The Long Forgotten what-I-ate

It seems ages since I’ve done a What I Ate post.  Either my meals seem too boring to blog about, or I blog about them separately if they’re from a cookbook or restaurant.  Then I don’t seem to end up with enough content for a blog post!  This time, I’ve gone through photos and I’ll try to remember everything I’ve had.

I’ve discovered a super quick and easy way to make cheeze sauce. Recipes like this are probably old news all over the place but I came up with this on a whim and wondered if I could make it in under two minutes. The downside is because it’s so quick and easy, I’ve been making mac and cheeze for myself far too often instead of something with loads of veg and a protein source.  For this cheeze sauce, I mix together the following (though you can do what you like with the measurements, I made this today and measured in case it helps people) 1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk, 1/2 tspn Dijon mustard, 1/8th tspn each of garlic powder and onion powder, 1tsp vegan margarine and 1tsp arrowroot for thickening.  Mix and microwave it for about 30 seconds, give it a stir, microwave for 30 seconds again then add a heap of nutritional yeast (I do about 1Tbs).  After I add the nutritional yeast it starts going all stringy-like. This makes a small individual portion size for pasta or as a cheeze sauce for veggies.

mymaccheeze

Here it is again, on another day, with toasted walnuts, breadcrumbs and various Italian style herbs:

maccheezecrumbs

Oven baked polenta (the polenta had been cooked the day before and chilled in the fridge) with tofu pieces coated in a mixture of walnut, nooch and panko:

crumbedtofupolenta

I made the Red Lentil stew from The Oh She Glows Cookbook and will definitely make it again though I would ramp up the flavours a little more:

ohsheglowsredlentilsoup

I found some mock duck in the freezer so I made a simple stir fry based on a Jamie Oliver recipe I found online.  It was quite basic though and boring to be honest, so I added some Chinese BBQ sauce.  It was okay but not something I’d make again.  I prefer my stir fries to have more of a sauce.  This was a bit too dry:

veganporkstirfry

A carrot cake from one of my vegan cookbooks.  I can’t remember which one:

carrot cake

Finally, some roasted chickpeas.  I toss a drained and rinsed can of chickpeas with salt and nooch and roast them until crunchy:

chickypops

 

I’m pleased to admit I am so over mac and cheese since taking those photos up there  🙂

What I Ate: the Healthier Weightlossier edition

A little while back, I blogged about needing to lose a bit of weight.  Make that a lot of weight!  5kg (11lbs) for starters, seeing as that’s what I’ve put on after getting down to a weight I hadn’t seen in a very very long time over a year ago!

This week I am right back in to my oil-free cooking and avoiding stuff like bread and pasta.  I’m also going for more wholefoods and minimising processed foods.  Fats are also cut waaay down so I am mindful of things like nuts, seeds and usage of coconut oil.  As much as I don’t like the cooking sprays, I am using a very short burst of olive oil spray for oven cooking but keeping that to zero as much as possible.  I don’t find this restrictive in any way, fortunately!

Here’s a look at what I’ve eaten this week.  I have retained only a little of the muscle mass I gained when heavy weight training over a year ago (boy does it hurt my pride to flex and see no more guns) so I’m trying to keep an eye on protein intake so I don’t shrivel away entirely…

bugsbicep

I started on Monday and today is the following Monday morning .  So in one week, I am down  1.5kg (3.3lbs).  I haven’t exercised, apart from one gym workout as a trial.  I have injuries in both feet and should avoid weight bearing and impact exercises like jogging.  Not fun when you want to lose weight, so I’ll be checking out exercise bike hire to get some HIIT happening.

