Sunday, May 05, 2013

Vegan at a Potluck, and my first recipe!

I've been vegan about 5 weeks now and today was one of the first social gatherings with non-family members hosting I've attended since starting to eat a vegan diet.

Thankfully, the theme was a Cinco de Mayo fiesta, so that usually works out quite well for us.  We didn't find out about this party until a few hours before, so I didn't have a lot of time to plan for something delicious and wonderful.  I ended up bringing some homemade guacamole and Dave brought a meat offering (venison seasoned to be a taco stuffing).  The guac was super simple- just four avocados, mashed, a little salt, and about 1/3-1/2 cup of pico de gallo that was locally made.  It was totally gone by the end of the party, and one lovely girl, who is about 10 years old or so, raved about how delicious it was.  What a sweetie!  I told her the recipe and she told her mom how easy it was to make.  I hope she learns to make it- it's such a simple thing that is so delicious.

I was able to eat the corn tortillas, Spanish rice, and a handful of toppings, so I made myself some rice tacos and topped them with onions, cilantro and of course guacamole.  Delicious!

I smelled the wonderful looking cheesecake bars and ate them through my nostrils.  They tasted delicious!  Had I actually eaten them, I would have enjoyed it while I was in the moment, and as soon as it was in my belly, I would have regretted it.  Thank goodness for willpower, and I think my sugar addiction has been kicked!  Wahoo!

Other Cinco de Mayo discoveries:  I can make tortilla chips in my oven! Two corn tortillas has about 1.5 grams of fat, and a batch of chips is about 6 tortillas, cut into triangles.  All I did was cut them up, put them on a pan lined with a silpat (parchment paper would work fine, too), squirt them with a little lime juice, add salt, and bake.  My oven was set for 350 and they baked for 17 minutes, but other instructions I saw said to bake for 12.  So oven time will vary!  The difference between my baked tortilla chips and the recipes I've seen elsewhere is that all the other baked tortilla chip recipes I've seen call for spraying the tortilla shell with cooking spray.  I don't ever buy cooking spray (I really don't like it for a lot of reasons) so I didn't have it on hand.  So I substituted the lime.  They turned out great and they are very low in fat and calories.

I just read on that a 7 chip serving of tortilla chips amounts to 140 calories and 7 grams fat.  Doesn't sound too bad, right?  But who really only stops at 7 tortilla chips?  I know I never did!  I suppose if you counted out 7 chips, it would be just fine for a snack.  But sometimes I want to crunch on chips for a while.  Eating my entire batch of tortilla chips (and I'm estimating that one corn tortilla is about the same as 7 tortilla chips) I consumed just 300 calories and 4.5 grams of fat.  I got even less fat then the 7 chip serving of regular tortilla chips!  Had I eaten an equivalent amount of regular tortilla chips, I would have eaten around 800 calories and eaten more than 40 grams of fat!  Perhaps I would have stopped sooner with the regular tortilla chips, but learning how much more fat and calories they have is pretty shocking to me.  Eating things that are low in fat means that I can eat more food in general while consuming fewer calories.  Which means I am able to eat until I'm full without worrying that I'm going to eat too many calories.  And the result of that?  Weight loss!

When I make tortilla chips again, I'll take some pictures of the process.  It is so easy. I've only ever fried tortillas to make chips before, and this is way easier and way healthier, too!

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