vegan for a week.

5 Feb

NEWS #1: I’m on Twitter! Follow me and I’ll love you forever (which I might anyways, but that’s a different story)

NEWS #2: Vegan Week!

I love a good challenge. So when I saw that Morgan over at Life After Bagels was doing a “7-day-vegan challenge,” I jumped at the opportunity to play around a bit with my food choices.

I was actually vegan for a full year in high school… which is when I started to bake. I felt the need to convert everyone, one by one, via vegan cookies. Or at least make them appreciate that vegan food can be completely delicious!

I don’t anticipate this being particularly difficult. Except for my protein powder and the occasional Fage yogurt, I actually don’t rely on dairy or eggs that much in my day-t0-day eating. And since I go to school in California, land of the hippies, my school food is generally fairly accommodating of different diets, and have a plethora of vegan options.

But regardless, here is my “plan” for the week (rather, some ideas for breakfast lunch & dinner on a daily basis here in college-land!)


I’m obsessed, in case you weren’t aware. I’m a big fan of adding coffee into my oats… Like these java oats!

I topped these with an elegant “macchiato-style” bit of Justin’s almond butter… I’m soooo fancy!

Um, this stuff is lethally delicious…

But regular ole peanut butter, and my new friend peanut flour, will also likely be making appearances.

I’m not on much a cereal kick right now, but I know my school has basics like Cheerios, or Peanut Butter Bumpers (which are absolutely delicious, by the way) should I decide I want to change things up! And I’m a huge fan of almond milk.

Toast with peanut butter.
I think I ate that for breakfast every day for a good year or so of my life in middle school… always a good choice.

Or, you know, peanut butter with a spoon is good too…

I love my school’s salad bar. Love, love, love it.

I start with lettuce and add a ton of bell peppers and cucumbers and a wide variety of other vegetables.

Add in kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, even straight-up tofu for some extra protein… Drizzle with vinegar and/or olive oil and voila! Delicious, easily vegan meal.

Instant soups
I love Dr. McDougall’s Instant Tamale Soup. Perhaps not the most unprocessed, whole food I could eat, but not as bad as some…

I also sometimes eat Amy’s frozen meals, which they offer in the market at my school. I prefer to eat “real” food, but sometimes the options might not be great (they always offer a vegetarian soup, but not necessarily a vegan one) so it’s nice to have some fallbacks.

Along with the salad bar, you can also build-your-own pasta, by putting a bunch of veggies in a bowl and handing them to the fabulous chef who will cook them up in some vegan marinara and then add your choice of regular, whole wheat, or gluten-free pasta. The portions tend to be way too big, but it’s good for a once-in-awhile food!

These are equally good at lunch, but we have a whole bunch of different breads to choose from (including Udi’s gluten-free bread) and I love to just put hummus and veggies on a sandwich and call it a day.

The oranges here are amazing. I also love bananas and peanut butter (classic combo!)

I try not to rely TOO much on them, but in a pinch…

More oatmeal.
I usually have a bowl of oatmeal before bed. Yes, I start and end my day with oatmeal…

Carrots & hummus.

I may or may not have already finished the eggplant hummus and 1.5 pound bag of carrots I bought at Trader Joe’s on Thursday… shhhh!

Low-Sugar Cookies

Because they’re delicious. And I’m working on experimenting with making them totally sugar-free (just adapting the base recipe, though, so if anyone else wants to give it a try I’m sure it’ll work pretty well!)

So there you have it. Some vegan staples for my week as a vegan… I may also try out the nondairy yogurt and Daiya cheese they sell at my school, just for kicks. :)

What non-vegan food would be hardest for you to give up? I’m probably gonna miss my greek yogurt, but…


34 Responses to “vegan for a week.”

  1. allison February 5, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    Have fun being a vegan:) its good that you had some practice before so you know what to do! And you school’s cafeteria is beyond awesome! that is so great that you can make your own pasta!

    • Nicole @ Of Cookies & Carrots February 7, 2011 at 11:20 pm #

      I complain a lot about the monotony but we really do have a lot of good options… I’m kind of spoiled ;) haha

  2. Mandi February 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    I think I would definitely have trouble giving up yogurt. I eat it pretty much everyday and would miss it like crazy. I NEED to go make some of those sugar free cookies. That photo is just too tempting. :)

    • Nicole @ Of Cookies & Carrots February 7, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

      Do it! ;)

      And definitely looove yogurt… there are some decent dairy-free varieties though!
      But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing :)

  3. Alexandra (Veggin' Out in the Kitchen) February 5, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    Good luck on your vegan week! I don’t rely much on dairy either, but I agree that Greek yogurt would definitely be the hardest to give up. I loooooooove that stuff! :) And those cookies look TOO GOOD!!!!!

  4. Angie @ The Fitness Apple February 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    I never grew up eating much oatmeal but I’m an addict now! Same thing with hummus! :)

    • Nicole @ Of Cookies & Carrots February 7, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

      I started eating oatmeal probably at age 13 but before that was utterly repulsed by it. And then I think I’ve had oatmeal almost every single day since then… We’re in a committed relationship ;)

  5. Jenny February 5, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    Those java oats look incredible!! I can eat oatmeal anytime of the time, I just love it. So funny how you took a pic of your salad bar at school, people would think I was nuts haha

    • Nicole @ Of Cookies & Carrots February 7, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

      Eh, they probably do think I’m nuts but it’s all good ;)
      I mean, they probably already thought I was nuts for buying literally a pound’s worth of salad yesterday… oops.

