Wellness

5 Easy, Healthy Meals You Can Make With Chickpeas

After almost 9 months as a vegan, here is my love letter to the greatest thing added to my cooking repertoire: Chickpeas.

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This spring I have breaks in the middle of the day so I’ve been cooking almost every meal! Not only have I saved tons of money, I’ve also had a chance to try a bunch of new recipes.

You may remember how deeply I hated cooking this time last year. When I went vegan, I didn’t have another choice than to start cooking. This was when I discovered that chickpeas are the easiest, cheapest vegan protein that I could ever imagine.

Inspired by Alex the French Cooking Guy’s chickpea series and Eating with Max’s beautiful Instagram pictures, I’ve been on my own vegan cooking journey armed with a can of Chickpeas.

In honor of Earth Day, I even started composting this week! I realized almost all of my trash at home is food waste (ahem avocado skins and pits) since I recycle most of the packaging. I’m new to it, so please send me your composting and zero-waste tips!

Here are my go-to chickpea meals and the pinterest recipes so you can try them too!

Stir Fry

Stir fry chickpeas are such an easy way to clean out the veggies in your fridge. Since I usually make a big pot of quinoa at the beginning of the week, I skip making rice and just throw in a spoon of the quinoa.

Curry

The best addition to my cooking repertoire has been learning to make curry. It’s so filling and easy to make. This recipe is a little complicated, so I just substitute the veggies for whatever I have available.

Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is the easiest way to change up my cooking staples: chickpeas and quinoa. I throw in the fresh herbs I picked up that week and then can use the rest of the cherry tomatoes in a pasta or on avocado toast.

Tacos

Tacos are such an easy and cheap treat! My friend Maya showed me that I can pick up a pack of corn tortillas from El Milagro at our local supermarket and this changed my life.

To season the chickpeas, I add in a little Goya Sazón and top with some fresh avocado and lime juice (as always).

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Roasted Broccoli Buddah Bowls

I know I’ve preached about how great roasted broccoli is before, but this really is my go-to meal. Every Tuesday, I throw the chickpeas and two heads of broccoli in the oven before I jump in the shower and when I’m out my lunch is ready and delicious. I could not recommend adding this into your diet more. It’s filling and healthy. If I have extra time, I’ll add in onion, spinach, and avocado.

Want to see what I’m cooking next? Follow along my Instagram stories @xoxorosana.blog and my vegan Pinterest board.

What’s your favorite chickpea recipe? Do you compost or are zero-waste? Tell me about them in the comments or tweet me @xoxorosana_blog!

Wellness

What I Eat in a Week as a Vegan

In an attempt to forever answer the question “Where do you get your protein from?” I recorded every meal I ate in a week. Now about to hit 6 months as a vegan, I’ve finally figured out a way to spend minimally, eat healthy food, and even cook (my how far we’ve come)!

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Sunday

I start the morning off with a cup of green machine or smoothie before heading to my favorite yoga class. I go straight from class to Whole Foods to do all my grocery shopping for the week.

My grocery list for this week:

  • 2 cans of chickpeas
  • Quinoa
  • Spinach
  • Red Onion
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Tofu
  • Almond Milk
  • Broccoli
  • Green Pepper
  • Riced Cauliflower
  • Coconut milk yogurt
  • Avocado

I try to meal prep one or two high protein dinners, along with a huge batch of quinoa so I don’t starve during the week.

A cup of quinoa typically feeds me for at least 6 meals, so I add it in to almost everything I cook. I also find I can roast a can of chickpeas in the oven with broccoli while I make about 3 servings of stir-fry with tofu. Meal prep took me an hour.

For lunch on Sunday, I had a bowl of the stir-fry with a cup of coffee, since by this time I started to get tired and the coffee keeps me from crashing when I start working.

When I get back from campus, I’ll heat up some of the chickpeas, broccoli and quinoa before heading to bed.

Total: $45.72

IMG_0916Monday

I had a glass of green juice before my run. When I got back from my run, I made a smoothie with a scoop of protein powder, and of course my cup of coffee, before I shower. I took the smoothie with me on my way to campus.

For lunch, I stopped by Pret A Manger on campus to have one of their small servings of lentil soup. I was still hungry, so I splurged for a bag of popcorn.

For dinner, I had too much work to get back early, so I picked up a bowl of tofu and vegetable pho at one of the stores on campus.

Total: $13.24

Tuesday

As usual, my green juice before the run kept me going. I was running late so I threw my coffee in a to-go cup and grabbed a banana on my way out the door.

When I got out of class I was hungry so I bought a bag of granola around 11, and then grabbed a falafel wrap for lunch at 3:30.

Since I ate lunch later, I ended up eating a bowl of chickpeas, quinoa, spinach, and avocado when I got home from the library around 11:30.

