Archive for My Vegan Recipes

Delicious Detoxification

Last week I decided that I was tired, not eating very well and letting my holiday lull me into doing nothing…I hate the terrible cycle that happens when you do less and less with your day then realise the less you do the less energy you have to do anything at all!

So I thought a detox of sorts might be in order. I’ve never done a detox before and didn’t want to go too drastic or totalitarian, so I came up with these guidelines:

To eat:

  • Fresh fruit
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Fresh herbs
  • Nuts, seeds, lentils, chickpeas, brown rice
  • Loads of water and herbal tea to drink

Not to eat:

  • White rice, bread, pasta
  • Oil or margarine
  • Sugar
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Soy products
  • Processed packaged foods
  • Condiments like soy sauce, chilli sauce, spices etc

With those ideas in place in my mind I went out shopping to an awesome Asian supermarket I know and stocked up on delicious fresh food amazingly cheaply, then got stuck in ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 1 Dinner

First off I made my famous vegetable soup – it has loads of veges packed in, is thick and hearty and full of goodness, and the flavour and texture are completely driven by the veges themselves (I’ve had friends express wonder that I don’t use stock or any thickening agent in my soup!).

Simple Thick and Tasty Vegetable Soup

Simple Thick and Tasty Vegetable Soup

1 onion
4-5 cloves garlic
3 potatoes
1 purple kumara (sweet potato)
1/2 butternut pumpkin
5-6 mushrooms
1 carrot
1 parsnip
10-12 florets broccoli
Water for cooking
1 bay leaf
Fresh parsley and chives (Because that’s what I had, any herbs you like!)
Salt and pepper to taste

Dice the onion and chop the garlic and herbs finely. In a big soup pot, saute the onion, herbs and garlicย  in a little water until soft and clear

Add diced potatoes, kumara, pumpkin, mushrooms and bay leaf and just enough water to cover, and simmer until the root veges start to soften, stirring regularly.

Add sliced carrot and parsnip and more water if necessary and continue to simmer.

When the rest of the soup is nearly cooked, add florets of broccoli and continue to simmer until they are cooked.

By the end of cooking the potatoes, kumara and pumpkin should be very soft and mushy, creating the thick base of the soup – it should be thick and hearty rather than watery.

Add salt and pepper to taste if required and serve!

This soup is really flexible – you can throw in any veges you have and it’s great for using up produce that isn’t quite fresh anymore. It’s quick and easy, requires minimal attention once the veges are cut and cooking, and is great for you while tasting fantastic.

Day 2

For breakfast I had another yummy green smoothie like I pictured in my last post – Frozen banana, wheat germ, feijoas, a leaf of silverbeet from my own garden (not my new silverbeet babies! My adopted older silverbeet plant) and coconut milk mixed with water rather than soy milk. The coconut addition made it taste ultra luxurious!

For lunch I had some leftover vege soup over brown basmati rice with raw cashew cheeze which was absolutely divine and so satisfying, I’ll have to pair vege soup with rice more often.

Vege soup with brown basmati rice and raw cashew cheeze

Vege soup with brown basmati rice and raw cashew cheeze

Tastes as amazing as it looks!

Tastes as amazing as it looks!

It was so good I repeated it for dinner.

Day 3

Another wonderful green smoothie, then I got to work inventing…

Everything Orange Soup! Which excited me very much and I will share that recipe in a future post when I have a decent picture of it.

Day 3 also happened to be a Friday, and I had big plans for the weekend so after a delcious salad dinner of lettuce, cucumber, carrot, nori and avocado I decided to lay my detox to rest for the week. Sure it wasn’t very long or intense, but I had fun and feel like it was worthwhile. Along with my soups, smoothies and salads, I really enjoyed eating my way through a pile of mandarins, feijoas, tangelos and bananas, and I got back on the water bandwagon (with lemon slices for even more refreshment).

Now that I’ve given it a try, I want to incorporate more fresh and healthy food overall into my diet and try some new things.

The weekend is over, it’s Monday now, time to get to work again ๐Ÿ™‚

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Japanese Fresh Spring Salad

I invented this salad a few days ago, and I think I am addicted. Seriously. I adore the different shades of green and white, the unmistakably Japanese flavours combined with fresh spring vegetables, the way it’s cool and spicy all at the same time – it’s my new favourite lunchtime treat. So here I present: pictures for you food voyeurs and a recipe for those of you who like to look AND touch. And, of course, eat. Because it’s yum.

