Hunger and Satiation

I have stuck with my whole foods and plant based diet but it has been hard the last couple of days to eat enough at the right time.  So I have been very hungry but I didn’t give in and have something less healthy so I am pleased with that.

Tuesday

I had soaked some chia seeds and raw buckwheat groats in hazelnut milk the night before.  In the morning they were soft and swollen with a thick custard like consistency.  Eaten with coconut yogurt, blueberries and 2 small bananas.  Yummy.buckwheat chia puddingI didn’t get out to lunch until about 2:30 so before I went I ate the snack I intended for the evening: 2 small apples, 4 dates and some cashew nuts.apples, dates, nutsI went out for lunch with a work colleague to a Mexican restaurant near the office called Cantina Laredo.  The food was fine.  I had a vegetarian fajita.

There was a plate of lime rice, black beans, sour cream, guacamole and salsa.Mexican beans and rice A hot sizzling pate of griddled vegetables and tortillas.  So apart from some dairy and the white tortillas, it was all very healthy.vegetables Fajita

Then that was it!  I didn’t eat anything else, not by intention but I didn’t have an opportunity.

After work I walked to Borough for my drawing class.  Another calm evening made for another lovely walk.  This is the view West from Waterloo Bridge.

West from WaterlooIt was so pretty walking along the South Bank.

Oxo Tower Jan 2015

blue lights in BanksideWe worked with charcoal only and no pencil which I really do not like.  I hate getting so dirty but it was a good lesson about tone.

charcoal drawing Wednesday

2 blood oranges (so sweet and juicy, majorly delicious) with Co Yo, 2 Brazil nuts and some hazelnuts.blood orange and Co Yo nuts I felt really hungry this morning as I had no supper the previous evening but did a lot of walking.  Breakfast barely touched the sides so I had an appleapple on desk and a soya milk latte.soya latte Lunch was simple but did the job.  A tub of humous with sundried tomatoes and a bowl of veggies.

A & C humous

In the afternoon I had another soya milk latte and a pot of fruit.Pure fruit pot Supper was huge and I finally felt satiated.  A tray of oven roasted veg (reheated from Sunday leftovers), some falafel and and a wrap with some humous.  The Forks Over Knives book does state several times that when you eat a high proportion of plant foods, you do need to eat bigger quantities than you may be used to and I think that is true.  The scales will tell on Friday morning whether I am eating the right quantities or not.supper 28-1-15I am very busy in the next few days but I will be back.  See you then.

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Sometimes I Don’t Mind Mondays

I always feel really tired on a Monday but today I didn’t feel as tired as usual.  My itchy rash gradually cleared up towards the end of last week and was gone by Sunday so it was a relief to go to work and not feel the need to hide my face.  In fact the colleague I sit next to commented it was nice to have me back without my “boils and warts” !!!!  Charming but I am pleased to be back to normal.  Work was ok and I ate lots and lots and lots of plants today.

I brought breakfast in from home and it tasted much better than this photo makes it look.  Chia seeds in soya milk with coconut yogurt, blueberries and a banana.

breakfast 26-1-15 I brought lunch in too.lunch 26-1-15 2 Left over roasted courgettes, peppers and butternut squash from last night’s dinner with chickpeas, cucumber, tomatoes and celery.lunch 26-1-15 1 Not bad at all.lunch 26-1-15 Supper was very left over Bombay potato and spinach daal.  When I say “very left over”, it was left over from 2 weekends ago.  I seem to have inherited my Father’s disregard for a use by date and age of a food and instead check it for mould or a bad smell.  If neither of those are in evidence then it is fit for eating.  I had it with some stir fried (in coconut oil) cabbage, kale, onions and mushrooms.  The blob on top is some lime pepper jellyveg and potatoes It tasted fine.bombay potatoes and daal

So another day of good eating is behind me.  I am really pleased that I am getting in to the habit of eating so much plant-food, taking what I need in to work and enjoying it.  I rarely need a snack between meals which is a good sign as I must be balancing my blood sugar with these vegan meals of mine.  I am also saving money by taking food in rather than eating out all the time.  So a pretty good Monday and I am looking forward to Tuesday.

