Two more raw dishes: Cauliflower Popcorn and Veggie Tempura

I’ve previously made the Cauliflower Popcorn from ‘Eat Raw, Eat Well’.  I liked it a lot but found it a little on the salty side, so this time ’round I only added a pinch of salt.  The cauliflower is tossed with nutritional yeast, EVOO and the salt then dehydrated.  Then it is major yumz time as you try not to eat it all in one go.  I’m cheating and using a photo I took last time:

cauliflower popcorn

The Vegetable Tempura recipe from Ani Phyo’s ‘Ani’s Raw Food Asia’ has had a permanent bookmark in it ever since I received my copy of the book.  The batter is made with zucchini, cashews, pumpkin seed, olive oil, salt and nutritional yeast and on its own would make a tasty salad dressing.  Get your veggies, smother them in this batter then dehydrate. The cauliflower on top is the Popcorn Cauli:

raw veggie tempura

This was good too, though I wouldn’t make it again unless I had people to serve it to who would appreciate it!  I just realised I forgot to make the accompanying dipping sauce.  Never mind, it tasted good plain.  I’m not sure I dehydrated it enough as the batter wasn’t quite right, but had I done any more the vegies would have been over dehydrated.  They had a nice crunch to them so I didn’t mind!

Have you made cauliflower with nooch, olive oil and salt in the dehydrator?  What do you think of it?

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Recipes from Choosing Raw, Ani Phyo and Douglas McNish

First up, some ‘Ani Phyo 15-Day Fat Blast’ recipe reviews from the past few days.  I made the Simple Strawberry Shake from Ani’s 15-Day Fat Blast.  Rating (of my modified version) 4/5:

simple strawberry shake

– made with strawberries, coconut oil, water, vanilla.  The recipe calls for cashews or walnuts but I left those out and threw in a banana instead.  If I’m having coconut oil in there, I’m happy to leave out the nuts. I also left out the suggested sweetener of choice as the banana makes it sweet and I also added in the matcha ‘squeaky cleaner’ option.  It wasn’t very sweet, but just right for me.

I was determined to try another soup recipe and Day 3 called for the Curry Coconut Soup.  I was surprised that I really liked this and would make it again, giving it a rating of 5/5:

curry coconut raw soup

– made with water (I used half the amount listed as I wanted it thicker), tomato, avocado, garlic, coconut oil, cilantro/coriander (which I didn’t have).  This is one soup I’d happily have straight from the fridge on a hot day.

One of the breakfast shakes was the Pear Power Shake.  I gave this a 0/5:

pearpowershake

– made with kale (though I used spinach), pear, water, vanilla with the optional extra of chlorella.  I knew I’d have a hard time drinking this so I added a small date. I used half a teaspoon of chlorella (the recipe says one teaspoon) but for me the smell and taste of chlorella is way too strong.  Usually I can get around that depending on the ingredients (and holding my nose or using my straw) but in this smoothie, there was no getting around it.  After a few mouthfuls I tipped it down the sink.

I made the Ginger Mango Shake and added a bunch of spinach.  I left out the coconut oil/nuts and added the ground flax.  Rating 5/5:

banana mango ginger greens smoothie

– I added a banana to mine and the ginger gave it a nice zing.  My mango was frozen so this was lovely and cold on a stinking hot day.

Another raw book I really like is ‘Eat Raw, Eat Well’ by Douglas McNish.  I love the Cake Batter Smoothie.  Rating 5/5!

cake batter smoothie

– I made this smoothie with almond milk, orange, avocado, a date, banana, lemon juice, vanilla.  The recipe lists cashew milk, which I didn’t have, and agave which I don’t use.  The agave would have made it too sweet for me anyway.

For a lunch meal I spiralised some raw zucchini.  On top of it I added some tomato and mushroom sprinkled with nutritional yeast.  The star of the show was the walnut mince.  For this, I use the Walnut Mince recipe.  Rating 5/5:

raw walnut mince

– the mince made with walnuts, cumin, tamari, EVOO all in a food processor.  I have made this before and found the recipe too salty, so I left out the suggested salt and just used the tamari. I went easy on the amount of mince I served myself, it’s really easy for me to just inhale it all.