Japanese Fresh Spring Salad

Crunchy, cool, spicy and fresh - perfect!

Crunchy, cool, spicy and fresh - perfect!

Salad:
2 leaves crisp cos lettuce
1 sheet nori (the seaweed you use to wrap sushi)
A handful of diced cucumber
1/2 tomato, diced
2 small button mushrooms, diced
1/4 avocado, diced
1 new potato, cut into relatively small pieces
3 florets broccoli
3 spears asparagus

Dressing:
3 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil*
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon wasabi (to own taste)

Steam the potato until nearly cooked, then add the broccoli and asparagus and continue to steam until bright green and tender.

Rinse the nori in cold water to make it supple. Cut the lettuce and nori into strips roughly the same width and combine in a bowl or on a plate. Add the cucumber, tomato, avocado, and mushrooms and toss or arrange salad.

Cut the broccoli and asparagus into smaller pieces if desired, and add to the salad.

Mix all of the dressing ingredients together. Be careful with the wasabi – I like a lot, make sure you don’t add too much for your taste!

Serve the salad with the potatoes on the side and sprinkle the dressing over everything.

Enjoy!

*Can be left out for a lower fat version.

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The art of the possible

“One always picks the easy fight.
One praises fools, one smothers light.
One shifts left to right.
Politics – the art of the possible.”

– Evita, lyrics by Tim Rice

Well, today I’m depressed…

Why am I depressed, you may ask? Because yesterday New Zealand held its general election, and voted out the Labour Party in favour of the National Party. I have debated this election every day now for so many days that I just can’t be bothered going into why I’m so upset. Take a long hard look at John Key and you should understand in great clarity. I agree with what Jeanette Fitzsimmons, leader of the Green party, said at the end of her speech last night: “I wonder, in 20 years time, if people will look back to 2008 and say, “I’m so glad I voted for tax cuts instead of the future of my children.” ”

Just when America has taken such a giant leap in a positive direction too… so unfair. Now all we can do is see what happens, and I will be paying close attention. Climate change is a slightly more pressing matter than tax cuts at this point in time.

Anyway, on the food front (which is infinitely less depressing…)

I’ve been doing great on this vegan thing for 10 whole days! In that time I have discovered new recipes, ingredients, shops, tastes…

I’ve baked my first two loaves of bread, and while I’m still eating some shop bought stuff I am wanting to move towards eating as much of my own as I can. It’s cheaper and tastes awesome ๐Ÿ˜€

I’ve had a weak moment – I ate some lemon tart at a restaurant, but that’s really it, and I’m so proud of myself for that! I’ve had cravings (only really for things with cheese in them, like burgers with cheese or cheese sandwiches) but I haven’t given in.

So now that I’ve made it this far I’m setting a few goals:

I’ve joined some people over at VegWeb in a “hydration challenge” – my starting goal is to drink at least 1.5 litres of water daily.

I aim to do 45 minutes of exercise 5 days a week – either at the gym doing cardio and circuit training or out running with friends.

I’m going to be conscious of what I’m eating and more importantly how much – I may eat well but if I eat twice as much as I need per meal then it won’t do me too much good. I’ve been being so good about exercise I’d like my diet to match. SO I’m looking closely at what I cook and aiming to eat several small, tasty and nutritious meals a day rather than 3 large ones plus snacks.

Sounds like a lot! If I do all that I’m sure to be getting pretty darn healthy sometime soon.

But since my final exam ever is on Wednesday, that will probably all go out the window for a good proportion of next week and I’m fine with that! As long as I come back to some semblence of it afterwards I’m happy, and I’m sure I will.

Anyway, here’s a recipe I’ve been making for some time now – originally adapted from a recipe book but I make it this way and it’s delicious:

Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

Carrot and Red Lentil Soup

3 Tb olive oil
3 or 4 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
850ml vegetable stock
Fresh rosemary and basil
Sea salt, kelp and black pepper

Saute the onion, garlic and carrots in the oil with the fresh herbs until lightly golden.

Add the lentils and 750ml of the stock and bring to the boil, simmer until the carrots are tender.

Allow the soup to cool slightly then blend (I use a stick blender/wand), then add the remaining stock and season to taste with the sea salt, kelp and black pepper.

I serve with a little soy milk, fresh herbs and home baked wholemeal bread.

Enjoy!

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