17

What I Ate: the Healthier Weightlossier edition

A little while back, I blogged about needing to lose a bit of weight.  Make that a lot of weight!  5kg (11lbs) for starters, seeing as that’s what I’ve put on after getting down to a weight I hadn’t seen in a very very long time over a year ago!

This week I am right back in to my oil-free cooking and avoiding stuff like bread and pasta.  I’m also going for more wholefoods and minimising processed foods.  Fats are also cut waaay down so I am mindful of things like nuts, seeds and usage of coconut oil.  As much as I don’t like the cooking sprays, I am using a very short burst of olive oil spray for oven cooking but keeping that to zero as much as possible.  I don’t find this restrictive in any way, fortunately!

Here’s a look at what I’ve eaten this week.  I have retained only a little of the muscle mass I gained when heavy weight training over a year ago (boy does it hurt my pride to flex and see no more guns) so I’m trying to keep an eye on protein intake so I don’t shrivel away entirely…

bugsbicep

I started on Monday and today is the following Monday morning .  So in one week, I am down  1.5kg (3.3lbs).  I haven’t exercised, apart from one gym workout as a trial.  I have injuries in both feet and should avoid weight bearing and impact exercises like jogging.  Not fun when you want to lose weight, so I’ll be checking out exercise bike hire to get some HIIT happening.

So, these are some of the things I’ve eaten.  Of course, it’s not everything but I’m guessing you will all get sick of me photographing bananas and the same bowl of soup because I made enough for four days then went nuts because I hate leftovers after the second day…

Smoothie with unsweetened plant milk, banana, spinach, pepitas, hemp protein:

bananahempsmoothie

A bowl of vegetable and cannellini bean soup (there are also some red lentils floating around but not enough, so I threw in the beans for a protein boost).  Days worth of this:

beanveg

When I went for my haircut, I made a double serve of a breakfast smoothie so I could take some with me, seeing as a) I was at the hair salon for a couple of hours at least and b) I was near Crumbs Bakery, with their vegan pastries and donuts.  DANGER. This smoothie has spinach, banana, blueberries, hemp protein, flax:

blueberrysmoothie

Chickpea scramble made with broccoli, tomato, kale, lemon juice and lots of savoury yeast with my mum’s peas and carrots (cooked with onion and a little tomato paste) on the side:

lunch

Smoothie with hemp protein, flax, fresh mint, banana. As I was making it I was thinking “I’ve missed something, I just know it”… turns out it was the spinach.  I add spinach to all my smoothies.  Except this one:

bananahempsmoothie

Pan Seared Garlic Tofu from The Oh She Glows Cookbook, cooked in my new cast iron frying pan.  Oh my goodness, crispy tofu without using stacks of oil! I served this with the roast cauliflower (with a spritz of oil spray) and the miso tahini dressing from the Isa Does It recipe for the Roasty Soba Bowl.  Instead of soba I went for the last of the broccoli and some chickpea scramble.  YUM.  I had it again quite a few times:

misotahinivegtofuAlthough I enjoy smoothies for a quick easy breakfast, I decided to try pancakes.  AHA! I hear you say.  Pancakes on a diet?  Oh Veganopoulous, you crazy kid! Well!  I made the blueberry pancakes from Brendan Brazier’s Thrive nutrition book.  These are made with buckwheat flour, cooked quinoa, hemp milk, water, blueberries, salt, two dates, baking powder and baking soda.  You mix up the batter in a food processor.  They’re not the most attractive of pancake colours but they’re super healthy.  The recipe makes two large servings.  I had mine with a small sliced banana and home made applesauce (I just stewed some apples in a little water then pureed it all.  No sweetener).  The banana and applesauce did well as a ‘syrup’ seeing as I’ve waved goodbye to my beloved maple syrup for now.  This breakfast really filled me up and I was stuffed by the last couple of forkfuls so next time I’d make these as three smaller servings:

thriveblueberrypancakes

Another smoothie from Thrive, this one made with hemp, flax, pumpkin seed, banana, orange, ground cloves:
ironsmoothie

