Vegan MoFo

TOMATO TUESDAY: RAW VEGAN CHILI


Vegan Month of Food 2013

Welcome back to Vegan MoFo! In case you missed any of my earlier posts, you can check them out here:

I’ve had today’s Tomato Tuesday recipe picked out and ready to post for a while now. I made this last week for dinner and fell. in. love.

I made a different raw vegan chili recipe a few weeks ago and I didn’t have some of the ingredients I thought I had so I just tried to wing it. It tasted good but it wasn’t super great so I decided to try again.

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Remember to unsubscribe from this blog site and subscribe to my new one if you have not already. Here is the new blog site:
http://myhealthychef.net/blog/.
I will not be posting to this site at all after Vegan MoFo is over. You will still be able to come here to access all my old posts and if you’ve saved emails from posts from the past, those links will still be good but all my new content will be posted over at the new blog. My old posts have been moved over there already so it’s fully functioning and ready for you to join!

The second one, in my opinion, is AWESOME and it uses three different kind of tomatoes, though you could get away with just two if you wanted.

Raw Vegan Chili – 215 calories

  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes(do NOT use the kind packed in oil, get the kind that come in a bag)
  • 1 date
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/2 a red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 7 green onions, tops only, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (I used 1 tbsp fresh from my garden porch)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 3-5 white mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, diced (I used yellow cherry tomatoes)
  • more green onion for garnish (optional)

1. First, get your sun dried tomatoes and your date soaking in the hot water.

2. Chop your mushrooms and grape tomatoes and put them in a bowl and set aside.

3. Add everything else to your food processor and pulse many, many times until everything is chopped teeny tiny. Use a little of the water from soaking the tomatoes and date if you need to.

4. Add the mixture from the food processor to your bowl of tomatoes and mushrooms. Stir well and top with more green onion. Enjoy!

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Once this was done I tasted it and I was really blown away by how much it tasted like real chili! I just stood there eating it for a few minutes before I remembered that I had more plans for the chili.

I wanted to STUFF MUSHROOMS!

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Chili Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 12 white mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • chili recipe from above

1. Break off the stems of the mushrooms and use a small spoon to scoop out the innards of the mushrooms.

2. Add the mushrooms to a large Ziplock bag with the liquid ingredients. Seal the bag and shake it up. Let the mushrooms sit, shaking occasionally, for about 20 minutes. Ideally, you’ll get your mushrooms ready and marinating while you make the chili so that it’s all done around the same time.

3. Remove the mushrooms from the bag and lightly pat the outsides dry.

4. Stuff them with the chili, top with more green onions, and enjoy!

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I found these best to be eaten with a knife and fork. I tried the whole finger food thing for the first couple of mushrooms but they’re really juicy from the marinade and I just made a huge mess.

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Uncategorized

Final DietBet Update: Days 26-28 (I’m a WINNER!)


In case you missed my any of my updates on my DietBet, you can check them out here:

Guess what guys!?! I’m a winner!!

DietBet Winner

Do you see how big that pot is – $12,480!! I don’t know how much of it I get to keep because not everyone has done their final weigh-in but I’m pretty freaking excited!

So, I’ve been saying in my DietBet update posts that my starting weight was 143.6, which is kind of a lie. When I did my official weigh-in for the game the scale said 146.2 pounds, which just about made me cry. I knew I was really bloated that day and when I weighed myself the next day it said 143.6.

I had already submitted my official weigh-in photo for the game so I had to stick with 146.2 but I knew my real starting weight was closer to the 143. I met my goal either way with a final weight of 136 pounds even!

DietBet 1 - Before and After scale

If you ignore the bloat weight then you can see that I still lost 4% of my weight and am a legitimate winner!

Starting Weight: 143.6 pounds
Goal Weight of 4% lost: 137.8 pounds
Current Weight: 136 pounds
Total Weight Lost: 7.6 pounds

DietBet 1 - Before and After clothes

You may not care, but if you click on the picture above to make it bigger then you can see that my thighs got smaller! I knew that I had lost inches because my clothes fit me differently (my favorite shorts are now too big) but it’s hard to really tell when looking in the mirror. Before and after pictures are really great.

Not only did I make it through the DietBet as I winner but I also made it 28 days eating nothing but raw fruits and vegetables! I am so happy to report that I felt GREAT the whole time! It wasn’t always easy but I really wanted to see if I could do it and how I would feel so I stuck with it.

Here are what my last few days of the DietBet looked like, and what my first days back to cooked food looked like.

Friday

What I ate: 
Breakfast: Pineapple, peach, and green smoothie
Lunch: 3 bananas and some grapes
Snack: 2 or 3 mangos
Dinner: Giant salad topped with corn and cherry tomatoes and my taco salad dressing
Dessert: Peanut butter banana ice cream
TOTAL calories: 1,956

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Exercise: 40 minutes of spinning – 10 min easy warm up, 3 x 5 minutes hard with 5 minutes easy between, 5 minute cool down

Sleep: Ross and I had date night at home so we could watch a scary movie (it was Friday the 13th!) and still get to bed at a decent time. We had our race this weekend so we didn’t want to go into it more sleep deprived than we already were.

Saturday

What I ate: 
Breakfast: Orange juice and some kind of melon I got at the Asian market last weekend
Lunch: about 2 pounds of grapes in the car, plus a couple of bananas
Snack: 2 mangos
Dinner: Lots of fresh fruit, 2 bites of salad, 5 bites of spaghetti, and 3/4 of a bread stick.

We left at 10:00 on Saturday morning to drive to Possum Kingdom Lake for our Triathlon. I made sure to eat lots of fresh fruit throughout the day and bring plenty with me because I wasn’t really sure what my food options would be when we got there.