  6. whatkateiscooking February 5, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    I’m following you on Twitter :) Good luck with your vegan week! Before I ever became a vegan or vegetarian, my coworkers and I used to have ‘vegan weeks.’ It seemed so hard- all we ate was vegan junk food :)

  7. Lee @ Fit Foodie Finds February 5, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    I don’t think I could do it! Yogurt is god. Well not quite…but it would be very difficult to give up! You can do it!!!

    PS…the fact that you eat oatmeal twice a day just made my night.

  8. Kristie February 5, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    All this vegan talk lately and seeing how many great non meat and dairy filled foods there are out there is making me think that maybe I really COULD try going vegan! …only for about a week or so though haha. I don’t know if I’m ready to tackle it quite yet but maybe sometime in the near future for kicks. I eat a lot of yogurt though… and cottage cheese… geez and just dairy in general. I love me some dairy! I’ve been curious about these vegan cheeses though, I want to see just what they’re actually like.
    I’m pumped to see more of your vegan eats!

    • Nicole @ Of Cookies & Carrots February 7, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

      I think you totally could! I mean, it might be a bit of a challenge but it’s just a week, and it’s not like your’e NOT eating, you know? If you want any more specific tips or anything feel free to shoot me an e-mail. :) Even a day is kidn of fun, just to change things up a bit!

      I’ve actually had pretty limited experience with vegan cheeses just because when I was originally vegan, the options were more limited (even though it was only a coupe years ago!) I just bought some daiya today and it definitely does melt well, though the taste is still a little off. Still fun to try new things though ;)

  9. Aly February 5, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    Ahh! I totally know what you mean about the oatmeal obsession! I too love to start and end my day with oats! :D It’s just sooooo yummmy!! I will keep the hummus and carrots thing a secret too! (I’ve done that on more than one occasion! But hummus with veggies is like the ultimate snack!! And nut butter… oh, nut butter…. In a nutshell *insert winky face here* it owns my heart!
    Thanks for sharing!!

    • Nicole @ Of Cookies & Carrots February 7, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

      I’m SO glad I’m not the only weirdo who eats oatmeal twice a day ;) heehee. Carrots are seriously not safe around me… At all.

      And nut butter… Well, I hadn’t been eating too much of it for awhile (was afraid it had too much fat or some such nonsense) and now I like to eat it with a spoon. ;)

  10. thefitacademic February 5, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    Did you see Oprah’s whole “vegan for a week” challenge thing? She did a show on it earlier this week! I’ve been debating whether I want to give it a go, but I’m just feeling like now is not the right time…I’m not ready for such a huge change/overhaul right now. And I don’t have the time to plan menus, etc. Maybe over summer…

    • Nicole @ Of Cookies & Carrots February 7, 2011 at 11:40 pm #

      I actually didn’t… But that’s what started this whole trend anyways :) I read some blog posts about it, actually.
      I think it’s not necessarily as hard as some people think it is, particularly if you don’t rely on processed foods too much (a lot of them have some random dairy stuff in them) but definitely just do what you can/want to! :) It’s fun to experiment sometimes though!

  11. movesnmunchies February 5, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

    YAY for vegan!!! im so happy and wish you all the best ;)… looks like you have some grat eats lined up for ya!

  12. movesnmunchies February 5, 2011 at 11:29 pm #


  13. Olivia February 6, 2011 at 5:42 am #

    I’m so jealous that I can’t participate in the vegan weeklong challenge! My mom and I agreed it just wouldn’t be in my best idea to follow a vegan diet for a whole week…so ONE day it is!! I can’t wait:) I’ll definitely be missing Greek yogurt though, that’s like my one major animal based staple. All of your eats look so good! I start and end my day with oatmeal too-no shame!! I LOVE Justin’s too:)

  14. Katherine: Unemployed February 6, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    whoah twitter and vegan all in one post! big news!

    I would miss greek yogurt and cheeses for sure

  15. danica February 6, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    woww I don’t think I could live without my yogurt and cheeeese! But these low sugar cookies, they sound fantastic. I’m going to try them tonight!

  16. Ma Ma Megan February 6, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    I missed greek yogurt and eggs when I first became vegan. But now I just don’t miss them at all.
    Your schools salad bar looks awesome. I’m jealous!
    Oh, and coffee in oatmeal.. Is. So. Good. haha :)

  17. Hungry Dancer February 6, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    You have lots of great staples for a vegan week!! Sounds like it would be too difficult!

  18. theamazonprincess February 6, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    Sounds like you got a plan girl! :D Good luck! You’re lucky your school is pretty accommodative, mine is too. They have Amy’s meals everywhere! :)

    • Nicole @ Of Cookies & Carrots February 7, 2011 at 11:35 pm #

      I’m quickly realizing that if anything I have TOO MANY options… I want to try the amy’s chocolate cake, the multiple frozen meals… ahh! ;)

  19. TheNewHealthy February 6, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    Wow we did do a very similar post plan for the week! :) Also, I am really jealous of your school’s salad bar–that looks great!!

  20. cleaneatingchelsey February 6, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    Greek yogurt is the only dairy product my stomach can handle. I refuse to give it up just for the fact that it has soo much protein! How can I beat 25 grams of protein in one cup of yogurt?

    • Nicole @ Of Cookies & Carrots February 7, 2011 at 11:35 pm #

      I know! It’s hard to beat all that protein and something so delicious! haha. :) But just for a week I think I’ll manage ;)

  21. runyogarepeat February 7, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    I would hate to give up Cheddar Cheese – I love it! I would say ice cream, but coconut ice cream is SO good – I love the dark chocolate coconut ice cream!

  22. kissmybroccoli February 11, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    I think the hardest thing for me to give up would be my greek yogurt…and cheese, goat cheese to be exact! I LOVE the stuff!

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