Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 7!

Green Smoothie Challenge: Prep
Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 0.5
Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 1
Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 2
Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 3
Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 4
Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 5
Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 6

My Day 7 Eats: 
For breakfast I made a smoothie very similar to the day before. One thing I’ve learned from this challenge is how to make a good green smoothie that tastes good and is the exact right texture. This one had ½ cup blueberries, ½ cup water, ½ cup almond milk, 4 drops orange stevia, ½ a banana, ½ cup frozen pineapple, ½ cup greens puree, and 1 tbsp hemp protein powder.

I had half of the smoothie followed by some ginger mint tea, then had the other half after my 30 minute walk to work.

IMG_3116

At 11:30 I had a salad of lettuce, cucumber, orange pepper, and balsamic vinegar. I also had some warm taco-spiced lentils and quinoa and some herbal tea with vanilla stevia.

IMG_3118

At 2:30 I had a jar full of steamed baby bok choy with Bragg’s and red pepper flakes.

IMG_3119IMG_3120

Later, I walked another 30 minutes home.

Jem’s Eats:
For breakfast she had the same smoothie as Day 6, except with greens puree instead of greens cubes.
For lunch she had Butternut Squash Lentil Soup.

Confession time. After a long day (I’d already been up over 12 hours) we decided to stop the challenge at 6:30pm, and celebrate by going out for some Japanese food!

Stay tuned for a recap of our experience with the Vedged Out Green Smoothie Challenge!

Advertisements

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 6

Green Smoothie Challenge: Prep
Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 0.5
Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 1
Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 2
Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 3
Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 4
Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 5

My Day 6 Eats:
For breakfast I made a mixed fruit green smoothie consisting of 5 Frozen Greens Cubes, ½ cup frozen pineapple chunks, ½ a banana, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 tbsp hemp protein powder, 1 cup almond milk, and ½ cup water. This was followed by some hot rooibos tea.

IMG_3108

About an hour later I had a snack of steamed baby bok choy with Bragg’s and red pepper flakes. I felt weird about having this so early in the morning, but it was really good. I love bok choy!

IMG_3110

Around 1:30 I had a salad of cabbage, romaine lettuce, cucumber, orange pepper, and Balsamic Vinaigrette, along with some warm Lentil Taco Filling. Afterwards I had some orange ginger herbal chai tea with vanilla stevia.

IMG_3099

A few hours later I had a bowl of Butternut Squash Lentil Soup.

Around 7pm I walked 30 minutes home and drank some vanilla rooibos tea and munched on a few almonds along the way. The Challenge doesn’t include any nuts, but I really needed a little something to tide me over until I got home and this was all that I had.

At 8:30pm I had a Chocolate Covered Blues Smoothie.

IMG_3112

My water for the day: 14 cups!

Jem’s Eats:
For breakfast she had a smoothie consisting of 1 banana, 3 greens cubes, 4 frozen strawberries, 1 cup frozen pineapple, 1 tbsp ground flax, 4 drops of orange stevia, and 1 cup almond milk.
For lunch she had a green salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette and mint tea.
For dinner she had cooked chickpeas and kale and a green salad with red peppers, pomegranate, and lemon juice.
Later on she had some ginger mint tea.

I’ve shared this post with Healthy Vegan Friday #67.

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 3

Green Smoothie Challenge: Prep
Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 0.5
Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 1
Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 2

Today is actually Day 5 of our Challenge, but my full school day (which means I’m gone for almost 12 hours) didn’t leave any time for posting.

Things are going pretty good. I’m feeling less hungry and have more energy than I thought I would. I am enjoying the food once I’m eating it, but am having to talk myself into making it.  Still daydreaming about all the other things I’d like to be eating. Like bread and avocado and Granny Smith Apples and coffee and dark chocolate and peanut butter… Only three more days to go!

All recipes below without a link can be found at the Vedged Out Green Smoothie Challenge page.

Day 3 Eats:

Breakfast was a Razzleberry Lemonade Smoothie. As usual, I used ½ cup Greens Puree in place of the greens, only ½ a banana, and left out the ice. I also used ½ of a lemon (segmented and some peel). I’ve had this smoothie before, and I love how different it is. The sour berry lemon flavour sure wakes up the tastebuds!

IMG_3058

Once again, I forgot part of my smoothie in the freezer for a little bit and ended up with some lemonade slush. Yum!

IMG_3059

After my smoothie, I had some warm ginger mint herbal tea.

I put together a big salad plate for lunch. It tasted just as good as it looks! It had romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, Balsamic Vinaigrette, artichoke hearts, cucumber, orange pepper, Italian White Beans, and some Lemon Pepper Coleslaw.

