Buddha bowl with sesame and tofu
Serves 2 | 20 min | Easy
Since about a week ago we’ve only eaten vegan food. Before that we've called ourselves weekday vegans, which basically meant that we did our best to eat only vegan food at home, but could eat eggs and dairy at restaurants. But we had to face the fact that we didn’t know what it felt like to be completely vegan, and after seeing the documentary What the health on Netflix we wanted to give it a go.
We've never really been vegetarians for health reasons – we stopped eating meat for environmental reasons and because we condemn the treatment of farm animals. But the documentary gave us an insight into how eating dairy products affect us and our bodies, which made us want to give it a go ourselves (even though diet and nutrition are notoriously difficult subjects to study, as this counter-argument to the documentary points out).
But even if eating vegan food wasn't healthier than any other diet, it most certainly isn't worse. That said, based on our research we feel that a balanced vegan diet is healthier – the one thing that keeps sticking in my head is the fact that cow's milk is a substance that has been perfected by evolution to grow a small calf into a massive 700kg - 1000kg cow, so why the hell do we think that a substance that exists for that purpose is fit for daily (and excessive) human consumption?
Finally, dairy production contributes just as much to the suffering of animals as meat production, so who are we to accept the suffering of milking cows and egg-laying hen, but at the same time judge the treatment of cows, pigs and chickens for meat production?
So it was time for us to go vegan.
Now we're one week into eating an all vegan diet and I have to say that it hasn’t been hard at all. Especially since we happen to live in a very vegan friendly city. And physically I feel the same, I haven't noticed a difference in my mood or energy levels at all. But I have to say we haven’t changed our diet that drastically, because we ate a diet that was very close to a vegan on before, so in that sense a drastic change in our physical well-being wasn't probably to be expected.
The one thing we have noticed and found interesting is eating out on the town. As a vegetarian, it’s not a struggle to eat out, you can always find a feta salad somewhere, and most (if not all) restaurants have at least one vegetarian dish on the menu. But now, as a vegan, you have to do research and find out which restaurants are vegan friendly or have a vegan option. In the store, you have to read the label of ingredients and google words you don’t understand. We have a new-found respect for vegans, and even though it's not really that hard to be a vegan in Stockholm in 2017, it’s still a struggle sometimes. Yesterday we went to this super cute restaurant to have a drink and they served nothing but meat in every course, granted it’s not hard to just avoid those kinds of places but it’s still interesting that they choose to not serve a growing portion of the public.
So here we are. Full time vegans (for the time being at least) and not finding it too hard or too complicated at the moment. We're going to stick to this until our trip to Italy at the end of the month, and then if we get an urge to eat cheese we just might, who knows. But I think we will stick to a mostly vegan diet in the future as well.
We might not label ourselves vegan if we eat the occasional piece of cheese, but then again, there's no reason to be too hard on yourself – instead just do the best you can and live as close to your values and morals as possible, and if you slip up, don't beat yourself up about it. At least you're trying.
Since our new food adventure we've tried a lot of poke bowls and Buddha bowls, and now we seemingly don’t want to eat anything else. Yesterday we decided to create our own on a whim, so we just used what ingredients we had at home.
But that’s the beauty of creating any type of "bowl" – you don’t have to follow a recipe, you can just use what’s at hand. We wanted to show you how easy it is to both make a buddha bowl and to eat healthy, tasty vegan food so we also made a short youtube video of it. It really is as easy as it looks.
250 g of tofu
2 portions of glass noodles
a Handful of fresh salad
half an avocado
10 cm of cucumber
a dash of soy sauce
some cilantro leaves
Start by frying the tofu for a few minutes on all sides (we used the pre-marinated kind but if you're using a natural one, marinate it in soy and almond oil for at least an hour before frying)
Chop the mushrooms into thick pieces, and fry them for a few minutes until golden brown, then add a large dash of soy sauce and fry until the sauce has evaporated
Boil some water and place the noodles in it (do not boil any further), then let them sit for 3-4 min
Pour the water out and serve with the mushrooms, salad, shredded carrot, sliced cucumber and avocado – and plate in any way you like!
Top everything off with some cilantro leaves, a dash of sesame oil and a pinch of sesame seeds