We signed up and paid to eat a prerace dinner with the other athletes which ended up being pasta. I opted for a small portion of angel hair (the only noodles that weren’t slathered in butter) and some marinara, plus a bread stick. Over at the salad bar they had greens with itialian dressing and some fresh fruit.

The salad was smothered in dressing and way too oily for me, so I only had about 2 bites before I passed it on to Ross (who only had about 3 bites). While I was eating my fruit (grapes, apples, cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon) I commented that the fruit had pepper on it. Ross looked over and asked, “Does it also have oil on it?”

I took a couple more bites and realized YES, my chopped fresh fruit had oil and pepper on it. It tasted good but I wasn’t really happy about it being covered in oil. So weird. I still went back for 3 huge helpings of the fruit and I did also have 5 small bites of my pasta and 3/4 of the bread stick. I was okay with that decision.

Exercise: none. Off day to let my legs rest before our race.

Sleep: Great! I took out my contacts around 8:00 and laid there while Matt (Lynn’s husband) and Ross watched a movie, and probably fell asleep around 9:30 or so. I didn’t actually sleep very well that night but I was proud of myself for going to bed so early since our alarms went off at 5:45 the next morning.

Sunday

What I ate:
Breakfast: fresh OJ, 2 mangos, and 3 or so bananas
Post-race: Veggie burger, chips, and a banana
Lunch: Veggie delight from Subway with 1/2 a bag of chips and some grapes
Dinner: Baked sweet potato topped with black beans and salsa
Dessert: 3 pieces of toast

Exercise: 6.2 mile run as part of our relay triathlon

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I cannot even tell you how excited I was that they had veggie burgers after the race! The sign at the grill said they were offering hamburgers or cheese burgers and I fully expected them to tell me no when I asked if they had veggie burgers. One of the ladies volunteering even checked the box for me to see if they were vegan. They were!!

If I hadn’t eaten the burger then my post-race options would have been semi-green bananas and some oranges. I happily scarfed the burger and even ate a bag of Lays potato chips. I’m not really proud of the chips but it is what it is.

On our drive back home we stopped at Subway and I got a veggie delight sandwich and we shared a bag of BBQ chips. And since I had already eaten so much cooked food that day I decided to treat myself to a cooked dinner as well.

I baked a sweet potato when we got home, added a little vegan butter, some black beans, and some salsa and was so excited to sit down and eat. Then I dropped it on the floor, face down. Womp womp.

I heated up some more beans and got some more salsa and ate it anyway. It was delicious. Since I’ve been craving bread (and tofu) the most while eating raw I decided to go all out and have some toast for dessert. I went back twice for more and ended up eating 3 slices total.

I was a little worried when I went to bed because the next morning was supposed to be my final weigh-in for the DietBet. I knew I had eaten too much for the day and while I wasn’t ashamed of any of it, I was questioning whether or not it was a smart end to the DietBet.

Luckily they didn’t email me the code word for my final weigh-in until I was already at work the next morning so  that meant I had one more day to sort of make amends for my Sunday eating.

Final Thoughts

I am so excited that the DietBet went so well, that I lost the weight I needed to, and that I’m a WINNER!

Overall the process was really easy for me. Since I was training for our triathlon and am working towards a marathon in November it wasn’t really hard for my to stick to exercising. It was just part of my training that I had already committed to so I just stuck with it.

Eating a low-fat raw vegan diet for 28 days really wasn’t that hard either. I have to say I think it was easier because I did practice for two weeks Monday through Friday before committing to the full 28 days. I did have a few moments of temptation, but overall the process was fun and easy for me. Sharing my progress with you guys and experimenting with new raw recipes in the kitchen helped to keep it fun and exciting.

I never felt hungry or deprived. If I did start to feel hungry I would just eat more fruit. There was no guilt or feeling like I shouldn’t be eating because I was on a diet. Instead of focusing on the fact that I couldn’t eat cooked food I just made a commitment to eat tons of fruit throughout the day and lots of yummy veggies for dinner. I was actually surprised at how happy I felt throughout the whole process.

What Now?

Now that I’ve successfully come out the other side of the DietBet and 80/10/10 experiment I’m trying to decide what’s next for me.

As far as eating goes, I think I’m going to keep with the low-fat raw vegan for the most part. Yesterday I ate 100% raw again and I loved it. I think what is realistic for me at this point is to keep eating raw during the week and at home, but eat cooked vegan food if I go out to eat or someone invites me over to eat. If I see a cooked food recipe that I really want to try then I might do it too. I’m not going to hold myself to anything, I’m just going to eat the way that makes me happy and makes me feel the best. Right now that’s mostly raw foods.

As far as weight goes, I am thinking of joining another DietBet. Ross and I talked about it and the weight that we both think would look the best on me and allow me to perform my best athletically is 130 pounds. Remember, Ross is a certified personal trainer with a master’s degree in exercise science, so his opinion isn’t something he just pulled out of his ass. I don’t think I’m fat in anyway and neither does he, but I think I would like to try and get down to 130 and see how I feel — see if it’s maintainable for me.

If I were to join another DietBet and commit to losing 4% of my body weight again that’s 5.4 pounds, which would put me at 130.6 pounds. I think the DietBet is an awesome way to keep yourself accountable. I knew I had $30 on the line if I didn’t lose the weight so that simply wasn’t an option to me.

My only concern is that the DietBet I want to join starts on Thursday of this week and last for the next four weeks. We’re going to be in Hawaii for one of those weeks. Do I want to be participating in a DietBet while I’m in Hawaii?

On one hand, it would encourage me to stay active while we’re in Hawaii rather than laying on the beach all day every day drinking copious amounts of alcohol. On the other hand, I want to be able to eat what I want when I want and not be concerned if I’ve had too many calories for the day.