So, these are some of the things I’ve eaten.  Of course, it’s not everything but I’m guessing you will all get sick of me photographing bananas and the same bowl of soup because I made enough for four days then went nuts because I hate leftovers after the second day…

Smoothie with unsweetened plant milk, banana, spinach, pepitas, hemp protein:

bananahempsmoothie

A bowl of vegetable and cannellini bean soup (there are also some red lentils floating around but not enough, so I threw in the beans for a protein boost).  Days worth of this:

beanveg

When I went for my haircut, I made a double serve of a breakfast smoothie so I could take some with me, seeing as a) I was at the hair salon for a couple of hours at least and b) I was near Crumbs Bakery, with their vegan pastries and donuts.  DANGER. This smoothie has spinach, banana, blueberries, hemp protein, flax:

blueberrysmoothie

Chickpea scramble made with broccoli, tomato, kale, lemon juice and lots of savoury yeast with my mum’s peas and carrots (cooked with onion and a little tomato paste) on the side:

lunch

Smoothie with hemp protein, flax, fresh mint, banana. As I was making it I was thinking “I’ve missed something, I just know it”… turns out it was the spinach.  I add spinach to all my smoothies.  Except this one:

bananahempsmoothie

Pan Seared Garlic Tofu from The Oh She Glows Cookbook, cooked in my new cast iron frying pan.  Oh my goodness, crispy tofu without using stacks of oil! I served this with the roast cauliflower (with a spritz of oil spray) and the miso tahini dressing from the Isa Does It recipe for the Roasty Soba Bowl.  Instead of soba I went for the last of the broccoli and some chickpea scramble.  YUM.  I had it again quite a few times:

misotahinivegtofuAlthough I enjoy smoothies for a quick easy breakfast, I decided to try pancakes.  AHA! I hear you say.  Pancakes on a diet?  Oh Veganopoulous, you crazy kid! Well!  I made the blueberry pancakes from Brendan Brazier’s Thrive nutrition book.  These are made with buckwheat flour, cooked quinoa, hemp milk, water, blueberries, salt, two dates, baking powder and baking soda.  You mix up the batter in a food processor.  They’re not the most attractive of pancake colours but they’re super healthy.  The recipe makes two large servings.  I had mine with a small sliced banana and home made applesauce (I just stewed some apples in a little water then pureed it all.  No sweetener).  The banana and applesauce did well as a ‘syrup’ seeing as I’ve waved goodbye to my beloved maple syrup for now.  This breakfast really filled me up and I was stuffed by the last couple of forkfuls so next time I’d make these as three smaller servings:

thriveblueberrypancakes

Another smoothie from Thrive, this one made with hemp, flax, pumpkin seed, banana, orange, ground cloves:
ironsmoothie

We visited my parents on Good Friday and my mum had made Greek lentil soup and added in some kale I took over.  Being Good Friday she didn’t use olive oil so I was pleased to have a nice bowl of oil free lentil soup.  Called “faki” in Greek, pronounced “fu-KI” and enough to earn me detention after the home ec teacher asked what I ate for dinner and I answered honestly:

faki

I made another Brendan Brazier Thrive recipe, this time the Black Bean Lime Salsa.  I love this! black beans, tomato, onion (which I left out), fresh coriander, balsamic vinegar, hemp oil, lime juice.  I moosh mine up in the food processor even though you’re supposed to just mix them together.  Here I have it served with the last of my roast cauliflower steaks:

blackbeansalsa

I haven’t featured any Easter gatherings here as I haven’t been to any.  We have a belated Easter lunch with my parents, sister and brother in law today so I’ll be blogging about that very soon.  This year I said I’d make hot cross buns with the kids but really, we’ve had so many store bought ones in the house that my dad insists on buying for us, that I am just well over them and I think Arthur and DeeW have consumed more than enough without needing to add to the count!

Although I ate the same things many times, it doesn’t bother me much now.  See, I’m a person who hates leftovers after day two.  I get BORED to the point where I would rather not eat than eat leftovers AGAIN.  I’m a bit of a princess like that.  On the third day I wanted to cry, in that whiny #firstworldproblem manner, when I realised I still had more bean-veg soup to eat.  Yea verily Veganopoulous, get over it! For day 4 I felt better about it because it certainly helps knowing what I will be eating, without having to worry about coming up with something new every day or two.  It makes for boring blog entries though!

