Vegan Experiment – Day Two: Ranch Dressing!

Today, I realized that there is more to think about when following a vegan lifestyle than just meat and dairy foods. I have to admit to an unintentional slip today – ranch dressing! But I’ll get to that as I go through my meals in pictures.

Breakfast: Kashi Cinnamon Harvest cereal with almond milk, coffee with almond milk and splenda.

An easy vegan breakfast

An easy vegan breakfast

Snack: Roasted spicy chickpeas.

Roasted Spicy Chickpeas

Roasted Spicy Chickpeas

This was a time-consuming recipe; but I’m working on stretching my food dollars so it was worth the effort. I started with a bag of dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and soaked and cooked them one day. The next day, I tossed the half of the cooked beans with a tablespoon of canola oil, a pinch of salt, and a fair amount of paprika, cumin, and a touch of cayenne pepper. Then I cooked them in the oven at 400 degrees for about an hour on a baking sheet lined with tin foil and sprayed with canola oil cooking spray. Cook the beans in one layer because the goal is to dry them out until they are a crispy crunchy treat. If you don’t cook them long enough, they will be mealy. I know this from my first attempt at this recipe! Per 1/2-cup serving: 135 calories and 7 grams of protein.

Post-workout snack: granny smith apple courtesy of my gym’s member appreciation day offerings.

Lunch: Last night’s dinner leftovers: Quinoa with red/green bell peppers, red onions, garlic, pineapple, sliced almonds, and a dash of sriracha sauce served with a side of roasted vegetables (beets, carrots, onions) seasoned with canola oil, garlic powder, oregano, and red pepper flakes.

Quinoa bowl and roasted garden vegetables

Quinoa bowl and roasted garden vegetables

Snack: Sweet Peanut Butter Smoothie!

I typically make my smoothies with either milk, yogurt, or almond milk depending on what I have on hand and how much protein and calories I would like to have. This time, I used water and ice instead of a milk or yogurt. I blended banana, pineapple chunks, and peanut butter with water and ice (adjusting to fill my cup and be the consistency and I wanted).

Snack: Celery and snap peas.

This is where I inadvertenly fell off the vegan wagon. I had an evening meeting to attend. The good news is that I brought the snacks and so could bring vegan alternatives. One thing I brought was a veggie tray with ranch dressing. I grabbed a celery stick and dipped it in the ranch dressing and as I was chewing, it hit me that the dressing was probably not vegan! I checked and I was correct – buttermilk is the second ingredient. This made me realize that there are more foods to limit that I realized. I wanted the convenience of the pre-made veggie tray… If only the grocery stores packaged veggie trays with hummus instead of dressing.

Dinner: Portobella mushroom sandwiches (mushroom, lettuce, avocado, mustard on sandwich thin) and Alexia sweet potato fries with ketchup.

Portobella sandwich with sweet potato fries

Portobella sandwich with sweet potato fries

When making the Portobello sandwich, I was reaching for the mayonnaise when I realized that was also not vegan! This is more difficult than a vegetarian diet.

So, how am I feeling? Gassy! There is so much fiber in my diet now!

Otherwise, I’m feeling good and have energy for working out. I’m getting plenty of carbohydrates and calories; but I am still lacking in protein. I love how incredibly low my saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium intake is following a vegan diet. Even with my one unintentional slip, I’m still going strong and feeling good about sticking with this challenge!

Nutrition information: 1360 calories, 204 grams carbohydrates, 43 grams fiber, 35 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 0 trans fat, 0 cholesterol, 43 grams protein, and 725 milligrams sodium. For the daily values, my numbers were 60% calcium, 63% iron, 25% vitamin D, 8% zinc, and 0 vitamin B12.

All images are personal photographs. You may use them as long as you credit me (my name and a link back to my Web site).

2 thoughts on “Vegan Experiment – Day Two: Ranch Dressing!

  1. I also take a multivitamin and vitamin D. As an RD, I recommend a multivitamin to most of my vegetarian/vegan clients. Going through this challenge helps me to realize how important that is because it is difficult to get all the vitamins and minerals the body needs following a vegan diet – actually no matter what kind of diet people choose to follow, it’s difficult!

    I just bought some Silk soy milk today to try to get a little more protein; I’ll check the B12! I also had another kind of Kashi cereal today and was happy to see a bump in the B12 for my day.

    The recommendation for protein to prevent deficiency in generally healthy people is set at 0.8 grams/kilogram of body weight. I’d like to get about 55 grams/day as a minimum. So, I’m close!

    -Alexia

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  2. Looks yummy! I take a vitamin D & B12 supplement so that I’m not deficient in those nutrients. Also, I saw you drank almond milk! I drink Silk Almond milk and it’s fortified with vitamin B12 and one serving gives me 50% of my daily needs for B12. So I’d check the label to see if you are receiving any B12 (:

    Also, how much protein are you looking to consume in one day? Because to me, 43g is a good amount!

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