Day 1 Vegan Experiment – Pink Cashew Cream Pasta

Hi there:

Day 1 of my Vegan Experiment came to an end with salmon pink cashew cream pasta which looked a bit radioactive, but tasted delicious.  Let me start from the beginning.

I was late to work and a little frazzled with all the food preparation that is part of Chris Karr's Crazy Sexy You Program, but I was not hungry.  That could be because I binged last night on Chinese food as if it were my last night on Earth and I would never get to eat steamed pork dumplings, pork fried rice, shrimp and broccoli, or egg rolls ever again. In life.  Or maybe it's because the program allows us to eat a good amount of food on a daily basis, including a hearty and very satisfying meal of cashew cream pasta for dinner.

I started out the day with lemon water and green tea followed by a smoothie made of a frozen banana, frozen blueberries, almond milk, spinach and hemp seeds.  The recipe made two servings, so I had one for breakfast and the other as an afternoon snack. I cheated a little and added a teaspoon of honey and a little vanilla extract to sweeten the brew.  It tasted good, but I didn't like the crunchiness of the hemp seeds. I like a creamy smoothie, not to chew on them.

I had 1/3 cup of trail mix as a midmorning snack. That held me until lunchtime when I enjoyed a hearty portion of potato, bean and kale stew I had packed into a thermos.

Being a big girl with a hearty appetite, I didn't trust that the afternoon smoothie would keep me from peeling off the road into the next McDonald's drive through on the way home, so I packed carrots and hummus to munch on instead.  I ate the carrots around 3:00 p.m., then drank the smoothie at 4:00 p.m.  That was a bit much. The overload of fiber made me feel way too full and sent my tummy into a tizzy. I won't be doing that again.

I was so full that I didn't start cooking dinner until after 7:00p.m.  Luckily, I know my way around a kitchen, but, like most lawyers and engineers I know, I don't follow directions very well.  I messed up the cashew cream pasta recipe by forgetting to add the cashews I'd been soaking since 3:30p.m. to the blender when I made the sauce. The rice pasta penne still tasted delicious with just the blended tomatoes, nutritional yeast, seasonings, and almond milk.  I was about halfway through chowing down when I remembered the cashews.  I jumped up, ran into the kitchen, took the second half of the can of diced tomatoes and blended that with the soaked cashews in my Nutri Ninja Pro * The result? A thick salmon pink tomato cashew cream that clung to the sides of the blender cup like a lover.

I scraped it off the sides, slid it into the pasta pot, mixed it in good, and gave it a taste. That pasta was so good I let out a moan like I used to when my ex . . . but I digress. Let's just say it was really good and I can't wait to have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I never thought I would say that about a vegan dinner.

I'm so satisfied I didn't even make the chocolate sauce to go with my strawberries for dessert.  Well, that and the fact that I had already scarfed down 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate when I got home.

We're allowed to have 1.0 ounce of a dark chocolate bar on Sunday.  I saw the bar in the refrigerator and got a little happy with it.  I couldn't help myself.  It was a Chocolove Almonds & Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Bar. I just meant to have a little taste but kept going back for more.  Needless to say, I won't be buying that again in the next three weeks.  It's not even “legal” on the Crazy Sexy You program since it's only 55% dark chocolate (it needs to be 70% dark).

So now it's bedtime and I managed to get through Day 1 without gnawing off my arm, cheating too much, or snapping at anyone.  Let's hope the remaining days go this well.