Green Smoothie Challenge Day 2 & WIAW

Green Smoothie Challenge: Prep
Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 0.5
Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 1

Yesterday was Day 2 of the our Green Smoothie Challenge it was full of lots of good food! Check out what I ate, including two new smoothie recipes!

For breakfast I made a Blueberry Peach Green Smoothie, which is sort of a combination of the Blueberry Vanilla and the Spotted Peach.

My smoothie was followed by a cup of rooibos tea, and later on by some more vanilla rooibos tea.

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Blueberry Peach Green Smoothie
1/2 cup greens puree (or 2 cups packed greens)
1/2 a banana
1/2 cup frozen peaches
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 tbsp hemp protein powder
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup water
6 drops liquid vanilla stevia

Just put everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

After being out in the damp foggy air without a proper jacket (my own fault) I was way too cold to have something cold for lunch, so I made a quick stir-fry. It included broccoli, bok choy, orange pepper, edamame, garlic, red pepper flakes, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, and a spoonful of leftover Gomae sauce on top.

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Around 2:30, after Jem got home from school and had finished lunch, we went for a 1 hour walk through some trails by our house. I’m loving the cool & sunny fall weather!

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After our walk I had another little portion of Gomae, and some more vanilla rooibos tea.

For dinner we made Hot & Sour Soup. We were really looking forward to trying this one and it definitely lived up to our expectations. I actually said while we were having it that it was the best thing I had eaten in at least 3 days. I’m looking forward to leftovers today!

We did make a few little changes to the soup.
– We used cremini mushrooms instead of shitake mushrooms.
– We used red pepper flakes instead of cayenne powder.
– We used medium-firm tofu instead of extra-firm. It falls apart a little in soup, but we like the softer texture.
– We also left out the scallions but added one diced carrot and a bunch of bok choy. (We added the stalks in with everything else and added the greens in with 4 minutes remaining.)

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It was also really nice how easy this soup was to make. Just throw everything in a pot, bring to a boil, turn down and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Easy peasy.

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After dinner I made some more Greens Puree, this time with one large package of baby spinach, one huge head of romaine lettuce, and 1 1/2 cups water. All set for another few days of smoothies! I’m finding it really handy having this in the fridge for green smoothies. My blender likes it better than the Frozen Greens Cubes, and it does make for a smoother texture.

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Jem and I were craving some sweet snackage so we came up with this minty chocolate smoothie, based on the Chocolate Covered Blues Smoothie, to help us get to bedtime. It definitely did the trick. This makes 4 cups, but is a thicker smoothie (more stuff and less liquid) so we split it between us.

Minty Chocolate Covered Blues Smoothie (Yields 2 servings)
2 cups frozen blueberries
1 handful fresh mint leaves
1/2 a banana
2/3 cup greens puree (or 2 cups spinach)
2 tbsp hemp protein powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp carob powder
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup water
Vanilla stevia to taste

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I also had a cup of ginger mint tea to warm me up a bit after the smoothie.

Water Intake Today: 12 cups!

As you can tell from today’s log, Jem ate the same thing as me for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and evening snack. She had her Gomae in the mid-morning, rather than the afternoon, along with some citrus mint tea.

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 3

I’ve also shared this post with What I Ate Wednesday #144.

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 0.5

Have you read about our Green Smoothie Challenge: Preparation?

Rather than fully start the Green Smoothie Challenge yesterday, we used the day to ease into it a bit. When choosing a start day, we didn’t realize that we would both end up with (non-challenge-approved) leftovers from a pre-planned dinner out on Saturday night, and Jem didn’t know that she had an impromptu late Thanksgiving dinner to go to on Sunday night.

So, yesterday, Jem had the Chocolate Covered Blues Smoothie for breakfast, and then ate regularly for the rest of the day. She did include 30 minutes of elliptical in her day. I ended up having one and a half smoothies, a serving of soup, and some hummus and raw vegetables, and rounding it out with some non-challenge-approved foods. The photos below show what I ate for the day.