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A Healthy Sunday

I slept really badly last night and that often leads to a lazy day where I eat too much and crave and then over-eat sweet and carby foods.  However, eating so many whole foods and plant foods makes you want to eat more  of the same which is a surprise to me and one I am happy to have discovered.  So I didn’t win a battle with my will power; I actually had no battle as I continued to want healthy food and only healthy food.

Breakfast was quick and easy.  I made a smoothie with 2 small bananas, some frozen raspberries, a splash of coconut water,  1 tbsp hemp seeds and some coconut yogurt.  A modest portion but it kept me going until about 3pm.

pink hemp smoothie My sister Abi was coming for lunch so I made her a healthy soup I had seen on Jamie Oliver’s Instagram.  He has recently started including some vegan recipes and today I decided to try the red lentil, tomato and spinach soup but as I didn’t have spinach I used cavolo nero and Lancashire kale instead.  I made twice as much as the recipe so I have some to enjoy in the week.cooking ingredients We also made the Hugh F-W bread recipe I made a couple of weeks ago.kneading dough While the bread rose and the lentil soup settled in to itself, we went to Hemstead with Annette and Ebony for a walk.  The dogs and boy were distracted by a large and muddy puddle.3 dogs and boy in water There was then apparently a heat wave but we three ladies didn’t seem to notice it!A A and H Back at home, all we had to do was roll out and cook the wraps and warm up the soup.4 wraps rollingThis was excellent.  I left the soup chunky and it seemed more like a stew.  The bread recipe is already on the blog (look it up on the ‘recipes’ page) but here’s my version of the Jamie Oliver soup recipe.

If you want to see Jamie’s original recipe, look it up here .  If you want to know how I made mine, here’s the recipe as I made it.

Red lentil, Tomato and Kale Soup

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
1 small bunch of coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
4 leaves of cavolo nero, sliced
4 kale leaves, stalks removed and chopped
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 can of tomatoes
320 g red lentils (or 250 g red lentils and 70 g mung dal)
1 litre organic vegetable stock

Method

  1. Place a large pan on medium heat and add the oil.
  2. Add the onion, garlic and celery
  3. Chop the coriander stalks and add the stalks to the pan and set the leaves aside
  4. Cook for 10 minutes until soft and golden
  5. Add the turmeric and cumin, cook for a couple of minutes while stirring
  6. Add the kale, potatoes, tomatoes, lentils and stock
  7. Bring to the boil then simmer for about half an hour until the potatoes are soft and the soup has thickened.  If it is too thick, add some more water
  8. Season if required with salt and pepper
  9. If you prefer a smoother soup, blitz in a blender, either all of it or half of it.  I left mine chunky.
  10. Serve garnished with the coriander leaves and some bread
    lentil soup and bread Supper was a very simple affair.roast veg and rosti Rosti ( a Swiss style of grated potatoes) with some oven roasted peppers, courgettes and butternut squash.  I roasted them with some olive oil, salt, thyme and z’atar.  Simple but satisfying.rosti and veg

So I did well today, despite the sleep deprivation.  Everything I ate was healthy and I went on a walk which took about an hour.  I very much enjoyed seeing Abi and Annette too so this was a good day.

 

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Nil Point

Apart from an imaginative breakfast, I would receive nil point for imagination for the rest of today’s meals and no walk either.  It was just one of those days unfortunately.

I woke up to a lovely sunny day and intended to have a good breakfast and then go on a walk but some Saturdays are filled with running errands and driving ones offspring around, leaving no time for anything else.

I wanted to add some superfoods to my porridge today.superfoods and nuts Lucuma and maca work well in a smoothie but not so well in porridge but the toppings were awesome, especially the blood orange.porridge and stuff I bought a loaf of wholemeal with walnut in Tenterden this morning.bread in Tenterden And enjoyed a crust and a slice with some humous for lunch.  No time to make or eat the salad I planned to have.humous and breadAfter being massively delayed due to a car crash just in front of us in Tunbridge Wells this afternoon (I do hope the people involved recover) plans for a healthy home cooked meal were shelved and we went to Cranbrook and ordered a curry to take away.  While it was cooking we popped in to the George where I had half a lager and a bag of nuts.
drink in The George Dinner was peas and rice with daal and one onion bhaji.  Pleasant enough but nothing special.pea, rice and daal

Like I said, nil point for home cooking or even variety today but at least I didn’t break my wholefoods and plant foods rule.

