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Articles tagged “eat vegan”

New Try Vegan Icons

Oh my goodness! My designer friend Nicolas showered me with new Try Vegan icons, so please download one of these badges if you’d like people to know that you’re trying vegan for a month.

Spread the word–vegan doesn’t have to be bitchy or militant!

Signature from Bettina of Active Hands Yoga

Quick Vegan Garlicky Chard Rice Recipe

Quick Vegan Garlicky Chard Rice Recipe


So I usually just cook what my CSA gave me and don’t plan my cooking in advance like all the pro chefs do. Instead I’m a master substituter and recipe improviser. Read on to find out what I substituted in this Spanish recipe.

The traditional recipe from Andalucia calls for spinach, raisins, garlic, pine nuts as the main ingredients.

  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 medium bunches of spinach
  • at least one clove garlic, but as many as you like if you’re a garlic-lover like me
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

I had, however, a mountain of rainbow chard, so that was going to replace my spinach. Baby spinach will be more tender than chard, but my rainbow chard added some pink to pep up the dish visually. Actually, any leafy greens will star in this dish quite nicely.

Rather than run out to get pine nuts, I just shook in some black sesame seeds that I already had in my pantry. At least I had the raisins and garlic!

Plus, I had leftover rice, and the magic formula to feeling full as a vegan is to include greens, grains, and protein with every meal (learned from pro vegan chef Lagusta, thanks!). So adding the rice adds in grains, whereas the sesame seeds are the protein. And if it’s not obvious already, the greens are the greens. If you don’t have any leftover rice, I’d suggest eating the garlicky greens with another grain like bread or noodles or…freshly-made rice.

My final adjustment was to spritz on lemon juice liberally at the end, because the iron in the greens need Vitamin C to be fully absorbed in our body. Plus, it adds a little zest to the sweetness of the raisins.

With all of my substitutions and additions, my recipe looked more like this :

  • a handful of raisins
  • two scallion, chopped up
  • coconut oil
  • 2 medium bunches of chard, chopped into slivers aka chiffonade
  • leftover rice
  • at least one clove garlic, but as many as you like if you’re a garlic-lover like me, chopped up small
  • a handful of black sesame seeds
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • lemon juice to taste

1. Soak the raisins in boiling water so that they plump up.

2. Heat up your pan, add the coconut oil and the scallion.

3. After your scallion cooks a bit, add in the chard.

4. After the chard has wilted, add the leftover rice or else just skip to step 5.

5. Add the garlic, the sesame seeds, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and lemon juice to taste.

Tada! Enjoy your meal!

That should have taken no more than 30 minutes from opening the fridge, cleaning and prepping the vegetables, and cooking.

Join me in a Try Vegan challenge!

Vegan Lisa Simpson Dreaming of Chicken

Why try vegan?

  1. Eating more vegetables and fruits is good for your health—less saturated fat, less food poisoning, more nutrition.
  2. Eating vegan saves animal lives and reduces their suffering, and more.
  3. Eating vegan is good for the environment—saving water, land, fossil fuels, topsoil erosion as well as less pollution, and more.

For me I want to eat vegan to save animal lives, following ahimsa. As Patanjali—the most quoted Sanskrit writer on yoga—described yoga, there are guidelines for personal conduct called yamas in Sanskrit. The first yama is ahimsa, a Sanskrit word that means non-harming or non-violence. What could be more violent than eating death? What could be more harming than eating the unborn children of chickens or stealing milk from cows and, as a by-product of the dairy industry, putting baby male cows in cages to become veal because they can’t produce milk?

Why now?

Summer is the best time to try eating vegan, because there is an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. Especially in August, you’ll have the cheapest and freshest fruits and vegetables.

Why one month?

To get used to a new habit, we need at least 21 days or 3 weeks. Because in this challenge I ask for the smallest step possible of committing to a vegan lunch during your work week, I’m extending the time frame to a month, so we’ll have 20 workdays of vegan lunches.

Why just one meal?

Whenever I try something new, I start with baby steps, small commitments that I can keep. Changes in behavior are more sustainable if you can be consistent with one small thing rather than try to make a huge change on many different fronts at once. Small wins keep you motivated, whereas falling off track discourages you. So I suggest just eating one vegan meal a day, and you can be less mindful of your other meals.

Even one vegan meal per day means something for the animals, your health, and the environment if you consistently do that over time. A vegetarian saves one animal a day, conservatively calculated, so eating vegan for a third of your meal means that every 3 days you save an animal. That means, if you eat a vegan meal for 20 days, you’ll save about 7 animals. Not bad!

Why lunch?

One of my biggest excuses for not eating vegan has been the social aspect. I love breaking bread around a table with other people, especially strangers, but I hate it when the discussion turns towards why I eat the way I do. People always feel uncomfortable, either defensive or else offensive. Neither makes a happy meal.

So I ask you to commit to one meal where the social pressure is off, and you can choose what you eat without worrying about others’ reactions. For me, my least social meal is lunch, as I socialize most with others during dinner.

For the month of August, we will challenge ourselves to eat lunch Monday – Friday that is:

  • vegan
  • cheap, i.e., no overly processed fake dairy / meat ingredients
  • 30 minutes or less to prepare
  • tasty
  • easily packable to travel to the office

Let’s do this together!

Together we can make a difference. And habits are better built with support. Therefore, I invite you to join me to pack a vegan lunchbox for a month.

The challenge will be as much for you as it is for me, because I’ve tried eating vegan a few times and have always failed over time. My excuses are endless. I need your help to stay on course.

Starting August 1, 2012, I will start posting recipes and ideas about quick and cheap vegan lunches, and we will discuss and share our experiences in trying to implement them. Because it’s not just about the recipes, it’s about sticking to our commitments.

I am always open to your input, and I will be adding your suggestions to the posts, so that they can become a resource for anyone attempting to try vegan.

If you are interested in writing a guest post about trying vegan, I would love to have you! Contact me to discuss the details.

Try Vegan for a Month Challenge

How to take part in the Try Vegan challenge

  • Take the Try Vegan pledge by signing your name in the comment section below.
  • Spread the word; tell your friends.
  • Post the Try Vegan button above on your blog.
  • Participate in the discussions under each post in the challenge.
  • Write a guest post about your experiences in trying vegan.

Even if you join the challenge for a day, or just consider doing it, show support and sign the pledge!


Photo by the Simpsons from Ecorazzi ; Try Vegan design by my lovely graphic designer friend Nicolas Lecomte