I started the day at 6:30am with a Chocolate Covered Blues Smoothie. I choose to start with this one because it is very similar to my favourite smoothie of frozen blueberries, Chocolate Vega One, greens, and almond milk. I used only half a banana (because I really don’t like them), choose 1 tbsp of hemp protein powder for the flax/hemp/chia option, used 1/2 cup of my Greens Puree in place of the spinach, and didn’t add the water. The smoothie turned out the perfect texture for me, and I really enjoyed it, even though I was freezing!

Jem had the same smoothie for breakfast, except she used a full banana as the recipe states.

To help warm me up, I had a hot cup of orange pekoe tea with vanilla creme stevia right after I finished my smoothie. Yes, this tea has caffeine in it, but a lot less than the coffee I usually have every morning. I figured it would be a good stepping stone to the next week without any caffeine. And I didn’t have any coffee for the whole day!

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After a 30 minute walk to work, I had a few almonds and one piece of the fig date bread pictured below.

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At noon I had 1 1/2 cups of the Cheezy-Smokey-Spicy Vegan Black Bean Soup and a piece of toast. I really love the taste of this soup, but just like last time I made it, I’m not really a fan of the texture. Right now it is about half pureed, but I may try fully pureeing it before I have any today.

We did make some changes to the soup, so I’m going to write our version below.

Cheezy-Smokey-Spicy Black Bean Soup 
1 medium onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, finely diced and seeds removed
2 carrots, diced
1/2 large zucchini, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cans low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp liquid smoke
4 cups water
2 tbsp tahini
3/4 cup nutritional yeast

In a large pot over medium heat, water sauté onions and garlic until translucent. Add the carrots, zucchini, bell pepper, chipotle pepper, and spices and cooking stirring for a couple of minutes. Add black beans, liquid smoke, and water, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for at least 10 minutes. Stir in nutritional yeast and tahini. Pulse a few times with a stick blender to desired consistency.

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Around 4pm, I had another small meal of hummus with raw cucumber, carrot, and yellow bell pepper. I also had the other piece of my fig date bread and some green tea.

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At 5pm, I had another 30 minute walk from work.

For dinner, around 6:30pm, I had a small bowl of leftover pasta from the night before.

Around 7:30pm I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and 10 minutes of yoga stretches.

After my workout, I made an Apple Pie Green Smoothie, and drank about half of it. Then I had some lemon ginger herbal tea with stevia to warm me up. I liked the taste of the Apple Pie Smoothie, but didn’t like the texture. My blender probably just isn’t powerful enough to blend the apples smoothly. It was drinkable, once I blended it with ice, but next time I think I’d use applesauce in place of the full apples.

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I was also drinking water throughout the day, and made it to a grand total of 11 cups! This includes herbal tea, but doesn’t include the water in the smoothies and other food I ate.

Looking forward to starting the challenge off for real today!

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 1

Dark Chocolate S’mores Brownies

I just got home yesterday from a lovely week of camping with the family. It’s really amazing what a road trip, a change of scenery (forest!), and some campfire time can do! Even with the lack of sleep over the past week and a few too many treats, I’ve come back feeling really energized and eager to get some things done I’ve been putting off.

Anyway, all those nights sitting around the campfire watching my family enjoying s’mores (while I happily sipped my tea and munched on Oreos or dark chocolate), reminded me of this recipe for Dark Chocolate S’mores Brownies that I made a few months ago. I’ve never really liked marshmallows or s’mores but when I received a bag of Dandies in a package from the Canadian Vegan Food Swap, I was curious to try out some recipes with them, and this is one of the things I came up with.

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With a few tweaks, I used this Dark Chocolate Brownie recipe as the base for my brownies. I knew the addition of chocolate chips, marshmallows, and cookies would mean a lot of sugar, so I wanted to start with a brownie base that was on the healthier side. These ones are quite low in sugar for a brownie, use whole grain flour, and are oil free. Even if you don’t wish to make S’mores Brownies (though really, why wouldn’t you?) I’d still recommend trying this brownie recipe.