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14 Pounds Less Of Me Than There Was On NYE

Stepping on to the scales today was a real pleasure because it showed me a 4 pound loss.  Add that to the 10 pound loss I had got to last week and that makes 14 pounds lost since New Years Eve which makes me very happy.  One stone down and continuing to move in the right direction.

Many years ago when we lived in South London, we used to receive a weekly fruit and veg box from Abel & Cole.  I recently saw them advertise locally and today was my first delivery.

They have improved since those days, mainly because of their excellent online ordering system.  You can see what is in each box and ask to remove or add extra items so it is very flexible.  You can set up regular deliveries and ad hoc ones.  You can specify everything I could think of and the site was very easy to navigate and use.  In addition to the boxes, they have lots of other things to order too.  I was excited about opening up those boxes!  Everything is organic and as much as possible is local.

A&C boxesThis the ‘Large Fruit & Veg Box’ which contained: apples, aubergine, bananas, bunch of beetroot, green cabbage, carrots, white mushrooms, white onions, blood oranges, potatoes and a swede.

deluxe fruit and veg box This is a ‘Medium Fruit Box’ which contained tangerines, bananas, blueberries, dates and oranges.fruit box This is the ‘Medium Gourmet Box’ which had Avocado, golden beetroot, Romanesco cauliflower, green Batavia lettuce, shitake mushrooms, red onions, butternut squash, swede and tomatoes. gourmet boxIn addition to what I was expecting, I received recipe cards and an introductory gift of olive oil, a tea towel and some vouchers.  They are doing lots of introductory offers so have a look for them.

As well as delivering  what I ordered and when they said they would, I was thrilled with the packaging they used.  What do you notice about these boxes of fruits and veggies?  There is very little packaging.  I get so frustrated with the amount of packaging my usual food delivery service use.  Everything is covered in or wrapped/bagged in plastic.  I HATE having my food wrapped in plastic so this was much better.  Just cardboard boxes.

This is an unusual looking vegetable!Romanesque cauli I had so much plant food and I was so thrilled about my weight loss I decided to celebrate with a juice for breakfast.  I juiced the leaves and stalks from the bunch of beetroot, some ginger, a large carrot, 2 pears and an apple.juice ingredients 23-1-15 It was an amazing colour.beet juice foam It tasted good too but surprisingly I found it too sweet – my taste buds are changing.beet juice For lunch I stir fried some onions, Lancashire kale (which has pretty pink bits) and broccoli and then heated up some Bombay potato and spinach daal.stir fried kale etc I served it with sprouts on top.lunch 23-1-15 Absolutely delicious and so healthy.bombay potato kale 2 apples got me through the afternoon.2 apples 23-1-15 For dinner I made a stir-fried sesame cauliflower dish from Hugh F-W’s ‘Veg Everyday!’  because I had a cauliflower that needed using up.sesame cauliflower recipe Mine looks quite similar to the picture and it tasted ok too.sesame cauliflower 2 Stir-Fried Sesame Cauliflower

Ingredients (serves 2-4 as a side or 1 as a main dish)

  • 1 medium cauliflower
    2 tbsp sesame seeds ( I only had black ones)
    2 tbsp oil
    1 onion, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, sliced
    1 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
    2 tsp freshly grated ginger
    1 tsp toasted sesame oil
    1 tbsp soy sauce
    fresh coriander

Method

  1. break the cauliflower in to small florets and place in a  bowl of cold water for 10 minutes
  2. In a frying pan, dry fry the sesame seeds for 1 – 2 minutes until fragrant.  Tip on to a small plate and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in the frying pan over a medium heat and add the onion.  Fry until pale golden and then add the garlic, chilli and ginger and fry for another minute or so.
  4. Drain the cauliflower, raise the heat under the pan, tip in the cauliflower and 100ml water.  Cook, stirring for 5 – 10 minutes until the florets are browning around the edges.  Add a splash more water if they begin to stick.
  5. Stir in the sesame seeds, sesame oil and soy sauce.  Stir to coat the cauliflower with the oil and sesame seeds mixture.
  6. Serve with coriander.

 

 

sesame cauliflower

So another day well eaten.  One whole stone lost.  I is happy with that!

