Vegan For a Week Challenge

No, I am not cracking down on my eats after a booze and donair filled weekend. I don’t roll like that. But I am kindasorta taking part in Morgan’s Vegan For a Week Challenge.

And by “kindasorta” I mean I’m going to Ottawa on Thursday and there is no way I’m going to have my favourite poutine there without cheese curds. At least they use mushroom gravy! ;)

Instead I’m making a concerted effort to choose foods this week that are animal free. Perhaps this seems like a huge departure for my burger-loving self. But I actually spent one month as a vegan six years ago. Otherwise known as “the dark period.”

It was during my 8-year stint as a lacto-ovo vegetarian. I found out my favourite beer was vegan and decided to give it a shot. I was ill prepared. My body wanted to know where the eggs went. I spent a lot of money on nutritional yeast and gomashio. There was a vegan mayonnaise disaster that leaves me gagging at the thought of apple cider vinegar or silken tofu to this day.

But I’m all about the second chances. I’ve now got an arsenal of amazing vegan bloggers and their recipes behind me.

To start, my fellow Torontonian and New Brunswickan – Angela. I’m determined to use up what’s in my cupboard for vegan eats this week and not spend any more money than usual. Thankfully I stumbled across a recipe of hers that allowed me to use up both bags of lentils and walnuts I had taking up space in my cupboard.

Lentil Walnut Burgers from Oh She Glows.


I made a few changes based on what I had on hand:


  • 3/4 cup 1 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1 piece bread, toasted OR 1/3 cup breadcrumbs 2 wasa crackers
  • 1 tsp 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 chia/flax egg (1 tbsp ground chia or flax + 1/4 cup water)


I otherwise followed the directions, baking for just a smidge longer to ensure they hardened up. They turned out awesome. I ate some crumbled on top of a salad with a lemon/mustard dressing and loved it. A texture similar to falafels, with a sweet/spiciness thanks to the roasted walnuts and cumin.

I’m going to test out new vegan recipes this week (including for Waffle Wednesday!) but here are some of my favourites. They get my stamp of approval both as a former vegetarian and a current carnivore who loves bacon and cheese with just about everything.

Tofu Balls from the Post Punk Kitchen.

Actually pretty much everything from The PPK. That site is a goldmine of delicious vegan recipes.

Tofu Balls are meant to replace meatballs in pasta, but I liked them best cold and dipped in Averie’s peanut sauce.


Traditional Scottish oatcake. Just replace the “bacon fat” with something a little nicer like coconut oil or margarine ;) I make these all the time with the addition of soy protein powder and peanut butter to make a filling breakfast out of it.


Peanut ButterNut Squash Muffins.

My favourite muffin recipe of all time.

Simply Bars!


Vegan and gluten-free. Cathy doesn’t pay me to say that, I just really love them.


Mama Pea’s Pumpkin Spice Roasted Chickpeas.

The Fitnessista’s Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili.

Wonkynut Squash Soup (by me!).

Best Vegan Mac and Cheese in the entire world….seriously.

Yummy Vegan Maple Baked Beans.

Italian “Pizza Cheese” from Choosing Raw

Dreena Burton’s Super-Charge Me! Cookies.


And if all else fails, there’s always Froot Loops.

Yup, completely vegan. Pair it with a splash of almond milk ;)


Question of the Day: How about you? Are you/have you ever been vegan? What’s your favourite vegan meal or snack?


You can follow the Vegan For a Week Challenge on Twitter under #7dayvegan and join the Facebook page!

Posted on February 7, 2011, in Challenges, Recipes and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. My detox was basically vegan so three weeks is the longest I’ve gone? I can’t do it. I love eggs. I can’t give it up.

    • Eggs were what did me in too. I could go without everything, but I CRAVE eggs like crazy. The first non-vegan thing I ate after that vegan month was a fried egg sandwich with butter and cheddar cheese ;)

      • I wish I loved eggs! They are cheap and pretty tasty when cooked right but I recently found out that eggs are one of my migraine triggers. I can eat things with eggs in it, like cookies and cake. But eating two fried eggs with toast triggers a headache. It’s something to do with a threshold protein in them. One egg is usually my limit and even that is touch-and-go. My big vegan thing is milk. I love dairy products. Milk, cheese and yogurt are big cravings for me.

