What I Ate Wednesday & Curried Tempeh Tacos

Here we are for another round of What I Ate Wednesday! Happy hump day, hope everyone is having a good week. I started my day off yesterday with some leftover Anti-Cancer Green Breakfast Smoothie. Now that I’ve cut way back on my date intake and completely eliminated non-nutritive sweeteners (like stevia), I am definitely starting to crave sweets a little less. Still, this one was pretty darned green. It did the trick, though, and carried me through a few hours of work plus a 3-mile walk on the treadmill until lunchtime. P.S. I don’t drink coffee, by the way, this is a leftover mug of Alan’s, but I like it because it’s HUGE!

For lunch, I had my typical green salad (made with my Creamy Avocado Dressing) with chopped carrots, onions and radishes on top. I also included some microwaved frozen asparagus, one half of a medium avocado, a tablespoon of pine nuts and about a half cup of garbanzo beans:

You’ll see I had some applesauce for dessert (I had two bowls, by the way). I made it in the crockpot, my recipe is here. I made this version without raisins and cooked it on low overnight, or about 12 hours. Alan said he woke up around 2 a.m. and smelled it cooking.

It is amazing how sweet cooked and dried fruit can be. I do have to be careful with these types of recipes because I tend to overeat them because of the concentrated sugars. Nonetheless, it was a wonderful, healthy dessert.

Dinnertime included tempeh tacos made from veggies, crumbled tempeh and guacamole served over corn tortillas. I ended up eating three tacos total because I was pretty hungry. This recipe is not unlike the one I posted awhile back for Tempeh and Black Bean Tacos, but this one has more crunch because of the celery and bok choy. I also really liked this combination of spices including curry and garam masala.

The ingredients:

I used my typical technique of water-sauteeing the vegetables in layers and serving them over the tacos which I just heated up in the microwave for 20 seconds. The guacamole recipe is here, but it is just avocados stirred together with chopped onion and fresh lime juice.

I consider this a fairly easy dinner to make, the prepping of the veggies is the most time-consuming part. Here is the recipe:

The curry flavor is not too strong in this dish, but I think it just adds some complexity to the flavor, especially since I don’t use any salt. By the way, I had a reader Prathiba from Vehemently Vegan ask me yesterday about how I transitioned to not using salt in my foods. This is definitely an issue because we’re so used to the excess of sodium in cooking and prepared foods, but an excess of salt in the diet can be dangerous, especially in vegans. (For more on this issue, check out this link to Dr. Fuhrman’s site where he talks about the risk for cardiovascular disease.) My solution has been to use a splash of vinegar or fresh lime or lemon juice on my foods. The acid seems to make the flavors pop not unlike the way salt does.

Have a great day and keep the questions coming!

 

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Carrie,

    Were you a big cheese lover before you became vegan? And if so, do you ever miss or crave dairy since becoming vegan?

    Thanks for another great post! I read all your new posts. Thanks for inspiring and informing others with your blog!

    • says

      Hi Angela! Honestly, I wasn’t a HUGE cheese-eater before I went vegan, but I did consume my fair share. Here is a really interesting link to a video by Dr. Neal Barnard, M.D., where he talks about some of the biological reasons why it’s hard to give up cheese (http://youtu.be/oHWMAF92n1E). The bottom line is that there are substances in cheese (and dairy) that are addictive to humans which at least partly explains the draw to these foods. I have found that by making sure I get enough healthy fats in my diet through avocados, nuts and seeds, that I don’t have any cravings for cheese or dairy. Good luck!!!

