Thursday, April 14, 2016

Secret's in the sauce.....

Quick, quick... what movie?? 

Our family plays this little game where we quote a famous line from a movie and the others have to guess it.  Can you guess what movie this title is from?  You should know it!   And if you don't know it.... well, you should know it!  I might post the answer in the comments below. 

As I've mentioned before, I am discovering a lot about myself through this vegan journey.  Recently, I realized just how much I love to put sauce on my dishes or salads.  I've been trying a lot of Anja's recipes because I love her food!  I haven't decided which is my favorite but there are a few that stand out. 

Today, I wanted to post about some of the yummy sauces I've come across while discovering new foods.  Most of these can be poured over rice and any type of veggie or perhaps over a salad.  Here's a couple of my faves so far  (I believe all of these came from Anja's recipes but it's been a while since I've written them down so I can't be sure.):

Orange Tahini Dressing  (Anja's recipe)

1/2 c. orange juice (I've used both freshly squeezed and store bought.  Good both ways.)
2 T Tahini
1 T Miso paste
1 T Tamari
1 t Coconut sugar

Blend everything in a blender and voila!  This literally takes less than 5 minutes.  I poured this over her broccoli salad and it was GOOOOOD!!!  I could have bathed in this stuff! 

Here's Anja's video:

Cucumber Tahini Dressing

(I think this one came from the Forks Over Knives menu plan)
Use this one salads or drizzle over veggies. 

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped
1/3 c. Tahini
1/4 c. Lemon juice
2 Garlic cloves
Sea salt, to taste
Pinch cayenne pepper

Blend it all together until smooth and creamy.  Add water a little at a time until pourable consistency.

Basil Dressing

I used this one over veggies but it would be good on salad, too. 

3/4 c. Soy milk, or other plant based milk
2 c. chopped fresh basil.  (I didn't have fresh basil so I used dried.  Still good!)
2 T. Lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/4 c. White beans (I used cannellini beans)
2 - 3 cloves garlic
1/4 c. nutritional yeast

Blend it all up and voila! 

I hope you'll try one or all of these!  Let me know how you like them!

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Sensory overload + my meals + weight loss update

I've been battling a horrendous head cold for the past week and am on the downhill slide now.  Thank goodness!  I haven't had a spring cold in several years and I don't miss them!  I've continued on my vegan diet, though, and despite my head feeling like a bowling ball all week I've discovered other amazing changes in my body.

For the past year or so, I've been suffering from a couple of different ailments.  One, I've had severe pain in my knees for a while now, especially when I go up or down stairs.  It's been so bad a few times, that we had to get the crutches out so I could hobble over to the stairs.  The second ailment was my foot.  Every time I stood up or walked on it for too long, it would hurt something fierce!  I finally went to the doctor who took x-rays of both my knees and foot.  No arthritis!  Yay.  She wasn't sure what was going on with my knees but said that my foot pain could be plantar fasciitis.  She gave me some exercises to do, which I did sporadically. 

It's been about four weeks since my doctor visit (I did the exercises for about the first two weeks, off and on) and about six weeks since I started this vegan lifestyle change.  I noticed this week that, while my head was pounding, I had no pain in my knees or my foot!  <<Happy dance!!!>>  I don't know if this has anything to do with my new diet, but it's the only thing I've changed in my life up to this point.  I will keep on....

Sensory Overload

I've been doing a LOT of research this past week on the vegan diet and lifestyle.  What else did I have to do while dealing with my bowling ball head?  I went to YouTube and found a LOT of information about veganism and the different ways you should do it.  It seems that everyone has a different opinion about this (probably a good topic for another post).   I discovered there are many different ways to "do" veganism....
  • High Carb Low Fat
  • Raw Till Four
  • Fully Raw
  • 80/10/10
  • Fruitarian
  • Junk Food vegan
  • Plant-based
Wow! Who knew?!!

I'm just a simple girl who likes simple things.  I've been trying to compute all of this information to figure out what is best for me.  And then, it hit me.

"Everything in moderation!"