We visited my parents on Good Friday and my mum had made Greek lentil soup and added in some kale I took over.  Being Good Friday she didn’t use olive oil so I was pleased to have a nice bowl of oil free lentil soup.  Called “faki” in Greek, pronounced “fu-KI” and enough to earn me detention after the home ec teacher asked what I ate for dinner and I answered honestly:

faki

I made another Brendan Brazier Thrive recipe, this time the Black Bean Lime Salsa.  I love this! black beans, tomato, onion (which I left out), fresh coriander, balsamic vinegar, hemp oil, lime juice.  I moosh mine up in the food processor even though you’re supposed to just mix them together.  Here I have it served with the last of my roast cauliflower steaks:

blackbeansalsa

I haven’t featured any Easter gatherings here as I haven’t been to any.  We have a belated Easter lunch with my parents, sister and brother in law today so I’ll be blogging about that very soon.  This year I said I’d make hot cross buns with the kids but really, we’ve had so many store bought ones in the house that my dad insists on buying for us, that I am just well over them and I think Arthur and DeeW have consumed more than enough without needing to add to the count!

Although I ate the same things many times, it doesn’t bother me much now.  See, I’m a person who hates leftovers after day two.  I get BORED to the point where I would rather not eat than eat leftovers AGAIN.  I’m a bit of a princess like that.  On the third day I wanted to cry, in that whiny #firstworldproblem manner, when I realised I still had more bean-veg soup to eat.  Yea verily Veganopoulous, get over it! For day 4 I felt better about it because it certainly helps knowing what I will be eating, without having to worry about coming up with something new every day or two.  It makes for boring blog entries though!

 

This past week I’ve been playing and re-playing the new single by Tori Amos called ‘Trouble’s Lament’.  I can’t get enough of it!  I’m a looong time fan but the last couple of albums didn’t really jump out and grab me like all the rest.  But this song just kapowed me in the face!  If you’re a long time fan too, you might also be kapowed by the different sound she takes here.  Before I sat down to listen I was wondering how different, though familiar, it would be to her past albums and I wasn’t expecting this.  I’m looooving the percussion and guitars.  Kapow!

0

Two More Raw Dishes: Cauliflower Popcorn and Veggie Tempura

I’ve previously made the Cauliflower Popcorn from ‘Eat Raw, Eat Well’.  I liked it a lot but found it a little on the salty side, so this time ’round I only added a pinch of salt.  The cauliflower is tossed with nutritional yeast, EVOO and the salt then dehydrated.  Then it is major yumz time as you try not to eat it all in one go.  I’m cheating and using a photo I took last time:

cauliflower popcorn

The Vegetable Tempura recipe from Ani Phyo’s ‘Ani’s Raw Food Asia’ has had a permanent bookmark in it ever since I received my copy of the book.  The batter is made with zucchini, cashews, pumpkin seed, olive oil, salt and nutritional yeast and on its own would make a tasty salad dressing.  Get your veggies, smother them in this batter then dehydrate. The cauliflower on top is the Popcorn Cauli:

raw veggie tempura

This was good too, though I wouldn’t make it again unless I had people to serve it to who would appreciate it!  I just realised I forgot to make the accompanying dipping sauce.  Never mind, it tasted good plain.  I’m not sure I dehydrated it enough as the batter wasn’t quite right, but had I done any more the vegies would have been over dehydrated.  They had a nice crunch to them so I didn’t mind!

Have you made cauliflower with nooch, olive oil and salt in the dehydrator?  What do you think of it?

5

Recipes from Choosing Raw, Ani Phyo and Douglas McNish

First up, some Ani Phyo 15-Day Fat Blast recipe reviews from the past few days.  I made the Simple Strawberry Shake from Ani’s 15-Day Fat Blast.  Rating (of my modified version) 4/5:

simple strawberry shake

– made with strawberries, coconut oil, water, vanilla.  The recipe calls for cashews or walnuts but I left those out and threw in a banana instead.  If I’m having coconut oil in there, I’m happy to leave out the nuts. I also left out the suggested sweetener of choice as the banana makes it sweet and I also added in the matcha ‘squeaky cleaner’ option.  It wasn’t very sweet, but just right for me.

I was determined to try another soup recipe and Day 3 called for the Curry Coconut Soup.  I was surprised that I really liked this and would make it again, giving it a rating of 5/5:

curry coconut raw soup

– made with water (I used half the amount listed as I wanted it thicker), tomato, avocado, garlic, coconut oil, cilantro/coriander (which I didn’t have).  This is one soup I’d happily have straight from the fridge on a hot day.

