Will you go meatless with me for vegweek 2017

It’s that time of the year again folks! Yup, I’m talking about VegWeek (starts next Monday!), the seven day veg-pledge to help you, the animals, and the planet live a healthier, happier life!! Woo Hoo!

This is the perfect opportunity to “get your feet wet” in the world of vegan living, while also getting the SUPPORT you need through daily emails from VegWeek.com. As an added bonus, all week long, big time vegan companies will be offering coupons for some of the leading brands in plant-based foods.

I get really excited about this because it can be such an empowering week for you to take back your health and “just say no” to factory farming, which is a growing problem that is impacting our planet and causing harm to millions of animals every. single. second.

baby chicks

I know that’s pretty heavy material for some people, and most don’t want to hear about what is really going on with the animals behind closed doors. However, the GOOD NEWS is that the more educated you become as a consumer and compassionate human being, the more YOU will be able to make informed choices, and that is where the real magic begins.

Related: Cheese Alternatives & Why You Don’t Need to Eat Dairy

This year, I want to do something a little different- on top of sharing recipes (below) to prepare you for an entire week of VEGAN LOVE, I also want to give you pointers to some really important books and documentaries that I find valuable, if you are willing to take the next step to becoming aware of the severity of this issue. I personally believe that as time goes on, many people will start to look at meat-eating as the new smoking, which is something that impacts more than just the smoker, but the quality of life AROUND the smoker as well.

eat fresh for vegweek 2017!

And if right now you’re thinking, “Well, that’s easy for YOU to say Randi, you KNOW how to cook without animal products already!”, I just want to reassure you that once upon a time, I too was on the COMPLETE opposite side of the veggie fence. I’m an ex-smoker, ex-addict, and ex-fast-food-enthusiast. My idea of a good breakfast was an over easy egg or a BLT, and pretty much every dinner was insert-fast-food-establishment-here. I KNOW what it is like to start from ground zero, and I’m here to tell you that you CAN do it!

The Benefits of Doing a Week of Veg:

  • Increased energy as you eat a variety of vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds.
  • Sense of connection to your food and what it does for your body.
  • Awareness of the state of our food system.
  • Growth of compassion for the animals in the system.
  • Mental clarity for how your body can transform through a week of veg!

My VegWeek Tips:

  • Choose recipes that do not rely on heavily processed ingredients (I have the MASTER LIST of recipes below!)
  • Take it step by step: if you’re new to plant-based living, begin by going meatless, and work towards cutting out animal products throughout the week.
  • Pack plenty of vegan snacks/lunches for on the go (think homemade hummus, loaded veggie sandwiches, smoothies, and loaded veggie salads) .
  • Watch plant-based documentaries (list provided below) on Netflix or through Amazon, to inform you about this growing issue and to inspire you to keep going.

If you’re new to vegan living and plant-based foods, I’d love to hear from you btw. What is your biggest struggle when it comes to going veg? You can let me know in the contact form here.

If you need more encouragement and/or extra love for VegWeek, please reach out to me by contacting me here. You can also subscribe to my veggie tribe and get my TOP 20 VEGAN RECIPES & REMEDIES *FREE* by clicking here.

Now, onward to the recommendations!

VegWeek 2017 Resources:

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The Ultimate Vegan Sloppy Joe

It’s almost April, and that means VegWeek 2017 is coming up on the 17th! To celebrate this, I’ll be bringing you guys some awesome posts in the recipe department (so hold on to your forks), starting with a trip down to  ♫ “Lunch Lady Laaaaaaand” ♫ for an updated version of the classic Sloppy Joe.

Oh yes.

Honestly, I can’t imagine making Sloppy Joes WITHOUT singing an ode of Adam Sandler: “SLOPPY JOE, SLOP, SLOPPY JOE YEEAAAH”. To do so would be sacrilegious and bad parenting on my part. Seriously, my kids would probably think something is wrong with me because it’s always been physically impossible to serve them SJ and not sing at least a line or two.

Vegan Sloppy Joes
“Now me and Sloppy Joe got married…we got six kids and we’re doin’ just fine.”

Did I mention how awesome it is when your kids are old enough to enjoy a good joke AND participate in a family SNL sing-along? #proudmama

Unlike the song though, yesterday’s meatloaf is NOT today’s Sloppy Joes. You won’t find any ♫ navy beans, navy beans, navy beans ♫ here, just good old fashioned lentils, which is ALWAYS a better option than cafeteria mystery meat.

In fact, today’s Sloppy Joes is the ULTIMATE vegan comfort sandwich!

The Making of the Ultimate Vegan Sloppy Joe
Making the Ultimate Sloppy Joe is like having your own personal delicious ritual.

Loaded down with BBQ lentils, red cabbage slaw, oven-baked fries, and topped with a generous portion of smashed avocado on a toasted bun, this sandwich is totally moan-worthy and not limited to children (just the young at heart!).

