What I Ate Wednesday #143

Welcome to another edition of What I Ate Wednesday!

I have more random vegan eats, as per usual. You can check out everyone else’s What I Ate Wednesday posts here. Enjoy!

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Salad: Baby spinach, quinoa, a Baked Falafel Burger, orange pepper, broccoli sprouts, Sriracha, and thinned lemon dill hummus.

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A Chickpea Flour Omelette with orange pepper, spinach, black olives, mushrooms, and Daiys wedge cheddar.

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So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Yogurt with frozen blueberries (thawed by the time I ate this), chia seeds, cinnamon, and raw cacao nibs.

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Salad: Baby spinach, orange pepper, cucumber, a Perfect Veggie Burger, lemon dill hummus, and Sriracha.

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Ryvita with tahini and fig jam.

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A Field Roast Frankfurter, cucumbers, orange pepper, and lemon tahini dip (just tahini, lemon juice, water).

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Mocha Vega Smoothie – frozen blueberries, 3 greens cubes, 1 scoop Chocolate Vega One, 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder, almond milk, cold coffee.

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Oatmeal with chia seeds, cinnamon, ginger, chopped dates, and peanut butter.

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Warm taco-spiced lentils and quinoa with artichoke hearts, raw cucumbers and red pepper.

You May Also Enjoy:
What I Ate Wednesday #138
What I Ate Wednesday #137
What I Ate Wednesday #136: Vegan In Victoria

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What I Ate Wednesday #137

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Vegan MoFo 2013 – Post #2

It’s time for What I Ate Wednesday #137! Enjoy!

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Quinoa, zucchini, avocado, and Cajun seasoning.

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Quinoa, green lentils, carrots, zucchini, and taco seasoning.

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A Spicy Vegan Chili Burger on a whole wheat bun with Daiya Jack Wedge, hummus, Sriracha, and green leaf lettuce. With my Basic No-Mayo Coleslaw.

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Green leaf lettuce, cucumber, red pepper, fresh ground pepper, balsamic vinaigrette, and a crumbled veggie burger.

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Toasted Silver Hills Squirelly Bread with avocado tossed in lemon juice, hummus, Sriracha, green leaf lettuce, and a crumbled mini Spicy Vegan Chili Burger. With a side of cucumber with fresh ground black pepper.

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Cooked short grain brown rice, defrosted frozen blueberries, coconut sugar, cinnamon, unsweetened almond milk. Warmed up.

You May Also Enjoy:
What I Ate Wednesday #136 – Vegan In Victoria
What I Ate Wednesday #130
What I Ate Wednesday #121

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?

Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Jalapeño Avocado Sauce

Vegan MoFo 2012 Post #9

Better With Veggies

If you’ve tried Angela’s Creamy Avocado Pasta, or seen my post about it then it’s very easy to see where the idea for this sauce came from. I needed a quick sauce to pair with some zucchini noodles and had some jalapeños on hand, in the hopes that I’d come up with something for Meatless Monday A-Z hosted by Better With Veggies (which I’ve missed every single week of so far).

This sauce is super quick and simple to throw together and is really good! Fantastically creamy from the avocado, with the bright spicy flavour combo of lime and jalapeño. And don’t run away if you don’t like spicy foods! Just use two jalapeños instead of one, and leave out all of the seeds and ribs. You’ll get the flavour, without the heat!

Creamy Jalapeño Avocado Sauce (Yeilds 1/2 – 2/3 cup sauce)
Flesh of 1 ripe avocado
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime (about 1/4 cup)
1 jalapeño, diced (the more seeds and ribs you leave in the spicier your sauce will be)
1/8 tsp sea salt

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor (use a small one or a small bowl) and blend thoroughly. The lime juice will stop the sauce from browning, so in a sealed container this will keep in the fridge for at least a few days. The liquid may separate a bit, so just stir it before using.

Nutritional Information (approximately 1/3 of the recipe): 88 calories, 6g carbs, 8g (healthy) fats, 0g protein, 0g sugar, 188mg sodium.

I enjoyed this sauce a couple times tossed with zucchini noodles and topped with a scoop of Smoked Paprika Lentils, which I adapted from The Best Darn Lentils from Jae Steele‘s book Ripe From Around Here. I have this book on loan from the library and am loving it so far. I really don’t want to give it back. The recipes I’ve tried have been great and these really are the best lentils (if you are wondering, the flavour is heavily smoked paprika based)! So good I may have eaten them by themselves a couple times! I enjoyed them all week long on this pasta, in wraps, on a baked yam, and on salads. I have a really difficult time following recipes without changing a bunch of things, so I know it’s a great cookbook when I want to try a lot of the recipes without changing anything.

