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.

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 4

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

On Day 4 I had a full day of school, which means I was away from the house for 11 hours. I was a little scared of being stuck without enough food so I made sure to take some time the day before to make coleslaw, soup, and taco lentils. It’s a good thing I do well at thinking of planning ahead when it comes to having food on hand to take to school and work, otherwise this definitely would have ended up as a cheat day!

Day 4 Eats:

Breakfast at 6:30am was a Pineapple Peach Smoothie. It had 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks, ½ cup frozen peach chunks, ½ a banana, ½ cup Greens Puree, 1 tbsp hemp protein powder, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, and 5 drops of orange stevia. This was quickly followed by a cup of hot rooibos tea.

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Later in the morning, once I arrived at school, I had some ginger rooibos tea (which unfortunately did not live up to expectations) and some hummus and raw vegetables.

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At 1pm I enjoyed some Butternut Squash Lentil Soup on my lunch break. I knew I wouldn’t be exercising this day, so I also snuck in a 15 minute walk in the sunshine before class started again.

I made this Butternut Squash Lentil Soup by adapting my Golden Lentil Barley Soup to the Challenge rules, basically by using butternut squash in place of root vegetables and omitting the barley. I was really pleased with how this one turned out!

Butternut Squash Lentil Soup
1 clove garlic, minced
½ an onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and diced
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
⅛-½ tsp cayenne (to taste)
1 cup red lentils (I used 1/2c split and 1/2c whole), rinsed
5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth OR 5 cups water and 1 vegetable bouillon cube (I like Harvest Sun)

In a large pot over medium-high heat, water sauté the garlic and onion until translucent.
Add in all other ingredients, cover, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils and squash are tender.
Enjoy!

I forgot to take photos of the soup once it was done, but this is what it looked like while cooking:

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At 4pm I had a salad of Lentil Taco Filling, Lemon Pepper Coleslaw, romaine and red leaf lettuce. This had enough flavour that I didn’t end up using the pictured Balsamic Vinaigrette.

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I made the Lentil Taco Filling without any onion, tomato paste, cilantro, or bell pepper, and added an extra diced carrot.

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Around 7:30pm, when I finally got home I had the rest of my hummus and vegetables.

Later on I enjoyed another Chocolate Covered Blues Smoothie. This ones a winner!

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My water intake today: 11.5 cups!

Jem and I weren’t together most of the day, so except for the morning Pineapple Peach Smoothie we actually ate differently today. For lunch, Jem had a salad of 1 cup of red leaf and romaine lettuce, 1 cup of Lemon Pepper Coleslaw, artichoke hearts, Balsamic Vinaigrette, and ½ cup Lentil Taco Filling. In the afternoon she had a large vanilla rooibos tea with soy milk and a Naked Fruit Smoothie. For dinner she had Butternut Squash Lentil Soup.

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 5

Golden Lentil Barley Soup

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a new recipe, but I’ve got one for you today. And it’s a keeper. And by keeper, I mean I had absolutely no problem eating this soup for five days straight. I loved it each and every time.

Anyone else loving fall as much as I am? I can’t get enough of cool crisp weather, gorgeous  colours, cozy layers, boots, and lots of hot tea and soup!

title lentilbarleysoup

This hearty lentil, barley, and root vegetable soup is pure cool-weather comfort food. It is also very simple to make. Once everything is in the pot and brought to a boil, you can turn it down and let it simmer while you do something else. I got it started one night after coming home from work, and just let it simmer while I relaxed with a book.

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Golden Lentil Barley Soup
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 an onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)
1 carrot, diced
1 small/medium turnip, diced
2 small or 1 large potato, peeled and diced
1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed, sorted, and drained
1/2 cup barley, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/8-1/2 tsp cayenne powder, depending on how spicy you’d like it
6 cups vegetable broth or 6 cups water + 1 vegetable boullion cube (I used Harvest Sun)

Note:
Really, any sort of lentil would work in this soup but I prefer the creamy texture that red lentils give. Split red lentils will almost disappear in the soup and help to make it very creamy. Whole red lentils will be very soft, but won’t break down completely. I used a mix, because I only had a little bit of each kind left.

Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until translucent.
Add all of the other ingredients, stir well, and bring to a boil.
Turn heat to low, cover, and let simmer until the barley and vegetables are cooked, about 45-60 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally.
Enjoy!

This soup will thicken up quite a bit as it sits and cools, so you may want to add a bit of water when reheating.

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I’ve shared this post with Health Vegan Friday #65Allergy-Free Wednesday #93, and Wellness Weekends (Nov14-18/2013).

What’s your favourite season?

Do you have any favourite soup recipes? Please share. 

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Gingersnap Oatmeal with Instant Cranberry Sauce
Butternut Squash Miso Noodle Soup with Kale and Edamame
Spicy Peanut Vegetable Soup

What I Ate Wednesday #119


I’ve got some more random meals to show you in honour of What I Ate Wednesday #119. Enjoy!

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Falafel Salad – romaine lettuce, cucumber, orange pepper, pickled banana pepper, Casbah Falafel, Vega Antioxidant Oil, and lemon juice.
A curry chickpea quinoa burger with chile pepper hummus. Greek roasted potatoes and green beans.

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Salad – romaine lettuce, orange pepper, black olives, pickled jalapeño, cut up sautéed Gardein Chick’n Scallopini, Daiya Jack Cheese, brown rice, Vega Antioxidant Oil, and lime juice.
Berry Vega Smoothie – frozen blueberries, frozen cranberries, frozen banana, 1 scoop Berry Vega One, unsweetened almond milk, and water.

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Baked Mediterranean Chickpea Burger – on a whole wheat bun with roasted garlic hummus, romaine lettuce, and Sriracha.
Salad – romaine lettuce, red pepper, red lentil sprouts (made with the help of my trusty Sprouts app), balsamic vinegar, Vega Antioxidant Oil.

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Salad (before and after I mixed it up) – romaine lettuce, red lentil sprouts, avocado, and red pepper. With lime juice and black pepper.

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Scalloped Potatoes – thinly sliced russet potatoes, placed in layers with Daiya Cheddar Shreds, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and whole wheat flour sprinkled between each layer, and unsweetened almond milk poured over top. Baked at 350°F for until potatoes are tender.
Salad – romaine lettuce, red pepper, red lentil sprouts, shaved carrot, black pepper, Bitchin’ Sauce. Crispbread with melted Daiya Cheddar wedge.

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Baked yam with guacamole (avocado, lime juice, Sriracha) and red lentil sprouts.
Brown basmati rice, Bitchin’ Sauce, and Sriracha Lime Roasted Cauliflower (roasted cauliflower tossed in Sriracha and lime juice).

Sprouts! – An App Review

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it or not, but way back in November 2012 I won a giveaway on The Rebel Grrrl Kitchen for a lovely little iPhone app called Sprouts. This app was created by Shae (The Vedge) to help all us sprouting novices grow delicious, healthy sprouts all on our own (kind of).

While I’ve known about sprouting for quite awhile, I never actually tried it until I had this app. I’d read instructions, and heard that it was easy, but the whole process seemed daunting, so I never got around to trying it. Now I wish I’d started doing it sooner!

So how does it work?
You just choose a sprout from the list of 31 options, click ‘Start Sprouting’, follow the instructions for soaking, and Sprouts will remind you when it is time to drain and rinse, rinse twice a day, and harvest. You can then view all of your current sprouts in the ‘My Sprouts’ section.

There is also a very helpful ‘Walkthrough’ available in the ‘Settings’ section to show you how to begin using the app.

My Experience
So far I’ve sprouted chickpeas once, mung beans three times, and red lentils twice. The red lentils are my favourite so far! All these sprouts have been a great addition to salads, wraps, quesadillas, and stir-frys. I also ate a lot of the lentil sprouts all on their own, with just a bit of seasoning. Yum!

