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Vegan at Chipotle

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It’s no secret that it’s easy to get a vegan meal at Chipotle.  It’s my favorite casual dining restaurant because I don’t feel like I am compromising by having a flavorless, boring meal or making anyone else compromise by having to eat the same food as me all the time.

Up until recently, eating vegan at Chipotle has meant simply ordering a meatless bowl, salad, burrito, or taco, without pinto beans (cooked with bacon) and without cheese or sour cream.  It’s not a bad arrangement, either.  The meatless option means free guacamole!

However, now California Chipotle locations are offering Tofu Sofritas as an alternative to meat and simply meatless meals.

Vegan at Chipotle | A Vegan in Progress

Thank you, Chipotle!

According to their website,

“We start with organic tofu from Hodo Soy that we shred and then braise with chipotle chilis, roasted poblanos, and a blend of aromatic spices.

The result is a delicious, spicy tofu that will give vegans and carnivores something they both will love.”
A close up of my burrito with delicious Sofritas and an assortment of salsas.

A close up of my burrito with delicious Sofritas and an assortment of salsas.

It’s no joke, either.  Sofritas are filling and spicy and make for an awesome option that everyone can enjoy.  Hopefully they will do well in California and Chipotle’s corporate heads decide to offer them at all of their locations across the US, the UK, Canada, and France.

UPDATE:

Sofritas were ruled a success in test markets and plans are in place to make them an option at all Chipotle locations!

Days Nine, Ten, Twelve, and Thirteen

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Day Nine:  Add a large salad every day

The purpose of this step in Sarah Taylor’s Vegan in 30 Days is to try new things and be prepared with many different salad ideas.  I’m kind of stumped by this step, which is why I haven’t posted my progress in a while.

I currently have three go-to salad recipes that I regularly use.

  1.  Chinese “chicken” salad: see this post and add Smart Strips Chick’n Style Strips by Lightlife.
  2. Southwestern Salad: corn, black beans, olives, and salsa or some type of southwestern dressing.
  3. Mixed salad: chick peas, grape tomatoes, sliced kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, balsalmic vinaigrette dressing.  Sometimes I use Follow Your Heart Vegan Cesar dressing and it seems like an entirely different salad.

I’m going to search Pinterest and other websites until I find four new salad recipes to try.  I’ll eat those over the next week or so and report back.  If anyone knows of a delicious vegan salad I should try, I would definitely appreciate suggestions!

Day Ten: Read Diet for a New America

This was actually the first step I took on my journey.  My sister, Alli, recommended it and loaned me her copy.  Unfortunately, I haven’t kept up on reading it every day.  I’m going to step it up and hope to finish it before the fall semester begins because it will be infinitely harder to get any recreational reading done at that point.

The book is very informative and makes a great, educated case for going vegan.  One of the things that I had no clue about prior to beginning John Robbins’ book is that animals killed for kosher meat are even less humanely slaughtered than the rest.  It is not as simple as avoiding kosher meat, either, because, due to costs, many parts of the animal cannot be sold as kosher, even though they are killed using the kosher method.  This much of the animals sold as meat on the market is needlessly butchered in this cruel manner.

I look forward to finishing the book and will post more about it in an upcoming blog entry.

Day Twelve: Eliminate Cheese

I have noticed that cheese is included in a lot of the vegetarian dishes offered in restaurants, seemingly because people think that there isn’t enough to the dish without including meat and cheese.

I have been eating a limited amount of cheese since I started working vegan meals into my daily diet.  I have found that cheese can usually be left out of recipes, or, in the case of last night’s dinner, can be replaced by vegan cheese.  I think this transition will be easy for me, with the exception of brie cheese, which I have grown to love over the recent years.

Day 13:  Take a tour of your local health food store

I am very fortunate to live in an area with a Sprouts, Whole Foods, and Follow Your Heart Market not far away.  Whole Foods is pretty pricy, so our grocery store of choice is Sprouts.  They have a plentiful fresh produce section, which drew us in as regular customers even before I began this journey.  My favorite section is their bulk foods.  This is where you can get dry fruit, rice, beans, lentils, nuts, flour, sugar, etc., all by the pound.  I have outfitted my pantry with a variety of storage containers with chalkboard labels.  This way, I can fill them with whatever I like and easily change the label.

My Pantry | A Vegan in Progress

I love my pantry!

As you can see in the photo, I keep a nut and dried cranberry mixture in the pantry in the pantry with a 1/3 cup measuring cup for easy snack bags to take to work and the movies.  I have compared the prices of both pre-packaged nut mixes and couscous, and the bulk variety is a huge money saver.

Sprouts grocery store also has a bulk spices section, which is helpful for when I try new recipes.  It’s much better to spend ninety cents on the exact amount of spices needed for a recipe rather than buy a whole new container of spices that I may never use again.