Since going vegan, it’s still nice to be able to have a burger and mac ‘n cheese and still incorporate foods you know and love and not have to give everything up. Granted they’re not the brands or ingredients your used to, but they are still delicious. I made Beyond Meat Plant Based burgers (these are the BEST vegan frozen burgers I’ve had and 20 grams of protein!), organic Annie’s vegan mac ‘n cheese (found at Whole Foods), and roasted garlic green beans. I also sauteed some leftover shiitake and button mushrooms to go on top of our burgers and it was all DELISH! I split my burger in half because I need to go back to eating half portions, which I always used to do to keep things under control and always ate off small plates to trick my brain into thinking I was eating more. When we went vegan, it’s easy to think you can eat larger portions because it’s healthy and you eat a lot of fresh produce and food that’s good for you but apparently that’s not all true, so back to half portions of high calorie foods like the burgers and mac.
I was SO excited to find the familiar box of Annie shells mac because it’s something we used to have all the time in my house, but this kind is made with pumpkin and butternut squash for the color, but it was much smoother and more delicious than when I tried to make mac. You just boil the pasta, drain, add almond milk, little vegan butter, and the packet of “cheese” powder.
I cooked the frozen burgers in a pan with a little spray olive oil and they’re done in under 10 minutes. They have the same consistency and a scary accurate smoky flavor of a beef burger. I sauteed the mushrooms with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce and served my burger on a piece of sprouted grain toast with vegan Earth Balance mayo and mustard. YUM!
Roasted Garlic Green Beans
These are crispy, garlicy, and a much healthier version of fries. They still give you the flavor with added nutrition and less calories.
1 lb of french style green beans, ends snapped and washed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
sprinkle of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oven to 375*
- Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl and then spread on a lined baking sheet so they’re not on top of each other.
- Roast about 20-30 minutes under green beans are crisp.
With all of this being said, it was a really yummy meal that made me happy that we can still be vegan and have these comforting meals but I realize that these packaged, processed foods are filled with extra salt and fat and they’re probably holding us back on our weight loss goals. They’re really nice to have when transitioning because you don’t feel so left out, but it’s a huge lifestyle change and you have to do the best you can to see all of the effects. As another resolution, I’m going to try to cut some of these fake meats/ fake cheeses out when possible and try to stick to a more plant based approach and see if that makes a difference. We don’t eat them a ton, but I still want to try harder. Wish us luck!