Let me just start this off by saying that I cannot believe February (and therefore vegan month) is almost over! I haven’t written about it for awhile, so I figured it was time to recap it and bring it up again. As a little refresher, back in 2016 I decided to go vegan for the entire month of February. While I was anxious for it at first, it really wasn’t too hard.
Fast forward five years.
The plant based food options have come a LONG way and to be honest, so have my taste buds. Along with all the new foods I can enjoy, every year I seem to find out that something that I thought was vegan, isn’t. This year, that was white sugar. Honestly. Look it up. It gets the whiteness from bone char, so yeah, no thanks. Again, the good news is that as a society, we’ve come so far and there are awesome alternatives like raw sugar, coconut sugar, stevia and so on.
I’m also in love with coconut milk. Since the original Vegan February, I haven’t drank cow’s milk. As a result, I haven’t had any sinus infections in the winter. Overall, my sinus congestion throughout the year is also so much better. I buy the unsweetened kind and honestly don’t even notice any coconut flavor in any of my food.
Other pros. like I mentioned above, I’ve drastically expanded my palette. I now eat (and enjoy) mushrooms. I also keep a very close eye on my budget, and buying more raw vegan food actually doesn’t destroy my finances as much as it did a few years ago. I’m also at my healthiest during vegan month and usually shed a few pounds. I have increased energy and more mental focus. In case you were curious.
The “downside” to vegan month? Each year it gets a little bit harder – but in a good way. I find new recipes and I give them a try. That’s the challenging part because it’s a little bit of trial and error and I don’t always get it correct. I did however, buy a food processor this year, so hopefully that helps a little bit! A few of the recipes I took on were:
Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
Garlic Teriyaki Tempeh and Broccoli
Black Bean Tortas with Coconut Chipotle Mayo
Asparagus and Shiitake Mushroom Tacos
Chocolate Matcha Energy Balls
The only other downside is that vegan cheese still has a ways to go.
I think that’s everything. I also made Banana Bread and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough – which have been staples the last few years as well.
Some other staples:
Dairy alternative yogurt and granola
Lots of fresh veggies
Some restaurants also offer some vegan options – or things that can easily be made vegan – like at Sobies in Oconomowoc. They have a beet burger, which is a little weird, but overall not too bad.
Also, Aldis! Aldi also has some vegan options now! We tried their chickenless patties and wow, you would never know. They’re a little high in fat, but at about $2.69 for a 4 pack, they are definitely worth the try! I’m not trying to be spammy, but please know that if you’re considering trying to be vegan for any period of time, there’s lots of delicious options.
Finally, not an ad, but Green Chef has been clutch this year. I tried them last year and it definitely made a few meals in the month much easier. We ended up ordering 3 meals a week for 3 weeks this month. I would say two of the meals were meh, but the others have been delicious as well as easy to make. I know meal delivery services can definitely add up, but you can skip or cancel at ant time. They also have non-vegan options but it makes February so much easier. If you want to try them out, click here and you’ll receive $55 off (I’m not sure if that’s off two orders or one – but if it’s off one then you’re basically getting three meals for about $25). I also have one free week of meals to gift to someone, so if you’re interested, please let me know and I’ll send that off to the first person who messages me!
Anyway, give some vegan recipes a try! I definitely recommend it and I think we could all use a few more plant based meals in our diet. In the meantime, I’ll just be over here eating the last serving of my vegan lime cheesecake!