 

This past week I’ve been playing and re-playing the new single by Tori Amos called ‘Trouble’s Lament’.  I can’t get enough of it!  I’m a looong time fan but the last couple of albums didn’t really jump out and grab me like all the rest.  But this song just kapowed me in the face!  If you’re a long time fan too, you might also be kapowed by the different sound she takes here.  Before I sat down to listen I was wondering how different, though familiar, it would be to her past albums and I wasn’t expecting this.  I’m looooving the percussion and guitars.  Kapow!

Random eat-y bits and pieces

Back on the air after some internet silliness!  Like… going over your monthly usage quota and being punished by the speed of your connection slowing to snail’s pace.  Whoops.

I haven’t been keeping much of a record of what I’ve been eating.  Lots of smoothies and juices which kinda seem too boring to put on the blog. Here are some of the more less-boring ones.  A beet-berry-banana smoothie.  I don’t like the taste of beetroot in smoothies but this was okay.  The perfect thing to drink on… Prince’s birthday perhaps:

beet berry smoothie

This one had fig, banana, greens, flax and other stuff I don’t remember now:

fig banana smoothie

One of the nicer green juices:

green fruit veg juice

a maple walnut banana smoothie.  I used maple extract:

maple walnut smoothie

I made the Lentil Taco Meat recipe from Isa Does It (using chipotle powder instead) though I added a can of black beans to the mix.  Then I decided to use up the cooked red quinoa I’d discovered in the freezer so I threw that in too, along with some mushrooms.  I served it up in a bowl with baby spinach, lettuce, tomato, avocado all squirted with a little lime juice.  This is one of my favourite bowls:

lentil taco meat bowl

Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe posted a great nut roast recipe that uses buckwheat, one of my favourite ingredients to use.  Johanna’s recipe is also up on Ricki Heller’s awesome site. My attempt could have been a disaster because when I was simmering the buckwheat groats, I forgot about them.  The simmer time was 10-12 minutes.  I remembered them an hour later.  They were pretty mooshy by that time but not very burnt on the bottom of the pot which was a surprise and a relief!  Blurry photos, argh:

tomato nut roast2

tomato nut roast1

I made this fab chocolate chip cookie wedges recipe by Joann from Woman in Real Life.  In true Veganopoulos style, after I started the recipe I realised I didn’t have the full amount of sugar so I had to use less but it turned out great regardless.  This was a belated Valentine’s Day treat for the family:

oatchocchipcookiewedge

Chocolate chip biscuits:

choc chip biscuits

We had dinner at Loving Hut in Northcote again.  Southern fried ‘chicken’ and the homemade curry equals yumz:

Loving Hut Northcote

lhn2

aaaaaand Husband and I went to Loving Hut in Richmond.  I got my usual, which is the veg curry with tofu puffs.  Husband got the spring rolls:

Loving Hut spring rolls

Loving Hut curry

I over roasted some canned chickpeas with nooch for Arthur:

chickypops

Possibly my favourite kale dish is this cheezy chickpeas and kale dish from Fannetastic Food.  I added in some leftover roasted sweet potato:

cheezy chickpeas and kale

Husband and I received these lovely cherry truffles with the added bonus of it appearing quite vegan:

cherry chocs

Now, how many of you know how to fold a fitted sheet nicely?  I’ve been watching YouTube clips on how to do it but nope, mine turn out all horrible and I end up totally frustrated.  None of those pretty smooth corners for me.

Last weekend we went to the Moonee Valley Festival.  I did a quick run past the food stalls and there didn’t appear to be anything vegan.  If there were, I wouldn’t have waited as the queues were too long:

festival7

festival2

festival4

festival5

DeeW made a seed ball and planted it at home:

festival6

I lost $10 on this…

festival8

There were lots of lost balloons in the air:


festival1

I was glad to be home again.  I like visiting these community festivals but after a while I need to get out of there:
festival3
I found this sight quite amusing:

paintingtransporter

Excellent news is that tomorrow is the last day of summer!  Summer is my least favourite season so I’m not exactly sorry to see it go.  I have some plans for autumn and this year I hope I’ll stick to them!

talltree

Meal Planning Week 4: The Hideous Food Photography version

I was incredibly lazy last week when it came to food.  I didn’t plan a full menu again which of course meant our meals were nowhere near as vegietastic as I’d hoped!