Realistically, I think I’ll burn more calories in Hawaii than I do at home because at home I sit at a desk for 9 hours a day, 5 days a week and barely move. In Hawaii I’ll be swimming, walking on the beach, checking out the local farmer’s markets, running on the beach, hiking, exploring, etc. I also think I’ll eat pretty healthy while we’re there because that’s what keeps me feeling my best, and because I’m going to eat tons of raw fruit while we’re there. So I’m really leaning towards doing it again.

I CANNOT WAIT FOR HAWAII!!

If you have not already unsubscribed from this blog and subscribed to my new one, please do that now.
Here is the new blog site: http://myhealthychef.net/blog/.
I will not be posting to this site at all after Vegan MoFo is over. You will still be able to come here to access all my old posts and if you’ve saved emails from posts from the past those links will still be good, but all my new content will be posted over at the new blog. My old posts have been moved over there already so it’s fully functioning and ready for you to join!

Vegan MoFo

MAC N CHEESE ROUND UP


Vegan Month of Food 2013

Welcome back to Vegan MoFo! In case you missed any of my earlier posts, you can check them out here:

If you have not already unsubscribed from this blog and subscribed to my new one, please do that now — here is the new blog site: http://myhealthychef.net/blog/. I will not be posting to this site at all after Vegan MoFo is over. You will still be able to come here to access all my old posts and if you’ve saved emails posts from the past those links will still be good, but all my new content will be posted over at the new blog. All my old posts have been moved over there already so it’s fully functioning and ready for you to join!

Today is Mac n Cheese Monday and I knew from the beginning of this month that I wasn’t going to be able to have an original recipe for you guys today. Ross and I were out of town this weekend participating in a relay triathlon with our friend Lynn (she swims, he rides, I run) so there was no time for me to write up a post with my own recipes for you guys.

Our relay team came in FIRST PLACE so it’s totally worth it to me that I don’t have an original recipe to post!

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At 11:30 this morning a friend texted me to tell me she’d already checked my blog twice for a race recap post and a final DietBet update post. The race recap will come a little later in the week once I get all the pictures from Lynn and the DietBet update will come once I’ve submitted my final weigh-in, so probably tomorrow.

I created and tested a recipe for a raw mac n cheese last week that I want to share with you so hopefully I’ll have that perfected with a couple of pictures before next Monday. The Monday after that (Sept. 30th) Ross and I will be in HAWAII so you may or may not get a post that day. We’ll see.

Today I’m here with some awesome vegan mac n cheese recipe links to share with you guys! Last week I shared my favorite ever vegan mac n cheese recipe, so if you haven’t already made it then you should make it tonight for Meatless Monday! The recipe that inspired mine originally came from VegAngela and you can check it out on her blog here.

vegan mac n cheese with spiral noodles

The next recipe I want to highlight is from Happy Herbivore. This one is really quick and is also nut-free and soy-free if you use rice milk, coconut milk or hemp milk. Check it out here.

vegan mac n cheese - soy free and nut free

I know that many of you have seen the Forks Over Knives movie, but did you know they also have a cookbook? Click here to check out the Chili Mac recipe, as well as a bunch of other recipes they have on their site.

vegan chili mac n cheese

One of my favorite vegan food bloggers, Susan the Fat Free Vegan has two mac n cheese recipes on her blog — one that gets her teenage daughter’s stamp of approval, and another made with a cauliflower cheeze sauce that’s only 30 calories per serving! Check them both out here and here.

easy vegan mac n cheese

Ok, bare with me (bear with me?), just a few more recipes to share.

Of course everything that comes from The Post Punk Kitchen is absolutely delicious, and while I haven’t tried either of these myself I am sure that her Chipotle Mac n Cheese with Braised Brussels Sprouts and her BLT Mac n Cheese are no different. Check them out here and here.

vegan chipotle mac n cheese

BLT vegan mac n cheese with eggplant

Then, of course, we have Angela from Oh She Glows. I love her blog and all of her recipes. I secretly wish we could be friends. If you know her, will you tell her that for me? Check out her Vegan Pumpkin Mac n Cheese and her Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese recipes here and here.

vegan pumpkin mac n cheese

butternut squash vegan mac n cheese

Chef Chloe Coscarelli, the 2010 winner of Cupcake Wars, also has a mac cheese recipe that’s worth checking out. If her mac n cheese is a good as her cupcakes then it will definitely be worth making!

vegan mac n cheese from Chef Chloe

And, last but not least, Vegan Yack Attack is blogging about Mac n Cheese for all of Vegan MoFo 2013, so you definitely need to head over there and check it out! So far there’s four recipes posted and they all make my mouth water!

Vegan MoFo

CNN’s Interview with Fruitarian Michael Arnstein


Vegan Month of Food 2013

Welcome back to Vegan MoFo! In case you missed any of my earlier posts, you can check them out here:

Today is Fruitarian Friday and I want to keep things nice and simple. CNN posted this video a few weeks ago of Dr. Sanjay Gupta interviewing fruitarian Michael Arnstein. Michael Arnstein was one of the big influences in my decision to try out a fruitarian, low-fat raw vegan, 80/10/10 way of eating.

Arnstein also has his own website (www.thefruitarian.com) and he’s got a lot of information and videos for anyone who’s interested in learning more about the way he eats, why, and the benefits he’s seen since eating this way.

When I first discovered his site I spend hours watching video after video (spread out over a week) trying to get as much information as I could. I even made Ross watch a few with me!   :)

If you’ve got a little more time (about 14 minutes) then here’s another video showing what Arnsteain eats and how he raced a 100 mile foot race and then two days later WON a marathon with a time of 2:39. That’s insane!!