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London Times

I have had some wonderful times in London the last few days.  I enjoyed a long walk on Tuesday evening from Seven Dials to Borough.  It was cold but clear and calm and London looked amazing in the dark.  This the view to the East from Waterloo Bridge.

view from Waterloo Bridge Last night we went out to celebrate Lara’s birthday.  We had a cocktail at the Waldorf Hotel.cocktails at the Waldorf Then on to dinner at The Delaunay. The Delaunay is in the style of a Grand European cafe.  It was busy with the lively chatter of people enjoying themselves,  the atmosphere was comforting and convivial and the service was impeccable.

I had a fabulous spiced lentil and kale soup to start but they did not have one single vegetarian main meal on the menu!  I was really surprised.  So I selected 3 vegetable side dishes; wilted spinach, cauliflower cheese and fries.  So not the healthiest but for a celebration it could have been far worse.Delaunay cocktails I had 2 scoops of blood orange sorbet for dessert which was lovely.  blood orange sorbet We had such a lovely evening together celebrating my beautiful daughter’s birthday.Lara's birthday Today I had banana, blueberries, oats and coconut yogurt for breakfast.Timberyard and breakfast At lunch time we went to Dishoom, which was fabulous.  My colleagues at work have been several times before but this was my first.  It is based on the Irani cafes established in Bombay in the 1930’s.  We shared various plates for starters and I had a vegetables samosa, okra and 3 chutneys.  The okra was the best I have ever had as the outside was crunchy and the inside soft.  Completely yummy and I could eat a whole plateful.Dishoom samosa I drank Darjeeling tea with my meal.  I had the house black daal, a Roomali Roti and a bowl of greens.  The dal was very rich so I suspect it had cream in it which is not great on a  diet but it did taste incredible.  It was perfectly spiced and probably the best daal I have ever had.  The Roomali Roti is described on the menu as a “soft handkerchief of thin bread, gridled to order on an upturned tawa”.  Every mouthful was a pleasure.Dishoom lunch This was lightly cooked spinach, broccoli and mange tout, with spices.good green bowl I need to eat this bread and daal again.  I was going to have the daal with a potato dish but I was corrected by two of my colleagues who said the daal should be eaten with bread.black dal and roti At home I wasn’t very hungry but I was very tired so I had a really simple supper of an avocado with lime juice and some cherry tomatoes with a large mug of green tea.avocado green tea I enjoyed it all but did then have some raisins and cashews later.avocado, lime, tomatoes

So not the healthiest of meals in the last couple of days but plenty of wholefoods and plant-foods.  And given the occasions, I did well for me.

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Takeaway-Tastic

I had four takeaways today.

1. A leftover pancake with coconut yogurt, pomegranate and 2 small bananas

breakfast 19-1-15 The pancakes are better hot but they worked very well in this concoction.  It was a bit like having cake for breakfast :-)pomegranate and pancake 2. Pink salad with sproutslunch 19-1-15 This was an excellent takeaway and it tasted just as good today as yesterday.pink salad 19-1-15 3. Parsnip soup.  I made this in December and froze a portion which I took to work.  The soup froze really well.  I dislike using a microwave though but made an exception today.parsnip soup on desk 4. A wrap filled with humous, lettuce, tomato and falafel.  This used up the last of the bread dough I made last weekend.  It would be fair to say it was past its best and it was yeasty but still edible.supper 19-1-15 I am going to make another batch of that dough this weekend and freeze it in to individual portions as this was such a quick and easy supper to make after a long day at work.  It took about 15 minutes from me thinking about it to sitting down and eating it.  While the falafels heated through in the oven and the wrap was cooking I had time to unload the dishwasher and some other errands.  There is very little to wash up either so I am definitely making these again.falafel and wrap

So my 4 takeaways or probably I should say leftovers.  All homemade, all whole-food, lots of plants and all very tasty.

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A Pink Salad

I managed a decent walk today in one of the local forests.  Despite the drizzling rain I took the dogs out and walked as fast as I was able to.  I think we walked for about an hour and the terrain was undulating so a better workout than if it had been flat.  I went before breakfast to reduce the chance of being distracted by something and then not going and I think that was a good decision.  It did mean I was really hungry when we got back though.

