Monthly Archives: April 2013

Monday & Tuesday Lunch

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I have been eating like a pig lately. Well I say a pig, just lazy. I have hardly cooked and have had a few too many takeaways.

Anyway, this is what I made for lunch to have monday and tuesday. The top one is lettuce, tomatoes, brown rice cooked in soy sauce seasoned water, and tempeh also cooked in soy sauce water. It was my first attempt at tempeh and I am unsure about it so I put some hoisin sauce on it. A bit too sugary and processed for my current diet but needs must.

The bottom one is the same lettuce, tomatoes and rice, only there is mayo on the lettuce and left over bean burger chunks from todays dinner.

Hopefully these two meals will keep me away from the unhealthy snacks.

Oh, and I had a green juice for breakfast tosay. I’m feeling pretty good about myself right now!

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Fruit and Nut Dark Chocolate Bark

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I have a sweet tooth. Infact, I would say 99% of my teeth are sweet, taking it a little too literally. The only thing that stops me living off sugary food is the nausea you get when you over do it. Because human bodies are smart and they give you advise if you pay attention.

Now, at the advanced and wise old age of 24, it’s not just that nausea that is the problem. There’s the IBS, the yeast intollerance (basically any trace of yeast in my stomach breeds like crazy at a taste of the sweet stuff), and the general feeling of unwell and mood problems I deal with everyday (hence the health kick I am on).

Artificial sweetners make my IBS flare up so I am skeptical of zero calorie sugar alternatives, even though products like stevia are labelled as natural. How natural can a white as snow granulated powder be? Especially with zero calories. Not that sugar looks natural but here lies the problem and my quest to satisfy my sweet tooth without worsening my digestion and send my moods all over the place, not to mention my energy levels.

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Raw nuts and seeds are a really healthy choice for a snack but they bore me. Dried fruit is a good choice too as all the nutrients are packed into a sweet and chewy nugget, but dried fruit is tough on the old IBS. If only there was some way to enjoy raw nuts and seeds, a tiny amount of nutrient rich dried fruits, and still feel like I am having a treat…

CHOCOLATE! Chocolate really does make everything better, especially when it’s dairy free. The animals are happy, my tummy is happy, my sweet tooth is all kinds of happy. What’s not to like?

So I present to you (some what giddily) Fruit and Nut Dark Chocolate Bark…plus a few seeds because we are healthy and stuff.

Recipe
200g Dairy Free Dark Chocolate (check those labels friends, not all are dairy free)
100g Pecans, roughly chopped
50g Cashews, roughly chopped
50g Dried Cranberries, no added sugar is preferred
3 tbsp Linseed (Flaxseed)

Gently melt the chocolate and then allow to cool slightly. Spread it out thinly on a lined tray (I used clingfilm so it was important for the chocolate not to be too hot). Sprinkle over all the goodies and set in the fridge. When completely set, break up into chunks or cut into bars.

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You can obviously use what ever goodies you like. Just keep them natural. Keep in the fridge unless it is thr depths of winter. Because the chocolate is thin it tends to melt.

Enjoy!

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Food Products I Love

At the weekend I went on a trip to Manchester with my boyfriend for our five year anniversary. We did some shopping at the Trafford Centre and then tracked down a wholefoods shop called The 8th Day that I found online.

Naturally I was more excited about the wholefoods shop than I was about the clothes shops, but hey that’s just me. Here are some of my finds, along with a couple from Tesco.

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Yum!

Tempeh is a new ingredient to me. Any tips?

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers

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Have you come into contact with anything from Kris Carr yet? The woman’s seriously inspirational. She whole heartedly lives a healthy vegan lifestyle to keep her cancer at bay. She’s all about good health, not only through diet but through lifestyle too. She looks and feels great!

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Her book Crazy Sexy Kitchen is her first cookbook sharing healthy vegan recipes, including her trademark green juices. She has a little help from some guests as she isn’t a chef herself, and there are even some delicious looking raw dishes. It helps to have a dehydrator when tackling this book but only a few recipes call for one so no need to worry about that.

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This recipe for Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers is brilliant. The sweet potatoes are roasted for maximum flavour and the black beans are deepened with tamari, cumin and garlic. I missed out the garlic as I have linked it to nausea in myself, but garlic does make everything better.