Also, note that the big salad he’s making towards the beginning of the video is just for him. That’s not a giant salad that he’ll be sharing, that’s just his regular dinner.

This Leadville 100 mile race is considered one of the hardest 100 milers in the United States. It took him 22 hours and 48 minutes to finish it but he’s finished other 100 mile races in 1st place in under 15 hours and came in 4th place at Leadville the following year. I just think that’s crazy and so inspirational! Can you imagine running for that long?

Arnstein was featured on True Love Health in their Day in the Life of a Vegan Athlete series (which is awesome if you have time to check it out sometime) and here’s the video from that and his race in the Badwater 135. This talks about how it took him 15 years to go from eating the Standard American Diet to Fruitarianism, slowly cutting things out.

His quote at the bottom of the video:

Here’s my experience running 135 miles across Death Valley California in the middle of the summer! Then to wrap up the week I ran the Vermont 100! I finished both races with a high level performance…on a fruitarian diet!

So when your doctor, nutritionist, trainer, coach, spouse, partner, friends, parent, kids or even yourself say… ‘that diet is dangerous’ or ‘doesn’t work’ … just ask if they can run 235 miles in less than 6 days!

He’s got tons more videos on his website and on his YouTube channel so check them out if you’re interested!

Uncategorized

DietBet Update #8: Day 23-25


I can’t believe that there’s only three days left in the DietBet. It just doesn’t feel like I’ve already been doing it for over three weeks!

In case you missed my first few updates on how my DietBet is going, you can check them out here:

Starting Weight: 143.6 pounds
Goal Weight: 137.8 pounds
Current Weight: 135.8 pounds
Total Weight Lost: 7.8 pounds

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Monday

What I ate:
Breakfast: one whole honeydew
Lunch: a two pound bag of grapes, which I should have washed first because my fingers were incredibly dirty after eating them
Snack: yellow cherry tomatoes!
Dinner: salad with 10 oz of greens, some shredded carrot, and my green mango dressing
TOTAL calories: 1,800

Exercise: None. I’m on a schedule where I’m running 3 days a week, cross-training 2 days a week, and strength training 2 days a week. Even though I took both Sunday and Monday off from working out I’m still on track to get all my workouts in this week.

workouts

I’ve got to complete all three blue days and at least two pink days, and of course the green day must not be forgotten.  :)

Monday’s is my usual off day from working out of any kind because that’s the day that I go grocery shopping and I’m in such a bad mood when I get home that all I want to do is eat dinner and sit on my ass.

Sleep: My bedtime is slowly getting later and later but my wake up time is still the same

Water: Decent

Tuesday

What I ate:
Breakfast: A Taste of Tropical smoothie
Snack: two peaches
Lunch: 5 bananas
Post-workout snack: another banana
Dinner: cucumber balsamic salad and a huge taco salad
TOTAL calories: 2,200

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Exercise: Tuesday I was scheduled to do some speed work. I was prescribed to do:

  • 2 x 1200 meters with each 1200 completed in 6:37 (with a 200 meter walk between each)
  • 4 x 800 meters with each 800 completed in 4:21 (with a 200 meter walk between each)

To do speed work it’s recommended that you use a track since the workouts are prescribed in meters. For some reason I have a very irrational fear of going to a high school track to do my speed work, like the students that are there after school are going to wonder what this weird woman is doing running on their track, or the serious runners who do speed work there often are going to wonder what this slow lady is doing getting in their way.

So instead I’ve opted to do my speed work on my gym’s indoor track. The indoor track is 1/10 of a mile instead of 400 meters, so I had to spend some time doing math to figure out how many laps I’d need to do in order to get my 1200 meters and 800 meters done.

1200 meters is seven and a half laps and 800 meters is five laps. Then I had to do the math to figure out what my pace needed to be per lap so that I could make sure I was on track (ha) to hit my target paces. It turns out it’s the same pace per lap for both distances, which is 53 seconds. Here’s how it all panned out:

key run1

My pace still needs a little more work but this is the first run that I’ve ever done where I was really trying to maintain a target pace so I was happy with the results. I felt really good during these intervals and was in a great mood when I finished!

Sleep: Still not going that great. I just keep not going to bed and doing silly things like reading and playing Pet Rescue Sage.

Water: Could be better but it’s still not bad

Wednesday

What I ate:
Breakfast: Peachy Keen smoothie
Snack: four bananas
Lunch: two giant apples
Dinner: raw stuffed mushrooms. These babies were so good! I marinated them and then stuffed them with raw vegan chili and I was blown away by how good they were! I had seven of them. The recipe is coming soon!
Dessert: chocolate peanut butter banana ice cream
TOTAL calories: 1,878

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Exercise: 25 minutes of rowing and then strength training with Lynn.

Sleep: Ugh… It was like 11:15 when I turned off the light, and for no good reason.

Water: Probably not enough. I always forget to drink water when I’m at home.

My Thoughts

I am so excited with how things are going! I’m happy that I’ve lost the weight I needed to for the DietBet and I’m happy with how easy it’s been for me to follow a fully-raw diet for these past four weeks.

I am a little worried about this weekend because we’re going out of town for our relay triathlon. We’ve signed up to eat dinner with the other athletes on Saturday night and I know there’s a vegetarian option for the dinner but I have no idea what it is. It may not even be vegan (like cheese enchiladas) and I know it sure as hell won’t be raw.

I’m trying to decide if I’m going to eat it even though it’s cooked food and I committed to do this through Sunday (I won’t if it’s not vegan) or if I’m just going to kiss that $7 goodbye and bring fruit with me to eat instead.