Luckily there was some pancake batter leftover from the day before so I had that.  Today I had it with another really juicy blood orange and a perfectly ripe pomegranate and some maple syrup.  These pancakes are not quite as good as on day one but still really good and I thoroughly enjoyed every mouthful.  I ended up having three because I felt so hungry which leaves one leftover for tomorrow.  I cooked it and have chopped it up ready to take to work with some coconut yogurt and fruit.

The recipe for these pancakes is on yesterday’s blog.

pancakes with blood orange Since I ate breakfast so late and had 3 pancakes, I was not hungry at lunch time so we ended up having our main meal of the day at about 5:30pm.  I very nobley made my menfolk a stir fried chicken and noodle dish which they had with some salad on the side whereas I just ate the salad.

I was inspired by an Instagram account I follow to make an all pink salad.  I can’t remember which one though so I can not give the credit to where it is due.  I was also inspired by my sister Lucy, who made a version of this salad when we stayed with her at Christmas time.  pink ingredients 2 The recipe is in Nigella Lawson’s book called ‘Feast’ which I do not have but I did find a copy online.  If it’s not exactly the same recipe, it is very similar.  Have a look at http://www.nigella.com and search for ‘Red Seasonal Salad’

I made up the dressing following Nigella’s recipe but I added my own ingredients.  I added a red cabbage, a pink kale (Lancashire kale), pomegranates, red onion, red kidney beans and radish sprouts.  You definitely need the red cabbage and red onion but apart from that, add whatever takes your fancy.  Nigella also adds cold turkey and radishes.pink ingredients

Pink Salad

Ingredients (serves 4 – 8)

For the Salad
1 red cabbage, sliced as finely as you can
1 red onion, sliced finely
Pink Kale, sliced finely
Pomegranate
1 can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Coriander to garnish

For the dressing
1 or 2 red chillies, depending on your preference
1 clove of garlic
2 tbsp caster sugar (I used rice syrup)
3 teaspoons of rice wine vinegar
juice of 1 lime
4 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla) – you would have to leave this out if making this for a strict vegan
3 tbsp vegetable oil (I used olive oil)

Method

  1. Chop the chillies finely, removing the seeds if you want to reduce the heat a little
  2. Place the chopped chillies in the largest mixing bowl you have
  3. Add the minced garlic, sugar, vinegar,lime juice, fish sauce and vegetable oil and whisk to mix together
  4. Add the vegetables and toss really well so all the vegetables are covered in the dressing
  5. Set aside for at least an hour so the dressing has had time to slightly soften the vegetables
  6. Enjoy!pink salad 2 I ate mine as it was with some coriander on top.  This salad is absolutely delicious and both the menfolk managed a reasonable portion with their chicken and noodles.  I totally recommend this salad.pink salad 1I was asked what tactics I use to avoid the evening munchies.  I am not very good at it but when I am on a roll and behaving myself, as I am now, this is what I do.

1. Make sure I eat enough vegetables with dinner so I feel full.
2. Have a large mug of Rooibos tea
3. Try some fruit.  Usually something easy like an apple
4. Make some cruditees like slices of carrot and celery and either munch those or dip them in to humous
5. If it has to be something sweet, I have some yogurt with fruit, raisins, dates and nuts.  At least that is healthy snacking and that is what I had last night.

 

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Forks Over Knives Lifestyle

Towards the end of last year, I hard about a film called ‘Forks Over Knives’ from several different sources.  It was released in 2011 but I had not heard about it before.  I ordered it and watched it, quite fascinated.  There have been favourable and unfavourable reviews about the film and criticism of some of the science used to prove the Doctor’s conclusion that we should eat a whole-food plant-based diet.  If we don’t eat meat, fish, dairy or eggs and instead eat unprocessed whole grains, nuts, seeds and plants, we can avoid or even reverse “Western” illnesses such as diabetes, heart conditions and cancer.  They basically promote a healthy vegan diet.  The title of the book by the way does not mean that you should eat a salad (which you can eat with a fork) rather than a steak (which you need a knife for) although that is what the writers ask you to do.  It means food over medicine (scalpel).

Whatever conclusions you may draw from the film, I do not believe there is any controversy over the health benefits of eating a diet full of vegetables and fruits (ok some debate about fruit but I am on the fruitarian side of that debate), wholegrains are better for you than refined and processed grains and we do not need any sugar added to our diet.  There is a lot of debate and divided opinion about the pros and cons of eating animal products but it is undeniable that obesity levels in the UK, and other Western countries are at an all time high and the standard diet, full of high calorie and low nutrition food is best avoided.