One smoothie I like is made with banana, plant milk, oats, cinnamon and hemp protein.  This fills me up for a while.  I call it my ‘porridge smoothie’:

oat porridge banana smoothie

I made the Cauli-power Alfredo pasta sauce from Oh She Glows.  It was quite tasty, though I should have added more plant milk as it was far too thick (I didn’t follow the recipe thoroughly).  Or perhaps I could have added some vegetable stock.  Anyway, I was thinking that if it was really thick, perhaps it could serve as a kind of bechamel layer on a baked pasta or moussaka.  I’ll have to try that one day:

caulipower alfredo

I found a packet of vegan rendang in the back of the pantry and cooked it up with some peas and coconut rice:

vegan rendang

I made some filo parcels with a filling of chickpeas, walnuts and cooked brown rice.  The kids weren’t crazy about them but the next day Arthur asked for leftovers so I’d say they ended up being a winner for one child at least!

chickpea  walnut rice filo parcels

Quite a bit of fruit:

fruit salad

Husband had gone out to a shopping centre and called to ask if I wanted anything from the food court.  It was a hot day, I wasn’t in the mood to cook so I requested some Indian food.  The Indian food outlets at shopping centres often have a few vegan dishes.  My photo does not do it justice.  My photo does not do the plastic bag justice:

indian takeaway

Arthur and I baked the Sweet Potato Blondies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.  As always, I significantly reduce the amount of sugar used:

sweet potato blondies

Sunday was Australia Day.  Originally I had plans to take the family out to some of the free events going on, like the Government House Open Day.  But we had a late change of plans, a really late night and when Husband and I woke up we were way too tired.  We did stop at Mister Nice Guy’s Bake Shop on the way to visit my parents:

Mister Nice Guy's Bake Shop music

Mister Nice Guy’s made awesome Australia Day themed cupcakes (here are last year’s).  I got the Golden Gaytime, which the Bake Shop described as a “vanilla toffee swirl cake with caramel frosting, topped with chocolate and caramel ganache and sprinkled with honeycomb”.  Golden Gaytime is an icecream that has been around since I was a little girl and it was probably my favourite icecream-on-a-stick before I went vegan. So if something is ‘Golden Gaytime inspired’ I am THERE.  We also got the ANZAC biscuit inspired cupcake and a donut. Arthur got his usual cinnamon bun:

Mr Nice Guy's Bake Shop selection

To finish off the week, Husband and I went out to dinner at Magic Mint Cafe in Moonee Ponds.  I got my usual veggie pakora for entree and the mixed vegetable curry for my main.  YUMZ:

Magic Mint Cafe veg curry

It’s Wednesday here and I haven’t used a meal plan this week either! The weather has been urgh-hot again, though today is lovely so I might get some baking done, or meals that can last a few days.

Fingers crossed I’ll get back to meal planning for next week…

Week 3 Meal Planning: the Heat Wave + Angelina Ballerina + Lego Show version

This past week Melbourne has suffered through a heat wave with temps over 40C. I think some horrible-hot-weather records were broken, like hottest consecutive days in over one hundred years or something. Stinky stinky stinking hot. To give you an idea, the temperature here in Melbourne reached 44C twice. That’s 111.2F. I really dislike hot weather. Give me autmumn-winter any day! I was sooo happy when this heat wave ended, as you can probably imagine! It’s nice and cool as we speak, with a decent temp of 24C (75.2F) today.

Because it was so hot, I chose meals that wouldn’t involve the oven. However because it was so hot, I fell in to full on Can’t Be Bothered Because It’s Too Hot mode.

– I made the Thai Style Yellow Curry from Veganissimo! for myself. This made about four or five meal size serves for me, with rice:

Thai style yellow curry from Veganissimo!