        • I’ve heard of that before! Funny, because the protein in eggs is supposed to be “the perfect protein” but a lot of people also have adverse reactions to it :(

  2. I’m in the middle of a 30 day vegan challenge. Right now I have the flu (like the actual flu virus) so being vegan is easy. lol. Thank God for vegan soup!

  3. Good luck with your challenge! I have never tried being vegan. I only became interested in such topics since being on a college campus, and I think it is just a little too difficult here- but I do try to eat minimal animal products. I love my oatmeal with almond milk:)

  4. Thanks for the peanut sauce linky love :) Glad you are enjoying it!

    I remember when Angela made that lentil loaf..she said it took her like 4 tries in her post to get it right. I joked that she was living, breathing, and eating tons and tons of lentils. I love your spin on it.

    And the tofu balls!

    And of course, all the other links you listed…great recipes by some great ladies!

    I think the challenge is great. And I love anything that focuses on more plants, less animals. Plant-based, it’s a good thing :)

  5. I am so glad to hear about the fruit loops :)

  6. I went vegan for a week because I’m an ovo-vegetarian (I’m lactose intolerant) so I thought it would be easy. I craved eggs like crazy and had to go back. I respect people who can do it and sometimes have a few days here and there without eggs but I feel restricted when I eliminate them completely.

  7. I remember that vegan week, you were often found in front of the sbux pastry case drooling!

    • Hahaha, and my lunches used to be a tupperware container of cereal that I’d put soy milk on. “Dark days” indeed…

      P.S. No one at the Maritime party had ever had Samba Brazil!!! Can you believe it!? That was the best thing about Fredericton!

  8. i am vegan! love it too! thanks for all these linked recipes :D

  9. I did the vegan thing for about 3 months back when I was a veg for 4 years. It didn’t really work for me, I love my eggs and goat cheese! Though it’s funny, now I eat probably 75-85% vegan, without forcing it! I still enjoy my eggs and goat cheese and some meat/fish on a rare occasion, but I feel my best eating ALMOST vegan!

    That being said, I love vegan foods! I love smoothies, massaged kale salads, chickpea curries, tofu stirfries, anything with tempeh, vegan chili/stews/soups (lots of those on my site!). I’m very excited to be doing this vegan week, can you tell? ;)


  10. I’m pretty sure I could eat Simply Bars all day! I’m definitely going to have to check out the PPK – even though I’m not partaking in the challenge this time around, I still like eating vegan/vegetarian a few times each week. Good luck Susan!

  11. ooh, i am SO making your butternut muffins :)

  12. Hey these are AWESOME recipes!
    I may steal a few for the Power of Movement facebook page. We do “Meatless Monday’s” and I am always looking for cool new ideas to pass on!


  13. Never tried going vegan or vegetarian at all actually. I think I’d be ok with the ovo-lacto thing though. I just honestly don’t know if I could live happily without cheese and yogurt.

  14. also i think poptarts are vegan! hehe

    good for you taking on this challenge!! you have some delicous eats! those tofu balls look great, and I have always wanted to try the simply bars!!!

  15. I was vegan for about 6 months, 13 years ago. I was not educated on a smart way to do it…I got sick, and went back to my old (at the time not healthy) eating habits.
    Now I’m not vegan but I love to cook (and bake!)vegan and vegetarian. I especially like to share these foods with friends who think they could never eat that way, only telling them after they are enjoying everything so much that what they are eating is vegan!
    I posted on your FB page my favorite way to do vegan waffle/pancakes.

  16. While I do love a lot of vegan food, I don’t think I could really ever be completely vegan. For me, it’s the cheese. And cheese sauces. And cheese CURDS. Did I mention I like cheese?

  17. I have challenged myself to become a vegetarian for the next 30 days when i joined a website called Vegetarian Newbie I have learning alot so far, and i hope to complete this challenge i have set for myself.

  18. I must check out those tofu balls! I actually started eating 90% vegan Feb 1st and have enjoyed it a ton! I can’t wait to see what else you create this week.

  19. One good thing about people new to this lifestyle is that there are so many good blogs out there written by vegans. It will be easy to find delicious vegan recipes. I’m not a vegan and not taking this challenge but a lot of the recipes on Angela’s website ( look too good to be vegan if you ask me!

  20. LOL fruit loops… proving that eating vegan doesn’t mean it’s necessarily healthy hehe.

  21. it’s amazing at things that are and aren’t vegan – fruit loops – who knew?!? twizzlers are too – i know b/c all my straight edge friends in college survived on them

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