Now I have not become a vegan and am not planning to be one.  I am not going to give what I am eating a label.  But I am increasing the amount of plant foods I eat.  I am trying to avoid dairy and having seen the film, I don’t fancy meat or fish but I may do sometimes and then I will have it.   When I prepare food for myself at the moment, it is mainly vegan.  One exception was some crab I had for supper last week and when I don’t think about what I am using and add a flavouring like Thai fish sauce to a meal.  I am not beating myself up about that though and if I come over to yours and you have cooked something in butter I will enjoy it.  I may decline meat and cheese though.

Having eaten this way for about 2 weeks now, I am feeling better (apart from the rash which is driving me crazy with itchiness) and I have lost 10 pounds which is fabulous.  I have eaten far more in terms of portion size than I usually do, because you have to eat more bulk of plant foods than animal products.  On my Doctor’s advice I am avoiding nuts and seeds in case I have become sensitive to them and they are causing the rash.  I really hope it is not the nuts because I do add them to lots of my food in various forms.  We shall have to see.

So there we have it, my new lifestyle.  I do also need to do a lot more exercise and that is where I have made no improvement this year.  I can always make an excuse but will spare you those.  I am intending to go for a long walk tomorrow, rain or shine.

I ate well again today.  I began the day with a mug of hot water with some lemon and fresh ginger in it.  The lemon looks anaemic because I put the peel in to a large jug of water with slices of cucumber and drink that during the day.

lemon and ginger water As it was a Saturday, I decided to relax in bed rather than get up and rush about like I usually do. I read some more of the Forks Over Knives Plan which is a 4 week plan to help you transition to a vegan lifestyle.  NB the Forks Over Knives team do not use the term ‘vegan’ even though that is what the plan is.reading in bed It is an interesting read and I decided to make one of their recipes for pancakes which Harvey was delighted about.Forks Over Knives planIn fact Harvey was so enthusiastic he helped me make them.  They were very easy and quite delicious so we will be making them again.  They are not like the light fluffy American style ones we usually make and serve with bacon and maple syrup.  They were denser, very moist and slightly chewy and oh so good!
making pancakes I served mine with some leftover apple sauce (which I made by peeling, removing the core and chopping up 2 apples, then slowly cooking them in a covered saucepan until they were soft and finally whizzing them in the Vita Mix to make it smooth) which I mashed with a banana and a tiny drizzle of maple syrup.pancakes 3 The pancakes are cooked without any fat added.  Make sure you have a good non stick frying pan and they do actually work!  I confess I was a little dubious and had visions of chipping concrete-like pancakes off the bottom of the pan.pancakes 2 We saved some mixture for tomorrow and I am looking forward to them.pancakes 1 Multigrain Pancakes (from ‘The Forks Over Knives plan’)

Ingredients – makes about 8 pancakes and 2 each are very filling

1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1/4 cup cornmeal (I used polenta)
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 3/4 cups plant milk (I used soya)
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 tbsp maple syrup plus more for serving
Fresh fruit and apple butter (optional) for serving

Method

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg until well combined
  2. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the milk, applesauce and maple syrup.  Fold the ingredients together gently until just mixed together
  3. Heat a large non stick pan over medium heat until a few droplets of water poured in to the pan jump and sizzle
  4. Spoon 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake in to the pan until no more will fit.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until the edges look dry and the bottoms are crisp and lightly browned
  5. Use a spatula to turn each pancake and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
  6. Serve topped with fruit and a little maple syrup or apple butter

The recipe book served the pancakes with strawberries and blueberries but I didn’t have any hence I used the apple sauce with a mashed banana

