Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 5

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

My Day 5 Eats:
For breakfast I made a Blueberry Peach Smoothie. I drank about half of it right away, followed by a cup of hot herbal chai tea with vanilla stevia.

After a 30 minute walk to work I had the other half of my smoothie.

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At 11:30 I had a salad of Lemon Pepper Coleslaw, romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, and Balsamic Vinaigrette, alongside some warm Lentil Taco Filling. I also had a cup of herbal tea.

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Around 3pm I had some hummus with cucumber and orange pepper, as well as some steamed green beans with Bragg’s and black pepper.

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At 5pm I walked for another 30 minutes.

Once I was home, I enjoyed a big bowl of Butternut Squash Lentil Soup.

Around 9pm I tried my hand at making a pumpkin pie smoothie. I didn’t quite get it right, but I drank it anyway.

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My water intake for the day: 9 cups.

Jem’s Day 5 Eats:
For breakfast Jem had a smoothie made of 1 cup frozen mixed berries, ½ cup greens puree, ½ cup frozen peaches, ½ a banana, 1 tbsp hemp protein powder, 4 drops vanilla stevia, 1 ¼ cups unsweetened almond milk, and ½ cup water.
At 12 she had 1 cup of Lentil Taco Filling.
At 2 she had some Butternut Squash Lentil Soup.
For dinner she had a stir fry of cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, mushrooms, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes.
In the evening she had a Chocolate Covered Blues Smoothie.

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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!

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

Veganomicon: Blueberry Corn Pancakes

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Vegan Mofo 2013 Post #10 – It only took 17 days, but I’m finally halfway there! Looks like I may just make it to 20 posts!

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I’ve never been a huge fan of pancakes, but recently this recipe in Veganomicon for Blueberry Corn Pancakes caught my eye when I was looking for something a little different to make for breakfast one morning. Isn’t it great that 2 years later and I’m still always discovering new things in Veganomicon?! I’m in love with a recipe for Blueberry Corn Muffins from The Joy of Vegan Baking, so I knew the flavour combination was a winner.

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I loved these pancakes and will be making them again! The combination of blueberries, lemon, and cornmeal gives these a great natural sweetness and the cornmeal makes for an awesome texture. Just as it says in the book, they have a “little crunch and a wonderful mouthfeel”. These just feel like a perfect summer pancake. Light, bright, fruity, with just a touch of lemon.

P.S. – I think I’m starting to realize that I actually do like pancakes when they are thin, I just really dislike big fluffy doughy ones.

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I did make a few minor substitutions like I do:
– I used 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1/4 cup chickpea flour in place of the all purpose flour. The batter also ended up really runny, so I ended up adding another 1/4 cup whole wheat flour.
– Most of the recipes in Veganomicon call for a specific type of nondairy milk. This one called for soy, but I used unsweetened almond milk.
– I replaced the canola oil with melted coconut oil.

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I think the only thing I would change next time is to drop the blueberries into the individual pancakes, instead of mixing them with the batter. The batter is quite runny (which makes for nice thin pancakes), so the blueberries just end up on the bottom and it was difficult to try and get a good amount in each pancake.

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You May Also Enjoy:
IMG_2768Vegan Scrambled ‘Eggs’

IMG_1807Smoked Tofu Benedict with Mushrooms and Arugula

IMG_1309Blueberry Blackberry Chia Jam

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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Smoothies of 2013: Part 1

Thanks to my new (to me) KitchenAid 5-Speed Blender that I bought off a friend right around Christmas, and some awesome inspiration in the form of Somer’s Green Smoothie Challenge I’ve managed to restart my smoothie habit after many cold months of going without.

While I haven’t been having a smoothie every day, like I originally planned to do, I think I’ve been doing quite well. Having all of the following smoothies in roughly the past two weeks, is a huge improvement over not having any at all for months! At the moment, mostly due to the cold weather, I haven’t had any interest in having smoothies for breakfast (I simply don’t want anything cold to make my morning colder) but I have found ways of fitting them in during the rest of my day. Smoothies make a great meal when I start work at odd times, and would be starving on my first break if I don’t eat quite close to my start time. On these occasions I like to make my smoothie right before I leave the house and take it with me on my way to work. I’ve also had them a couple of times for lunch while I’m at home, sipping on it while I continue to get things done around the house.

The following smoothies all either yield 2 or 4 cups. For me, 2 cups seems to be the perfect meal size, no matter what kind of smoothie it is (keep in mind I almost always have Vega or hemp protein powder in mine). The 4 cup smoothies can be shared with someone (as I did for the Blueberry Vanilla Almond Smoothie) or can be split between two meals/snacks (as I did for the Razzleberry Lemonade Smoothie and the Pumpkin Pie Smoothie). And of course, if you want to drink all 4 cups at once, go ahead!