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Dark Chocolate S’mores Brownies
1 tbsp ground chia seeds (or ground flax)
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup Sucanat (or organic brown sugar)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup unsweetened nondairy milk
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cups cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1 cup vegan marshmallows (I used Dandies)
1/2 cup crushed vegan graham crackers or ginger snaps

Preheat your oven to 375°F and lightly grease a 9’x13′ pan.
In a small dish combine the ground chia with the warm water and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, applesauce, milk, vanilla, and vinegar.
In a separate bowl stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and sea salt.
Whisk the chia mixture into the wet ingredients.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, then stir in the chocolate chips.
Pour about 3/4 of the batter into your prepared pan.
Spread the marshmallows out over the top of the batter, then sprinkle on the crushed cookies.
Drop the remaining batter on top of the cookies and marshmallows, one teaspoon at a time.
Place in oven and bake for 16-20 minutes. Cut the brownies into squares before they are fully cool, otherwise it will be difficult to cut through the marshmallow. I cut mine into 18 pieces.

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These brownies are best enjoyed warm, so that the chocolate chips and the marshmallows are a bit gooey. Enjoy!

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These Dark Chocolate S’mores Brownies were a huge hit. The brownies are super chocolatey, dense, and moist, without being too sweet and the toppings sent them over the top. I had a hard time not eating the whole tray in about 2 days, and when I shared with Jem (just so I wouldn’t eat them all) she loved them. Apparently she had “a brownie experience”!

I’ve shared this post with Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays (6/11/13).

You May Also Enjoy:
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Frosted Blueberry Cake, Wheat-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Almond Chia Pudding

What I Ate Wednesday #112 – Oatmeal Love

WIAWbutton

For this week’s What I Ate Wednesday post I’m going to share with you my recent oatmeal adventures. There have been a lot of cold mornings in the past couple months and I recently started making my oatmeal in the microwave, which on early mornings feels a lot easier than on the stove (plus it doesn’t leave me with a pot to wash). So, lots of oatmeal lately!

I hope this provides you with some inspiration for your next bowl of oatmeal. Enjoy!

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Sucanat & cinnamon oatmeal with (1) natural peanut butter unsweetened coconut, and home-made dried cranberries and (2) natural peanut butter, cocoa powder, and raw cacao nibs.

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3) 1/2c oats cooked with 1c water, 1tbsp sucanat, 1/4tsp cinnamon, 1/4tsp ground coriander, and 1/2tsp vanilla. Topped with 1/4 serving Vanilla Chai Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer, 2 cut up dried figs, and slivered almonds.
4) 1/2c oats cooked with 1c water, 1tbsp Nature’s Path Cranberry Vanilla Qi’a Cereal, 1tbsp sucanat, and 1tbsp cocoa powder. Topped with natural peanut butter and 1 cut up dried fig.

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5) 1/2c oats cooked with 1c water, 1tbsp ground chia seeds, 1tbsp sucanat, 1/2tsp cinnamon, and 2 chopped dried figs. Topped with hemp hearts and pumpkin seed butter.
6) 1/2c oats cooked with 1c water, 1tsp chia seeds, 1tbsp maple syrup, 1/2tsp molasses, and 1/2tsp cinnamon. Topped with slivered almonds, home-made dried cranberries, and unsweetened coconut.

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And, I know its not oatmeal, but I had this yesterday evening and it was fantastic. I will definitely be using brown rice like this again!
Leftover cooked long grain brown rice, unsweetened almond milk, cinnamon, and sucanat, heated in the microwave. Yum!

What I Ate Wednesday #112

Thanks for stopping by!

healthy vegan friday button
This post was also shared with Healthy Vegan Friday #34. Go check it out!

