Vegans May Need Lysine Supplements

I started taking a lysine supplement to prevent cold sores and accidentally discovered that it's something really important for a vegan diet. 

While plants are a source of lysine and some even have a lot, on a strict vegan diet you may end up not getting enough, like I did. Especially if you're very physically active. 

There were no overt symptoms. Just general tiredness and fatigue. A lysine supplement really made a difference in my overall alertness and physical ability. I stopped sleeping so long and stopped waking up tired. 

If you're sure your vegan diet is healthy and well rounded and don't understand what's missing, lysine may be the answer. It's an essential amino acid found in many animal products. So taking a supplement isn't generally dangerous. You can take in a lot without any negative impact. So it's definitely worth a shot if you're experiencing unexplained fatigue.

Corn Puree, Broccoli Puree and Marinated Tofu

Corn Puree
1 ear corn, kernels removed from cob
1 tbl olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno diced
1 lime, zest and juice
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsps salt

Add oil to a large skillet and heat over medium high When hot, add corn, salt, pepper. Saute corn, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, jalapeno. Continue to saute at a fairly high temp, stirring often. When cumin is fragrant, add contents of pan to a blender.

Add lime zest and juice, almond milk. Puree.

Broccoli Puree

12 ounce bag of frozen broccoli florets
1/4 cup celery leaves
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsps sriracha
1/4 cup almond milk
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper

Cook broccoli in a nonstick fry pan over medium high heat. Add salt. Keep cooking stirring often. Frozen broccoli will take several minutes to release all its moisture and dry out enough where it'll begin to char. Once broccoli is completely thawed, but does not yet have any charring on it, add garlic and pepper. Continue cooking a few more minute until broccoli and garlic are moderately charred.

Add to blender. Add remaining ingredients as well. Puree.

Sweet and Spicy Marinated Tofu
1 package firm or extra firm tofu
1/4 cup pickle brine from jarred kosher pickles
2 tbls sriracha
1 lime, zest and juice
2 tsps olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce

Slice tofu block into equal 1 inch slices. Drain for several hours by placing between thick paper towels and weighing down with a heavy can. I learned this technique from watching Alton Brown on Good Eats.

Refrigerate, uncovered during the draining process.

Mix other ingredients in a vessel suitable for marinating. Once tofu is drained, add to marinade, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Making sure to give it a good shake or stir at least once to get all the tofu soaked in the marinade.

Lay the tofu out on a rimmed baking sheet. Cut out shapes as desired. Rounds look nice. Use a small juice glass or cap as a guide to cut your rounds. Brush all the pieces generously with the marinade and reserve the remaining liquid.

Broil on low on the a rack 2 down from the top. Broil for 12 minutes. Remove from oven. Turn piece over. Brush with remaining marinade. Return to broiler for 8 more minutes.

Let cool for a few minutes so that it can firm up a little before removing from the baking sheet to serve or store.

Dunk tofu rounds in the purees for the best flavor sensation.

Served in the photo with white rice and black bean salsa.

Black Bean Salsa
1 can black beans, rinsed.
1 cup colorful baby bell peppers, sliced into rounds, seeds removed
1/4 cup jalapenos, sliced into rounds
1 lime, zest and juice
1 ear roasted corn
2-3 tsps hot sauce
2 tsp canola oil
2 tsps each paprika, garlic powder, basil, salt
1 tsp each cumin, black peeper

Remove corn from cob. Roast corn under the broiler on low for 12 minutes.

Add all ingredients except bell peppers. Stir to thoroughly combine. Gently fold in the baby peppers.