Archive for smoothies

Vividly vegan

It’s almost spring! (1 month and 1 day) I, for one, cannot wait to emerge from hibernation.

Okay, so first off I want to thank the awesome people at Larabar for sending me a free package of goodies! And all because I professed my love for these delicious bars.

I absolutely LOVE Larabars so I was thrilled to receive this huge box of assorted flavours, as well as a Larabar t-shirt that I've been sporting all over town.

So far I’ve tried about half the flavours and I haven’t found one I don’t like.

Now, onto the food. I’ve been sampling a lot of recipes from the Happy Herbivore lately.

I made a batch of her Fat-Free Vegan Alfredo Sauce:

I really liked this recipe, but Omnivore Boyfriend was not a fan. I've never had real alfredo but I think it's really gross in principle (550 cals/serving? yuck), so I'm glad the vegan version is waaay healthier and packs a mighty protein punch too.

Fat-Free Vegan Alfredo Sauce from the HH

Ingredients
(makes approx 2 cups):

12.3 oz pkg mori-nu lite silken firm tofu, drained
1 cup fat free soy milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion flakes
black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp nutmeg
small pinch red chili pepper flakes
1/2 cup nutritional yeast

Directions:

1. combine all ingredients in a blender
2. whiz until smooth
3. heat over low until warmed

I also made the HH’s Creamy Pesto Sauce:

(I can't rotate this picture!) All the ingredients in the blender.

Voila! This pesto was scrumptious, a judgement verified by a O.B. and a few other friends who tried it.

Creamy Pesto (makes 1 cup) from the HH

1/2 pckg silken tofu, drained
1/2 cup (packed tight) fresh basil, stems removed
2 tbsp (packed tight) fresh parsley, stems removed
1 garlic clove
1 tsp lemon juice
1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp vegan parm
2 tbsp fat free soy milk
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts – optional
2-4 sun-dried tomatoes – optional (for a flavorful spin on traditional pesto)
3 cups cooked whole wheat pasta

Directions:

Blend all ingredients until smooth, then heat over low until just warm. Toss with whole wheat pasta.

Again from the HH, baked yam falafels!!!!

The HH put these in a wrap with "yogurt' spread, but I opted to dip them in sweet thai chili sauce. I loved these little nuggets, they were so tasty and textured and unique. A+!!!

Baked Yam Falafels from the HH

Ingredients (makes about 24 falafel balls)

1/2 cup bulgar wheat
3/4 cup water
1 large yam (makes approx 1 cup “mashed yam”) or sweet potatoes
2 tbsp fat free soy milk or other non-dairy

“Falafel Mix”

1 garlic clove
3 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
2 tbsp whole wheat or chickpea flour
3 tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs
pinch of salt

Directions:

1. combine water and bulgar in a pot (no heat) and set aside
2. cook yam until tender
3. blend with soy milk, it should be a thick “mashed potatoes” consistency
4. set yam mixture aside
5. return to bulgar, some of the water should have absorbed
6. bring bulgar to a boil and immediately reduce to low
7. allow to cook on low, uncovered, until water cooks off
8. towards the end, stir frequently to avoid burning
9. while bulger is cooking, make falafel mix (I threw all of it into my processor)
10. combine falafel mix with bulger
11. add yam mixture and combine
12. drop tbsp portions worth on a greased cookie sheet
13. lightly spray with oil
14. lightly cover with foil
15. bake 20 minutes, flip, re-spray and bake another 20-25 minutes until crispy

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I borrowed my friend Taras’ fruit juicer so I could increase my fruit and vegetable consumption, boost my immune system, and try out some new flavour combinations.  You can basically put anything into a juicer and it will extract all the water, vitamins, and nutrients out of the material and retain all the fibrous product.

My breakfast juice consisted of two apples, three carrots, 3-5 peeled clementines, and a few slivers of ginger.

And my lunch juice involved a whole cornucopia of produce: 1/2 a cucumber, 2 stalks of celery, a few slices of beets, 3 carrots, parsely, an apple, a tangerine, and a few slices of ginger.

This tasted, um, interesting! Not so palatable, BUT really nutritious and filling. To be honest, I love fruits and vegetables so much that I don’t see the point in removing all the fibrous components… I could probably eat all those veggies whole in one sitting anyway, and it seems kind of a waste to throw it all out at the end. Perhaps I’ll juice certain cake-worthy ingredients first (apple, carrot, zucchini), scoop out the detritus, and add it to a cake recipe.

