4

What I Ate Breakfasts And Cupcakes

So this is a bit breakfast-heavy. Aaand a bit same same because my breakfasts are pretty much the same. I really hate faffing around for breakfast and prefer something that can be made right away, like a smoothie or porridge. I either soak steel cut oats and chia seeds overnight in soy milk, or use regular oats in the morning.

This first batch with fresh raspberries is in honour of finding a discounted punnet of raspberries that didn’t cost a thousand bucks:raspberry oats

My favourite combo is banana, blueberries, pumpkin seed, dates and walnuts:blueberry porridge

… or banana, blueberries, blackberries (all frozen, the fresh stuff is ridiculous expensive) and one of those almond-flaxseed with something-else blends. So if you’re sceptical about plant based breakfasts and nutrition, rest assured my breakfasts come as a result of a consultation with a plant based dietitian. So it’s all sciencey and stuff:ala mix porridge

I tried one of the vegan-gluten free cupcakes from Little Cupcakes in the city (Goldsborough Lane). It was lovely and light:little cupcakes vegan gf

My daughter turned nine and some friends kindly brought over some vegan cupcakes from Merry Cupcakes in Fitzroy to celebrate. These were delicious, I don’t think I’ve had Merry Cupcakes before (maybe once at World Vegan Day) but I liked that they weren’t way sweet:merry cupcakes

We also got a selection of treats from Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop, still our family favourite. I looooved the peanut butter chocolate custard filled bronut! The cinnamon buns are still awesome and my daughter chose the mini cupcakes in vanilla flavours as her friend doesn’t like chocolate:mr nice guys box

This is a hot mess raiding-the-fridge kind of meal. Initially I was inspired by Good Days and the spring roll noodle salads, so that’s where the vermicelli, carrot, spinach and sesame seeds come in. But then I found some Thai basil and I used the miso glazed tofu I made the other day and why not finish it off with some Saori Japanese sauce?fusion salad

These eats have been over the course of a few weeks (or since my last What I Ate post). I think that peanut chocolate custard donut from Mister Nice Guy’s has rocketed to the top of my favourites list.

Speaking of favourites, I’ll leave you with another top pick I’ve eaten recently: the spring roll noodle salad from Good Days in Brunswick!Good Days Brunswick

12

What I Ate: The WFPB-OF Edition

So I haven’t been taking many photos for my weekly What I Ate series because I’ve mostly been eating the same stuff, thanks to preparing meals in advance to last me five days or so. And sometimes I’m all mehhh, I’ll take a photo tomorrow. Then I forget and before I know it that prepared meal has all finished and I’m left with no pictures.

I mentioned in my last What I Ate that I’ve been having some issues with food/stomach/etc and I’ve booked in to see a plant based dietitian next week. From now though, I am on my third day of 100% no oil/sugar/salt/nuts. I just feel like I need to get back to basics and start with a clean slate, so to speak, going in to the six week low FODMAPs diet.

I’ve signed up for Vegan Mofo this year, thinking my theme will be going on a vegan low FODMAPs diet and what I eat, how I feel and such. I hope it can be helpful to someone.

So in the past I have had super high cholesterol and when I cut out oils (or went very minimal oil) my cholesterol dropped significantly but it is still in the too-high range. And because I need to lose some weight, not the least to ease the pain from some injuries in my feet, that explains my no-oil decision. Ditto for nuts, though that’s more because of the fat content because really, I never ate two almonds and left it at that! So for the short term I’m doing this quite strict sounding stuff, but I’m definitely not ruling out going to restaurants like I’ve always done though I’m holding off on all that until next year.