I found a third of the bread dough I made last weekend in the fridge and used half of it to make a wrap for lunch.  I wasn’t sure how well it would work, being nearly a week old, but it was fine.  I rolled it out and left it for about 10 minutes to come closer to room temperature before cooking it.rolling out wrap All that was required of cooking was to place it in a very hot heavy pan and cook it until it went brown and bubbled up.  I think I cooked it for about 3 minutes on each side.cooking a wrap I ate it with a large dollop of salsa spread over it, lettuce and sprouts.  Not a substantial lunch but the pancakes had kept me full so I didn’t need much.wrap ith lettuce and sprouts Dinner did not make a good photo but it tasted lovely.  Rose Elliot’s Bombay potatoes and spinach dal and I added a spoonful of lime pepper jelly.Bombay potato and dal I had a fancy for something sweet afterwards so made up this little bowl of yuminess.  It is about 2 heaped dessertspoons of coconut yogurt, a chopped blood orange, 2 dates and some raisins.  I then had 2 more dates as they were so caramelly and yummy.  The orange was so sweet and juicy I could have eaten it all again but managed to resist.  I do enjoy blood orange season and will be buying more of these this week.raisin, dates co yo

So there you have it, my forks over knives lifestyle.  With food this tasty, what’s not to like and who needs meat?

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A Vegan Chilli – For Julie

I have been feeling a little below par this week and have been getting increasingly itchy and scratchy.  Today a rash broke out and became worse as the morning went along.  I eventually went to the Doctors but they are not sure why I have it.  They think it is an allergic reaction rather than a viral illness.  The only thing I am eating/drinking that is different to usual is the macadamia nut mylk I have been enjoying so I am going to avoid it for now.  The Little Fella was delighted as I keep catching him drinking it and he immediately declared the new carton to be all his.

The good news today is that it was weigh in day and I lost 2 more pounds which brings my total loss this year so far to 10 pounds.  I am happy with that.

I enjoyed my breakfast today.pear and nut butter 1/2 a cup of oatmeal made in to porridge with 1 cup of macadamia nut mylk, topped with a grated pear and 1 tbsp mixed nut butter.  A modest portion and all very delicious.porridge and pear I met Lucy for a coffee in Cocolicious after seeing the Doctor.  They made me a very good latte, made with almond milk.  It was thick and frothy like a dairy latte.  Cocolicious has a range of non dairy milks so if you are avoiding dairy and want a decent coffee, head over!

I had an apple while I prepared a salad at home for lunch.apple 16-1-15 I bought this lovely lettuce and tub of mixed sprouts in Wholefoods Market earlier this week and used these as the main ingredients in the salad.lettuce and sprouts I made it in to a salad with cherry tomatoes, pomegranate and an avocado.salad 15-1-15 3 I added a simple dressing made with 1 tbsp olive oil, the juice of a small lime and salt and pepper.salad 15-1-15 2 It was tasty and ultra nutritious; just what I needed.salad 15-1-15 1 Supper was a jacket potato with the last of this weeks vegan chilli.  Julie asked me for the recipe as I haven’t posted it on the blog.  I do add different vegetables each time I make it as I tend to use what I have in the fridge.  The recipe I follow comes from this book which I have had for many years.  I will give the recipe as it is in the cook book, which is a great one to have to hand because it is so simple.Classic Vegetarian Cookbook

Vegan Chilli (serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium sized onions, chopped
  • 2 red or green peppers, cored, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 fresh green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 x 400g cans peeled tomatoes
  • 2 x 400g cans red kidney beans
  • salt and pepper

Method

  1. Warm the oil in a large saucepan over a moderate heat
  2. Add the onions, cover and cook for 5 minutes
  3. Add the peppers, cover and cook for another 5 minutes
  4. Add the chillies, garlic and cumin seeds, stir and add the tomatoes
  5. Drain the beans, reserving the liquid.
  6. Make the liquid up to 150ml with water if necessary
  7. Pour the liquid and beans in to the saucepan
  8. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce the heat and cook gently until the mixture is heated through and looks thick (takes about half an hour)

I nearly always use 2 different beans for variety.  Recently I used 1 can of red kidney beans and 1 can of black eyed beans and last week I used a can of chickpeas.

If you mash some of the beans before adding them, it makes the sauce thicker

The batch I made this week also had 2 chopped courgettes and a can of sweetcorn in it.  Play around with it and add what you have to hand or you particularly like.  I will add butternut squash next time as I have several in the cupboard and I think the flavour and texture would work really well in it.

Serve it with rice or over a jacket potato or pasta or as it is with salad.  This is how I ate it this week.

On a jacket potato with avocado humous.dins 11-1-15 Topped with crab and avocado.crab dinner With dry roasted garlic and herb potatoespotatoes and chiliTonight I had it over a jacket potato.  I hope you enjoy the recipe.

Have happy weekends.

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