Monday, April 15

Vegetarian Week

This past week, from Monday to Sunday, Phil and I tried eating vegetarian for the entire week. To get you started, here is an infographic explaining some quick facts about vegetarianism. The data is from 2011 and is created by Retail Me Not to get you to use their coupons so it may be biased. I mostly want to point to the "You are what you eat" and "Why go vegetarian" sections.

Vegetarian Foods

Phil chose the Lacto-Ovo vegetarian diet and I chose the Lacto vegetarian diet; the only difference is I consider eggs as a meat so I excluded it.

We started off the week with a huge vegetarian haul from Costco. Here's what we bought, imagine Costco size of all these things.
  • bag of broccoli
  • box of Ling Ling's vegetarian egg rolls
  • bag of Morningstar veggie patties
  • box of mixed greens salad
  • bag if frozen strawberries
There were also some food from the Asian market or that we already had in our fridge. Here's what we ate for the week.

Phil's foods and thoughts:

Before I started this challenge, my typical lunches consisted of meat and rice(provided by my work place) and dinner consisted of meat, rice, and a veggie.  I wanted to try something new, so I gave myself a challenge of eating vegetarian for one week.  To me, one week was the right amount of time for me to try something new.  It was also short enough for me to post a picture of every meal onto my facebook wall.

As you can see, the lunch meals at work did not consist of much each time.  They were plain and not delicious.  The hotel that I work at offers a salad bar, but the ingredients included in it are not ones that I personally like myself.  So all of my pictures from work look real plain.  And besides steamed veggies, there's really no other vegetarian options.  For diet purposes, I broke my lunches into two parts since I heard eating multiple smaller meals is the healthier option.

Before this challenge started, I had the opportunity to buy a lot of vegetarian food at Costco to help prep for the week.  This included greens, Ling Ling veggie spring rolls, Morningstar Veggie patties, and frozen strawberries.  By buying all this, there really wasn't a need for me to do a lot of cooking.  I always go for the quickest option for my meals.  I'm not a fan of spending hours in the kitchen after work when I'm tired, anyways, that's a completely different story.....

The first few days of the challenge was perfectly fine because everything was still fresh to me and I was experiencing new foods without meat.  I made a pasta dish that lasted at least three meals for myself(whenever I cook, I cook in large portions)

From Friday until Sunday, that was a challenge for me because I was eating the same meals over and over again and I was just too lazy to cook new foods, so everything was the same.  I even gave up on delicious gourmet food.  The hotel I work at had a reception and they had philly cheesesteak sliders, ahi tuna sliders, crab cake sliders, and other delicious meats that I would  typically scarf down if it wasn't for this challenge.  I felt proud to resist the food, but as the week wore on, it was becoming more difficult to come up with new foods to eat.

I came into this challenge thinking that being around a Vegetarian is a hassle.  Honestly, who likes to eat with picky eaters?  Being around some friends who are Vegetarians, it opened up my mind to see that if they can give up meat for their own individual causes, why can't I at least try as well?  This past week has been a humbling experience.  To resist passing up those sliders because of meat was fine for one time, but I can't imagine passing it up on a permanent basis.  To be a Vegetarian, you got to be mentally strong.  Ngoc and I went to a Vietnamese sandwich shop, one out of the 12 sandwiches was vegetarian.  It was alright, but I really wanted my usual shredded pork sandwich.  It's tough man, very tough.

At the end of the day, I give Vegetarians a lot of credit for what they eat.  I never realized how tough it is to go out and eat vegetarian.  The options just really aren't there, especially if the restaurant is not specifically vegetarian.  I'll continue to eat meat on occasion, but this last week has also taught me that I can be just as happy eating a vegetarian meal.  I'm happy I did this challenge and hope to somewhat continue with the healthy vegetarian meals in the future.

FYI, the challenge is over, yet I decided to eat a vegetarian meal for dinner by choice......

Ngoc's foods and thoughts:

Well since Phil took up all the space, I will be brief. The first set are pictures of my lunches and they are so much better than his scoops of olives. The second set is dinner and we basically ate the same thing minus the egg for me. I already love vegetarian food so this challenge was a cake walk for me. I hope we can eat vegetarian at least one night a week.


I have no clue what they put as fake shredded pork in this vegetarian springroll. It looked like shreds of fried yam and taro. Also, what is vegetarian fish sauce made of? So many burning questions! Good spring rolls nonetheless.

Vegetarian shredded pork banh mi sandwich. This item alone is what really made me keenly aware of how much I depend on animal based foods. There was no pate and no mayonnaise in this sandwich. Ugh, so plain. It just wasn't the same.

On the last night, I was very tired of our usual dinners of veggie patties on lettuce with an egg so I made this fried rice. It had kale, edamame beans, cut up veggie patties, and bits of seasoned nori. The sauce was just soy sauce and sriracha. I usually put oyster sauce in my fried rice but oyster is meat based. It was actually really good. TIP: Kale can be frozen if you intend to saute it or use it in soups.

Coconut milk pudding with chia seeds, creamed corn, served on sticky rice and with mango pieces. Use ripe yellow mangoes, don't let your husband run out and buy a green mango like mine did. This dish was actually a happy accident. I wanted corn for my salad and opened a can of creamed corn by mistake. So I opened a can of coconut milk and heated it up with palm sugar, little bit of salt, tossed in chia seeds and let it sit over night. Chia seeds contain alot of protein for its size so this probably helped with my protein intake.

Cotton says yummy.

1 comment:

  1. Great job on the challenge! Now I challenge you to meatless Friday nights :D. Btw, have you checked out the bun bo hue and bun mam from Dong Phuong tofu? It's sooo very addicting!

    We eat there very often, sometimes several times a week!



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