 

Choosing Raw was the first raw vegan website I read and certainly helped make things easy for me.  Gena’s recipes are simple and nutrient dense and easy to prepare.  One of my favourite blog posts there is How To Build A Meal Sized Salad. As I’m keeping an eye on my iron, I made these raw iron boosting balls and the raw sunflower seed and carrot pate.

I’ve started adding some blackstrap molasses to my protein shake smoothies (banana, plant milk, protein powder, pumpkin seeds, blackstrap molasses) to increase the iron content.  I don’t particularly enjoy the taste of it to be honest but it isn’t unpleasant enough to make faces when I have it (like chlorella, which involves my about-to-barf face):

blackstrap smoothie

I also made Gena’s Raw Strawberry Vanilla Pudding. I added a banana because I wanted Arthur and DeeW to have some too.  Arthur liked it but DeeW doesn’t go for pudding-y textures.  I really think avocado is such a star in dishes like this, though Arthur did comment there was a ‘weird’ feeling to it even though the taste was okay. I’ll still be making these kinds of puddings, using Choosing Raw recipes because they’ve worked well for me in the past:

raw banana strawberry pudding

One of my guilty pleasure foods (because I try to avoid anything bread-y but like bread too much) is my usual pizza ‘zocaccia’ from Zaatar in Coburg. I get the zaatar bread base topped with capsicum, tomato, cucumber, onion, olives and mint.  This is my downfall so I thought I better try and replicate it in a healthier bread-less way.  I’m planning on making some flat bread and crackers in the dehydrator but for now I put a whole lot of zaatar spice on top of raw veggies, with some of the sunflower seed carrot pate to round it out a bit.  If I had hemp seeds I would have had those too but this time I used pumpkin seed:

zaatar salad with sunflower seed pate

I also made my regular protein shake, consisting of plant milk, a protein powder, banana and pumpkin seeds.  It’s kinda my “can’t be bothered being really creative” go-to smoothie:

bananaproteinsmoothie

 

It was love at first site when I saw this recipe for Honey Gold Mango and Nectarine Salsa-Salad over at Appetite Affliction. I was hungry after dinner and bedtime was ages off.  So I cut up the mango and nectarines (but no tomato or avocado) and followed the rest of the recipe.  This is a fantastic dish and one I will absolutely make again with the tomato and avocado:

mango nectarine salsa salad

Now for the non-raw dish.  I’ll admit I was getting a bit sick of raw everything and I had a sudden longing for a stir fry.  So I used a teensy amount of coconut oil, then water when required, to stir fry up all these veggies and mixed in some rice noodles, soy sauce, garlic and ginger.  And then something really strange happened you guys.  As I sat down to eat it– remember, I felt quite over raw eating by now– I had a sudden wave of “I don’t think I want to eat this”.  I KNOW, RIGHT???  I had three forkfuls and felt like the food had turned in to a rock down in my belly.  Not a feeling I have when eating raw. I ate the veggies because I didn’t want them to go to waste but I binned the noodles.  I literally couldn’t stomach them:

 

blandveggienoodles

Is this the end?!

I’m going out for a meal tomorrow, so it will be interesting to see how I feel afterwards!  So tune in to channel Veganopoulous to see if I barf.

The Veganopoulous Reboot: Ani Phyo recipes

Okay so it’s day 1 of my little rebooting mission.  I need to lose the bloat, lose the flab, get my energy back and feel better in both mind and body.

A note on weighing: I hate the scales.  I have never really relied on scales as an indicator of weight loss and instead prefer to go by how my clothes fit.  What you see on scales day to day can fluctuate so much.  I’ve shown weight increases in weeks where my eating and exercising have been excellent but I’ve lost weight according to a measuring tape and my clothes.

I decided to use some of the Phase 1 “cleaning out your engines” recipes from Ani Phyo’s 15 Day Fat Blast book.  Phase 1 lasts for three days and all your meals are blended.  I’ve tried this twice before and really struggled with the ‘soups’.  You can repeat Phase 1 if you choose.  Me, the sooner I get some solid food, the better.  So I’m not following Ani’s actual plan.

DAY 1:  Starting weight 74.6kg/about 164.5lb (This could be wrooooong.  I weighed myself yesterday and the scales said 75.3kg. Last week they said the same. If I weigh myself tomorrow and it’s 75kg again, I’m going to consider that my starting weight.

