Ok, I lied. I made one small salad to use up veggie scraps, but that’s it. I’ve had no salads as entrees. I’ve made nothing that gives us “salad mentality”, you know, that chore of eating a whole salad that’s supposed to satisfy and keep us full. No. It’s not that I’m against salads; I quite like them, actually. I’ve just had more interesting things to eat. Since plants now make up the majority of my diet, I could take the focus away from chopped veg mixed up in a bowl and be creative with presentation. So, what have I been eating?
I have a list of wraps in my blogroll coming your way, but until then, think of this as an introduction. Hello there, I’m Alexandra and life tastes best eaten in a tortilla. I love vegetables and spices but am a big person and need a lot of food. To get in a filling lunch I take the biggest tortillas or wraps, choose a bean filling and cut up a bunch of vegetables and lettuce. My bean or tofu to veggie ratio is 1:6 and then I pour a sauce or spice mixture that’s oil-free, light salt and mix it into the vegetables to ensure even distribution. I wrap this beast up in tinfoil so I can eat it fairly neatly. Who am I kidding? I stuff my face in this wrap; I’m lucky I work from home without any colleagues to judge me. This is so tasty and satisfying, especially knowing how many veggies I already got in the day.
Of course this is a winner! I can go on month long stretches without any, pizza is a true staple. My strategy is to pack on the flavors and ingredients; this tastes so much better than with cheese and I can eat more of it. I cover the whole crust with a thin layer of sauce and add basil, parsley, oregano and garlic salt. I then layer it all with onions, mushrooms, pepper, and sometimes change it up with olives, pineapple, jalopenos, artichokes, spinach, eggplant or zucchini. I add on some more vegetables if the crust expands and leaves spaces before it’s done baking and sprinkle on red pepper flakes. This loaded pizza is packed with flavor and nutrients that will make you forget meat and cheese used to be a thing.
I loved veggie lomein back in the day for birthday dinners. Skip the fish oil or oyster sauce and it can be made vegan right in your kitchen. On cool days I stir-fry vegetables and tofu, mix in a sauce and pour over these delicate noodles. On warm days I simply marinate the tofu and mix raw vegetables into the vermicelli and serve on a bed of Chinese cabbage. This is especially good with spring rolls – or you could say this whole meal is one big, deconstructed spring roll!
My favorite way to eat pasta is take a bit of homemade pesto or bruschetta tomato topping and mix it into a couple servings of noodles. Just like with the rice noodles, this can be served warm or cold and my ratio of vegetables to pasta for the first plateful is 6:2. Eggplant, zucchini, carrots, mushrooms and fresh tomatoes are always a satisfying combo.
This can be a legit party food or you can make an easy version for a weeknight dinner. It may not be true ceviche, some may even just call it a salsa. I used to love black bean fajitas, but with the hot weather and my aim to eat raw food when possible, I’ve found out ceviche is 100 times better! I finely chop onion, multi-colored peppers, tomatoes, cilantro and some habanero (I like it really spicy!), add in rinsed black beans, sprinkle in some salt and ground chipotle, and squeeze in lime juice to mix it all up. Go ahead and try it with corn, radish, cucumber or other beans. Of course, I take out my gigantic tortilla and fill it with homemade cilantro lime rice, shredded lettuce, guacamole and of course the ceviche. This is better than Chipotle, and any other kind of Mexican food!
As you can see from my top 5 examples that vegan food is filling, satisfying and versatile with as many favorite or new combinations as you’d like. You don’t need salad to eat healthfully – just eat in variety, spice it up and throw a garden on it!