Pretty soon, I’m sure you’ll be dancing around the kitchen just like Chris Farley in a hair net, only (I hope) much sexier *wink*.

Enjoy this one on me, and don’t forget to sing…LOUDLY:)

The Ultimate Vegan Sloppy Joe

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Mostly Raw Vegan German Red Cabbage & Apples

In my pre-vegan days, and when I first got married, I loved learning how to cook traditional German cuisine. Having Germanic roots on both sides of our family, it only made sense to dive deep into the starchy, meaty recipes that (I felt) were part of the makeup of my soul.

We loved it so much, that for our first anniversary back in the 00’s, my husband and I made the trip out to Helen, Georgia, for their annual Oktoberfest. We stayed in a replica of a quaint German Inn, and over the course of the weekend we mingled with old people in braids and lederhosen, drank plenty of beer, and even did the chicken dance. For me though, the most unforgettable, cringing experience was the food poisoning I succumbed to thanks to a bad serving of sauerkraut. That night, I got really personal with the bathroom floor, and still shudder at the thought of pink tile.

Thankfully, that experience wasn’t enough to ruin the whole German food thing for me lol, but my whole outlook on food changed dramatically a couple years later when I went vegetarian, and shortly thereafter, vegan.

german vegan cabbage
My stance on food ethics may have changed over the years, but my lust for German *vegan* food has not.

I realized that no matter how much I loved German food, I just couldn’t shake what I had learned about the treatment of animals, and therefor, was willing to say “auf wiedersehen” to the cuisine for good.

However, as I dove further into the world of plant-based eating, I found that many of the dishes I had once loved could still be made vegan. I dug out my old cookbook and over the years, have transformed many of my favorite dishes into vegan-friendly dinners that we still enjoy today (I’ll be sharing my favorites throughout this year!).

Related: Mostly Raw Red Quinoa & Cabbage Vegan Salad

Despite my experience with Oktoberfest, I still LOVE sauerkraut and “traditional” red cabbage. Fermented foods are some of my favorite side-dishes and are a pinch to make, plus are actually super good for you to boot!

Enjoy a healthy serving of this gorgeous red cabbage and apples, complete with Balvarian influence.

While this dish is usually served fully cooked, for this revamp, I decided to give it a healthy twist by leaving the cabbage and apples raw. What you get is a slaw that is crisp and warm, married with the flavors of your favorite Bavarian feast.

Related: Raw Jalapeño Coleslaw

This makes a terrific dish that can accompany any lunch or dinner. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have:)

“Guten Tag!”

Vegan German Red Cabbage & Apples

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Nightshade Free & Low-Histamine Friendly Compassionate Vegan Sheperds Pie

Anyone that has been a long-time reader of Bohemian knows that I get a kick out of St Patrick’s Day. It’s my favorite out of the low-key holidays, as it brings in that breath of fresh air that says YES, spring is on the way and it’s time to celebrate by busting out your best Irish jig, crankin’ up the folk music, and cooking your favorite Irish meal.

It’s also a great excuse to have a mini marathon of  “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, which is basically one of the best shows EVER to grace the television in the 00’s (long-time enthusiast here- no shame!). 

Of course, what “Sunny” holiday marathon would be complete without Dee Reynolds doing her best “Crazy Patty” commercial for Youtube LOL:

“So come on down to Paddy’s, it’s IN-SAAAAANE.”

*Insert high kicks here* as I laugh uncontrollably…every single time I watch it lol. 

Speaking of which, you know what else is crazy insane? This DELICIOUS Compassionate Vegan Sheperd’s Pie- it’s truly a golden recipe that’s perfect for anyone who wants to celebrate meat-free, while also skipping the nightshade veggies. *insert more high kicks*

 Have the luck of the Irish with you when you bake this stunning Sheperds Pie!
Have the luck of the Irish with you when you bake this stunning Sheperd’s Pie!

Because let’s face it- Irish food (and American) is pretty heavy on the meat and potatoes, which can lead to extended bellies and uncomfortable holidays. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to feel like that on a day that’s all about the green!

Related: Vegan Irish Stew

This St. Patrick’s Day, keep it friendly and lighthearted by using sweet potatoes and mushrooms as healthy, cruelty-free alternatives. For those that want to keep it low-histamine, this recipe is easily adaptable to fit that need- simply leave out the vegan cheddar cheese and/or nutritional yeast (if need be) and choose a vegetable broth that you know works well with your tummy.

Vegan Sheperds Pie
This recipe is not only nightshade-free, dairy-free, and meat-free, but can also be adjusted to fit a low-histamine diet.

I hope that this Sheperd’s Pie brings you lots of luck and love on St. Patrick’s Day this year! By making the choice to skip the meat and nourish your body with healthy, savory veggies, you’ll be giving an Irish blessing not only to your body, but to the planet as well.

So come on down and try this Patty’s Pie- it’s IN-SAAAAAANNNNEEE. *insert one more high kick* aaaaaannnd end scene.

Compassionate Vegan Sheperd’s Pie

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