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Smoothies of 2013: Part 1

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Tropical Pineapple Coconut Oat Cups

Chocolate Almond Chia Pudding

Vegan MoFo 2012 Post #15

Yes! Chocolate and almond again! Apparently I don’t get tired of this combination.

This Chocolate Almond Chia Pudding is quick to throw together, tastes like a great chocolate dessert, but is healthy enough to be eaten for breakfast. As documented in this WIAW post, I actually did eat it for breakfast one day mixed with some Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal and covered in blueberry sauce (recipes coming at some point, I promise).

This chia pudding uses ground chia seeds, because I don’t really like the texture of the whole seeds. If you like the texture of tapioca pudding, you’d probably be fine using the whole seeds, you just may have to adjust the measurements a little bit.

Also, I decided on chocolate and almond because I had some unsweetened chocolate almond milk on hand, but any non-dairy milk would work.

Chocolate Almond Chia Pudding (Yields 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup ground chia seeds
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp carob powder
Pinch of sea salt
1 1/4 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
1/4 tsp almond extract
10 drops liquid stevia

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add the liquid ingredients and stir well. Cover and place in fridge for at least an hour to thicken. Stir once more before serving. I like to garnish my pudding with something like nuts or coconut, to add some texture. Enjoy!

Nutritional Info for 1/4 cup (using Unsweetened Chocolate Almond Breeze): 68 calories, 9g carbs, 4g (healthy) fats, 4g protein, 1g sugar, 46mg sodium.

the veggie nook

This has been submitted to Healthy Vegan Friday #14.

You May Also Enjoy:
Chocolate Almond Porridge
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Chocolate Vega Macaroons

Chocolate Vega Macaroons

Let me just start by saying that these chocolate macaroons are far too good! It took massive amounts of willpower for me to not eat them all day, every day until they were gone! So, if you are a chocolate fiend like I am, I suggest making sure you have people to share these treats with. Or, perhaps you won’t want to share them at all.

I adapted this recipe from these Cocoa Coconut Bits over at the Sprouted Kitchen. When I first tried the recipe, I was curious as to how the addition of Chocolate Vega would be like, so I divided the recipe in half and added Vega to only one half. Trying both kinds one after the other, I’ve decided that I prefer the taste and texture of the Vega macaroons to the original recipe. I’m sure that you could replace the Vega with a different brand of protein or meal replacement powder, but just make sure that it is one you enjoy the taste of. The taste of the Vega is not overpowering but is definitely noticeable in the final product.

Also, I use cocoa powder and toasted carob powder here, as I do in almost all of my chocolate recipes. Carob powder is not actually chocolate, but tastes similar. While it does have a higher natural sugar content than cocoa, it is lower in fat, caffeine-free, and is a source of calcium and iron. Carob is also free of theobromine, thenylthylamine and tyramine, all three of which can trigger headaches and migraines in some people.* I really like the taste of carob, though it may take some getting used to if you are substituting it for chocolate, and I enjoy the complex chocolate flavour I get in baked goods from using both cocoa and carob powder.

Chocolate Vega Macaroons
1 1/2 cups dried unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup oats (I used quick, but I’m sure large flake would be fine)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup carob powder
1/3 cup Chocolate Vega One
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Add all of the dry ingredients to a medium bowl and stir to combine. If necessary, heat the coconut oil until it is mostly liquid. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla to the other ingredients and stir until everything is moistened and clumping together. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

Now preheat oven to 225°. Using a mini-scoop, a 1 tbsp measuring spoon, or your hands, make 1 inch balls and set on a lightly greased baking sheet. These won’t spread at all, so you can put them quite close together. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing them from pan. Enjoy!

These can also be enjoyed raw. Just scoop the prepared mixture into balls, refrigerate and enjoy!

http://www.carobana.com.au/carob.html
http://www.livestrong.com/article/397311-nutritional-information-for-carob-powder/

This post has been entered Healthy Vegan Fridays hosted by Shelby at Everyday Vegan Girl, Gabby at Veggie Nook, and Carrie at Carrie On Vegan.