IMG_3069

IMG_3066

The Lemon Pepper Coleslaw was something I had just come up with. Basically, I was thinking of making my Basic No-Mayo Coleslaw challenge-worthy, and this is what I ended up with. Without any sugar or oil for balance, it is quite sour, but has made a great addition to salads and other things.

Lemon Pepper Coleslaw
3-4 cups shredded cabbage
Juice and zest of one lemon
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
½ tsp ground black pepper

IMG_3060IMG_3061IMG_3062IMG_3064

Mid-afternoon Jem and I met for a study date at a coffee shop. It was very difficult to talk ourselves into having herbal tea and nothing else! We both ended up with vanilla rooibos tea with steamed soy milk. The milk isn’t really challenge-approved (though it doesn’t actually say anything about it other than it is in some smoothies), but I’m pretty sure it was the only thing coming between us and a sweet caffeinated drink and/or a treat.

When we got home, we each had a plate of mini lettuce wraps (because we had already torn the lettuce). Our lettuce wraps were just red leaf and romaine lettuce with hummus and Lemon Pepper Coleslaw.

IMG_3073

A couple hours later, dinner was leftover Hot & Sour Soup. Still just as good as the day before!

IMG_3051

I made a Berry Vanilla Smoothie (based on the Blueberry Vanilla Smoothie) for an evening snack with ½ cup Greens Puree, 1 cup mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries), ½ cup blueberries, ½ a banana, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tbsp ground flax, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, and 5 drops of vanilla stevia.

IMG_3086

My water today: 7 cups. 

Jem and I ate the same Razzleberry Lemonade Smoothie for breakfast, except that she used a whole banana and hemp protein powder instead of flax. During the morning she had ginger mint tea and some hummus with orange pepper, carrot, and cucumber. She didn’t actually have a salad or a second smoothie on this day, but had the same vanilla rooibos tea, lettuce wraps, and Hot & Sour Soup with me.

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 4

I’ve shared this post with Healthy Vegan Friday #66 and Gluten Free Friday #62.

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:

IMG_3938
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.

IMG_3909
Hummus – This is the oil-free recipe from the challenge, and it tastes great!

IMG_3915
Balsamic Vinaigrette

IMG_3922
Tahini Cream Dressing

IMG_3935
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.

IMG_3940

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.

Lemon Coconut Energy Bites

These lemony little gems were dreamed up out of necessity. I had three lemons in the fridge that needed to be used before I left for Victoria for five days. I had been meaning to try a raw lemon bar recipe with them, but I never got around to it. As lemon bars aren’t really portable I knew I had to save that recipe for another time. So I decided to use most of the same ingredients that would have gone into the lemon bars (lemon juice, coconut, oats, and dates) to make some energy bites for my trip.

IMG_3099

I have to say that I am very happy with how these turned out! Bright lemon flavour, a hint of coconut and nuttiness, and a natural sweetness from the dates and coconut. These lemony little bites of chewy goodness are perfect for travel and on-the-go snacks. Or you may just want to stand by the fridge and scarf a few down! Don’t worry, that’s okay too.

IMG_3094

Collage, lemon bars 1

Collage, lemon bars 2

Lemon Coconut Energy Bites (Yields 32 small squares)
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup sliced/slivered/chopped almonds (raw or blanched)
Zest of 2 lemons
1 1/2 cups pitted dates (20-25 dates)
Juice of 3 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
Optional: 1/4 cup vanilla or berry flavoured protein powder (I like Vega One)

Notes:
If your dates aren’t soft then you should let them sit in a bowl of hot/warm water for at least 15 minutes before using.
I prefer to cut these into small squares because they pack easily into storage containers and I can choose the size of my snack better, however you could also make larger bars, or roll the dough into small balls. Totally up to you.
For gluten-free, just make sure your oats and protein powder are gluten-free.
For nut-free, use sunflower seeds or more oats, in place of the almonds.

Add the oats, coconut, almonds, lemon zest, and protein powder (if using) to a large bowl of a food processor and pulse until it is at your desired consistency: less if you like a chewier bar with larger pieces, or more if you’d like a finer texture.
Add the dates and process until they are in small pieces and mixed up with the other ingredients.
Add the lemon juice and process until everything is thoroughly mixed and clumping together. It may be crumbly, but should stick together when pressed.
Line a baking dish with parchment paper. I use a 11″x7″ pan, but the size doesn’t really matter as long as it is at least 8″x8″. Dump the mixture into the lined pan and press down until the top is relatively flat and even. With a sharp knife, cut into small squares or bars. Place the pan in the fridge for at least an hour, then transfer the squares or bars into an airtight container. Store in the fridge or freezer.
The energy bites will soften a bit when at room temperature, but they shouldn’t fall apart. Enjoy!