Onto the junk food! Pumpkin-date oats:

These are just microwave oats, nothing special, but I wanted to share the awesome combination of pumpkin (1/3 cup) and dates (4-5 chopped). I felt like I was eating a giant pumpkiny date square. WIN!

Vegan Sugar Cookies:

Valentine's Day Vegan Sugar Cookies

Obviously, I made these for Valentine’s Day. Per serving, I added about 1.5 cups of smashed cinnamon hearts, cinnamon flavouring, and Vegan Sweets’ White Chocolate Chips. I made 2 huge batches and gave them to friends around town, and to the staff at the campus newspaper I used to work at. I wanted to add icing to them but the job was just so epic and I was tired, so I hope the non-iced cookies were good enough. I thought they were delicious, although I’ve never met  cookie I didn’t like, but everyone else seemed quite happy to eat through the entire 2 batches so I think it was a successful experiment.

Vegan Sugar Cookies from here

Ingredients:

1 cup margarine
1 cup white sugar
2 whole egg replacements (Ener-G)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup tofu cream cheese (Tofutti)
1.5 cups smashed cinnamon hearts
1/2 cup Vegan Sweets’ White Choc Chips
1 tsp cinnamon flavouring

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar. Stir in the egg replacements and vanilla. Gradually add the flour, baking powder, cinn hearts, chocolate chips, cinnamon flavour, and tofu cream cheese. You may have to use your hands at this point to finish the mixing. Form the dough into a long loaf and wrap in cellophane. Refrigerate for a couple hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease the cookie sheets or use a non-stick foil.
3. On a lightly floured surface (we taped down a sheet of non-stick foil to our countertop instead), roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place about 1 inch apart cookie on sheets.
4. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in the preheated oven, until bottoms and edges just start to get light brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container.

Due to excess pumpkin I made a few batches of the Post-Punk Kitchen’s Super Moist Pumpkin Bread for the freezer:

This was just the best thing ever. Go make it now!

Super Moist Pumpkin Bread from the PPK:

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped walnuts
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup coconut milk
2/3 cup flaked coconut

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8″ x 4″ loaf pans.
2. Spread walnuts in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Toast in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, white sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Add the pumpkin puree, oil, and coconut milk, and mix until all of the flour is absorbed. Fold in the flaked coconut and toasted walnuts. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.
4. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, and cover loaves tightly with foil. Allow to steam for 10 minutes. Remove foil, and turn out onto a cooling rack. Tent loosely with the foil, and allow to cool completely.

—————

Happy Friday!

-Maureen

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My trip to the dietitian and a mango lassi

In a previous post, I had mentioned that I consulted a registered dietitian. I made the decision to visit a dietitian instead of a “nutritionist” as dietitians are provincially regulated. The dietitian helped me create a new meal and activity plan to ensure that my diet is well-balanced and able to compliment my level of activity.  She was able to assess my previous eating habits based on a food diary I had been keeping on the advice of my allergist. Please keep in mind that this plan was tailored to my needs, which include a number of food allergies. Here is an overview of the changes she suggested:

BEFORE:

 

AFTER:

Breakfast

oats, raisins, flax seed, bran and boiled apple or pumpkin OR All-Bran w/ fruit and soy milk

 

Breakfast

oats, raisins, flax seed, bran and boiled apple or pumpkin OR homemade granola mix w/ fruit and soy milk

Snack #1

fruit

 

Snack #1

fruit OR vegetables and source of protein (ex. blueberries and soy yogurt, veggies and hummus, grapes and soy cheeze)

Snack #2

fruit

 

Lunch

salad OR green smoothie

 

Lunch

largest meal of the day (must include vegetables, starch and protein)

Snack #3

fruit

 

Snack #2

fruit OR vegetables and source of protein

Snack #4

 

fruit and soy yogurt

 

 

Supper

largest meal of the day (vegetables, starch and protein)

 

Supper

sandwich, salad OR other small meal

 

Snack #3

fruit (optional)

My previous eating habits left me feeling very hungry, tired and weak even though I was snacking very frequently. The new plan should provide me with enough energy to get through the day and my afternoon work outs. I have already noticed an improvement in my energy level since I started following the plan!

