Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 1

Green Smoothie Challenge: Preparation
Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 0.5

Yesterday was the first full day of our Green Smoothie Challenge, and it went surprisingly well. I did have a slight headache throughout the day but other then that I felt good.

I also have two of my own recipes to share with you: Italian White Beans and Gomae. Enjoy!

I think the hardest part for both Jem and I is going to be staying warm. The weather’s pretty cold and damp around here, making the idea of a ice-cold smoothie less than desirable (especially when you have to have it before the sun comes up or the heat comes on) and we sure were looking forward to a big bowl of hot soup for dinner. We have been combatting the cold with lots of hot herbal tea, which does help some. Putting stevia in the tea also helps combat our sweet-tooths’ cravings.

The past couple days I’ve been having one smoothie for breakfast, a salad and soup for lunch and dinner, and then another smoothie in the evening. The evening is when Jem and I both crave snacks and sweets the most, so sipping on a semi-sweet smoothie at this point really helps.

Just a reminder that you can find more info and all the recipes mentioned below (unless I give a different link) here.

What I Ate (Monday October 21)
I started the day with 2 cups of lemon water, then made a Tropical Colada Smoothie. I used 1/2 cup of our Greens Puree in place of the spinach, used only 1/2 of a banana, and left out the coconut. I don’t have a cup big enough for these smoothies, so I put half of it in the freezer for about 45 minutes, while I drank the other half. This made the frozen half like a slushy by the time I  ate it so I used a spoon, and enjoyed it even more than the first.

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Mid-morning I snacked on a little bit of hummus with cucumber and carrots.

Around 1pm, I had a big salad for lunch that included romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, carrots, zucchini, cucumber, artichoke hearts, Italian White Beans, and Tahini Cream Dressing. I love this simple salad dressing; tahini and lemon is always a winning combination!

Italian White Beans
1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until heated through and most of the liquid is gone.

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I actually made this salad too big. I couldn’t even finish the whole thing!IMG_3014

During the afternoon I had 2 cups of rooibos tea with vanilla stevia and another 2 cups of water.

For dinner, Jem and I had about 2 cups of the Cheezy-Smokey-Spicy Black Bean Soup, and a small serving of home-made Gomae. This gomae isn’t made from freshly roasted sesame seeds like is traditional, but it is much simpler, and every bit as tasty. No, the challenge doesn’t really allow for sauces like this on the unlimited steamed vegetables, but we decided since we didn’t use our allotted 1/4 cup of salad dressing on our lunch salad, that this would be okay.

I did end up pureeing the soup again to get a smoother texture and I enjoyed it much more than the other day.

Gomae (Serves 4 as a Side)
2 large bunches spinach, rinsed
3 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp coconut sugar or 5 drops liquid stevia
2-3 tbsp warm water

Note: If I hadn’t made this for the Challenge, I would have also added 1 tsp of sesame oil to the sauce, for a stronger sesame flavour.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-low, add the spinach to the pot and let cook it cook for 2-3 minutes. Transfer the spinach to a colander and rinse it with cold water. Over the sink or a bowl, press on the spinach to release excess water, then let it sit while you prepare the sauce.

For the sauce, just mix all the ingredients together in a blender or by hand. Press on the spinach once more to release any more liquid, place some spinach in a small bowl, and drizzle with 1-2 tbsp of the sauce. Sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds if desired.

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After dinner I got on the elliptical for the second night in a row! I did a 30 minute program and then 10 minutes of stretching.

Later on, I added the second half of my Apple Pie Smoothie (from Day 0.5) into the blender and blended it up with 1 cup of frozen blueberries and 4 drops of vanilla stevia. Yum!

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Jenn and I ate pretty much the exact same thing for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but she had a different smoothie in the evening: the Blueberry Vanilla Smoothie. She used 1/2 cup Greens Puree in place of the greens, used vanilla stevia, and left out the water and ice to get a thicker texture (which we both feel makes the smoothie feel more like a milkshake/dessert).

P.S. – Between all the herbal tea and water I drank, I made it up to 11 cups of water again! (Not including anything in the smoothies or other food.)

See you tomorrow!

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 2

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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:

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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.

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

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Balsamic Vinaigrette

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Tahini Cream Dressing

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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.

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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.

Southwest Confetti Quinoa Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette

Vegan MoFo 2012 Post #5

Look at all that good stuff! Can you tell why I call this a ‘confetti’ salad?

I am in love with this Southwest Confetti Quinoa Salad! In not much longer than it takes to cook a pot of quinoa (20 minutes) you can have a big beautiful bowl of hearty salad, stuffed full of beans, vegetables, and lots of flavour. And this includes the Chipotle Vinaigrette. And this recipe makes roughly five cups, so you have lots to share, or can enjoy it all week long, like I did.

Southwest Confetti Quinoa Salad
Salad:
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup corn, cooked (I microwaved some frozen corn)
1 cup chopped cabbage
1/2 cup diced orange pepper
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/4 cup roughly chopped black olives
1 jalapeño, finely diced (seeds and ribs removed if you don’t want your salad spicy)
1 398ml can (1 cup) pinto beans (or black beans), drained and rinsed
Zest of 1 lime
Optional topping: diced avocado

Chipotle Vinaigrette:
1/2 tsp minced garlic
Juice of 1 lime (2 – 2 1/2 tbsp)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp prepared Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4-1/2 tsp chipotle pepper powder (depending on your preferred level of spiciness)

Place quinoa and water in a pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat, cover, and let simmer for 12 minutes. Remove lid and stir chopped cabbage into the quinoa. Cover, and let simmer a few more minutes, until the quinoa is fully cooked. Turn off heat and transfer quinoa to a large bowl or container (if you use one with a lid you won’t need to use another dish). Zest the lime over the bowl, and set quinoa aside.

While quinoa cools a bit, prepare the Chipotle Vinaigrette. Just place all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake until thoroughly combined.

Stir the corn, orange pepper, red pepper, jalapeño, olives, and beans into the quinoa. Pour the dressing over top and mix thoroughly. Cover salad, and place in fridge to cool. You can eat this right away, while its still warm, but the flavour will be better once its cooled and had a chance to sit for a while. Make sure you stir the salad again before serving. Enjoy!

This recipe was submitted to Healthy Vegan Fridays #11.

the veggie nook

You May Also Enjoy:
Mediterranean Grilled Vegetable Couscous Salad, Spicy Lime Tofu Nuggets, or Avocado Toast with Balsamic Vinegar