My initial thought is that 27 days really is close enough to 28 days for this commitment and I won’t feel bad in the least if I decide to eat cooked food. My next thought is that I’ve been eating incredibly healthy, raw foods for the last four weeks — is it really a good idea to eat my first fully cooked meal the night before a race? How is my body going to handle that? Do I want to risk it? I think I’m going to bring lots of fruit with us and just play it by ear. I will definitely let you know how it all goes.

Wish me luck because I’m definitely nervous! I have no goal for this race because I have no idea how hot it’s going to be when I run. I do not do well running in the heat and I’m afraid that this run will just as bad as our last race. I know that fitness wise I could potentially PR in this race, but realistically I know that it’s unlikely given the time of day I will be running and what the heat does to me. We’ll see how it goes.

REMINDER: I am moving my blog over to a new site. If you’re currently subscribed to my blog and want to keep getting my posts emailed to you, please unsubscribe from this one and head over to www.myhealthychef.net/blog and subscribe to that one, add it to your RSS feed, or whatever else it is you do to make sure you get notifications of my latest posts.

Vegan MoFo

SMOOTHIE TIPS AND RECIPES


Vegan Month of Food 2013

Welcome back to Vegan MoFo! In case you missed any of my earlier posts, you can check them out here:

Today is Thirsty Thursday and I want to share some of my favorite smoothie recipes and tips with you guys. I actually talk about smoothies quite a bit on this blog and some of my most popular posts are my smoothie posts, such as:

This past weekend I decided to spend a little bit of time doing some smoothie prep to make smoothie making a little easier on the weekday mornings, and to help free up some space in my fridge.

I got the idea from another blog to blend up my greens with a little bit of water and then freeze them in ice cube trays so I could just easily add them to smoothies. Genius!

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I took the beet greens I had in my crisper drawer, plus a whole bag of chopped kale (I know the bag above says mixed greens, but the bag I used this time was just kale) and added it to my blender. I added just enough water to it to get the mix going, and then continued to add greens and as little water as was needed to get it all blended down.

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I weighed everything on my kitchen scale as I added it to the blender so I could easily divide that weight by 12 and know how much I should pour into each silicone cupcake liner to get 12 cubes of greens that were the same size.

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Then I subtracted the weight of the water from the total weight and divided that number by 12 so I would know how much greens were in each cup (about 2 oz).

All of that may sound kind of like a pain in the ass but now when I make my smoothies in the morning I can just grab 2 of these cubes and toss them in the blender. I know that I’m adding about 4 oz of greens to my smoothie and the fact that they’re frozen means I don’t have to add as much ice. My crisper drawer also has a lot more room in it now that my smoothie greens aren’t in there.

In last week’s Thirsty Thursday post for Vegan MoFo I talked about my 9 favorite vegetables to add to smoothies and juices and this week I want to share some recipes for you that include those vegetables.

Of those 9 vegetables I listed, the ones I most commonly add to smoothies are:

  • greens
  • carrots
  • beets
  • cucumber
  • ginger
  • broccoli

It’s pretty rare for me to make a smoothie without adding some kind of greens to it because I always think, “Why not?” Most of the time you can’t even taste them so why wouldn’t I want to boost the nutritional value of my smoothie? It does occasionally happen though.

Here are some of my latest smoothie recipes that call for these ingredients. I apologize that not all of them have pictures.

Sunny Morning Smoothie – 475 calories

  • 1 mango
  • 2 oranges
  • 1.5 cups of pineapple
  • carrot
  • small piece of ginger
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

I like to chop the mango and pineapple the night before and toss it in a Ziploc and into the freezer. Then, in the morning I can just peel the orange and chop the carrot, add the frozen fruit, ginger, and vanilla and blend. The oranges provide enough liquid that I don’t need water and the frozen fruit means I don’t need ice.

Green Berry Blast – 400 calories

  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • carrot
  • 1 banana
  • a few handfuls of leafy greens
  • 1/2 cup of water

smoothie formula

When I’m adding greens to the blender I like to add those and the water first, blend them down to make room for the other ingredients, and then add everything else.

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Berry Berry Delicious – 350 calories

  • 3 handfuls leafy greens
  • 1 banana
  • 1 handful broccoli florets
  • carrot
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1.5 cups water

Pretty in Pink –  350 calories

  • 2 oranges
  • carrots
  • beet
  • 1 apple
  • 1 small piece of ginger

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 A Taste of Tropical –  370 calories

  • 2 oranges
  • beet
  • 1 cup of mango, frozen
  • 1/2 a cucumber
  • 1 carrot
  • 4 oz of leafy greens

When I made this one the first time I was just tossing in things from my fridge (hence the ingredients from the picture below saying 1/2 a carrot and 1/4 cup cucumber). The calorie count above it is for the bulleted list of ingredients above, which is slightly different than what’s listed in the picture but it has the same great taste!

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So Peachy Keen – 390 calories

  • 2 oranges
  • 1 peach
  • 1/2 a cucumber
  • carrot
  • 1 beet
  • 4 oz of leafy greens
  • ice

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These last three smoothies are all kind of similar because I’ve been using up what I have in my fridge! I’m actually looking forward to going to the store again so I can change up my smoothies a bit. I’m thinking about grapes, bananas, and greens for the next one. Maybe some kiwi? I have a giant book of juices and smoothies at home — I should consult it and see what I can come up with!

QUICK REMINDER: I am moving my blog over to a new site. If you’re currently subscribed to my blog and want to keep getting my posts emailed to you, please unsubscribe from this one and head over to www.myhealthychef.net/blog and subscribe to that one, add it to your RSS feed, or whatever else it is you do to make sure you get notifications of my latest posts.