This mango lassi is an example of a snack that would fit my new plan:

1 c water, 1 ripe mango, 1 package of yoso vanilla soy yogurt and a bit of ground cardamon seeds. Also pictured (The Wire on DVD) is the reason why I have not been posting.

Mango lassi: blend 1 ripe mango, 1 c water, 1/2 c yoso vanilla soy yogurt and 1 t ground cardamon.

If you are interested in consulting a dietitian, you can use this website to locate one in your area. 

 – Aly

PS NEAT, another reason why doing this is bad!

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Celebratory smoothies

Sorry for the delay in posting. We went to Toronto for my BFF’s birthday party. Toronto (my hometown) is the best—and as far as I can tell, the only—city in Canada, and everything about it is 1,000,000 X superior to Ottawa, mostly because the entire city (Ottawa) supports the wrong hockey team!! That’s right, I said it. It is also probably the centre of the universe.  I knew I was home when we nearly got killed on the 401 highway by a Scarborough driver who decided to displace our car by veering into it without signalling or even checking his mirrors. Oh, Toronto.

But just to backtrack a couple days, we had celebratory smoothies on Tuesday. The celebration?? A new blender!!

You may recall in my last post, I made falafels and using an electric mixer instead of a blender. Life really isn’t so hard without a blender, with two exceptions: hummus and smoothies. I eat buckets of the former so we eventually caved and put $15 down at the ol’ Wal Mart on a blender.

Ingredients: frozen berries, bananas, Earthshake Soy and Oat beverage, cocoa powder, and Dutch chocolate vodka

 

I got those little umbrellas at the dollar store. Cute, no?

-Maureen

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Chickpea curry & udon

Click the image to enlarge

Maureen’s last post inspired me to make a noodle-based supper this evening! This recipe is based on the curry recipes found in The Ayurvedic Cookbook by Amadea Morningstar and Urmila Desai. It yields enough for two small portions of approximately 205 calories each, or one large portion of about 410 calories.

1 t sunflower oil
½ t black mustard seeds
½ t cumin seeds
½ t cumin powder
½ t fenugreek
½ t turmeric
½ t coriander powder
1 t curry powder
½ a medium potato
¼ c red onion
2 garlic cloves
¼ c coarsely chopped red onion
1 c water
¼ c chickpeas
¼ c frozen green peas
2 finely chopped brussel sprouts
1.5 oz spelt udon

Begin by heating the oil in a pan. Add the black mustard seeds, cumin and fenugreek and wait for the black mustard seeds to pop. Watch the pan to make sure the seeds do not burn! Once the black mustard seeds have begun to pop, add the turmeric, onions and garlic. Add ¼ c water. Let the onions brown, and then add the rest of your vegetables and ½ c of water. Cover your pan and cook on medium for 15 minutes or so. Add the rest of the water as necessary. After the 15 minutes is up, simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes. While the curry is simmering, prepare the udon as indicated on the package. Add the noodles to the curry, stir and enjoy.

The Ayurvedic Cookbook recommends that fruit is eaten alone, or at the beginning of a meal. I decided to make a fruit smoothie of approximately 125 calories to accompany my supper anyway. Here is the recipe:

½ a banana
½ an orange
¼ c unsweetened frozen pineapple
¼ c unsweetened frozen blueberry
½ c water

Add the ingredients to a blender and liquefy.

– Aly

Comments (2) »

When I don’t have time to eat lunch…

I drink it! Here is another recipe inspired by the FFVK:

Kale and fruit smoothie:

½ c water
½  an orange
½  a banana
¼ c unsweetened, frozen blueberries
¼ c raw spinach
1 c raw kale

Liquefy the ingredients in a blender until the mixture has reached your desired consistency. According to the Dietitians of Canada’s Recipe Analyzer, this recipe has about 166.4 calories, 79.3 μg of folate, 776.9 mg of Potassium, 623.3 μg of vitamin A, 130.4 mg of vitamin E, 2 mg of Iron, 7.5 g of fibre, 4.3 g of protein, 1.4 g of fat, 39.4 g of carbohydrate, 46.1 mg of Sodium, and 22.5 g of sugar. I also added a packet of vitamin B12 supplement and a couple of goji berries (which were not included in the calorie count). I usually pour this, or some variation of it, in to my Thermos and drink it while at school or work.

– Aly

PS Check out the WHFoods‘ websites about kale, blueberries, oranges, bananas, and spinach!

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