1) Razzleberry Lemonade Smoothie (Yields 4 cups) [from the Green Smoothie Challenge]
I basically followed the recipe, but switched spinach for kale and used 1 scoop of hemp protein powder in place of the choice of flax, hemp, or chia seeds. I used mostly raspberries, with some blueberries for the frozen berries. Despite my blender having some trouble with the lemon (I think next time I would use the lemon zest and pulp, without the rind) this smoothie was awesome! The addition of lemon made this very different from any of my usual smoothies, and I mean different in a good way.
Collage, Raz Lemon Smoothie

2) Pumpkin Pie Smoothie (Yields 4 cups) [Recipe from Oh She Glows]
I followed Angela’s recipe, except replaced the almond milk with soy milk (just because that’s what I had) and reduced down to 1/2 a frozen banana. I also added 1/2 a serving (1 scoop) of Vega Vanilla Chai Whole Food Health Optimizer for some extra nutrients because I knew the flavours would fit perfectly in with the pumpkin pie flavours.
This smoothie tastes great and is super rich and creamy. It does not taste like it could be a meal, though it easily could be (especially with the addition of Vega), and half of it was a filling meal for me.
This was the first time I’ve tried putting oats in a smoothie, and I’m not so sure whether or not I like the result. I’m sure they contributed to the thick creamy texture, but the smoothie felt a bit too heavy for me (at least compared to my usual smoothies). I don’t think that adding oats to my smoothies is going to become a regular thing.
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3) Blueberry Matcha Green Smoothie (Yields 2 cups)
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup frozen banana slices
1/2 cup packed spinach
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp matcha powder
1/3 serving Natural Vega One
1/2 cup unsweetened dairy milk (I used soy)
1.5 tsp maple syrup (or to taste)
1 1/4 cups cold water
If you like matcha than you will like this one! Tastes mostly like matcha, though its not overpowering: you can still taste the blueberries and the vanilla.

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4) Blueberry Vanilla Almond Smoothie (Yields 4 cups)
2 cups frozen blueberries
1/2 cup spinach
1 scoop (1 serving Vega Vanilla Almondilla Energizing Smoothie)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used soy)
2 cups cold water
This one is definitely a keeper! If you like vanilla and almonds (does any one not?) then you will love this! I actually meant to put some banana (maybe 1/2 of one) in this as well, but I forgot.
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5) Vanilla Almond Matcha Smoothie (Yields 2 cups)
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/3 cup frozen mango
1 scoop Vega Vanilla Almondilla Energizing Smoothie
1/2 tsp matcha powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups cold water
(optional) Sweetener to taste
This one is a mix between the previous two. This one tastes more like the vanilla and almond than the matcha, but it is still detectable (and delicious).

6) Tropical Colada Vega Smoothie (Yields 2 cups) [based on the Tropical Colada recipe from the Green Smoothie Challenge]
1 cup packed spinach
Zest and flesh from 1/2 orange
1/2 banana
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
1 scoop (1 serving) Vega Tropical Tango Energizing Smoothie
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup crushed ice
1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
This is similar to smoothies I’ve made in the past using the Vega Tropical Tango Energizing Smoothie, but this one just seems to be on a whole different level. So good! I also love the beautiful green colour of this smoothie! I love green smoothies, but as soon as you add something like berries or chocolate (or berry or chocolate Vega) they can turn some pretty strange and not so pleasant colours. This one is just a pure vibrant green!
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You might have noticed I’ve mentioned Vedged Out‘s Green Smoothie Challenge a lot in this post. I did because I think it is pretty darn awesome! While I haven’t yet followed the actual challenge, I have tried two of the smoothie recipes and one of the salad dressing recipes, and following Somer’s daily posts throughout her week of the challenge provided some serious inspiration to do some healthier eating. The basic recipes and all the information can be found by clicking the 2013 Green Smoothie Challenge link on this page. There are also other recipes and lots of photos in Somer’s 7 daily posts about the challenge.

healthy vegan friday button This post has been submitted to Healthy Vegan Friday #31. If you haven’t checked out Healthy Vegan Friday yet, you really should!

Questions
Like smoothies? What is in your favourite one? 

Are you trying to make any positive changes to your eating habits this year?

Blueberry Oatmeal Scones

I’m sorry for disappearing for a week, but I’m back, and I have something for you!

How would you like these lovely scones for breakfast?

I would. I am in love with these Blueberry Oatmeal Scones. They are light, yet hearty, with a great texture from the oatmeal, richness from the coconut oil, and lots of moist sweet blueberries.

Unlike a lot of scones, these are not packed full of white flour, white sugar, and unhealthy fats. Instead, I’ve used whole grain flours, agave nectar, applesauce, and coconut oil, to make these just about as good for you as a scone can be. But don’t worry, they don’t taste like it.

These scones are not super sweet; they don’t taste like dessert, but you might want to eat them for every other meal of the day.

Blueberry Oatmeal Scones (Yields 12 Medium-sized Scones)
1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white sorghum flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 400°F and lightly grease one large or two small baking sheets.

In a small bowl, whisk together the non-dairy milk and vinegar. Let it sit for 5 minutes, until the milk has curdled and thickened. Spoon 1 tbsp of the milk mixture into a small dish and set aside. (This will be brushed on the tops of the scones.) Whisk the applesauce and agave into the larger bowl of the milk mixture. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the flours, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Add the coconut oil to the bowl in small chunks and cut into flour with a fork or pastry blender. Stir in the oats and the liquid mixture until almost all combined. Fold in the blueberries.

Turn half of the dough on to a prepared baking sheet. Using your hands, form into a round disk shape, about 1″(2.5cm) high. Cut the round into 6 equal triangles (wedges), and separate them from each other. You may have some blueberries fall out of the dough, but you can just press them back in. Repeat with the other half of dough.

Brush the top of each scone with the reserved milk-vinegar mixture. Bake until golden brown, 18-20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!

This recipe has been submitted to Healthy Vegan Friday #17.

the veggie nook

You May Also Enjoy:

Blueberry Coconut Crumble Bars, Chai Spiced Zucchini Bread, Ginger Snap Oatmeal