Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 1

Green Smoothie Challenge: Preparation
Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 0.5

Yesterday was the first full day of our Green Smoothie Challenge, and it went surprisingly well. I did have a slight headache throughout the day but other then that I felt good.

I also have two of my own recipes to share with you: Italian White Beans and Gomae. Enjoy!

I think the hardest part for both Jem and I is going to be staying warm. The weather’s pretty cold and damp around here, making the idea of a ice-cold smoothie less than desirable (especially when you have to have it before the sun comes up or the heat comes on) and we sure were looking forward to a big bowl of hot soup for dinner. We have been combatting the cold with lots of hot herbal tea, which does help some. Putting stevia in the tea also helps combat our sweet-tooths’ cravings.

The past couple days I’ve been having one smoothie for breakfast, a salad and soup for lunch and dinner, and then another smoothie in the evening. The evening is when Jem and I both crave snacks and sweets the most, so sipping on a semi-sweet smoothie at this point really helps.

Just a reminder that you can find more info and all the recipes mentioned below (unless I give a different link) here.

What I Ate (Monday October 21)
I started the day with 2 cups of lemon water, then made a Tropical Colada Smoothie. I used 1/2 cup of our Greens Puree in place of the spinach, used only 1/2 of a banana, and left out the coconut. I don’t have a cup big enough for these smoothies, so I put half of it in the freezer for about 45 minutes, while I drank the other half. This made the frozen half like a slushy by the time I  ate it so I used a spoon, and enjoyed it even more than the first.

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Mid-morning I snacked on a little bit of hummus with cucumber and carrots.

Around 1pm, I had a big salad for lunch that included romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, carrots, zucchini, cucumber, artichoke hearts, Italian White Beans, and Tahini Cream Dressing. I love this simple salad dressing; tahini and lemon is always a winning combination!

Italian White Beans
1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until heated through and most of the liquid is gone.

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I actually made this salad too big. I couldn’t even finish the whole thing!IMG_3014

During the afternoon I had 2 cups of rooibos tea with vanilla stevia and another 2 cups of water.

For dinner, Jem and I had about 2 cups of the Cheezy-Smokey-Spicy Black Bean Soup, and a small serving of home-made Gomae. This gomae isn’t made from freshly roasted sesame seeds like is traditional, but it is much simpler, and every bit as tasty. No, the challenge doesn’t really allow for sauces like this on the unlimited steamed vegetables, but we decided since we didn’t use our allotted 1/4 cup of salad dressing on our lunch salad, that this would be okay.

I did end up pureeing the soup again to get a smoother texture and I enjoyed it much more than the other day.

Gomae (Serves 4 as a Side)
2 large bunches spinach, rinsed
3 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp coconut sugar or 5 drops liquid stevia
2-3 tbsp warm water

Note: If I hadn’t made this for the Challenge, I would have also added 1 tsp of sesame oil to the sauce, for a stronger sesame flavour.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-low, add the spinach to the pot and let cook it cook for 2-3 minutes. Transfer the spinach to a colander and rinse it with cold water. Over the sink or a bowl, press on the spinach to release excess water, then let it sit while you prepare the sauce.

For the sauce, just mix all the ingredients together in a blender or by hand. Press on the spinach once more to release any more liquid, place some spinach in a small bowl, and drizzle with 1-2 tbsp of the sauce. Sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds if desired.

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After dinner I got on the elliptical for the second night in a row! I did a 30 minute program and then 10 minutes of stretching.

Later on, I added the second half of my Apple Pie Smoothie (from Day 0.5) into the blender and blended it up with 1 cup of frozen blueberries and 4 drops of vanilla stevia. Yum!

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Jenn and I ate pretty much the exact same thing for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but she had a different smoothie in the evening: the Blueberry Vanilla Smoothie. She used 1/2 cup Greens Puree in place of the greens, used vanilla stevia, and left out the water and ice to get a thicker texture (which we both feel makes the smoothie feel more like a milkshake/dessert).

P.S. – Between all the herbal tea and water I drank, I made it up to 11 cups of water again! (Not including anything in the smoothies or other food.)

See you tomorrow!

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 2

Chunky Hummus Dip & Baked Corn Chips

As I know is common for vegetarians and vegans, I almost always have hummus in my fridge. Especially when I had first turned vegan and was still sharing a kitchen with my omnivore family, having hummus available gave me instant options in terms of quick meals and snacks. I use it as a dip for veggies, crackers, crisp breads, and chips. I spread it on toast and in my sandwiches and wraps. I use it as pasta sauce. I thin it out with water and use it as salad dressing.

I also like making this Chunky Hummus Dip to eat with crackers and crisp breads. Instead of dipping vegetables in the hummus, I dice them up and mix them into it, creating a great chunky dip/spread. I usually use whatever veggies I have, almost always using cucumber and bell peppers, but I’ve also added olives, fresh herbs, spinach, cabbage, and zucchini. Obviously this would work with any flavour of hummus. I especially like roasted red pepper, or spicy ones such as chipotle, jalapeno, or chili pepper.

Chunky Hummus Dip
1 1/2 to 2 cups diced mixed vegetables (cucumber, red bell pepper, carrot, artichoke hearts, banana peppers)
1 tbsp hemp hearts (or chia seeds)
1-2 tsp lemon or lime juice (whichever will go better with the flavours of your hummus)
about 1/2 C hummus (just enough to make the veggies stick together)

Put diced vegetables, hemp hearts, and citrus juice in a small bowl and mix well. Add hummus and mix until everything is sticking together. I don’t usually measure this, so you may need some more hummus. Feel free to add anything else that seems good to you. Serve with crackers, crisp breads, or chips.
I find that this recipe is enough for one meal for me if this is all I’m having, so if making for multiple people you may need to double or triple it. Enjoy!

Before hummus.

With hummus.

 As you can see in the first photo, I had my dip this time with some baked corn chips. These were homemade in the sense that I cut up some bought corn tortillas that needed to be used up and baked them in the oven.

Baked Corn Chips
Cut some small corn tortillas into triangles.
Arrange the triangles on a baking sheet and mist them with oil (I use olive oil in a Misto).
You could add some salt or spices at this point, but I left mine plain.
Bake in a 375° oven for 10-12 minutes.

Before baking.

After baking.

These chips were much thicker and crunchier than store-bought taco corn chips. They were also really quick to do. It only takes a minute to cut them up and I made the humus dip while they were in the oven. I really enjoyed them and can definitely see doing this again.

Questions
Do you also have a hummus addiction?

Do you use hummus in any ways I didn’t mention?

Do you ever bake your own chips?
I’ve tried baked potato chips a couple of times, and I love making kale chips. This is the first time I’ve turned tortillas into chips.