On Week One

February 20, 2013

As of the publishing of this post, i’m halfway through my 21 day adventure in abstinence! I’m alive! And fairly well, I must say. I only cheated once, when I drank a tiny tin cup masala tea with milk in it, because I didn’t have the heart to send it back!

I wanted to check in, and give you all some of my more successful recipes for tasty vegan grub!

Mind. Ok. I wasn’t really prepared for the caffeine headaches. I will say that. I likely should have weened myself off instead of going cold turkey. I had gorgeous blood orange tea while a friend drank a flat white, and I wanted one so bad! Also, I formally disagree with anyone who has suggested there is some kind of mental acuity associated with hunger. I miss things (good bread and cheese seem to top the list), but that’s to be expected, and I spent about 45 minutes salivating over the St. Anselm menu yesterday. But  going without has helped me realize that I should stick to eating the best bread and cheese if I love it so much, which doesn’t include deli egg and cheese sandwiches on hard rolls. Dealing with the stress of work and life without a glass of bourbon (or four) to come home to has been a challenge, one that i’m better off for attempting. I am astounded at how productive I can be in a weekend sans-hangover.

I made myself these avocado chocolate mousses to celebrate making it through my first week!

Recipe, here, except I used unsweetened chocolate.


I’m lucky to have a cohort in cleansing, Ms. Katie Hards, who has been great! Supportive without taking this ish too seriously!


BODY. I seriously feel awesome. I have a crazy awesome amount of energy. I’ve been moving more – from walking home from work to taking dance classes. Samba this Saturday was really a blast. It was fun, and a serious workout shaking it to live drummers for an hour and a half. My pants fit better, and it seems like I lost about 8 pounds in the first 10 days, which is crazy.Also, my skin looks fantastic.

WALLET: In Week One alone I saved $50 by bringing my lunch every day, and an estimated $120 on bar tabs. BUT there is a definite time cost incurred to prep all that delicious grub.(This is a huge problem I have with the USDA’s Thrifty Food Plan. Eating cheap AND healthy can be seriously time consumptive. Luckily, I really like doing it. Getting my mis-on is serious therapy for me after a long day behind a computer. I also spent more on groceries than usual, and got a mani/pedi on Saturday, because, duh, TREAT YO SELF.

CULTCHA: I’ve been trying to keep busy, but work is kind of starting to get a little crazy town, so I don’t have as much free-time as I thought I did.  I saw Toro Y Moi with Wild Belle on Valentine’s Day with my favorite lady, who made me a great dinner. Going to a concert sober was pretty interesting. I was able to stand right up front because I wasn’t concerned with being near a bar! The dance classes count as culture, right?


The Grub. Ok, so my cookin’ has been on point! I ususally have a green juice or oatmeal for breakfast, a salad or leftovers for lunch, and then concentrate on making myself really nice dinners. Here are two especially good ones, with recipes! You’ll notice that they have a lot of the same ingredients, cause I made a huge pot of black beans and a big bowl of cashew cream last week!


Black Bean Quinoa Burgers with Avocado Mash and Cashew Creamphoto(6)

Click through for recipes!

You Need:

2 cups black beans

1 1/4 cups cooked quinoa

1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used rice crackers smashed up)

1 red bell pepper

2 carrots

1 bunch green onions

3 cloves garlic

tbsp cumin

1/2 tbsp ancho powder

3 limes

olive oil

1. Cook your quinoa and beans (you can used can if you need). Mash the beans up the best you can (I used a hand blender and this was great).

2. Saute peppers, onion, carrot, and garlic until soft. Add cumin and ancho and cook for about 3 minutes, just to cook those in a little bit.

3. Add your spicy sauteed veg to the black beans. Add the quinoa, juice of limes,  breadcrumbs and mix together. Add a little bit of water if you find it hard to work with.

4. form into patties (I think thinner work better, for crispiness), and cook them in a well olive oiled medium high pan until brown on each side.

I served mine up on napa lettuce wraps, which was a delight. For the cashew cream, cover 1/2 cup of raw unsalted cashews with water or veg stock, whiz in a food processor or blender with salt, pepper, garlic, and whatever other spices you’re into. Add some water or veg stock til you get a consistency you like.

Collard Green Enchiladas

You need:

9 collard green leaves

2 cups cooked brown rice

1/2 large butternut squash, diced and roasted

2 cups black beans

1 large onion

1 red bell pepper

4 cloves garlic

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp ancho

1 bunch cilantro

enchilada sauce (mine is literally a can of chipotles in adobo + a can of roasted diced organic tomatoes, cooked in a little oil and then whizzed smooth)

salt and pepper

1. Bring a small pot of water to boil. Blanche your collard greens a few at a time for about 30 seconds. This will make them malleable for wrapping, and a pretty color.

2. Dice and sautee all your veg and garlic until soft! Add the spices like before. Preheat oven to 350.

3. Combine the rice, whole black beans, and veggies.

4. Cut the stem off of the collard greens, and lay one flat on your cutting board. Add about 1/4 of filling, and wrap em’ up.


5. Put them seam down on an oiled pan with a lip. I used a glass pie pan. Coat with enchilada sauce and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.

6. Finish ’em off with fresh cilantro, and some cashew cream, maybe some avocados!


One Response to “On Week One”

  1. lmirsch said

    You have totally inspired me! Also, I am conveniently out of bourbon at the moment… I’m joining in! Night one: cabbage, beat, and apple slaw.

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