Vegan MoFo

4 DELICIOUS DINNER SALADS WITH HOMEMADE DRESSINGS


Vegan Month of Food 2013

Welcome back to Vegan MoFo! In case you missed any of my earlier posts, you can check them out here:

Today is What-a-Salad Wednesday and I want to share with you some of my favorite dinner salads and salad dressing recipes.

I started making my own salad dressings shortly after I decided to go vegan. Before that I was buying the Kraft brand light dressings, but once I started following a vegan diet I become more conscious of what I was putting in my body in general.

I started reading ingredients labels and found that most salad dressings out there are not that good for you — they contain high fructose corn syrup, other added sugars and ingredients that I can’t pronounce, and more oil than is necessary.

I’m also one that likes variety and get bored with a salad dressing before I go through a whole bottle, so I usually had about eight different kinds taking up room in my fridge. Once I started making my own dressings I didn’t have this problem anymore. No, not every dressing I made was good, but if I didn’t like it I didn’t have to make it again or worry about what I was going to do with the rest of the bottle.

I’m including the calorie count for these dressings and that’s for the entire recipe. I’m not going to say how many servings is in each recipe because that really depends on the size of your salad. I’ve been averaging 10-12 oz of greens for my salads lately so I use just about the entire recipe for my salad.

It may seem like these dressings have a lot of calories, but if you think of the salad as your dinner and you’re only getting 60 or so calories from the greens, that’s really not a lot of calories. It’s still a whole lot of food for your belly though and really keeps you feeling full, especially if you add some extras to your salad like shredded carrots or beets, chopped mushrooms or tomatoes, fresh corn and avocado, seeds, etc.

Taco Lime Dressing – 55 calories

  • 1/2 a zucchini
  • juice from two whole limes
  • 1/2 tsp taco seasoning
  • 2 tbsp water

I made this dressing up last night to go with the salad that I wanted and it did not disappoint me! I wanted to have a salad that was topped with my corn and tomato salad that I mentioned in yesterday’s post and I needed a dressing to go with it.

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I cut 2 ears of corn, half a bunch of cilantro, about 1.5 cups of cherry tomatoes, half and avocado, and juiced 1 lime. I mixed all of that up and dumped it on my salad (which was 3 oz spinach, 3 oz spring mix, 4 oz romaine). Then I threw the dressing ingredients in the blender and poured it over the top.

It was so simple but so flavorful. The pictures don’t really do it justice.

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MAKE IT A MEAL: If you start with 10 oz of greens and add the full recipe of corn and tomato salad (445 calories) then your total calorie count for this healthy taco salad is 560 calories. 

Green Mango Dressing – 338 calories

  • 1.5 cups mango
  • 8-10 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 small piece of ginger
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp cashews
  • 3 dates
  • 1/2 cup green onion tops

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Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. This dressing is sweet, but not overly sweet, and has a lot of great flavor from the sage and green onions. Whenever I make this dressing I have no problems finishing my giant salads!

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MAKE IT A MEAL: If you add this to 10 oz of greens with two shredded carrots on top, the total calorie count is 455 calories for the salad. That’s a good sized dinner, especially if you want to follow it up with some homemade banana ice cream!

 Tangy Mustard Dressing – 319 calories

  • 5 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp course ground mustard
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp oil of your choice

img_0194

This dressing is fantastic. It’s got a zippy flavor that I just love, with some cheesy undertones that are really comforting but still go well with a salad.

MAKE IT A MEAL: If you add it to 10 oz of greens with 1 cup each of chopped tomato and mushroom, your total calorie count for the salad is 425 calories.

 Sesame Tahini Dressing – 352 calories

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup zucchini
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 dates
  • 1/4 cup water

I really love to eat this dressing on a big bowl of kale salad! Of course it’s good on any kind of greens but there’s something about pairing this with kale that I especially love.

kale

MAKE IT A MEAL: If you add this dressing to 8 oz of kale with two shredded carrots and 2 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds then your total calorie count for the salad is 647 calories.

8 oz of kale has 111 calories whereas a 10 oz combo of spinach, romaine, and spring mix only has 60 calories. It’s good to mix up your greens consumption to make sure you’re getting a wide array of nutrients!

Interested in more salad talk? Check out these other Vegan MoFo Salad posts!
The Big Salad from Oh She Glows
The Perfect Salad by The Vegan World
Southwestern Salad from Just The Food (recipe from The China Study Cookbook)
Rustic Vegan Kale Salad by Veggie Bon Vivant

QUICK REMINDER: I am moving my blog over to a new site. If you’re currently subscribed to my blog and want to keep getting my posts emailed to you, please unsubscribe from this one and head over to www.myhealthychef.net/blog and subscribe to that one, add it to your RSS feed, or whatever else it is you do to make sure you get notifications of my latest posts.

Uncategorized

GRAPE TOMATOES! CHERRY TOMATOES!


Vegan Month of Food 2013

Welcome back to Vegan MoFo! In case you missed any of my earlier posts, you can check them out here:

Today is Tomato Tuesday again and I want to share with you my LOVE for grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes!

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I normally buy the red grape tomatoes from HEB because you can get the big container for just like $4.50 or something, but yesterday when I was at Costco I saw these babies for $5 and I couldn’t resist. I think the yellow ones have so much more flavor but they’re usually out of my price range.

I can eat grape and cherry tomatoes like they’re candy and I often do. I’m sitting at the house in the evening, bored and waiting for Ross to get home from work and want to just mindlessly eat — I grab the tomatoes!

I love these tomatoes not just for easy snacking but also because they add a lot of flavor to dishes. Here are a couple of ways that you can use these tiny treasures.