Enough blah blah! So breakfast is either a smoothie with oats, banana and greens or porridge oats with banana and berries: fruit porridge

Lunch this week has been a brown rice-lentil mix with raw veg (kale, tomato, cauliflower, zucchini here) and Chef AJ’s Yummy Sauce which is made from a can of white beans, lemon, garlic and dates if you want it sweet:kale rice salad

Before lunch though, or in between breakfast and lunch, I have a bowl of veggies that include greens. Here are some no-oil roasted Brussels sprouts with plain lettuce and mini Roma tomatoes with a little drizzle of a fig balsamic vinegar I picked up from Coburg Farmers Market:bsprouts salad

Dinner has been Chef AJ’s red lentil chili (I added pumpkin and spinach to it) followed by the more satiating starchy veggies like potato or sweet potato. Before I eat this I have a bowl of cauliflower and broccoli to fill me up a bit, but also to help me get in some extra veggies for the day:

red lentil chili Chef AJ

I finally have my copy of the new Oh She Glows Every Day cookbook and made the green matcha mango smoothie:Oh She Glows Every Day matcha smoothie

After a few days of eating like this I’ve had zero bloating and I feel quite full. I’m still in that mindset where I feel a bit crappy that I’m eating Diet Food if you know what I mean. Looking at my Instagram and Facebook feeds is awful, seeing photos of coconut curries and raw caramel slices…! But I’m confident I’ll soon come to enjoy eating this way, particularly when I see and feel benefits. I definitely see myself eating WFPB-OF for the long term, whenever I prepare food for myself or go somewhere where I can take my own food, but for now yeah, just trying to retrain myself. I can handle no oil or no added sugars but the no salt thing, yikes!!! That one is tough because the chili has loads of herbs and spices and flavour but no salt is really something I have to get used to!

This dietary change has nothing to do with being vegan– I am vegan for the animals first and foremost. So I don’t want anyone walking away from reading this thinking this is a ‘health vegan’ thing and that this is what vegans ‘should’ be doing, or worse, that I am saying this is how vegans should be eating. This is all purely for me to work out why I’m getting digestive discomfort lately!

14

What I Ate Over The Past Month

Late again with the ah, weekly What I Ate. Sometimes I just forget, other times I think I’ll take photos of the leftovers tomorrow (then forget) etc etc…

I’ve been having some tummy troubles in recent times that seem to be getting worse and I’ve booked in to see a vegan dietitian in a few weeks. I’ll have to go on one of those four to six week low FODMAPs diets which I’m actually looking forward to because plenty of times I might be eating a meal, like at a restaurant, then by the time the meal is over my stomach has blown up to about four times its normal size and I can barely get in the car (and when I do, I need to unbutton my jeans and I swear it’s like an airbag just explodes everywhere). Not to mention other stuff. If I do Vegan Mofo I might have a vegan low FODMAPs diet as my theme. Not very exciting but I think it could be helpful to others! In the meantime though, I’m back to WFPB (whole foods plant based) as much as possible with lots of raw veggies and turning down offers of going places for lunch/dinner (which kinda sucks). And November is the month where lots of places seem to hold their vegan degustations like Maha *cry*  But I need to work out these health issues and try to lower my cholesterol even more.

Speaking of cholesterol, mine was super high before I was vegan. It was about 8.9 (which in Australia is really high and doctors tell you to take medication for it. I’m not sure how numbers work in other countries). Three years in to being vegan I had another blood test, all confident my cholesterol would have dropped way down. I was shocked to see it was about 8.8! Around that time I had read a comment by a vegan dietitian talking about the links between cholesterol in vegans and consumption of oils like olive oil and coconut oil. Also at that time I started a HCLF (high carb low fat) meal plan, and I had the absolute minimum amount of oil in my food after that, often no oil at all when I cooked at home. A year and a half or so later, my cholesterol dropped to 6.7. Which is still considered high, in fact my doctor said “we need to talk about your cholesterol” and when she told me the number I was really happy! After telling her how high it used to be, she was happy too. Having a vegan friendly doctor is such a relief. So that’s another goal for me, to get my cholesterol down even more to the recommended range of below 5.5.