One of the breakfast shakes was the Pear Power Shake.  I gave this a 0/5:

pearpowershake

– made with kale (though I used spinach), pear, water, vanilla with the optional extra of chlorella.  I knew I’d have a hard time drinking this so I added a small date. I used half a teaspoon of chlorella (the recipe says one teaspoon) but for me the smell and taste of chlorella is way too strong.  Usually I can get around that depending on the ingredients (and holding my nose or using my straw) but in this smoothie, there was no getting around it.  After a few mouthfuls I tipped it down the sink.

I made the Ginger Mango Shake and added a bunch of spinach.  I left out the coconut oil/nuts and added the ground flax.  Rating 5/5:

banana mango ginger greens smoothie

– I added a banana to mine and the ginger gave it a nice zing.  My mango was frozen so this was lovely and cold on a stinking hot day.

Another raw book I really like is Eat Raw, Eat Well’ by Douglas McNish.  I love the Cake Batter Smoothie.  Rating 5/5!

cake batter smoothie

– I made this smoothie with almond milk, orange, avocado, a date, banana, lemon juice, vanilla.  The recipe lists cashew milk, which I didn’t have, and agave which I don’t use.  The agave would have made it too sweet for me anyway.

For a lunch meal I spiralised some raw zucchini.  On top of it I added some tomato and mushroom sprinkled with nutritional yeast.  The star of the show was the walnut mince.  For this, I use the Walnut Mince recipe.  Rating 5/5:

raw walnut mince

– the mince made with walnuts, cumin, tamari, EVOO all in a food processor.  I have made this before and found the recipe too salty, so I left out the suggested salt and just used the tamari. I went easy on the amount of mince I served myself, it’s really easy for me to just inhale it all.

 

Choosing Raw was the first raw vegan website I read and certainly helped make things easy for me.  Gena’s recipes are simple and nutrient dense and easy to prepare.  One of my favourite blog posts there is How To Build A Meal Sized Salad. As I’m keeping an eye on my iron, I made these raw iron boosting balls and the raw sunflower seed and carrot pate.

I’ve started adding some blackstrap molasses to my protein shake smoothies (banana, plant milk, protein powder, pumpkin seeds, blackstrap molasses) to increase the iron content.  I don’t particularly enjoy the taste of it to be honest but it isn’t unpleasant enough to make faces when I have it (like chlorella, which involves my about-to-barf face):

blackstrap smoothie

I also made Gena’s Raw Strawberry Vanilla Pudding. I added a banana because I wanted Arthur and DeeW to have some too.  Arthur liked it but DeeW doesn’t go for pudding-y textures.  I really think avocado is such a star in dishes like this, though Arthur did comment there was a ‘weird’ feeling to it even though the taste was okay. I’ll still be making these kinds of puddings, using Choosing Raw recipes because they’ve worked well for me in the past:

raw banana strawberry pudding

One of my guilty pleasure foods (because I try to avoid anything bread-y but like bread too much) is my usual pizza ‘zocaccia’ from Zaatar in Coburg. I get the zaatar bread base topped with capsicum, tomato, cucumber, onion, olives and mint.  This is my downfall so I thought I better try and replicate it in a healthier bread-less way.  I’m planning on making some flat bread and crackers in the dehydrator but for now I put a whole lot of zaatar spice on top of raw veggies, with some of the sunflower seed carrot pate to round it out a bit.  If I had hemp seeds I would have had those too but this time I used pumpkin seed:

zaatar salad with sunflower seed pate

I also made my regular protein shake, consisting of plant milk, a protein powder, banana and pumpkin seeds.  It’s kinda my “can’t be bothered being really creative” go-to smoothie:

bananaproteinsmoothie

 

It was love at first site when I saw this recipe for Honey Gold Mango and Nectarine Salsa-Salad over at Appetite Affliction. I was hungry after dinner and bedtime was ages off.  So I cut up the mango and nectarines (but no tomato or avocado) and followed the rest of the recipe.  This is a fantastic dish and one I will absolutely make again with the tomato and avocado:

mango nectarine salsa salad

Now for the non-raw dish.  I’ll admit I was getting a bit sick of raw everything and I had a sudden longing for a stir fry.  So I used a teensy amount of coconut oil, then water when required, to stir fry up all these veggies and mixed in some rice noodles, soy sauce, garlic and ginger.  And then something really strange happened you guys.  As I sat down to eat it– remember, I felt quite over raw eating by now– I had a sudden wave of “I don’t think I want to eat this”.  I KNOW, RIGHT???  I had three forkfuls and felt like the food had turned in to a rock down in my belly.  Not a feeling I have when eating raw. I ate the veggies because I didn’t want them to go to waste but I binned the noodles.  I literally couldn’t stomach them:

 

blandveggienoodles

Is this the end?!

