By Julia Mettler-Grove (Photos by Lyla O’Hara)
Ending all consumption of animal flesh and byproducts may sound extreme to some. But for me, veganism is a key part of my identity. I have tweaked my diet over the past 17 years, transitioning from an omnivore, to a pescatarian, to a vegetarian, and, finally, to a vegan, diet. This change impacted how I feel at every meal, giving me a sense of integrity, mindfulness, empowerment and compassion – not to mention improved sleep and energy level.
My interest in health has been especially helpful in smoothly transitioning my diet through being well-informed. My interest flourished a year and a half ago, when I started a health and wellness blog called Avocados & Adventures.
To provide you all with some easy, delicious and healthful dishes – which happen to be vegan – below are three recipes: Chia Seed Pudding, Steel Cut Oatmeal and Scrambled Tofu. Before you think, “I don’t like tofu,” or, “What is a chia seed?” I urge you to approach these recipes with a sense of adventure. And if adventure isn’t enough to entice you, all three contain a variety of micro- and macronutrients that will give you an energy boost, keep your blood sugar stable and leave your mind and body feeling refreshed and ready to power through the day ahead.
About the Author: Julia Mettler-Grove’s blog Avocados & Adventures is updated weekly. Visit it at (www.avocadosandadventures.squarespace.com).
Recipes are pictured above from left to right.
Recipe #1: Steel Cut Oats
Start to Finish: 25 minutes (5 minutes active)
-4 cups water (and/or non-dairy milk)
-2 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
-2 large bananas, mashed
-Pinch of salt
-Toppings (ex. fruit, cinnamon, nut butter, flax seeds, coconut flakes, maple syrup, vanilla, coconut oil, nutmeg)
In a medium-sized pot, bring the liquids to a boil. Add in steel-cut oats and salt; reduce heat to low. Stir in the mashed banana. Simmer on low, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the oats are creamy and tender, remove from heat, serve, add toppings, and enjoy!
Nutritional Information (per serving): Calories: 454, Fat: 23.9 g, Saturated fat: 2 g, Carbohydrates: 50.9 g, Sugar: 14.9 g, Sodium: 162 mg, Fiber: 12 g, Protein: 14.6 g.
Recipe #2: Scrambled Tofu
Start to Finish: 20 minutes (including prep time of 5 minutes)
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-One 8-oz package extra-firm tofu, pressed, crumbled with a fork
-½ bell pepper, diced
-2 green onion stalks, sliced (alternative ¼ red onion, sliced)
-dash smoked paprika
-dash crushed red pepper flakes
-salt and pepper, to taste
-3-4 kale leaves, chopped
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the crumbled tofu, bell pepper and green onion. Stir well with the smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, turmeric, salt and pepper. Cook for approximately fifteen minutes, until the bell pepper softens slightly. Add the kale and let wilt, stirring occasionally. Heat everything through and enjoy!
Nutrition Information (per serving): Calories: 252, Fat: 19g, Saturated fat: 3g, Carbohydrates: 12.7g, Sugar: 2.5g, Sodium: 516 mg, Fiber: 3g, Protein: 12g.
Recipe #3: Chia Seed Pudding
Start to Finish: 3 to 5 hrs (15 minutes active)
-1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
-⅓ cup chia seeds
-2 to 5 tablespoons of pure maple syrup, to taste
-Toppings (ex. fruit, granola, nut butter, coconut flakes, cinnamon, maple syrup)
Whisk almond milk, chia seeds and sweetener together in a bowl. Cover; chill in the fridge for 3 to 5 hours, or overnight. Stir well, serve, and top with all the yumminess (toppings)!
Nutritional Information (per serving): Calories: 133, Fat: 8 g, Saturated fat: 1.2 g, Carbohydrates: 17 g, Sugar: 9g, Sodium: 187 mg, Fiber: 8.6 g, Protein: 5.3 g.
Modified versions from Minimalist Baker