Corn and Tomato Salad

  • 2 ears of fresh corn
  • 1 cup of grape or cherry tomatoes
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • optional: 1/2 an avocado, chopped

1. Peel the corn and use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off the cob. You can easily do this by taking a large mixing bowl and a smaller bowl, turn the smaller bowl upside down inside the larger bowl and set the corn on it while you cut. This allows the large bowl to catch all the kernels as you cut.

2. Cut the tomatoes in half and add to the bowl of corn.

3. Add the chopped cilantro and lime juice (and avocado if you’d like), stir well and enjoy! It actually tastes best if you let it sit for about 20-30 minutes in the fridge to let the lime juice really soak in, but you can eat it right away if you’re impatient!

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This recipe is also what I sometimes use to spoon atop my Vitamix Tortilla Soup.

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Balsamic Cucumber Salad

  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 a red onion, diced
  • balsamic vinegar to taste

This salad is super simple and has great flavor. Simply chop all the ingredients and mix in a bowl with some balsamic vinegar, as much as you think tastes good. Start with a few tablespoons, taste it, and add more if needed.

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I usually make this with red tomatoes but yellow is what I had on hand it and tasted fantastic! There isn’t any red onion in this one because I forgot to buy it at the store, but it definitely adds something great to the recipe so don’t leave it out!

I also like to just chop up these little fellas and put them on things, like salads or raw zucchini pasta.

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Do you have a great recipes that calls for grape or cherry tomatoes? I would love to try some new ones!

QUICK REMINDER: I am moving my blog over to a new site. If you’re currently subscribed to my blog and want to keep getting my posts emailed to you, please unsubscribe from this one and head over to www.myhealthychef.net/blog and subscribe to that one, add it to your RSS feed, or whatever else it is you do to make sure you get notifications of my latest posts.

Uncategorized

DietBet Update #7: Days 20-22


If you’re just tuning in, I’m currently taking part in a DietBet. I paid $30 and vowed to lose 4% of my body weight in four weeks. There are over 400 people participating in my game and the pot is over $12,000. If I don’t lose 4% then I forfeit my money. If I do lose 4% then I win my money back, plus a share of the money from the other players who didn’t lose their weight. Make sense?

In case you missed my first few updates on how my DietBet is going, you can check them out here:

Starting Weight: 143.6 pounds
Goal Weight: 137.8 pounds
Current Weight: 136.8 pounds
Total Weight Lost: 6.8 pounds

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Friday:

What I ate:
Breakfast: Pretty In Pink Smoothie (recipe coming on this week’s Thirsty Thursday!)
Lunch: 5 plums
Snack: 3 bananas and an apple
Dinner: Salad
Dessert: chocolate banana ice cream and 2 whiskey and cokes

Friday night is our date night and we went to a place called Saladworks, which is kind of like Subway for salads. They also have sandwiches with meat (and vegan chili!) so Ross was happy to go there and get a half-sandwich and a pasta salad with lots of meat on top.

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After dinner we met up with Ross’ sister Meghan and her boyfriend Rusty. We went to a place here in Austin called Main Event and did a little bowling and played some shuffle board. It was a lot of fun and so nice to get to hang out with them! We’re terrible at letting life get in the way and not hanging out with our in-town family enough.

I admit that I did have two whiskey and cokes while we were there. I honestly never drink soda unless it’s mixed with whiskey (somehow that makes it okay), and even that rarely happens. I feel slightly guilty, like as someone who’s participating in a DietBet I shouldn’t be drinking alcohol, but only slightly guilty. I enjoyed it.

Exercise: After work I headed straight to the gym to do my workout and was really glad that I got it in before going out for the night.

Sleep: Awful. I didn’t get in bed until around 1:30 in the morning and then was up at 7:00 on Saturday morning to do my long run. I did make sure I drank lots of water while we were out though!

Saturday:

What I ate:
Pre-run/during run: 2 bananas and 5 dates
Breakfast: 3 pounds of watermelon
Lunch: 4 peaches and 12oz freah orange juice
Dinner: lots and lots of cucumber and beet bites, various fresh fruit, one whiskey and coke

Exercise: I ran 13 miles and it was totally exhausting! I am sure it had to do with my lack of sleep the night before.

Saturday evening we went to a friends’ pool party and were instructed to bring a dish to share. I was pretty sure that there would be some fruit there so I wanted to bring a dish that I knew I could eat and that other would be likely to eat too, that wasn’t fruit.

I thought ahead for this one and started sprouting some chickpeas earlier in the week so I could make some raw hummus on Saturday. I’ve already posted my recipe for raw hummus (check it out here) and I just added some kale and fresh basil to it for some extra flavor and the green look.

sprouted hummus2

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My plan was to make these cute little beet rolls with the hummus inside, but that didn’t really go like I had planned. I had to cut the beets to exactly the right thickness to be able to roll them up and more often that not it didn’t work. So, I improvised and made this instead:

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I also managed to cut my finger while using my mandolin slicer so I had blood and beet juice all over my hands. It was a huge mess and incredibly painful, but I promise I did not get any blood on the food!

Sunday:

What I ate: 
Breakfast: fresh squeezed orange juice (I’m a little obsessed right now) and 2 plums
Lunch: 3 bananas and some grape tomatoes
Snack: Fruit at the potluck
Dinner: zucchini and sweet potato pasta with my cheezy walnut sauce

Sunday was my off-day from working out — no running, no strength training, and no cross training. It was nice to just sit back and enjoy the day!

This Sunday was the first Sunday of football season so Ross got up early to ride his bike (and let me sleep in, in the middle of the bed!) so he would be back in time to monitor his fantasy teams (yes, teams plural) and watch foot ball from noon until 10:30 pm. I wish I was kidding…

To help take away some of the sting of feeling like a football widow for five months (did you know there are games on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday?? I’m lucky he doesn’t watch college football or I’d lose him on Saturday also) I also have a fantasy football team.

