optional; I skip them. Mom just gave me a soymilk maker, so I will see how that goes and let you know.)
- Leftovers from another meal
Lunch will be a huge salad every day. Easiest for me to just plan it that way. I have tons of good salad dressing recipes that I will try to collect if anyone’s interested.
Dinners will come from this list, or from improvisation. I’m unlikely to do them in this order. I’m on furlough for the month of July, so I have all the time in the world to cook and shop for fresh produce. I may shoot from the hip more often than this, but I like being prepared. I also always add some kind of cooked or raw non-starchy vegetable with each meal, but I decide that based on what’s good at the market, so I mostly didn’t specify.
- Stir-fried tofu and veggies over brown rice
- Polenta with wild mushroom sauce
- Red, Gold, Black and Green chili (with TVP instead of bulgur)
- Curried chickpeas and kale with brown rice
- Thai black pepper and garlic tofu
- Vegan taco salad
- Split pea soup
- Black bean burgers with homemade salsa and guacamole
- Falafel, hummus, baba ganouj, and quinoa tabbouli (sub quinoa for bulgur wheat). I confess I always fry my falafel, not bake them.
- Stuffed grape leaves (no recipe here; I just stuff them with brown rice, tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, onions, salt, and whatever else strikes my fancy, then cook them in a pot)
- Roasted ratatouille over polenta
- Farmer’s pie (vegan shepherd’s pie), using chickpea gravy thickened with cornstarch instead of flour
- Thai red curry rice noodles with veggies and either tofu or chickpeas
- Red beans and rice
- Black bean tostadas
- Mashed potatoes and chickpea gravy thickened with cornstarch instead of flour
- What we call ‘summer feast’ around here: Good tomatoes with olive oil, fresh garlic, fresh basil, and salt; whatever fruit is in season (watermelon, peaches, whatever), and corn on the cob.
- Veggie and/or TVP tacos
- Corn and potato chowder (using homemade non-dairy milk)
- Barbecued tofu (homemade no-sugar barbecue sauce — tomato paste, a little mustard, onion sweated in a little oil, some water, some smoked paprika, and optional natural sweetener — frozen apple juice concentrate works well); poppyseed cole slaw; corn on the cob and/or baked potatoes
- Fried rice