New Year, New Goals, New Menu


First, check out my new apron that my sweet cousin gave me for Christmas! My first Charming Chickpea accessory and I love it! Thanks Allison!

Did I mention that I’m loving being on winter break? It’s almost 10 am and I’m still curled up on the couch in my pj’s. Guess I should work out then? It’s given me a lot of time to try new recipes for the holidays and to meal plan for next week. I wanted to come up with something fun that I usually don’t make for NYE, since it’s just Josh and I because he has to work all weekend, and last year he had just gotten out of the hospital so we had a chill NYE as well. Last year I made homemade dumplings and they were so good, so I decided it could be a little tradition and I can make them again this year. Filling dumplings, pan frying them, flute of Champagne as you go, fun times, right? There’s nothing tastier than a crispy, hot dumpling straight out of the pan. I’m going to try and make my own wrappers this morning as an experiment so I’ll let you know how it goes!

If your New Year’s Resolution involves eating healthier, giving your body a detox, helping the planet and animals, or doing something that will make you feel lighter and happier, then maybe going vegan is something you’ll consider. I know a lot of people think they can never do it, believe me I was included in that, but it’s not near as difficult as you make it out to be in your own head. I’m not going to preach that it’s what you should be doing, that’s everyone’s personal choice, but I am going to tell you how much better it has made me feel.

People look at us going vegan and ask how Josh and I are feeling, and how vegan life is going, but they see that we’re not losing weight so they’re not jumping on the bandwagon. People assume that if what you eat isn’t making you lose weight then it’s not worth the effort, not worth the time, because losing weight and looking trim is always the goal no matter what you eat. Believe me, I was hoping that going vegan would be the weight loss cure that would make me shed any excess weight in a flash, but it hasn’t and I’m starting to accept that because the way I feel on the inside is overshadowing the outside. Yes, we do eat more carbs, but we don’t eat animal fat.

Josh always says he’s feeling good, but he doesn’t know if it’s from his surgery or going vegan and that’s understandable because they both happened around the same time, but the doctor just told him his body was handling his ostomy amazingly well and he’s doing great and I can’t help but think it’s because he’s finally eating right. My IBS is finally in check after having problems since middle school and I feel more free in going out and enjoying life and my stomach feels so much more stable. I feel lighter (even though the scale isn’t saying so) and I feel better about myself. Our blood pressure has gone down, hair is growing thicker, and skin is clearing up, so I know our bodies are thanking us in some ways. I am going to work out more in 2018 and see if that’s the change I need to add to be my best self, do laundry more than once a week so it’s not a nightmare, drink more water, and take Louis on lots of walks. I hope my recipes will help you incorporate some healthy meals in your new year.

Here’s what I’m planning on making next week.

NYE- Homemade dumplings with Honey Garlic Cauliflower (and champagne of course!)

Beyond Meat Plant Based Burgers and Annie’s Vegan Mac ‘n Cheese/ Sautéed Garlic Green Beans We already know these burgers are FABULOUS, but I found a box of Annie’s Vegan Mac at Whole Foods and had to get it to try. I used to always have Annie’s, and I love a good Mac ‘n cheese so I’m interested to see if this tastes similar.

Crispy Garlic Tofu and Broccoli Soba Noodle Bowl– Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour and they’re a great source of fiber and protein so adding them in with tofu and broccoli makes for a healthy and saucy meal!

Taco Bean and Lentil Chili- I’m going to make a hearty, slightly spicy chili from beans and leftover lentils and top it with diced avocado and tortilla chips for a taco style.

Mini Vegan Calzones- I’m going to buy ready made whole wheat pizza dough and make mini calzones filled with spinach, mushroom, onion, and a little bit of the yummy vegan cheese I got from Whole Foods then dip in marinara sauce.

I hope this helps you decide what to make this week as well! I’ve found taking a little bit of extra time to meal plan and make a grocery list for the WEEK makes the rest of the week so much easier. No more wondering what to have for dinner, daily grocery runs, or ordering take out last minute because you’re too tired to think of what to make. Especially since going vegan, it’s a lot more difficult to go out to eat so meal planning is really important. Have a great week and happy New Year!

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