Total: $8.27

Wednesday

My pre-run green juice held me over until I made some coffee. I had a couple of minutes, so I made a bowl of berries and coconut yogurt.

For lunch, I went to Pret again for one of their vegan grain bowls, which are so filling and healthy. I always grab one on cold days because they keep me going into the afternoon.

I was lucky to finish my work at little early so around 9, I went home and threw some of the tofu stir-fry in the microwave with a cup of green tea.

Total: $7.23

Thursday

You guessed it! I had a glass of green juice. I lifted weights so I made a smoothie with protein powder to take to class.

Lunch was lentil soup again, this time without the popcorn because it was on the early side. I talked one of my friends into grabbing a banana from the dining hall for me so I could have a snack for later.

For dinner, I ate the last of the chickpeas, onions, and quinoa with the rest of the spinach.

Total: $4.47

Friday

Breakfast was a glass of green juice, a banana, and a cup of coffee.

I ate lunch with a friend so I bought a grain bowl from my favorite coffee shop with a cup of lemongrass tea.

Every Friday, I order sushi with one of my friends who lives on campus. Avocado sushi with bubble tea is my comfort food.

Total: $ 25.53

Saturday

Green juice, coffee, and a bowl of berries were breakfast.

Lunch was the last bowl of tofu stir-fry and another cup of coffee.

For dinner, I had a friend over and we made some curried chickpea and rice cauliflower stir fry with some naan she brought.

Total: $0

 

After your first few weeks of being vegan, you start to settle into recipes and meals. Although it can be challenging at times, I find it has made cooking and meal planning easier.

You can follow my vegan cooking journey on my Instagram story! I share new recipes that I love, and how I make my staple meals!

Have you considered going vegan? What are your favorite vegan foods?

Let me know on Twitter @xoxorosana_blog!

Xoxo, Rosana

Life

For the Health Nut | Festive Favorites

The holidays are upon us and I could not be more excited. From now until Christmas, there will be a bonus post every Monday! I know with my busy schedule I barely have time to go to the mall, so these are my online shopping Gift Guides. This week we’re kicking it off with goodies for the Health Nut.

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Here we go! Christmas is fast approaching and finding just the right gift is fun, but can also be incredibly time consuming so these are the 8 best gifts out there for the health nut in your life.

Several links in this post are affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you click or purchase an item.

1. Foam Roller

The one thing every active person needs is a foam roller. Whether they’re heading to the gym or on their way back from yoga, having a foam roller at home is key to staying loose so you can keep moving! During marathon training, I actually kept mine next to my bed for those middle-of-the-night cramps.

2. Yoga Mat Towel

They probably already have a yoga mat, but getting a yoga mat towel revolutionized my practice. It makes hot yoga easier because it absorbs the sweat (so you don’t slip) and cleaning is a breeze since you throw it in with the rest of your yoga clothes.

3. Water Bottle

Studies have been released on the dangers of plastic water bottles, so if you’re health nut hasn’t switched over yet, this is the time.

4. Gym Bag

 That drawstring bag they’ve been using since freshman year might have worked to take a water bottle and a towel to and from the dorm, but it probably doesn’t hold the change of clothes they need to get them through the day when they can’t go back to their apartment. I use one just like this one almost every morning.

5. Blender

Health nuts just love their protein shakes, and I know I use my blender every day. For someone who has scientifically shown to be unable to cook, this blender (which is actually on sale right now!) is by far the most important item in my kitchen.

6. Smoothie Recipe Book

Cookbooks are awesome gifts for the health nut in your life, and I’ve been reaching for Julie Morris’s book every few weeks when I’m looking to mix it up!

7. Gift Card to Healthy Food

It can be hard to find healthy food when you’re on the go so getting gift cards to health food store or delivery services like Eat Purely can be the perfect gift. Eat Purely is one of my favorite ways to order fast healthy food, since you have a bunch of fresh, locally sourced meals to choose from and it is delivered in about 20 minutes! Use my code ROSANAR1 for $20 (almost two meals!) credited to your account.

8. Post-Workout Kit


Especially for the workout fiend on the go, putting together a mini-post workout kit with dry conditioner, perfume, and a couple of their favorite goodies is really thoughtful and something they’ll definitely put to good use. If you don’t have time to make one from scratch, this one is a good start!

There are so many amazing gifts out there for the health nut in your life, but these are just a few of my favorite ideas!

What would you get the Health Nut in your life? Who should I create gift guide for next?

Let me know on Instagram @xoxorosana.blog and Twitter @xoxorosana_blog!

Check out my post next Monday for 9 super affordable gift ideas for your college friends before break!

