Green Smoothie Challenge: Prep

My sister Jem and I are planning on starting this Green Smoothie Challenge tomorrow and continuing it for at least one week. If you don’t know about this challenge, Somer of the blog Vedged Out created it and shared it earlier this year, then posted about her experience of it every day for a week. The timing didn’t work for me at that point, but I did try some of the recipes, and thought of the challenge earlier this week when Jem suggested to some type of cleanse.

What’s great about this challenge is that, while it focuses on nutrient-dense whole foods, with no grains, nuts, added sugars or oils, animal products, caffeine, or starchy vegetables, it is absolutely not about deprivation. Each day you can have two 4-cup green smoothies, a huge salad, two cups of soup, and up to one cup of hummus with as much raw or steamed vegetables as you like. I haven’t started yet, but I feel like I may not even be able to finish all four meals each day!

You can get the complete details and recipes for the Green Smoothie Challenge here.

Preparation:
On Thursday we went through all the recipes and made a rough grocery list, making sure to include ingredients for the recipes we absolutely have to make. Most of the list was estimates, so we will probably have to do a small shop for some more produce later on.

Today (Saturday), we took a few hours and did a bunch of prep so that we are ready to start first thing tomorrow morning (Sunday). I’ll be going to work early on Sunday, so being prepared ahead of time was key to starting off right.

What We Made Today:

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Cheezy-Smoky-Spicy Vegan Black Bean Soup – I’ve made this soup before and it is great, so we thought it would be a good one to start with.

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Hummus – This is the oil-free recipe from the challenge, and it tastes great!

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Balsamic Vinaigrette

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Tahini Cream Dressing

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We also made a big batch of Greens Puree, to help our non-power blender along with the green smoothies, and ensure we get a smoother textured smoothie. This is essentially the same as what I make for my Frozen Greens Cubes, but we won’t be freezing it because it will all be used up in a few days.

We also prepped a couple bunches of lettuce like this, so we are all ready for salad making.

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All this delicious food is actually making me really excited to start the challenge! Which is good, because it means I’m not fretting too much about all the things I won’t be having for the next week (like coffee, chocolate, and my beloved Silver Hills bread).

Stay tuned! I’ll be posting throughout the week to show and talk to you about the food we are eating, and update you on our progress.

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Vegan Eats World: Classic Sesame Noodles

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Vegan MoFo 2013 – Post #5

Last night I finally made my first recipe from Vegan Eats World! Kind of. Jem and I used the sauce for the Classic Sesame Noodles (page 137), but swapped the marinated cucumbers and lettuce that are part of the dish, for some cooked snap peas, baby bok choy, and mushrooms.

The only minor changes I made to the sauce, were to use coconut sugar in place of the dark brown sugar, and ground ginger in place of fresh.

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We cooked some soba noodles according to the package, quickly sautéed them with  the veggies and a little sesame oil, then mixed in some sesame sauce. We also added some roasted sesame seeds and Sriracha to our bowls. So good! If there had been leftovers, I would happily eat the same thing again tonight. I’m such a sucker for a good Asian noodle dish! Luckily, there was quite a bit of sauce leftover (just no noodles or veggies). However, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it. Stay tuned.

Have you tried any recipes from Vegan Eats World?
Please share.

You May Also Enjoy:
IMG_2165Crispy Kale and Mushroom Fried Rice

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Spicy Peanut Portobello Kale Rice Bowl

100_3845Butternut Squash Miso Noodle Soup with Kale and Edamame

My Birthday Part 1: Veg Fest Vancouver

My birthday was last weekend and it was a lovely day full of friends, family, and a tonne of awesome vegan food! The 3rd annual Veg Fest Vancouver just happened to fall on my birthday this year, so of course Jem and I had to check it out! I took the opportunity to try a bunch of food from companies and places I’ve never tried before. Needless to say, I’ve got a lot to share with you!

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First up, we shared a plate of vegetable pakoras from the food truck Varinicey Pakoras (pronounced ‘very nice ee’). We got the Original which included carrots, yams, kale, and swiss chard. These were delicious, and the sweet mango chutney and spicy pickles were really nice additions. They also serve a few different varieties of pakoras, a mango coconut smoothie, and fresh chai tea with almond milk. Except for the yogurt-based raita, everything is vegan and gluten-free.

Next, we couldn’t resist buying a couple caramels from In The Oven. We choose the coconut and the dark chocolate coffee flavours. We shared the coconut one right away and I had the dark chocolate coffee one for dessert that night. They were both pretty amazing! Very sweet, so not something I would eat often, but a really nice treat.

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After meeting up with some friends, we headed to the Loving Hut Express food truck for lunch. I was looking forward to trying the Crispy Chick’n Burger I’ve heard raves about, but it was all sold out by the time our turn came. Instead, Jem and I both got the Bacon Cheese Burger (all vegan, like everything on the truck), piled high with crispy bacon, cheese sauce, mayo, tomato, red onion, and lettuce. We waited about 30 minutes for our burgers and it was well worth it! The burgers were so big we could barely finish them, but I can honestly say it was one of the best (and messiest) veggie burgers I’ve ever had! And I’m pretty sure everyone in our group, even the non-vegans, enjoyed theirs just as much.

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Later on, after some more exploring of Veg Fest, Jem bought me a birthday cupcake from Fairy Cakes, since I wouldn’t be having a birthday cake later on. I choose the chocolate lime cupcake. Jem had a chocolate raspberry one, and our friend David also had the lime one. I’m not usually big on bought cake or cupcakes, because normally find them too sweet for my tastes, but these weren’t overly sweet. The lime flavour wasn’t really prominent but the cupcake was very moist and delicious!

