So as I have mentioned in my previous post, I am tracking my macros as I am eating as I am trying to lose weight and then also I am intrigued to see what my diet is looking like whilst being vegan. Currently I am working with:
- Calories: 1618kcal
- Protein: 119g
- Fat: 66g
- Carbs: 137g
(All those worked out using the macrofit website after inputting my stats)
Usually I can hit my protein easily by just eating a pack of chicken and suck like, but I don’t think I have hit my goal once this week yet without staying under my carb and fat goals. I did a bit of googling and every vegan high protein source was high in carbs or fat (i.e. chickpeas, legumes, lentils, nuts). So I looked into vegan protein. Now there are so many different types out there, but I wanted to go for something relatively cheap and small in size, so if I didn’t like the flavour it wasn’t a huge loss of dollar. The one I ended up going for was the chocolate peanut flavour from complete series.
This protein is only about 130kcal per serving and gives 21g of protein, 7g of carbs and 1.3g of fat. It is made up of pea protein, brown rice flour and quinoa and is free from soya. I had it with almond milk as my breakfast shake and the taste is actually great! It didn’t taste too synthetically sweet and has actually filled me up! I have constantly been hungry, but I think that is the lack of protein rather than not eating enough. This is a definite keeper for me for the next month, but we will see if I get sick of the flavour or not after a few weeks.
Moving onto another vegan meal I have had this week inspired by the minimalist baker. I follow her on Instagram and was scrolling through her feed to find this recipe that was vegan friendly. What I love about her recipes, she puts the nutritional information up with it as well. The recipe I decided to go trial was the marinated almond butter tofu with green beans. Tofu seems to be a huge alternative protein source for vegans but I have heard lots of them say that they don’t like the texture of it. However, from the way that Dana (aka minimalist baker) has told you to cook it from the instructions, it actually turned out to be a similar texture to chicken! The only thing I changed with the recipe is that I marinated it for 24 hours instead of the 5-10 mins she said, simply because I wanted to eat it hot the following evening. Another thing to be wary of, when she says ‘small spicy peppers’ this is NOT the same as scotch bonnet chillies! I made a huge error and put 2-3 of these in and no joke, my mouth was on FIRE. I have never had spice like it. I am someone who can handle my spice usually, but JESUS CHRIST! My eyes were watering uncontrollably, I had a sweaty upper lip and looked like I was fresh out of having botox on my lips. I did finish it, and I was adamant I would after 24 hours of marinating it. But just to warn the rest of you and save your mouths. Know your chillies! None the less, enjoy the recipe!
- 1 12-ounce (340 g) package extra firm tofu
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) sesame oil (+1 Tbsp (15 ml) for cooking)
- 4 Tbsp (60 ml) reduced-sodium tamari (or soy sauce if not GF)
- 3 Tbsp (45 ml) maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp (32 g) almond butter (or sub peanut butter)
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) lime juice
- 1-2 tsp chili garlic sauce or 1/2 tsp red pepper flake or 1-2 Thai chillies, minced
- 1 pound (453 g) green beans, trimmed
- 2-3 small spicy peppers (I used cherry bomb – use bell peppers for less heat)
- Brown rice, white rice, or cauliflower Rice
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Also wrap tofu in a clean, absorbent towel and set something heavy on top – like a cast-iron skillet – to press out excess moisture.
- Once oven is preheated, unwrap tofu and cut into small cubes. Arrange on the lined baking sheet in an even layer and bake for 25-30 minutes or until puffy, dried out, and slightly crispy on the edges (see photo). This step helps crisp up the tofu. The longer you bake it, the firmer and crispier it will get, so adjust cooking time accordingly.
- In the meantime, to a small mixing bowl, add 1 Tbsp sesame oil, tamari, maple syrup, almond butter, lime juice, and chili garlic sauce/red pepper flake/Thai chilies. Whisk to combine. Then taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more almond butter for creaminess / nuttiness, tamari for saltiness, lime juice for acidity, or chili garlic sauce for heat. Set aside.
- If serving with rice, prepare at this time (see notes).
- Add baked tofu to the almond butter-tamari sauce and let marinate for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The longer it marinates, the more intense the flavor, but I find 5-10 minutes to be sufficient.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the tofu, leaving most of the marinade behind (this will be added to the vegetables for flavor).
- Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides and slightly caramelized. Remove from pan and set aside.
- To the skillet, add remaining 1 Tbsp sesame oil, green beans and peppers and 2-3 Tbsp (30-45 ml) of the marinade. Cover to steam for about 4-5 minutes or until green beans are slightly tender. Then remove lid, increase heat to medium high, and add remaining marinade and the tofu. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Then remove from heat.
- Serve as is or over cooked rice or cauliflower rice. For more heat, serve with chili garlic sauce or Sriracha.
- Best when fresh. Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until hot.