Enough waffle (waaah WAFFLES!). One of my latest favourite cookbooks is Kristy Turner’s But I Could Never Go Vegan! which I borrowed from the library (but have ordered my own copy because it’s a great cookbook). This is the Red Velvet Beet Smoothie, minus the cashew cream topping:beet cacao smoothie

Another recipe from the cookbook is the Eggplant Meatball Sub. I loved the eggplant balls though I used quinoa instead of amaranth. Actually, I made this recipe before I started back on WFPB which is why there’s bread, but the eggplant balls and sauce are something I’d still have: eggplant meatball sub

Lunch pretty much looks like this now, a raw veggie bowl with some protein and a little avocado fat thrown in. Avocados are cheaper here now:healthy vegan bowl

Another veggie bowl lunch, same as above but with a garlic lemon zaatar dressing and a rice-lentil mix:zaatar veg bowl

Dinner is something like this, baked tofu with roast sweet potato and veggies. Token carrot there is a leftover from the day before:tofu veg healthy

Breakfast is always a smoothie. This one has some leftover broccoli, peas and carrot in it. With a banana and Prana On protein, you can’t tell (from the taste!) there’s veg:leftover veg smoothie

Last week I made a lentil veg curry and some green curry paste marinated tofu. The tofu was leftover from another meal so I just mixed it all up:lentil veg curry with tofu

…and I’ll finish up with snaps of one of my favourite places to be, Sydney Road in Brunswick.sydney road sydney road sydney roadsydney road

9

What I Ate

vegan Japanese bowl

Here’s a look back at stuff I’ve eaten over the past couple of weeks. Mostly pretty simple as I’m low on cooking mojo lately! Above is a simple Japanese bowl, with plain pan fried tofu (with a little sesame oil), sushi rice, vegies and a crumble made with kale pulp from the juicer, plus some sesame seeds and five spice powder. All drizzled with a bit of citrus soya sauce by Saori (who will be back at World Vegan Day Melbourne this year). This is a really quick and simple bowl and I love it.

My usual breakfast smoothie has banana, porridge blend of oats and other stuff, plant milk, leafy greens, pumpkin seed and in this one I added some powdered peanut butter. I love that stuff, so this was a peanutty tasting smoothie despite all that green:

pb kale smoothie

We visited Coburg Farmers Market one Saturday and I got myself the falafel in pita from Very Good Falafel/Shuki and Louisa:

very good falafel

My son and I had gone to the Queen Victoria Market and I’d forgotten to pack a water bottle, so we sat down for a fruit juice at Invita Living Food:Invita fruit juice

Another great lunch out was at Supercharger in the city:

Supercharger city

We had quite a few events on in the city this week, fortunately on the sunnier days where I had some time to take a few photos.

Flinders clock tower
vic market lane  Yarra River

Stay groovy, folks.

10

A Little What I Ate

Another late What I Ate and not much to show as I’ve been having a fair bit of juices and smoothies again or meals that look blergh photographed.

Juicing results in a lot of pulp and I never throw it out. Here’s a ‘carrot cake’ smoothie made with carrot pulp, banana, cinnamon and porridge grains mix. Sure it’s missing walnuts and the whole icing thing but it was nice enough. I often throw my juices in to the blender with the pulp, which makes them slightly grosser to drink. Although I have a power blender, I can’t stick everything in there and make juice because then I need to add water and it dilutes it all too much. So I juice what i can first, then add the pulp and juice to the blender.

carrot cake smoothie

Some home made pasta using carrot pulp for colour. I’d hoped for a more orange colour! Next time we’ll use kale pulp, or beetroot pulp. Black sesame seeds too:
carrot pasta

Because I’m so late with this post, I can’t remember where this sourdough currant bun is from as it was a couple of weeks ago. Well, it’s from a stall at the Coburg Farmers Market, so it’s either Sourdough Kitchen or Flinders Sourdough. Very nice with some surprising chocolate chips (a nice surprise):

sourdough currant bun

Another from-a-while-ago eat was this chocolate doughnut from Doughnut Time. They have a couple of vegan flavours on offer and this is one of them. All doughnuts are $6 which makes them a bit pricey. I liked the texture of this but a couple of bites was enough for me as it’s quite sweet:doughtnut time choc vegan

 

Not much more to show this week (well, few weeks)!