* for breakfast I had the Blueberry Blast from Ani’s 15 Day Fat Blast (Day 1).  Rating 4/5

blueberryblast

This was made with water, blueberries, cinnamon, coconut oil.  I used the flax meal + hemp protein option and also added a bit of matcha for what Ani calls the ‘thermo charger’.  I reduced the amount of coconut oil given. I sipped this over twenty minutes.  Tasty and not too sweet.

 * For lunch I made the Spicy Bok Choy Soup from Ani’s 15 Day Fat Blast (Day 1).  Rating 1/5

bok choy soup1

bok choy soup2

Made with water, baby bok choy, cucumber, ginger, miso, avocado, lemon juice.  I’m so sorry Ani, this was impossible for me to eat 😦 This is the third time I’ve made the soup since buying the book and each time I could not eat (drink!) it.  I will happily eat those ingredients chopped up separately, like in a nice healthy bowl.  But blended as a soup was impossible for me.  Last time I tried drinking it.  This time I tried eating it as a soup but after two spoonfuls I thought it would be easier to use my straw.  Nope.  I’d say I had about half a cup before admitting defeat.

– Today’s snack was supposed to be the Pineapple Green Shake from 15 Day Fat-Blast but Husband said he couldn’t find pineapple at the shops (it probably costs a million bucks anyway).  I have a bowl full of oranges so I used those instead.  I had this pretty soon after my attempt at the bok choy soup  because I was starving. My juice had water, oranges, leafy greens, turmeric (the only difference to Ani’s recipe was that I used oranges instead of pineapple).  I would rate my juice (not Ani’s) a 1/5.  The turmeric was way too strong, even though I used less than the recipe stated. I couldn’t finish it. I’m sure I made this with a nice sweet pineapple in the past and it was okay.  Juice in your face:

orange green shake

* I was so hungry after not having the soup or juice so I made the Rainbow Salad with Tahini Dressing from Ani’s Raw Food Asia.  Rating 2/5

rainbow salad

The dressing is made with tahini, lemon juice, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, water. The salad bits are tomatoes, carrot, mung bean sprouts, beets, cucumber, lettuce.  The recipe calls for daikon radish but I didn’t have that. I found the amount of Bragg’s to be way too much for me.  I used orange instead of lemon juice as I didn’t have much lemon and I prefer orange-tahini dressings. Still, it was good to get a bowlful of veggies with the benefits of sesame.

* the science-experiemnt-looking green juice. Because I make this juice for the family (except DeeW, she won’t go near it) I add in carrot and sweeter fruits like an orange and apples. I had my juice in the afternoon. I’ve mentioned before that Arthur doesn’t eat any veggies unless I’m sneaky so he will only drink a green juice if it’s on the sweet side:

green orange juice

* by dinner time I was starving and had planned on the Tomato Bisque (chopped, not blended) from the same book but found some home made almond milk.  To be honest I wasn’t keen on facing another bowl with tomatoes for dinner, so I made a simple smoothie with banana, the almond milk and a pinch each of ground cardamom and ginger.  If I had hemp seed I would have put those in too.  I’m feeling pretty full now and it will be a late night as Husband has gone out, so I think the smoothie will keep me full for much longer than the Tomato Bisque.  And I really hate going to bed with a growling stomach!

 

I’ll continue to blog about the various recipes I try, but might not do a daily update.  My aim is to now eat as cleanly as possible but still enjoy a meal out and watch my intake overall.  I have a few lunch and dinner dates coming up and I want to enjoy myself on those occasions, instead of enjoying myself far too often with bought meals (or home made individual serve microwaved self saucing puddings…). I also want to enjoy a nice meal out with Husband when we have a date night because going out for a meal together isn’t something we get to do a lot, so I want to enjoy it but choose food wisely.  It will also be interesting to see if those special occasion meals affect me negatively!

So long vegan MoFo 2013! And random what-I-ates

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Ehhhh welll it’s no secret my attempt at vegan MoFo this year was rather slack.  So many plans, so many last minute spanners in the works that just saw my MoFo plans fizzle out.  I did enjoy MoFo though because I discovered Australian blogs I hadn’t read before and I’ve enjoyed every single one.

Melbourne, being Melbourne, has really given us the four seasons in one day recently.  We’ve had some beautiful spring days and crazy winds last night causing power outages and all sorts of annoyances.  At least it’s good kite flying weather and Husband is a kite flying expert.  Me, I do the running around stupidly in a circle getting the string all wound up.