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All in all I thoroughly enjoyed my day at Veg Fest Vancouver! It is a free outdoor festival, which took over three blocks of Vancouver’s Granville Street on July 27th. In addition to vegan food vendors, there were also tables for many animal protection organizations and other vegan-friendly local businesses, many with free samples and items for sale. This was my first time at the festival and I would definitely go again. It was really nice to see so many great vegan and local vendors in the same place, giving us a chance to easily try a variety of things from many different places. I also really liked that the set-up of the festival along Granville street, and the fact that it was free, left us free to wander in and out of the festival area throughout the day.

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Check out My Birthday Part 2: Wild Rice.
After our day at Veg Fest and exploring downtown Vancouver a bit, we headed to the New Westminster Quay for a family dinner at the amazing and vegan-friendly Wild Rice. It’s a good thing we were walking around the whole day, otherwise I don’t think we would’ve had any room to enjoy dinner!

Pineapple Mango Creamsicles and Mixed Berry Ice Pops

It is definitely summer around here and while I’m loving the sunshine, I’m not a huge fan of the heat. What better way to beat the heat than with an icy totally guilt-free treat?! (Really didn’t intend for all the rhyming there!)

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Store-bought popsicles may be fruit-flavoured, but they are usually just frozen sugar-water, without any actual fruit in sight. These home-made popsicles taste even better than store-bought, are almost completely all fruit, and therefore completely guilt-free! They are also super quick and easy to make. If you know how to turn on a blender, than you can make these in about five minutes. The hardest part is waiting for them to freeze!

Pineapple Mango Creamsicles
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 cup mango chunks
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (or more coconut milk, for an even creamier creamsicle)
1/2 tsp orange extract
Optional – sweetener to taste

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Mixed Berry Ice Pops
1 cup blueberries
1 cup other berries (raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, strawberries…) – You can choose one kind, or a mixture.
2 cups water or non-dairy milk
Optional – sweetener to taste

For both kinds, just throw everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Divide into whatever ice pop molds you have and place them in a freezer to freeze. Wait impatiently. Enjoy!

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Notes:
– For both recipes, you can use either fresh or frozen fruit, or a combination of both. 

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I’ve shared this post with Raw Food Thursday (7/18/13), Allergy-Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays (7/17/13), Healthy Vegan Friday #52, Gluten Free Friday #49, and Wellness Weekend (July 18-22).

Questions
Ice cream or popsicles?

What is your favourite popsicle flavour? Or the craziest flavour you’ve tried?
Feel free to share or link to the recipe!

What I Ate Wednesday #121

Once again, its time for What I Ate Wednesday and I’ve got some more random meals for. Enjoy! I sure did!

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Two mushroom patties (based on these ones) over brown rice, with Sriracha and roasted garlic hummus.
Pizza – A whole wheat pita with roasted garlic hummus, mushrooms, red pepper, pickled jalapeño, black olives, sprouted red lentils, and Daiya Cheddar Wedge.

IMG_1184IMG_1226Soba Noodle Bowl – Soba noodles, garlic, red peppers, yellow peppers, carrots, baby bok choy, bean sprouts, red lentil sprouts, Bitchin’ Sauce, and Sriracha.
Wrap – A whole wheat wrap with mashed avocado, Gardein Chipotle Lime Crispy Tenders, cucumber, romaine lettuce, and lime juice.

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Salad – Romaine lettuce, red pepper, avocado, pineapple, a crumbled Curried Chickpea Quinoa Burger, lime juice, and Vega Antioxidant Oil.
Wrap – A Baked Mediterranean Chickpea Burger with melted Daiya Jalapeno Garlic Wedge on a whole wheat wrap with red pepper hummus, green leaf lettuce, and cucumber.

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First BBQ of 2013 – Grilled Portobello on a multigrain bun with Sriracha lime mashed avocado (exactly what it sounds like) & romaine. Oven wedge fries. My Basic No-mayo Coleslaw.
Taco Wrap – Lentil taco filling and my Basic No-Mayo Coleslaw on a whole wheat wrap.

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Green Tahini Rice Bowl – Brown rice, broccoli, asparagus, and Soyganic Smoked Tofu, smothered with tahini sauce (from the reFresh cookbook) and some sesame seeds for good measure.
Extending the last of my Basic No-Mayo Coleslaw with some cucumbers and hemp hearts.

Hope everyone

Lemon Cranberry Coconut Chia Bars

Collage, Lemon Cranberry Coconut Squares

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Let me just say that unless you absolutely hate lemon, cranberries, or coconut then you need to try these Tropical Lemon Cranberry Coconut Chia Bars from Angela at Oh She Glows.

The lemon and cranberry make for a delicious combination of sweet and tart flavours, and the coconut make these fantastically chewy.

These bars are also quite simple to make, and while probably quite high in calories, they don’t contain anything to really feel guilty about.

The only changes I made to the original recipe was to use whole wheat flour in place of the oat flour, mainly because I was too lazy to take that extra step of processing the oats. I also replaced the pistachios with pumpkin seeds, because I didn’t have any pistachios and I figured pumpkin seeds are the same colour and would still give me the crunch-factor.

I love these Tropical Lemon Cranberry Coconut Chia Bars!

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