Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Quick Eats: Grilled Cheeze and Tri-Pepper Fajita

Here are the products that I used for my grilled cheeze:
I assume that most people understand how to make grilled cheese, so I'm not giving any instructions for this one!

Also, let me state that my grilled cheeze technically isn't completely vegan because my bread is "Honey Wheat". I bought this bread on my first vegan grocery shopping trip, and I was so concerned with reading all of the labels for milk, eggs, and byproducts that I forgot about honey. (It's surprising how many products contain dairy or its byproducts!) Many vegans choose to abstain from honey because it is produced by other creatures for their personal consumption, not ours.  For more about why most vegans don't think we should eat honey: Vegans and Honey. There is a little bit of a debate surrounding this issue, but after this first grocery hiccup, I'm planning on avoiding honey. However, when I realized that I accidentally bought honey bread, I decided that I wasn't going to waste a whole loaf of bread because I'm mostly concerned about avoiding the dairy products and byproducts at this point.

Here's my delicious grilled cheeze:
 I'd never had vegan sliced "cheese" before I made this, and I was curious to see how it was.  I'm not a big fan of American "cheese" because I feel like it's kind of weird and tastes like plastic.  So it didn't surprise me that much when I actually liked the vegan cheese better! 
While I was looking for vegan cheese, I found a lot of items that were "lactose free" but not completely free of dairy by-products.  Also, I made another grocery blunder and bought 2 packs of Quorn products that were on sale without reading the ingredients.  They're aimed towards vegetarians, but they actually contain egg whites.  Luckily, my husband (non-veggie) likes Quorn stuff, and he's already finished one whole package of the products.  He also already tried this cheeze and liked it!
So apparently, it is not safe to assume that vegetarian products are also vegan.  In fact, I found that most of the ones aimed to imitate meat products are not vegan!   I guess I'll just have to continue to read labels until I get used to this and find some safe go-to products.  For what it's worth, I try not to get too many convenience foods.  Part of this challenge is to try new recipes and eat more whole foods, but 1) it was my first week as a vegan and I wanted to try some new things and 2) sometimes you just need something quick and easy to make for those busy days!  I know myself and how much free time I have, so realistically, I'm planning a gradual change and giving myself some leeway as I get started.
Also, I ate the grilled cheeze as an easy-to-prepare meal before I went to my garden plot, but I didn't have very much to eat at lunch and breakfast today, and I was still hungry.  So when I got back home again, I made a bell pepper fajita.  I usually prefer to make tacos with tofu, too, but I'm all out of tofu right now. So just peppers today. 
A colorful display of peppers!

Cooked some frozen tri-colored peppers in a little bit of olive oil, added some taco seasoning (onion, garlic, cumin, and crushed red pepper powder) as they finished cooking, put them in a warmed wheat tortilla shell, and sprinkled some noosh* on top of the peppers. 
Yum, yum!
*Noosh = nutritional yeast.  It has a kind of cheezy, nutty flavor and contains B12 and lots of other important vitamins and minerals.

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