We don’t play in the same league as each other because I don’t think that kind of competition would be good for us. I came in first place in my league last year and I know NOTHING about football. Ross was incredibly happy for me since he wasn’t playing against me but I don’t think that would have been the case if I’d beat him personally.

Anyway, Ross watched football ALL DAY on Sunday, and even though I also have a fantasy team I have to manage, I like to do so without actually watching any football. So I puttered around the house doing things like making fresh squeezed orange juice and frozen kale cubes to add to smoothies.

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So, the frozen kale cubes are more like frozen kale cupcakes, but whatever. I took the beet greens that were attached to the beets I bought for Saturdays dish and blended them with an entire bag of chopped kale, added just enough water to make it all blend down, and froze them. Now I can just toss a frozen cube or two into my smoothies when I want to add greens, and my fridge isn’t completely taken over by greens!

If you want to do this yourself and you don’t have a high speed blender then I would recommend using an ice cube tray instead of cupcake liners, to make it a little easier on your blender.

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Later I called Hannah up and asked her to go with me to a pool party/fruitarian potluck that I was invited to. We ended up having a fun afternoon and I even tried durian for the first time (other than in a smoothie) and it was… interesting. I think it’s one of those fruits that has to grow on you. After we left the pool party we went to the Asian grocery store in my neighborhood (I live right by Austin’s Chinatown we we actually have several large Asian grocery stores near my house) and had fun just browsing and picking out a few things.

After that we went back to my house and I made us some raw pasta with cheezy walnut sauce and we watched an old episode of Gilmore Girls (the one where Lorelai finds out that Luke has a daughter). It was perfectly simple girl time and I loved it.

Overall it was a really great weekend. It was a little challenging being at a potluck where I was very limited in what I could eat so it was nice to go to one the next day where the only foods that people brought were fruit! It was also lovely to get to hang out with some like-minded people as far as diet goes. I do pretty well at eating before hand and bringing things with me when I go places, but it’s still nice to not feel like the odd man out every now and then!

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Vegan MoFo

MY FAVORITE VEGAN MAC N CHEESE


QUICK REMINDER: I am moving my blog over to a new site. If you’re currently subscribed to my blog and want to keep getting my posts emailed to you, please unsubscribe from this one and head over to www.myhealthychef.net/blog and subscribe to that one, add it to your RSS feed, or whatever else it is you do to make sure you get notifications of my latest posts.

Vegan Month of Food 2013

Welcome back to Vegan MoFo! In case you missed my posts from last week, you can check them out here:

Today is Mac n Cheese Monday and I’m excited to share with you my FAVORITE vegan mac n cheese. I’ve shared it on the blog before, so it’s not new, but it’s seriously one of my favorite things to eat so I’m happy to be highlighting it for you today.

You can also see the original post here, which talks about some of the ingredients that may not be common staples in your kitchen, shows some more pictures of the process of making it, and gives nutrition facts.

creamy vegan mac n cheese with bowtie pasta

When I first decided on this topic for Mondays during Vegan MoFo I was not following a raw diet, so my plan was try all kinds of new vegan mac n cheese recipes and tell you all about them. Now I’m not really sure what I’m going to do.

I’ll try to figure something out before next Monday, but in the mean time, please enjoy this recipe.

The Basic Mac n Cheese Sauce

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (fresh makes a big difference over the bottled stuff)
  • 4 servings dry whole wheat pasta of choice (I prefer bow-tie for this recipe)

Instructions: 

1. First, get your water boiling to cook your pasta and pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Add the cashews to your food process and process until they become a nice, fine, crumbly powder. Then add all the dry ingredients listed before the milk (nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, garlic cloves, salt, and white pepper) and process until it’s well mixed. If you don’t have white pepper then you can certainly use black, but white does taste better in this dish.

3. Add your milk and corn starch to a small sauce pan and stir well until all the cornstarch is dissolved. Check and see if your water is boiling yet for the pasta and get that going now if you can. Then (back to the milk mixture) turn the heat on to medium and stir frequently, until the mixture becomes nice and thick.

4. Once the mixture is nice and thick, add it to your food processor while it’s running and let it blend for about a minute. Then add the lemon juice and the miso, one tablespoon at a time, while the food processor is still running. Go ahead and taste it at this point and see what you think of it. Try not to eat it all with a spoon before your pasta has finished cooking.

5. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and pour it in a large mixing bowl. Add in your sauce and any other optional ingredients (see notes below), stir well, and then pour into a lightly greased baking dish. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top noodles are nice and crispy.

creamy vegan mac n cheese with bowtie pasta

Now, this dish is definitely delicious just the way it is, but I always find myself adding some extra ingredients. The pictures above have a can of Chipotle diced tomatoes and some Butler Soy Curls.

Optional ingredients to jazz it up:

  • 1 can Chipotle diced tomatoes or fire roasted tomatoes (in which case only use 1 cup of milk for the milk/cornstarch mixture instead of 1.5 cups. The tomatoes have extra juice in the can, which you definitely want to include)
  • ½ tsp of truffle oil (add this to the food processor at the same time as the miso and lemon juice)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ bag Butler Soy Curls, rehydrated and chopped
  • 1 bunch of kale, chopped

Combo Options: 

  • Chipotle diced tomatoes and soy curls
  • Chipotle diced tomatoes and black beans
  • fire roasted tomatoes and kale
  • truffle oil and bread crumbs sprinkled on top
  • truffle oil and kale
  • black beans and kale
  • just kale

Creamy vegan mac n cheese with kale

Creamy vegan mac n cheese with bowtie pasta