Vegan Challenge Day One: From Sam's Kitchen to You...

Hi friends! I am very happy to report that day one of the vegan challenge has gone quite well. I started off the day with a 5.6 mile run, which was completely unexpected because I haven't run more than a mile or two in weeks. Yay for being pain free during and after the run!! I'm such a total rock star it hurts...oops I mean it doesn't hurt. Not even a little bit.

Following my early morning workout I dug into my first vegan meal of the day:

Soy yogurt, blueberries and Fibre One cereal.  I can't say that I loved this as much as the Greek yogurt that usually accompanies my breakfast but it filled me up and kept me that way until lunch. That said, would I buy soy yogurt if I wasn't a vegan? Sorry but unfortunately the answer is no. Greek yogurt all the way baby!

After a morning of work (and some good news from my boss!) I taught Tabata during lunch. It was great to get up in front of the class again and I am hoping I really motivated the participants to push themselves. ( I think sweat puddles = motivated but I can't be too sure)

Once that butt kick was done it was time for lunch which meant my first taste of yesterday's vegan chili.

Verdict for this one? Yum! I had forgotten that I included fire roasted tomatoes and was surprised by the spice factor (hello instant runny nose) but all and all it was really good. Phew, the 25lbs of leftovers won't go to waste!!

Tonight's menu consisted of a vegan rendition of my own black bean burgers

You will need:

2 cups black beans
1 cup diced vegetables (I used onions, red pepper and eggplant)
3 tbsp BBQ or Heinz 57 sauce
1 tsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp Cajun spice
1/2 tsp salt

Prepare the beans in advance (or if using canned you can just go ahead and skip this step)

Mash the beans in a bowl, ensuring that you don't over mash (don't and I repeat DON'T take your  rage frustrations out on these poor beans ya hear?)

Add vegetables, oil and sauce. Stir thoroughly.

Form mixture into balls (what size you ask? Why don't we live a little and let you decide that one for your self) and refrigerate for 30 minutes

Place patties into a frying pan at medium temperature. Press down with a spatula to flatten.

Allow patties to cook until crispy on one side (you won't be able to flip 'em if you don't) Ok, now flip ' em!!(approx. 5-8 minutes if you are timing me...sheesh!)

Serve on a bun* with your favorite vegan-friendly condiment (I chose hummus, spinach and tomato)

*Verify that your bun/bread is vegan by reading the ingredients. I used a Stonemill Bakehouse bagel which is free of animal products.

The burgers were good.although admittedly they fall apart quite easily. In other words they would be great crumbled up and added to a salad (yea I am totally doing that for lunch tomorrow)

What I Learned Today

Being a vegan takes time.
Homemade meals require a lot more planning and effort than prepackaged fare.
That said, the effort is worth it because you know what goes into the food that you eat.
Oh, and it doesn't hurt that I was able to avoid the sugary cake at the office by explaining that it's not vegan. (for some reason a simple "no thanks" is never a good enough response)

And if vegan cooking has got you down throw in a few of these to pass the time

They're vegan friendly, I checked!!

So tell me, are you a fan of homemade meals? Do you like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen?


  1. i'm doing the challenge too and definitely having fun w/ it :) i already cook/prep a lot of my food from basic ingredients so today was actually even easier than i had anticipated. your chili looks delicious -- love those fire-roasted tomatoes.

  2. Good luck on the challange and a great day 1!

  3. so glad it worked out!! it does take more planning and time, but you can easily put some beans and hummus and avocado in a wrap for something quick and tasty!

  4. You read my mind, I was going to make black bean burgers tonight, or pizza. I haven't decided yet :) and I am liking the look of the last pic ;)

  5. I agree that being vegan takes time and careful planning, especially if you want NEW things and not the same old snacks/meals day after day OR packaged foods.

    Like last night, I made veggie burgers so I would have something for lunch. I made them after making dinner. I was in the kitchen until almost 9:30pm cleaning up. Ug. BUT it was worth it because now I have veggie burgers for the rest of the week :)

  6. I love home cooked meals. I much prefer it to eating out, but it can be hard when it comes to the time crunch. All the food looks amazing. Keep up the awesome work.

  7. black bean burgers sounds awesome! I need to make this...but not sure how the fam will react to it. So it might be something I make for myself for lunches.

    If I have time, I like to be in the kitchen making up new things...but time is the killer with two kiddos. The one thing I don't like is the mess and clean up in the kitchen. That seems to take the longest!

  8. Wahoo- congrats on making it through day 1 :)

    The chili looks fab!

  9. I remember when I was a new vegetarian and then again when I started my sugar detox, preparing and planning for meals was really complicated and lengthy! Once I got used to it, it became a ton easier - so maybe by the end of the week it'll take less planning! I can't wait to hear how it goes - especially since I am taking the challenge next week!

  10. Hi! I am a big fan of Greek yogurt, so I have a question for you. What does soy yogurt taste like? Good luck with your challenge!

  11. I love homemade meals, but I am a lazy cook! I do like to bake though!

  12. Looks like you had a great day 1! That chili looks amazing!

  13. I like homemade meals, but it's not always plausible to have the time to prepare them. I try to avoid packaged food, but it happens sometimes :)

  14. I didn't participate in the challenge, but your food is making me think it would be great! Everything looks so delicious and it's so nice to know that you're eating wholesome, healthy meals.

  15. It definitely takes time, and planning, too. Good luck!!

  16. Great options!! I have observed the same thing with these 7 day challenges--you must prepare in advance-lots-o-time!!! Those burgers look delish!!