The Transition to Veganism – Week Three


As stated in my first post, my official vegan journey starts today, February 7th, along with everyone else registered for the 21 Day Kickstart Challenge.  My first two weeks got my mind right, and provided me with the opportunity to test some recipes and get the blog filled with content from first-hand experience. To catch up on what happened, you can read about my first week journey here.  Week two is at this link. This page chronicles week three.

Friday, February 7, 2014

2014-02-07 22.14.13Okay, the official start date of the 21 Day Vegan Kickstart Challenge. Lots of curious people over on my Facebook wall, but as soon as I suggest they join in I’m hearing lots of reasons why that can’t possibly happen. LOL! Anyway, I’m enjoying myself immensely. Last night was the 26th birthday of a friend’s son and I made him a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. It was quite tasty. Yes, I had a sliver. Knowing that today I was going to get up and get on the stick FO REAL.

Still struggling with eating breakfast, but I choked down some granola and almond milk.  2014-02-07 22.16.04Then for dinner I ate the last one of my leftover stuffed mushrooms with hummus “gravy”, along with some marinated tomatoes/onions/cucumber salad and this Citrus Collard Green with Raisins dish. Yum.

Made a pot of Minestrone soup from my old recipe, but left out the chicken broth and used this new no-chicken stuff from Imagine Foods. I REALLY had to work on the spice combination and use a lot more than normal. But something was still missing. I figured it out and added a couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast and BAM! There it was. The rich broth I was used to. Put it into the refrigerator to have tomorrow.

Worked on the blog some more putting up recipes and taking pictures. Before bed I snacked on two mandarin oranges. Went to bed early because I didn’t sleep too well last night.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Drove into Berkeley this morning to get some things I needed that aren’t sold locally. Went to that Super Natural Foods Store in the Sky – The Berkeley Bowl. OMG! They have everything in that store in the world. I got smoked salt, smoked paprika, tempeh and a few other things I’ve needed for the coming week. I want to remake my red beans and rice without the Louisiana hot sausage. So I looked for something called Tofurkey Andouille sausage there. They had every type of Tofurkey sausage BUT the one I needed. So Plan B = make your own. And that’s what I’m gonna do.vegan minestrone soup recipe

In the meantime my order of Coconut Bacon arrived, so I’ll be experimenting with that soon. How exciting! Heated up some of my Minestrone soup after I got back from Berkeley, and it was THE BOMB. Oh man, so much better today than yesterday.  That was a huge bowl of soup and over a 20 minute period I ate the whole thing. Luckily I have more which I plan to eat today. I need some sourdough bread so I can make garlic toast!

I was gifted with three vegan cookies, and snacked on one with some almond milk about 7:00 pm. Worked on more recipes and put up more information on the blog about hypertension research studies. Green tea while reading. People are doing some really good stuff with diet and its impact on various health problems. My issue is going to be how to make sure as many African Americans get this information into their hands as possible, which is why I sought permission to reproduce the study results on my blog.

Didn’t eat enough today, I know that. Gotta do better to make sure I keep my nutrition sound. Tomorrow is another day. Taking things one day at a time. Each day vow to do better than the day before.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

2014-02-09 12.44.45Got up this morning with the goal of making a broccoli quiche using my The Vegg sample. Can’t wait to try this stuff and see how it tastes in a recipe. Looked at how they want you to make scrambled eggs and it seems far too complicated. Maybe later in the week.  Right now I don’t want to get too hungry and I need to go to the store first then put it together and bake it for 45 minutes.

This quiche is really easy to make. After using the recipe exactly as written, there are a few things I would change, which I have done on the version posted on the site.

It was actually quite tasty. I was shocked at how much like boiled eggs THE VEGG smelled, and looked like egg yolk when whipped up. You really should give that stuff a try. Here is the link to my product review.

Monday-Wednesday, February 12, 2014vegan mayonnaise from

I’ve been so busy building up the site that I forgot to come on here and blog about what I’ve been doing. More experimenting, that’s what!  On Monday I made some mayonnaise. That’s right, threw out that nasty stuff I bought at the store and made some. And is it ever delish. Yum yum. Try making some for yourself and see the difference. I’ll never buy mayonnaise again if I can help it.

This stuff was creamy, smooth, and the perfect balance of tart and sweetness. I was going to make a sandwich or something today, but decided to try making a lentil loaf instead. That worked out pretty good. I didn’t have any regular tomato sauce, so I spiced it up with some El Pato spicy tomato sauce. Whew! Really gave it some zing. After reviewing about 50 different recipes, I decided to just go with my usual one for meatloaf, changing the meat to the equivalent volume of lentils. Worked out just fine.

2014-02-12 18.04.50Didn’t have breakfast today – I went straight to lunch and polished off the rest of the minestrone I’d made the other day. It’s finally gone.

On Monday I made a pasta dish with a creamy kale sauce. Topped it with roasted butternut squash cubes. Called myself taking pictures but none of them seemed to have made it to the camera gallery correctly. I don’t know what happened. But that stuff was really good! Two thumbs up.

On Tuesday I made an Ethiopian inspired dish with yams that was fabulous. Tore that up. What I liked about it is that it made about 1.5 servings instead of the 900 servings many of these dishes make. They’re for entire families, not just one person. That’s all right – there will come a time when I won’t have to cook for a week because I can just pull things out of the freezer to eat.

I also got up this morning and made a big pot of vegetable stock. I want to make some red beans and rice this week, but I refuse to spend $10 buying quarts of vegetable stock! Made a big ole pot of stock, enough to cook today’s lentils, have a cup to drink and sock away for my beans for about $1.50. DAT’S WHAT AHM TALKIN BOUT!

Making vegetable brothPeople say they lose weight when they are vegan, but I’m not seeing that happening!

I do think I’m losing some inches because I can see where some of my clothes are fitting looser. But nothing is being reflected on the scale yet. Maybe when my foot finally heals so I can stop limping then I’ll be able to get back into my routine of walking a couple of miles per day. Right now its entirely too painful to gimp my way up and down the street just to the store, let alone go for miles on a fitness walk.  🙁

Anyway, I’m enjoying the variety of foods, the experimenting, and all the new tastes and smells. There are so many more things one can do with hundreds of vegetables and fruits than one can do with five or six types of meat.

With that said, I’m going to have a surprise for everyone in the morning because I’m getting ready to try my hand at making something I never thought I’d try…

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Vegan red beans and vegan sausages by Deborrah CooperWow, the weeks are flying by! I’m already headed into an entire month of vegan eating, and it really wasn’t difficult. Last night… well actually it was about 1:00 am, I decided to try my hand at making vegan sausages. The reason is I wanted some red beans and rice, and the use of those smokey spicy Louisiana Cajun sausages is OUT.

So I flipped around on the web and saw lots of variations for vegan sausages. I thought about the different spices and how they tasted, and came up with a mixture that I thought would work well. This is what they looked like before rolling them up.

Then this morning I got up and made the red beans. Used kidney beans for the first time every because I couldn’t find any small red beans like I usually use. seasoned them just like I usually do, but had to go back and add a lot more herbs and salt due to the lack of sodium in the vegan sausages. I’m feeling quite pleased with myself for my kitchen inventiveness.

Tomorrow starts week four!