I highly recommend the book if you have an interest in health through a vegan diet. Kris is a great role model too if you want to dig a little deeper. Check out her blog or youtube channel!

If you would like the recipe then please get a copy of her book. I’m not sure how copyright works but I don’t want to treat on anyones toes!

Healthy Beyond Diet

I have been doing a lot of reading lately. I’ve become borderline obsessed with looking into the health benefits of an organic wholefoods diet. And while I am still far from sticking to one, I am much more concious about what things contain. So naturally this lead me to products beyond food. I can’t say I ever used to worry too much about what I was putting on to my skin or what I was using to clean my home. But these things are basically just chemicals designed to clean effectively and cheaply, as well as look and smell nice.

So on this weeks shopping trip I kept my eye out for better options. Besides, there is absolutely no need for washing up liquid or shower gel to be bright green!

Here are some of my finds:

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A much better choice to wash the pots you eat off. And no bright colours here!

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Sensitive shower gel and bubble bath because who wants a chemical bath?

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They even do purer shampoo now!

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I have a few drops of this in my bath to help me relax. I sometimes rub a couple of drops into my skin for a relaxed evening and a good nights sleep.

What products do you use to try and be more concious? Or has it never crossed your mind before?

Banana Bread Cookies

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Todays recipe is one of those born from needed to use up an overly ripe banana that everyone turned their nose up at. Something that seemed so unappealing has been transformed into a family favourite. No one even has to know that it is the same banana that they treated as if it was plagued with some uncureable disease. All they need to do is take a bite of a delicious cookie and enjoy it. You can always tell them after if you are feeling particularly smug but I will leave that down to you.

You have an option here too. You can go for a larger, thicker cookie with a texture more similar to banana bread, or you can go for a thinner cookie for more of a bite and more along the lines of oatmeal raisan meets an oatcake. I went for big and bready but next time I am going to try for a bit of crunch.

Remember cookies continue to cook a little once out of the oven, and check that their underside is browned to determine whether they are done or not. There’s not much else you need to know.

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Recipe
1 large very ripe Banana
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Maple Syrup
1 cup Rice Flour
1/4 cup Tapioca or Corn Flour/starch
1 1/2 cups Gluten Free Oats
1/4 cup Vegan Margarine
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Mixed Spice
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Chopped Pecans

Put your peeled banana in a bowl and mash really well with a fork. Soften your marg and beat in. Beat in sugar, maple syrup, spices, salt and bicarb. Mix in flours and oats followed by the nuts. Form into ping pong sized balls and arrange on a couple of lined baking trays, flattening slightly with the back of a spoon.
Bake at 180c/160c fan for 15-20 minutes for big thick ones, less for smaller ones.

I made big thick cookies and this mixture gave me 12.

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Prawn, Black Bean & Sweetcorn Salad

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Healthy packed lunches can get really boring really fast. You get into this routine of throwing together the same kinds of things week after week. Maybe you’re a mixed greens and tomato salad kind of girl, maybe you’re a brown rice kind of guy. And don’t even get me started on meeting protein needs! So sometimes you need to step out of your yawntastic routine and mix it up a bit. Granted I haven’t gone wild on this one, but I was inspired by bean and corn salsa and nudged along buy a pack of frozen prawns in my freezer. The dressing? I’m always reading about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar and it tastes great too!

Recipe
Half a tin of Black Beans
1/2 cup Sweetcorn
1/2 cup Frozen Prawns (Tofu for vegan option)
2 tbsp Fresh Chopped Parsley
1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tsp Oil (I used Walnut as I was out of Olive)
A pinch of Salt & Pepper

Drain and rinse your black beans to get rid of all that “guck”. Defrost your prawns (and sweetcorn if that is frozen too) by pouring over boiled water and leaving to sit for a couple of minutes. Drain and rinse then toss with beans. Whisk up the oil, vinegar and seasoning, and pour over everything else. Gently mix that together and sprinkle with parsley.

Optional extras
Cress
Avocado
Sugar Snap Peas
Finely Sliced Chilli

Enjoy!

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