Stuff I Ate Vol. 1

So I’ve been vegetarian/vegan for almost six months now. Besides dropping about 8 kgs, the biggest change I’ve noticed is that I no longer get sick as often as I used to. That is pretty huge for me. My digestive issues are under control and I don’t get the flu as easily anymore. One of main reasons I went vegetarian was that I wanted to improve my immune system, so to see such drastic results has me floored and given me more reason to really stick with this new lifestyle.

Also, I’ve noticed my hangovers aren’t as awful. These are all good things! Enough to make me want to do this for life. I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating; going veg has also made me more excited about food. Back when we still ate meat, Joff and I relied a little too heavily on our tried and tested routine of roasting meat (usually, chicken) and pairing it with a salad. While it was delicious, I realise now how boring it became. Sure we ate other things and experimented with new recipes, but it’s only now that I feel like I’m really testing my mettle in the kitchen, and it just feels so much more gratifying.

Being vegetarian/vegan is my new passion. I know I might sound a little evangelical about it, but it’s been a while since I’ve felt this way about anything. So I thought I’d write about some of the stuff we’ve been eating/cooking lately.

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Since discovering them back in May, Joff and I have become a bit obsessed with Vietnamese com chay. Com chay are Buddhist eateries that serve rice (com) with an assortment of delicious vegan (chay) sides. The plate you see above is from our favorite com chay, Bo De Quan on Au Co street. The place stays open all afternoon, which is a godsend since I work til 2 pm, and has hands-down has the best tasting food.

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Vegan banh mi

I’ve been slowly making my way through Lucky Peach’s Power Vegetables! cookbook. Pictured above on the top row is ABC Squash, then from L-R it’s a simple tomato sauce, falafels, and tofu akuri. Peter Meehan is my hero. He takes the fussiness out of recipes and replaces them with something fun and, more importantly, simple. This is our third Lucky Peach cookbook (the other two are Easy Asian Recipes and All About Eggs), and we couldn’t be happier with it. I’ve been documenting all my Power Vegetables testing over at my Instagram account.

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This one was really good. I made the Power Vegetables simple tomato sauce and mixed in some cooked green lentils for a vegan version of bolognese. I topped it off with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for some umami, cheesy goodness.

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Squash curry topped off with scallions and crispy shallots. Coconut milk just makes everything good.

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Black bean salad with a roasted red pepper sauce. The black beans were cooked with garlic, onions, cumin, smoked paprika, and chipotle peppers. I added some pickled jalapeños and chopped cilantro after taking this photo and it made it even better. The roasted red pepper sauce is one of my new go-tos. I’ll post a recipe here for that on my next entry.

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