For the zucchini noodles, I used my new Julienne Peeler. I never even knew these peelers existed until I read Angela’s post about them. I looked for one next time I was in a cooking store and was surprised to find a couple amongst all the kitchen utensils and gadgets. Mine is OXO brand. I love how easy this little gadget makes it to make noodles out of vegetables. My zucchini intake has definitely risen quite a bit since I bought my julienne peeler! While you can eat the noodles raw, I find them a little difficult to eat, because they are really straight. You can solve this problem by sautéing them just until they soften up.

I also ate the last bit of this Jalapeno Avocado Sauce spread on some Black Pepper & Olive Oil Triscuits. Yum!

You May Also Enjoy:
Creamy Avocado Pasta, Avocado Toast with Balsamic Vinegar, or Southwest Confetti Quinoa Salad

Creamy Avocado Pasta & Faux Parmesan

I’ve been eyeing Angela’s recipe for 15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta for a few months now and I finally got around to trying it out. I have been obsessed with avocados lately but I always seem to have some other way I want to eat them. Well I finally got around to trying this pasta sauce – I needed a quick dinner and I had a very ripe avocado begging to be used – and I am so glad I did!

I served my pasta with steamed broccoli and decided to make some Almesan (faux grated Parmesan) because I wanted something pretty to sprinkle on top of my pasta dish. I made this combination from looking at a few different recipes.

Almesan
1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1 1/2 tbsp raw sesame seeds
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Add all ingredients to a food processor. Process until ground into fine crumbs. Store in a well sealed container.

Both recipes can be made in the time it takes for water to come to a boil, and your pasta to cook. Using my mini food processor, I first made the Almesan, transferred it to a container, then made the avocado sauce.

For the sauce, I followed Angela’s recipe, but left out the garlic and used 2 1/2 teaspoons bottled lemon juice in place of the fresh.

I really loved this sauce! It is super creamy but doesn’t feel heavy like a lot of vegan cheese sauces can. The discovery of a new pasta sauce is a big thing for me as I love pasta, but don’t like any kind of tomato-based sauce! I will definitely be making this again.

I had pasta and sauce leftover. I took it with me for lunch the next day and ate it at room temperature, and I think I enjoyed it even more than heated the night before! (Because of the lemon juice, the avocado won’t brown.)

Questions
Do you have a favourite brand of or recipe for vegan grated parmesan?

Have you tried using avocado as a pasta sauce? Or a sauce for something else?

Do you have any must try avocado recipes?

Penne with Mushrooms & Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

So, my sister Jem was over and we needed a quick dinner. She loves mushrooms, but never eats them at home because her fiancé can’t stand them. I had a big pile of white button mushrooms that needed to be used, and we had just made sun-dried tomato pesto  (based on this one from Oh She Glows) a few days before, that I had yet to try. This is what we ended up with:

This isn’t really a recipe, as it only involves mushrooms, whole wheat penne (I like Barilla – the only ingredient is whole wheat flour), and pesto, but I’ll show you anyway.

While your pasta is cooking, rinse your mushrooms and cut into slices. Add to a pan on medium heat with a light spray of oil. Let cook, stirring occasionally, for about 7-10 minutes. I love cooking mushrooms! Just when it seems like nothing is happening with them, then they start to release their moisture, and a couple of minutes later they are perfect. Almost like magic.

When first put into the pan.

7-10 minutes later.

While the pasta and mushrooms are cooking, defrost your pesto a bit if it is frozen. We froze our pesto in cubes so its easy to take and defrost just what is needed. I just took a few cubes out, put them in a bowl and put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, then stir in the pesto. Add the mushrooms and you end up with a quick, easy, super tasty meal! Enjoy!

Questions:
How do you feel about mushrooms?
When mushrooms are cooked I love them, but I really don’t like them raw! I just realized that I am saying ‘mushrooms’ as a group, but I have only tried a few common kinds.

Do you have a favourite pesto recipe?
The one used here is actually the first one I’ve ever made, vegan or otherwise. We pretty much followed the recipe from Oh She Glows (linked in the post above) and it was pretty good, but I’m open to suggestions. Just don’t suggest pine nuts; they are way too expensive!