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 2 & WIAW

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

Yesterday was Day 2 of the our Green Smoothie Challenge it was full of lots of good food! Check out what I ate, including two new smoothie recipes!

For breakfast I made a Blueberry Peach Green Smoothie, which is sort of a combination of the Blueberry Vanilla and the Spotted Peach.

My smoothie was followed by a cup of rooibos tea, and later on by some more vanilla rooibos tea.

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Blueberry Peach Green Smoothie
1/2 cup greens puree (or 2 cups packed greens)
1/2 a banana
1/2 cup frozen peaches
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 tbsp hemp protein powder
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup water
6 drops liquid vanilla stevia

Just put everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

After being out in the damp foggy air without a proper jacket (my own fault) I was way too cold to have something cold for lunch, so I made a quick stir-fry. It included broccoli, bok choy, orange pepper, edamame, garlic, red pepper flakes, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, and a spoonful of leftover Gomae sauce on top.

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Around 2:30, after Jem got home from school and had finished lunch, we went for a 1 hour walk through some trails by our house. I’m loving the cool & sunny fall weather!

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After our walk I had another little portion of Gomae, and some more vanilla rooibos tea.

For dinner we made Hot & Sour Soup. We were really looking forward to trying this one and it definitely lived up to our expectations. I actually said while we were having it that it was the best thing I had eaten in at least 3 days. I’m looking forward to leftovers today!

We did make a few little changes to the soup.
– We used cremini mushrooms instead of shitake mushrooms.
– We used red pepper flakes instead of cayenne powder.
– We used medium-firm tofu instead of extra-firm. It falls apart a little in soup, but we like the softer texture.
– We also left out the scallions but added one diced carrot and a bunch of bok choy. (We added the stalks in with everything else and added the greens in with 4 minutes remaining.)

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It was also really nice how easy this soup was to make. Just throw everything in a pot, bring to a boil, turn down and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Easy peasy.

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After dinner I made some more Greens Puree, this time with one large package of baby spinach, one huge head of romaine lettuce, and 1 1/2 cups water. All set for another few days of smoothies! I’m finding it really handy having this in the fridge for green smoothies. My blender likes it better than the Frozen Greens Cubes, and it does make for a smoother texture.

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Jem and I were craving some sweet snackage so we came up with this minty chocolate smoothie, based on the Chocolate Covered Blues Smoothie, to help us get to bedtime. It definitely did the trick. This makes 4 cups, but is a thicker smoothie (more stuff and less liquid) so we split it between us.

Minty Chocolate Covered Blues Smoothie (Yields 2 servings)
2 cups frozen blueberries
1 handful fresh mint leaves
1/2 a banana
2/3 cup greens puree (or 2 cups spinach)
2 tbsp hemp protein powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp carob powder
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup water
Vanilla stevia to taste

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I also had a cup of ginger mint tea to warm me up a bit after the smoothie.

Water Intake Today: 12 cups!

As you can tell from today’s log, Jem ate the same thing as me for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and evening snack. She had her Gomae in the mid-morning, rather than the afternoon, along with some citrus mint tea.

Green Smoothie Challenge: Day 3

I’ve also shared this post with What I Ate Wednesday #144.

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

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

Veggie Burgers Every Which Way: Baked Falafel Burgers

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Vegan MoFo 2013 – Post #9

In my quest to stop buying processed veggie burgers (and other faux meats), I’ve been trying a lot of different veggie burger recipes from the web and different cookbooks. I love having a batch, or two, of veggie burgers in the freezer for those times when I am in need of a quick meal. Put them in a bun or wrap along with some fresh vegetables, or crumble on a salad and you’ve got a near-instant meal! If you follow my What I Ate Wednesday posts you’ve probably seen a lot of different veggie burgers popping up in these ways, including these Baked Falafel Burgers from Lukas Volger’s Veggie Burgers Every Which Way.

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I’ve always loved falafel, but this was actually the first time I’ve made them from scratch. And they were really easy! This is probably the simplest veggie burger recipe I’ve tried so far (everything goes right into the food processor) and one of the best. The hardest part of the recipe is remembering to get the chickpeas soaking the night or morning before.

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I did make a few minor changes to the recipe, just based on what I had on hand. Even with these changes, the recipe still worked perfectly.
– I doubled the recipe, but didn’t double the amount of onion or lemon zest.
– I neglected to measure the chickpeas before I set them soaking, so I just used about 2 cups of soaked chickpeas.
– I forgot to add parsley to my grocery list, so I added spinach for some green. Parsley is a pretty essential ingredient in most falafel and I would definitely add it next time, but the burgers still tasted great without it.
– I didn’t need to add the optional water or chickpea flour.

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I noticed in this recipe that the yield says 4 patties, but in the recipe it says to shape it into 6 patties. I doubled the recipe and ended up with 9 patties.

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Fresh from the oven, with some roasted red pepper hummus and cucumber.

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You May Also Enjoy:
IMG_2222Easy Hot & Sour Refrigerator Pickles

IMG_1004Baked Mediterranean Chickpea Burgers

Collage, BB Burritos 1Butternut Squash Black Bean Burritos

Frozen Greens Cubes

Love green smoothies or interested in trying them? You need to try these Frozen Greens Cubes!

I recently came across these Frozen Kale Cubes and knew that I had to make something similar. I love putting greens in my smoothies! It’s an easy way to get your greens, and especially when using flavoured protein powders (I like Vega One and Vega Energizing Smoothie) you really can’t taste it at all. However, I find that without the use of a high-powered blender, a lot of the time the greens just don’t get pureed enough. These Frozen Greens Cubes solve that problem beautifully. The spinach and kale are already pureed, so I end up with a much smoother smoothie. I’ve been enjoying my green smoothies a lot more since I made these cubes, and I will be continuing to make them.

Once you make a batch your smoothies will also be faster and easier to make. No more washing green stuff before every smoothie! And you’ll have greens for your smoothies, even when your fridge is looking scarily devoid of green!

Frozen Greens Cubes (Yields 3 1/2 cups Puree)
1 large bunch kale, washed and thick stems removed
1 142g/5oz pack organic baby spinach
1-1 1/2 cups water

Just fill your blender about three-quarters full with the spinach and/or kale and add 1 cup of water. Puree until there is room to add more greens to the blender. If you don’t have a really high-powered blender you will need to stop a few times to push the contents of the blender back down towards the blade. Keep doing this until all the greens are blended smooth. The greens will release liquid and become easier to blend the more they are blended. Add the remaining 1/2 cup water if needed (this will probably depend on your blender).

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Now marvel at the gorgeous green. Pour the greens puree into ice-cube trays and place in the freezer. As you can see, my little ice-cube trays were full so I also filled some silicone muffin liners. Once frozen, you can pop out the cubes and store in a sealed bag in the freezer.

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Add these cubes to all your smoothies! I’ve also added them to a soup and a pasta sauce, both with great results. And, obviously these are pretty customizable so feel free to try your favourite combination of greens. I haven’t tried it yet but I think it could be interesting to use coconut water instead of water.

Enjoy!
As always, I’d love to hear about it if you give these a try!

I’ve shared this post with Wellness Weekends (May2-6), Gluten Free Fridays #38, and Healthy Vegan Fridays #41.

Need any smoothie ideas to add your Frozen Greens Cubes to? Check these out.
Smoothies!
Smoothies of 2013: Part One
Or check out the Smoothies/Drinks category on My Recipe Page.

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?