  2. Laura S. says

    Hi again Carrie!
    I was scrolling through your recent posts and saw a couple things I wanted to comment on/ask since you are actively soliciting questions. :-)

    I have been vegan for over 4 years but now unfortunately I would call myself a frustrated vegan. When I initially made the switch, I lost about 5-10 lbs. but eventually it crept back on and now I weigh more than I ever have. One of the things I preach to my friends is not to live and die by the number on the scale (I pretty much roll my eyes when I hear about their latest “fad” diets) but recently I can’t help but feel frustrated, especially since I work out 4-5 times a week. I also don’t feel as much vitality as I initially did, which is more important to me than the # on the scale. The ironic thing is that at the beginning I ate more junk food but in the last 9 months or so I have been putting the focus on whole, non-processed foods. I am wondering if I am not getting the right ratio of vitamins and minerals or if I am omitting something very important I should have in my diet. I haven’t tried cutting out oils altogether so I’m wondering if that could be it? I do watch my salt and sugar intake and avoid most refined sugar/flour. Or could it be that I am simply overeating or my portions are too large? I saw you said it’s not recommended to calorie-count or restrict ourselves but sometimes I feel like those are my last resort. I know you aren’t an RD (yet!) but any advice you have would be great.

    Also, I noticed you use the microwave pretty often but have read about those waves being dangerous since they do alter the makeup of the food. I try to use the oven/stove about 95% of the time. Have you done any research on this?

    • says

      Hi Laura! Thanks for the question, I do love interacting with people. Without knowing much about your history or age or anything, I would suggest that you consider preparing foods with no oil. Oil is 120 kcal per tablespoon with virtually no phytochemicals. You can think of oil as a processed food because it’s not in its whole state. Try water-sauteeing your dishes and then using whole-food fats like nuts, seeds and avocados instead. That could make a significant difference for you given how easy it is to pour on 500-600 calories when you use oil. You should know if you are overeating by whether you are hungry or not before each meal. Your portions should not be limited if you are eating whole foods, the idea is to fill your stomach with high-nutrient foods (with an emphasis on raw and cooked green vegetables) but to then have a good appetite before you eat again. Also, to answer your question about the microwave, I do not think there is harm in using it. I use the stovetop more often just because I find that food tastes better that way. Do these suggestions help? These refinements to the way you are eating will help you reach your goals. The key is to not give up! You are on the right path, you just need to make a few changes, your health is worth it!

      • Laura S. says

        Thanks so much, I appreciate your suggestions and yes, I wholeheartedly agree that great health is worth putting the effort in to achieve! I am 33, and didn’t think I’d be frustrated at this age especially since I do pay attention to my health and do everything I can to improve it. I just don’t see the pounds “falling off” like some vegans say. I guess it could be a host of things (stress, thyroid issues??) but I will start with the oil because I definitely have been liberal with it lately. I never thought of oil as not being in its original/whole state so that’s a good way to look at it.

        Thanks again!!!

        • says

          Hi Laura! I remember being 16 and feeling frustrated with my weight/body. It took almost another 20 years (I’m 37 now) before I found the Eat to Live plan that felt natural and easy for me. My advice would be to not compare yourself with other vegans because everybody is different and you don’t know what other people are doing. But, that being said, if you are truly committed to transforming your health, then a whole-foods, plant based diet is an excellent start. Other aspects of this diet that could be affecting your ability to lose weight could be consuming caffeine, sugar, alcohol, oil (we already discussed this), refined grains, dried fruits, etc. Also, you need to make sure you are supplementing appropriately, especially vitamin B12. Keep me updated on how you are doing.

          • Laura S. says

            I must say that I am really bad with supplementing! Do you have recommendations of vegan brands for B12 as well as a vegan protein powder? Sorry if you’ve already mentioned those somewhere on your blog :-)

            Thanks for all the support and I will definitely keep you updated! You are such an inspiration. My goal is to eat a huge salad every day like you do!!

          • says

            Hi Laura! I don’t have any recommended brands for those items. Any basic B12 should do. As far as vegan protein powder, I’ve been trying to stay away from those and use whole food protein sources like tofu instead. If you really, really want a vegan protein powder, then I would suggest a hemp or brown rice version that doesn’t have any additional fortification added, assuming the rest of your diet is healthy and balanced. I wouldn’t buy a soy protein powder because the soy protein isolates can be a health risk. I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions. :)

  3. Nigel Lance says

    I just made these for dinner tonight and they are absolutely sublime!!! Thanks for being so awesome with everything you suggest!!

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