Over the last few weeks, I've discovered (or just re-affirmed) that I DO love food!  However, I am completely fine with eating healthy foods!  I really enjoy the plant-based diet and the high carb low fat.  I'm still learning this second one.  So, taking a little bit of advice from several of these, I think this is my plan:

  • Eat low fat
  • Eat whole food, plant based foods
  • Cut out refined sugars, oils, and processed foods
  • Drink more lemon water (to help with my digestion)
  • Move more - simple exercise
That's it!  That's all!  At least for now.

My Meals

So, I've been trying some new recipes to see how I like them.  I'm definitely discovering what I like and don't like. 

I love bowls!!!

I love one dish meals where I can mix everything together. 


But.... here's a dish I made yesterday - eggplant pizzas.


May I just say - I don't like eggplant!!!  While this may look delish..... I threw out most of it. 

But, in case you want to try it.....   I found the recipe on Cherie Tu's YouTube channel but modified it slightly by adding mushrooms and eliminating the bell pepper (only because I didn't have it).  I'm sure her version tasted absolutely yummy!!


Now, this was good!  I got this recipe from Anja's website (I love her!).  You can't see the dressing in this photo (I'm not a professional foodie photographer!  I just take my pics with my cell phone!) but it's on there and it was GOOD!  I could have bathed in it. 

The dressing literally took 2 minutes to make.  I steamed the broccoli and put everything on a bed of mixed greens with some kale microgreens that I got from Whole Foods.  This is what they look like:

This will probably become one of my staple dishes!

Weight Loss Update

I've been doing some research on losing weight with this lifestyle change.  I'm the type of person that wants what I want yesterday and not a minute later!  So, it's difficult for me to slow down and do it right.  Like most people, I want quick results.  But, I DO want to do it right, so..... I am consciously and deliberately being ok with only seeing small drops in weight.

That said... over the last couple of weeks I've seen a drop of about 2 pounds.  I think this is on track.  As long as I don't see the scale going up....

During this time, I haven't been exercising much.  We are typically so busy we have a hard time fitting it in.   We went walking once or twice and that's about it.

Thanks for sticking with me - long post, I know!

Till next time, Happy (Vegan) Eating!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Sweet Potato Bowl and a New Discovery

So far, I am loving this new dietary journey.  I have not missed meat in the least.  In fact, I find myself being a little repulsed when I look at a piece of meat, cooked or uncooked.  That's another story.....

I discovered another dish that I wanted to make and I must say, I'm in love with it!  It is so amazingly good!  I continue to be shock and amazed at the abundance of natural foods God has provided us with.  I feel like I'm coming out of a cocoon into a whole new world of beauty and abundance.  I know that sounds pretty cheesy.....  but, it is what it is.

Sweet Potato Bowl

This is an incredibly easy recipe.  I've seen it from several sources online.  Most of the recipes I found state to bake the sweet potato until it's tender.  I put mine in a brown paper bag and microwaved it for about 8 - 10 minutes.  Same results.

After the sweet potato is done, peel off the skin.  Careful!  It's hot.
Chop it up and put it in a blender with some plant based milk.  I probably used about a 1/2 cup of coconut milk.  I might try almond milk next time to see what the difference in flavor is.  I think both would be good!

Once the sweet potato and milk is blended, spoon it into a bowl.  I topped with strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, banana, shredded coconut, and hemp seeds.  It was.....
AH - MAZ - ING!!!

I made this during lunch time because we had skipped breakfast.  Not intentionally, but we just had a busy morning.  I wanted to include a green salad, too, so I mixed up some greens I had with a chopped avocado and added some hummus on top. 
Needless to say, this ended up being way too much food for me in one sitting.  I ate the salad and about 1/4 of the sweet pot bowl.   I saved the rest of that for breakfast the next morning.  The leftover bananas in it were a little browned, but otherwise, it was just as tasty!

My new discovery!

So, I've seen Cheri use what she calls "Buckinis" in a lot of her dishes.  I wanted to try it so I went on a search for it.  I wasn't sure exactly what it was, though.  I went to the Sprouts market near me.  They didn't know what Buckinis were either!  They looked it up on their cell phone - guess I should have done that!  Turns out, Buckinis are buckwheat.  Buckwheat is a whole grain. 

It looks a little like chopped peanuts in this form.  They have a crunch to them, which I love.  So far, I've used them on my cereal and on a few salads.  I love them!