Collage, Sprouts Chickpea

Collage, Sprouts Mung

Collage, Sprouts Lentil

My Thoughts
On the whole, I found Sprouts to be a great basic guide and helper for sprouting. It has successfully guided me through the sprouting process multiple times. It is very easy to use. I also absolutely love the look of the app. The greens and browns combined with a wood-look background seem just perfect. I will definitely continue to use this Sprouts.

I do have some suggestions though, on some small changes that could make the app even better than it already is.

It would be very helpful if Sprouts included a list of the supplies needed to sprout. When I started using the app, I already knew, from other sources that you could use a mason jar with cheesecloth over the top, so that is what I used. However, not everyone knows this, and it would be very helpful for beginners if this information was provided within the app.

Another small change that would be helpful is to make the yield (amount of sprouts you end up with) more easily available within the app. It does say in the walkthrough that the amounts given are for a 2 cup yield, but it doesn’t say this anywhere else in the app, so I actually forgot it was even given. Without the yield amount I was a little confused when starting, as to how much I actually wanted to sprout, and what size jar I would need. This would also be very helpful if you are planning to use your sprouts in a recipe and need a specific amount. It would be really nice if the yield was included in the sprout pages, rather than just in the walkthrough.

The last thing that I feel could really improve the app is the ability to check off or confirm when you have completed the action (rinsing, etc) that the app reminds you to do. While the reminders are very helpful, I found that it was not always possible to rinse my sprouts exactly when it reminded my too. There were a couple of times when I was at work when I was reminded to rinse my sprouts, and then by the time I got home a couple hours later, I completely forgot to do it. If it was possible to confirm that you’ve done the action, then the app could possibly remind you more than once, until you confirm.

Bottom Line
On the whole, I really like Sprouts and it will definitely be staying on my phone for future use! If you are a beginner, interested in trying sprouting for the first time, or a sprouting pro who needs help keeping track of multiple sprouts this app will be very useful to you.

Sprouts is available in the iTunes store for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad for $2.99.

Spicy Peanut Vegetable Soup

I’ve seen a lot of recipes, both online and in cookbooks, for various types of peanut soups and stews but I could never decide which one to make. So I made my own. This is my version. This soup has a mild curry flavour, and is super creamy from the peanut butter and coconut milk, without feeling too heavy. This was a spur of the moment soup and I used whatever vegetables I had on hand. I really love the textures of the eggplant and zucchini in this, but please feel free to substitute other vegetables for the bell pepper. Some carrots and peas might be really good. Also, if you would like a spicier soup, just up the curry powder and/or the ground cayenne.

Did I mention I absolutely love the golden yellow colour of this? I really do!

Creamy Peanut Vegetable Soup
1 small eggplant, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tsp salt
A 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 tbsp peanut or olive oil
2 small zucchini, diced into 1/2 inch pieces (2 cups)
2 med bell peppers, diced into 1/4 inch pieces (2 cups)
1 398ml can chickpeas
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp mild curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cayenne
2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 400ml can coconut milk
1/4 cup split red lentils, rinsed and picked through
1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter

Cut up eggplant before prepping the other ingredients. Put it in a colander over a bowl or sink, mixed with 1 tsp of salt. Let this sit while you are prepping the other ingredients (about 20 minutes).

Heat a large pot with oil on medium heat. Add in ginger, garlic, and onion and sauté a few minutes, until onions are softened. Add in all of the spices (coriander, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, curry powder, paprika) and sauté for another minute, stirring frequently. Now add in the zucchini, peppers, and chickpeas. Rinse eggplant thoroughly with water and add to pot. Give everything a good stir.

Now add the broth or water, coconut milk, and lentils. Stir everything together, cover, and increase heat to bring to a boil. Let boil gently for 3 minutes, then reduce to med-low heat.

In a separate bowl, mix until smooth, the peanut butter and a ladle of the hot liquid from the soup. Stir peanut butter mixture back into pot. Cover pot and let simmer on med-low heat for 35-45 minutes, until lentils have disappeared and eggplant is tender. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!

I have to tell you, I had absolutely no problem eating this soup 4 days in a row!

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.

You Might Also Enjoy:
Curried Lentil Soup, Spiced Tropical Smoothie, or Chai Spiced Zucchini Bread