Xoxo, Rosana

Wellness

Vegan’s Guide to Eating Your Way Through the Holidays

I’ve been vegan for almost three months now, so this will be my first set of holidays as a vegan. With Thanksgiving next week and before we know it Christmas will have arrived. Here is how I’m planning to take on the holidays at home as a vegan.

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Everyone in my life know just how much I love the holidays. From the apple pie at Thanksgiving to all those cookies for Christmas, I have 21 years of experience fully embracing the season. I only have three months of veganism under my belt.

Although my family has been pretty supportive, I’ve spent most of the last three months at school in Chicago so we haven’t had extended periods of sharing meals. Thanksgiving and then the three whole weeks of winter break could be a bit of a challenge.

Armed with the knowledge of the last three months of vegan eating and wielding the power of the internet, this how I’m planning to get through the holiday season, and you can too!

Be Clear With the Host About What You Can’t Eat

My family has been really supportive of my decision to go vegan. It was well timed with my mom’s decision that her college-age children could feed themselves rather than her trying to corral us for family dinners. My dad decided to go (mostly) vegan with me back in September, so I’m fortunate to not be the only vegan at the dinner table.

Since my dad has been paving the way at home, my immediate family is pretty familiar with the constraints of the vegan diet. We already have a fridge fully stocked with substitutes from vegan butter spread to almond milk.

As long as your host is aware of what you can and can’t eat, they can more easily accommodate you. If you’re not cooking (and lord knows I can’t), then offer to bring substitutes for the chef or recommend recipes. Sam from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken has a bunch of adapted recipes for common sides.

Bring Your Own Food

The best thing you can do is to bring a dish that everyone can share, so that you have plenty of food that you can eat. It puts less stress on the host, and limits the number of questions you’ll get because people will be too busy enjoying it.

There are tons of awesome vegan dishes. This Lentil Loaf looks delicious and festive. I’m planning on making this pumpkin pie. Many supermarkets have a couple vegan options you can pre-order. My family is ordering a couple things from Whole Foods this year.

Know What to Look Out For

If you don’t let your host know ahead of time, make sure you do your research to know which sides probably have non-vegan items.

Common culprits include:

  • Mashed potatoes- butter, milk, or cream can be substituted with non-dairy milk and butter spread
  • Gravy- instead of the juices from the turkey, you can make this mushroom version
  • Cranberry sauce-the canned version and many recipes include gelatin, but this one doesn’t
  • Green bean casserole-the milk and cheese can be substituted out
  • Homemade biscuits-the butter can be swapped for non-dairy butter spread
  • Pumpkin pie-eggs, cream and butter can be substituted.
  • Stuffing-can be made outside of the turkey

Be Prepared for Lots of Questions

Social meals as a vegan can often raise a lot of questions for your friends, and my experience is that the best thing you can do is emphasize how it makes your body feel rather than the moral or environmental reasons. Especially at large family gatherings like the holidays, diverting conversation away from it is your best move. If people keep asking, offer to speak to them after dinner. Thanksgiving dinner is not the time to talk about slaughterhouse practices.

After your first month of being vegan, you probably have all the answers down for the most common questions about nutrition. Keeping the focus on your health rather than the societal and environmental repercussions of your decision makes it difficult for them to argue with you.

Have Fun

The holidays can be a wonderful opportunity to spend time with your family and get some much needed rest. By planning ahead, you can make sure that your dietary preferences don’t take away from it.

There are so many recipes for delicious vegan meals that you can share with your family. Who knows, you might even surprise someone?

Comment of the day: "I have been making pumpkin pie for years and just this year have chosen to be vegan. This pumpkin pie is 10000 times better than any pumpkin pie I’ve made or have had in the past, AND it’s vegan! You nailed the spices, texture, and the creaminess. Not only is this recipe perfect but I’ve tried many other recipes of yours this week and all of them are stunning my husband and I!!!! Thank you!" ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Find the recipe for my easy vegan pumpkin pie on itdoesnttastelikechicken.com . . . #itdoesnttastelikechicken #fussfreevegan #anythingyoucaneaticaneatvegan #whatveganseat #veganfoodshare #veganshare #veganaf #veganfoodporn #veganfoodlovers #veganblogger #vegansofig #vegansofinstagram #veganrecipe #plantbased #dairyfree #foodporn #findingvegan #bestofvegan #friendsnotfood #foodstagram #instavegan #govegan #hongryvegan #crueltyfree #animalrights #plantpower #instavegan #vegancommunity #vegancomfortfood #vegan #veganpumpkinpie

A post shared by Sam Turnbull • Vegan (@itdoesnttastelikechicken) on

 

What should I know going into my first holiday season as a vegan? What did I miss?

Let me know on Instagram @xoxorosana.blog or Twitter @xoxorosana_blog

Good Luck!