– 43 degress, urgh. Arthur and DeeW asked for rye toast for breakfast. I had a smoothie with frozen banana, almonds, pumpkin seeds, hemp protein and lucuma:

Banana lucuma smoothie

– one of my favourite smoothies is quite simple: frozen banana, almonds, cinnamon, soy milk, hemp protein:

Almond banana hemp smoothie

– another favourite smoothie has frozen banana, raw cacao, soy milk and tahini. I loooove chocolate and tahini:

Chocolate Tahini Smoothie

– I love chocolate with tahini so much that I mix with with raw cacao powder and maple syrup to make a spread:

chocolate tahini spread

– I made the Ancho Lentil meat from Isa Does It, though I used chipotle powder instead of ancho as I didn’t have ancho. I had this in a burrito with lettuce, corn and home made guacamole. I had quite a few of these during the week:

Burrito with lentil 'meat' from Isa Does It

– I made some strawberry and banana soft serve in my blender. Not the Yonanas, because when I’d frozen my strawberries I had forgotten to take the leaves off and I think you have to have all the stem and leaves off if you use the Yonanas:

strawberry banana softserve

– I used the leftovers to make these icy poles (popsicles, in other parts of the world):

strawberry banana softserve icy poles

– I made the Ranch Salad with Potatoes and Chickpeas from Isa Does It.  More yummmz and I used kale for my leafy greens (which is not in the recipe):

Ranch Salad from Isa Does It

– I consider myself lucky to have found firm, cheap mangoes.  They’re usually so expensive:

mango

Some time ago, I purchased tickets for DeeW and I to see the Angelina Ballerina stage musical.  Or as they say, Mousical.  Har har. Of all days, the temp was 44C.  I had booked tickets for the 10:30am show and Husband kindly offered to drive us in, hang around the city with Arthur for an hour (eating) and then picking us up right outside the Gallery and driving home.  It was such a relief not to have to catch public transport there and back in the heat. I loved this little plaque on the seat in front of me:

gorgeous seat plaque

The curtain:
angelinaballerinastage1

DeeW loved the performance.  Me?  Welllll the dancing bits were all out of unison, legs not being extended properly, the lifts not executed cleanly.  Does that make me sound like I know what I’m talking about?  It’s what they used to say on season one of So You Think You Can Dance Australia.  I’d like to say one of the dancers committed the greatest sin of touching the floor DURING AN ARABESQUE.  But there were no arabesques that I recall.  Still, the kids loved it all though I never understand why there has to be parts where the main character is really upset and crying.  Because around me, DeeW and other kids were really upset.  And some may argue kids have to learn blah blah blah lessons in life blah blah.  But ya know, they’re going to learn those lessons from family and life.  Not really from their favourite character, in a live show with all those distractions, having a meltdown (by the way, I really can’t stand the tv show.  But DeeW loves ballet):

angelinaballerinastage2

Currently in Melbourne we have the Play Me I’m Yours ‘exhibition’ going on.  Twenty four pianos are on the street around the city and you can go and play them:

Play Me I'm Yours at National Gallery

streetpiano1

On Saturday, we went to the Brickvention Lego show.  I blogged about last year’s visit.  The amount of work people put in to their creations is staggering. There were a few people in costume walking around:

Lego Brickvention Melbourne Exhibition Building 2014

legoshow11

legoshow10

legoshow1

legoshow2

I loved this.  It’s referencing the 007 exhibition on at the Museum:

James Bond 007 Lego mosaics

Vintage Lego from when I was young:

Vintage Lego

Star Wars is always popular:

legoshow4

Star Wars Lego

Star Wars Lego

There were longer tables set up with trains that ran around the edges:

lego Brickvention Melbourne

legoshow6

legoshow7

legoshow8

Sydney Op… you know what this is!

legoshow13

And that’s it!  It’s been quiet here on the blog front because in the hot weather, the last thing I want to do is be on my computer in the hot study.  This week, I think I’ll just chill out and enjoy the better weather 🙂