IMG_3124

IMG_3101

IMG_3126

I’ve shared this post with Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays (8/27/13), Allergy Free Wednesday (8/28/13)Gluten-Free Wednesdays (8/28/13)Raw Food Thursday (8/29/13), Healthy Vegan Friday, Wellness Weekends (8/29-9/2/13), Gluten Free Friday #55.

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!)

IMG_2554

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

IMG_2544IMG_2546

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!

IMG_2555

IMG_2560IMG_2562

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

IMG_2729

IMG_2724

IMG_2727

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!

Raw Vegan High Tea at Indigo Food Cafe

Jem and I recently enjoyed a day of exploring in Vancouver (like being tourists close to home, for us Surryites) and decided to make raw vegan high tea at Indigo Food Cafe one of the stops along our way. I was very excited to discover the existence of vegan high tea somewhat close to home and I’ve been quite eager to try it.

IMG_2530

Indigo Food Cafe is a cozy little place in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood, owned by chef Lovena Galyide and her daughter Kat Galaida. It’s eclectic mix of decor, including antique-style sewing tables, brightly painted chairs, a 3D green lizard on the wall, and hanging framed photos of animals makes for a cute, casual, and charming atmosphere. I also loved that on a hot sunny day the front window provided enough light that the inside lights weren’t turned on, and the front entrance was kept open.

IMG_2532

Our choice of organic fair-trade loose leaf tea, I had Green Rooibos and Jem chose Pear Sencha, came in cute little coloured personal tea-pots and our food came beautifully displayed on a 3-tier glass serving tray. It honestly looked so good all together, that I was cautious at first to eat anything and ruin the display, but of course I eventually dug in. The hardest part was deciding what to try first!

Our tray was filled with kale chips, stuffed buckwheat crepes, stuffed mushrooms, stuffed tomatoes, raw pizza, coconut yogurt with berries and raw granola, chocolate ganache, lemon-goji truffles, mini berries cheesecake, and mini coconut cream pies, one of each item for each of us. Jem and I took our time and savoured everything, but I think we were both pretty full about half-way through. All together, all those little bites added up to quite a lot of food!

IMG_2538

Love those little tea pots and pretty dishes!

IMG_2529

Excited for high tea!

We both thoroughly enjoyed everything that was included in our high tea! Jem’s favourite was the raw pizza, but she commented (pretty much the best compliment a raw/vegan cook/chef can get from an omnivore) that she “wasn’t aware that I was eating vegan or raw food, it was just really good food”.

IMG_2533

Raw pizza bite.

IMG_2536

Tomato stuffed with macadamia cheese, with marinated mushroom, and a sprout.

I really don’t think I could choose a favourite, though the raw pizza and the coconut yogurt bowl were definitely standouts. The pizza crust had awesome taste and texture, and was perfectly balanced by the zucchini, tomato, and garlicky cheese sauce on top. I also loved every little bite of the home-made coconut yogurt, full of fresh berries, and covered in crunchy raw granola, and wanted to keep on eating it when my little bowl was empty.

IMG_2534

Enjoying a lemon-goji truffle.

IMG_2535

From the top right: mini berries cheesecake, chocolate ganache, and mini coconut cream pie.

And let’s not forget about the desserts! They were all amazing! The chocolate ganache was rich, creamy, with intense chocolate flavour, just as great chocolate ganache should be. The lemon-goji truffles, had a bright refreshing lemon flavour and were perfectly chewy. The berry cheesecake was a little soft from the heat by the time I ate it, so it was more like rich berry pudding, but it was delicious. And last, but not least, the mini coconut cream pie was delightfully cool and creamy.

This was the first time that I’ve ever been to Indigo and I think the high tea was the perfect way to start, as you get a wide variety of both savoury and sweet bites, most of which are also available as larger versions on the regular menu. The menu is mostly raw and gluten free, with a few cooked dishes including perigees (both savoury and dessert ones) and cabbage rolls, obviously an ode to Galyide’s Ukrainian heritage. I would definitely go back for the high tea again, and would also love to try some other things on the menu.

Raw vegan High tea at Indigo Food Cafe is available through reservation only. The cost of $27 per person includes your choice of organic fair-trade loose leaf tea and a variety of both sweet and savoury bites, around ten different items per person. More information on high tea, as well as the complete menu, and info for raw food classes is available on the website.

I’d highly recommend checking out Indigo Food Cafe if you are in the Vancouver area.

Also, just a heads up that you can now find my restaurant reviews in the ‘Dining Out‘ page under the menu heading ‘Reviews’. I’ve also created a new Pinterest board called “Vegan in Vancouver” where I’ll be sharing photos of vegan food I eat out, as well as links to my reviews.