Xoxo, Rosana

Wellness

Vegan for a Month

My meal planning struggles have reached new heights this summer, since I have to cook all my meals, so I asked my cousin, Kaitlyn, to write about her experience trying the hardest thing in the whole world: her month meal planning as a vegan.

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Veganism.

Carnivores everywhere clutch their steaks in disbelief and pray it isn’t contagious.

Family members furtively assure themselves it’s a phase and will be long over with by Thanksgiving.

The rest of the world looks on in various stages of derision and apathy at the tree-hugging hippie trying in vain to save the cows.

Take it from me. In my extensive month as a vegan (plus an additional two as a vegetarian), I’ve achieved a solid understanding of how to make the lifestyle work in spite of the naysayers and nonbelievers.

Veganism Itself is Not Hard

Once you stop thinking about all the things you can’t eat, and start thinking of all the things you still can, you fully realize the incredible extent of plant based foods. You approach your local grocery’s produce section with a whole new perspective. The new diet restriction forces you out of your culinary comfort zone.

It takes a little creative initiative at first to find recipes with ingredients that would you would otherwise turn up your nose at (I am directly implying that tofu is nowhere near as bad as it looks), and thanks to the miracles of modern food science, nearly every nonvegan food has been made vegan to varying degrees of success. Cheese, ice cream, egg replacement for baking, and even meat itself.

Do they taste exactly like the original? No, but they aren’t terrible and are incredibly convenient. I say take advantage.

Ok so Maybe It’s Kinda Hard

Let me expand my earlier statement. The concept of veganism is not hard to implement, especially in our modern society with a plethora of vegan foodstuffs and specialty restaurants. Veganism is not hard to do in a vegan-friendly, or highly individual autonomous environment.

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Unless you live in particularly vegan-friendly city, have a family and social circle of vegans or very vegan-friendly people, or have the means and time to do at least some degree of meal prep, veganism becomes significantly more difficult.

I ran cross country and track for my high school team. When my coach found out about my foray into veganism, he promptly informed me that it was the stupidest decision I had ever made, it was highly likely I wasn’t getting enough protein, and I was making my recovery harder than it needed to be.

We also traveled a lot for meets during season. Pasta was always ordered en masse the night before the race, covered in meat sauce or alfredo. If you didn’t eat that, you were on your own.

At home, I couldn’t exactly convince my little brothers that vegetables and tofu were just as delicious as tacos, so that left me to make dinners separate from the family meal (after meal prepping breakfast and lunch, there wasn’t the available Tupperware or fridge space to accommodate dinners).

breakfast

Now, I can accept grown-up responsibilities, but the extra time and energy was wearing on me. I switched over to Vegetarianism, a beautiful egg-filled paradise.

But Chicken Nuggets tho

After a solid three months without meat or chicken passing my lips, I reached my tipping point. Out of the blue, I was absolutely overcome with a craving for chicken nuggets. A few moments reflection later, I could see no reason to continue my animal product boycott. I’d be happy with my nuggets, my coach would be happy I finally listened to him, my life would be overall easier.

My moral fiber wasn’t strong enough to consider the ethics at that point. So I popped some chicken nuggets straight into the toaster oven and haven’t looked back since.

Meal Planning

A big part of my life, regardless of diet specifics, is meal prepping. I have to admit, I slack off a bit during the summer, but it is an absolute necessity during the school year, when every spare second needs to be used for studying, sleeping, or otherwise maintaining my sanity. Enter my surplus of Tupperware and sizable use of fridge space.

banana bread

As far as the planning portion of my meal prep, I just browse the internet until I find a recipe I like enough to eat for a week straight (it helps to build a base of trustworthy food blogs.

Oh She Glows and Minimalist Baker are still a couple favorites from my vegan days). I keep breakfast fairly simple: a bagel with eggs, or greek yogurt and granola most days. Having healthy, portioned, snacks on hand is also a stellar idea, lest you fall prey to the temptation of half a bag of cereal at 2am (guilty as charged).

Don’t make it complicated. Cook foods that taste good and make you feel good. As delicious as fried chicken is, I don’t think my body would thank me if I used it to fuel for long runs. Find your balance.

Mine regularly includes chocolate and copious amounts of pasta, but also lots fruits and veggies. Diet is highly individual. Find the best foods for you, prep it, and make it work.

 

Huge thanks to Kaitlyn for sharing her experience with veganism (I think I would starve trying to do it for a whole month!). She is going to be a freshman at Tulane University this fall, anticipates living in the dorms will keep her from meal planning through the year. 

Have you tried veganism for any period of time? How do your dietary restrictions impact your meal planning?

Let me know on Instagram @xoxorosana.blog

Xoxo, Rosana

PS: If you’re struggling with meal planning, you should check out Katie’s post about meal planning here and you can check out my own meal planning journey here and on my Instagram story!