Back to School: How to Eat Vegan with Julie

This past weekend, I was SO LUCKY to have my friend, Julie, visit from Chicago.

photo 1 (10)

I think the most exciting part about hosting is cooking meals for my visitors. However, this time my visitor, Julie, was vegan and I found myself in uncharted waters.

I looked to my fridge in preparation for her arrival. I realized rather quickly that I would need to do a little shopping; and perhaps I would need to defer to her expertise on cooking meals.

Luckily, she was happy to teach.

Presenting… Vegan Cooking with Julie

Here’s a few staples you’ll want to have on hand if you ever have a vegan visitor: Veganaise, Earth Balance (vegan butter), firm tofu, nutritional yeast, vegan cheese, soy or almond milk, vegan sausages, sweet potatoes, granola, and plenty of vegetables/fruit.

There are so many people that consider “vegan diets” to be healthier. I haven’t experienced this to be true. I think there are a lot of different diets that lead to health and this is one possible option. It is definitely not the easiest option as the window of opportunity for eating food away from home gets much narrower- especially if you’re not living in a major US city. No one wants to be stuck eating French fries because there is nothing else “vegan” on the menu.

Also to note… It would be very difficult to follow a diabetic diet while vegan. CARBS are EVERYWHERE! Please check and double check your labels if you are a person with diabetes wanting to follow a vegan lifestyle.

For instance, check out this “cheese”

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You see what happens up there? We went from a food that was no carb, half protein and half fat – to a food with no protein, half carbohydrate and half fat.

Am I the only one that finds this interesting? Yes. Okay. Moving on..

Julie and I made dinner on Friday night and it was excellent. Julie’s contribution to the menu was a Sweet Potato and Bean Burrito. I made a Strawberry and Kale Salad.

Kale. It's what's for dinner.

Our carbohydrate consumption was saved by the fact that we found some really high fiber tortillas (Mission Carb Balance – try them!). Still… our meal was probably 60grams of carbohydrate after subtracting fiber (34g fiber for one burrito).

Recipe: Vegan Sweet Potato and Bean Burritos

Vegan Diabetic Food


  • 6 Carb Balance Wheat Tortillas – 10 inches
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Zucchini, small dice
  • 1 1/2 C Mushrooms, diced
  • 1 Can Black Beans, half drained
  • 1 1/2 Large Sweet Potatoes, cubed, boiled, and mashed
  • 2 Tbsp Cumin
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper (or a very light dusting if preferring more mild burrito contents)
  • Olive Oil, as needed
  • 1 C Cherry Tomatoes, chopped
  • Vegan Cheese, as desired


  1. In a large skillet – combine onion with 1 Tbsp Oil and sauté. Add black beans and seasoning (cumin and cayenne) and let simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  2. In a separate smaller skillet – combine zucchini and mushrooms with 1 tsp olive oil. Sauté over very low heat. Remove when cooked, but still al dente.
  3. In a sauce pan, boil water and add chopped sweet potatoes. Boil until soft and then drain water. Mash with electric mixer or masher.
  4. Prepare burritos – approximately 1/2-1 C Sweet Potato, 1/2 C Black Bean Mixture, 1/4 C Vegetables, sprinkle of tomatoes and cheese. Wrap tightly and fit into a Pyrex or metal dish.
  5. Bake burritos in oven (400 degrees F) for 10 minutes to “set the burrito.”


A Note to the Diabetics: This is a meal with several high fiber ingredients. You may want to subtract the fiber and count it as ~52g instead of 86g. It would probably be a good idea to test before and 2 hours after a meal like this. If your blood glucose doesn’t jump more than 40 points, then you’re probably good to go. If not, try to scale down your portion for the next time.

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