Much excitement (for me) as I had a Box Day.  For those of you not down with homeschoolin’ lingo, Box Day is when a cool package of schooly stuff arrives.  For me it was the next level of DeeW’s reading program:

aar

I’m going to plug this reading program because I love it so much.  It’s called All About Reading and the sister program is All About Spelling.  I have found these to be absolutely brilliant for both Arthur and DeeW.  Arthur has All About Spelling .  Both programs involve multi-sensory learning and none of this “memorise 100 words by sight” stuff which doesn’t work for many kids.  You don’t have to be a homeschooler to use these programs, you can be a parent with a child displaying reading readiness (more info on that at the AAS/AAR site) or reading difficulty, or you can be a teacher looking for a new program for your students to grasp basic reading and spelling concepts.  I know people who have dyslexia and their kids do too, and the family benefits together.  I can’t recommend All About Reading and All About Spelling enough, and the founder has a very interesting story to tell about why she started the program.  You can find out more at the All About Learning Press website at http://www.allaboutlearningpress.com/  (all opinions here are my own and my opinions are in the category of “this has been super fantastic for my kids and I can’t gush about it enough and hey I even learnt a few things about when to use ‘k’ or ‘ck'”).

Okay, time to put on my food face.  Another gush-worthy recipe I’ve mentioned before is Dreena Burton’s BBQ Sunflower Tofu which Arthur loves.  I make a batch of this for him and he asks for seconds.  He likes the little marinadey bits:

bbqtofu

I’ve been making the Lemon Meringue Pie smoothie from ‘Eat Raw, Eat Well’.  Yep, this tastes as good as it sounds:

lemonmeringue

Aaaand here’s my big flop.  It’s a raw banana pie from Brendan Brazier’s ‘Thrive’ book.  I don’t know what I did wrong, but my base was really crumbly and I’m sure I followed the recipe.  The filling part was good but I should have taken more care.  I didn’t make the topping but I had some cashew cream and used that.  It was okay but I found the taste of sunflower seeds a little much.  i would make it again though with some little changes.  And take a much better photo:

rawbananapie

I made another batch of Singapore Style Noodles I blogged about previously.  This time I used mock duck (made from wheat, with a bbq flavour) and tofu puffs:

singnoodles

I’ve been making the Raised Waffles recipe from Isa’s ‘Vegan Brunch’.  Arthur really likes these, though I prefer the cornbread waffles.  Still, it’s fun making this yeast version.  I plopped some coconut cream on mine and coconut sugar.  Yes, this was the last-of-the-batter waffle:

raisedwaffs

During the week I just forgot to take photos.  Or I did take some photos of stuff and deleted them somehow.  Now I will just have to make citrus coconut pie all over again!  See you then 😉

Vegan MoFo Day 8: Goodbye Porpoise Spit!

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Soooo… well I’m feeling ever so glum today with the horrible election result.  This is pretty much today’s face:

muriel1

I was really tempted to fall back to my comfort food of cornflakes sprinkled with raw sugar and chocolate powder and covered in scalding hot soy milk but that would have made for a boring MoFo post.  And I KNOW I would have sat there staring at the milk going around and around in the microwave like that brilliant scene in Muriel’s Wedding where the mum makes the tea in the microwave.  It was that kind of day.  Anyway, I got the leftover macadamia cream out of the fridge, whizzed it up with some dates and a little maple syrup to sweeten it and plopped it on top of a giant nectarine.  I love raw nut creams:

nectarinenutcream

Rather summer-holiday, don’t you think?  I had to avoid listening to news cos it ruined my tropical mood and made me look like this:

muriel2

But to keep with the theme of imagining I’m off on Hibiscus Island, faaaar away from the awful reality of our new prime minister, I made a juice from pineapple, strawberries, orange and fresh basil.  Then I decided to make it alcoholic and whiz it up with ice.  Then realised I didn’t know which of Husband’s bottles of alcohol are vegan.  He’s the drinks man, I rarely drink alcohol so I have never really bothered making a list.  So I just put the juice in a fancy glass and had it plain and… healthy:

fruitjuice

I have some busy days this week and not really sure how I’ll go MoFo-wise but so far I’m pleased that I’m having far more healthy foods than I have in the past few months.  I do enjoy eating raw but not when it’s cold.  I don’t think I’m ready to give up scalding hot cornflakes just yet.