I’m going out for a meal tomorrow, so it will be interesting to see how I feel afterwards!  So tune in to channel Veganopoulous to see if I barf.

 

This post contains Book Depository affiliate links.

6

Vegan MoFo 2013: Day 7. Australia Votes!

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Today Australians queued up all over the nation to vote.  No, we’re not voting for the worst food photography example on the Veganopoulous blog because that would be one massive ballot paper.  It’s federal election day.  Husband was stationed at the polling booth up the road, handing out How To Vote cards and he always comes back with classic tales.  Like the one time when he saw people from the Labor and Liberal camps getting in to a punch up.  No, not voters– the people handing out the HTV cards.

Right.  Okay.  Raw breakfast!!! Today I got a bit more organised with soaking stuff in preparation for the Pear and Pumpkin Porridge from Eat Raw, Eat Well.  Before becoming vegan I never knew you could eat pumpkin uncooked.  This recipe is one I’ve wanted to try for a while, even though the thought of eating raw pumpkin doesn’t appeal much, to be honest.  Still, MoFo is all about trying new things and eating more raw is one of my MoFo goals.  So here ’tis (picture shows two servings):

rawpumpkinporridge

The recipe involves soaking buckwheat, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds (which I didn’t have), and raw cashews for up to an hour.  Grate some pumpkin, throw in some pear, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and maple syrup (recipe says agave but Arthur is allergic so we avoid having it in the house), and non dairy milk, whiz it in the food processor and that’s it.  I made it less sweet than what the recipe said which turned out to be a good choice.  i also halved the recipe. This was tasty and filling though I do admit it’s rather ‘different’ and something I have to get used to but overall I’m happy with how it turned out.

13

Vegan MoFo 2013: Day 6. Where Veganopoulous Starts Losing The Plot.

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My MoFo posts so far have been heavy on the side of BOOOOORING and I hope I find some MoFo mojo soon.  I did plan on lots of cooking and raw food prep but I’m finding it hard to drum up the energy for it.  Also, in the mornings I like to keep things simple where breakfast is concerned and stick to smoothies.  Today’s breakfast was another recipe from ‘Eat Raw, Eat Well’.  It’s the Cacao Strawberry Smoothie.  It was nice, though I’ve never been a fan of the whole chocolate-strawberry mix.  Or chocolate with any fruit.  I never liked Jaffas or any other choc-orange combination.  Anyway, this smoothie was made with nuts, strawberries, cacao, banana, date and I add in pumpkin seeds:

strawberrycacaosmoothie

I bought some canned black beans recently and I was keen to repeat my burrito inhaling after pigging out in Sydney so I made the Home-Style Refried Beans recipe from Viva Vegan! by Terry Hope Romero.  I made it oil free by adding splashes of water to the pan for the frying stage.  Now to be honest, I’m not gaga over refried beans on their own but a recipe like this that is mixed up with a heap of other stuff in a burrito is perfectly okay by me and my burritos would definitely feel sad without refried beans.

I also made Terry’s recipe for Cilantro-Lime Rice in the rice cooker with brown rice but I got the measurements wrong (faulty memory there… or lazy because I should have checked the rice cooker manual) so the lime rice didn’t taste limey at all as I’d put in way too much water.  I froze it in batches anyway to use in later recipes.

I was too lazy to prepare my own salsa so I used an organic salsa-in-a-jar with some Tofutti sour cream.  It was just yeah whateverrr.  Certainly nothing delicious like a properly prepared burrito from a burrito experts establishment but that’s probably because the brown rice was kinda overpowering with its blandness:

homeburrito

And then later on in the day I realised I had one more of my mum’s stuffed capsicums to eat.  And then it was a case of “what do you get when you cross a tortilla with a stuffed capsicum and a lazy blogger?”.  You get THIS:

greekburrito

It wasn’t very good, despite the attempts to de-Greek it by adding fresh coriander and sprinkles of cumin and the sour cream.  But this is REAL LIFE.  This is the kind of crappy concoction you come up with when you are hungry and lazy and fast running out of interesting stuff to put on your MoFo blog.

See you again tomorrow… please?