Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chocolate Tofu Pudding & Apricot Tofu Pudding

Tofu pudding is a ridiculously quick and asy dessert that I eat regularly. It's creamy, sweet and satisfying. It tastes good with fruit as a breakfast or alone as a dessert, who am I kidding? its good any time of day. It's a low cal treat you don't have to feel guilty about. So here are two different versions of it- but to be honest you can make any flavour you can think of!
Apricot Tofu Pudding
Makes 3 serves (approximately 150 cals each)
Silken Tofu, 1 x 300-450g packet (in the fridge section).. I've made it with both.
Apricot Jam- (aka vanilla and soaked dried apricots blended)
Zest of 1 lemon or 1 tsp Lemon essence
  • Blend all ingredients with stick blender
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour minimum to firm up (the longer you leave it the more dense it gets)
Chocolate Tofu Pudding
Makes 3 serves (approximately 110 cals each)
Silken Tofu, 1 x 350-450g packet (in the fridge section)
1 tbsp Vanilla essence
1 tbsp Cacao powder
Stevia to taste (5 drops)
  • Blend all ingredients with stick blender
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour minimum to firm up (the longer you leave it the more dense it gets)
The only thing you can't do with this dessert is freeze it, but that's not really an issue since you can whip it up in no time. If you make it before dinner and stick it in the fridge it'll be done by the time you're done- or if you're really impatient you can have it just after you've blended it but it'll be more of a custardy consistency. 

Hope you give this one a go, I really enjoy it so I hope you will too!
All the best xxx
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Monday, November 28, 2011

Fruit 'ice cream' & Vanilla/Lemon Cookie Dough Dip (Low Fat)

I have a funny story to share with you all. I got drenched this weekend. The last time I got that wet in my clothes was when I did my swim survival training and they made us swim with 3 layers and shoes on. The drains around my area are shocking and pretty much every road on our walk home was flooded, the water level was at the top of the cars tyres and rising. It was like walking through fast flowing streams. So by the time we got to the traffic lights the drains were already overflowing and spurting impromptu fountains everywhere, in my infinite wisdom I decided it would be a good idea to play with one of them- we were already saturated, why not have some fun? But as I stepped on it the whole manhole cover popped off and huge waves of water started gushing out from under the road over the footpath and us! 

Everyone cosy and warm in their cars at the lights had a nice big laugh at us as I attempted to use my bodyweight to get the concrete slab back down to where it was to stop the newly formed waterworks. Needless to say both my husband and I were doubled over in laughter at the situation and by the time the lights turned green I'd managed to get it half covered and we continued on our very wet journey home. We had wonderful fun trying to negotiate the safest rout home, climbing over things and jumping over the deepest water traps. It could have been quite miserable but it was actually a bundle of fun- I haven't laughed so much in ages :)

It absolutely bucketed it down all day and whilst it is a nice change- and the garden definitely needs it- I tend to get bored when I'm stuck in our little apartment. By dinnertime I'd had enough of reading/blogging/watching tv/music so I hopped into the kitchen for some dessert fun. I don't know about you but I love making desserts/snacks- they're always so much more fun that proper cooking that involves the mandatory vegetables.

I know it's not going to appeal to those of you who are reading this from the other side of the world (sorry!) but here it's spring I like to be prepared for the heat and humidity. This means having lots of yummy frozen treats to keep me cool and sane- because no one wants to cook and heat up the house more! I decided to use some of the frozen fruit I had stashed away for more fruit ice cream. 

I've done a few before, we've had the raspberry, blueberry, watermelon and mint sorbet, the raspberry and banana 'ice cream', the blueberry and banana 'ice cream' and the chocolate and banana 'ice cream'... so you can tell I like them a lot. This time I decided to use lite soy milk instead of water, its only an extra 25 cals per serve and it makes them even more delicious. I can't say enough how much I like having these as my dessert, even when I'm not dieting I eat them! And the second best bit? (the best is their flavour of course) is that they're only roughly 200 cals per generous serve. What's not to love? oh and they're one of the few ways I can get my husband to eat fruit, so I'm sure they'd work on kids and fussy eaters too :) 
Sorry about the dodgy photos- I was having so much fun making them and getting hubs to taste them that I forgot to do nice photos- but I figured pulling them out of the freezer and snapping a few anyway would be better than nothing.

Watermelon 'Ice cream'
Makes 1 big serve
1 cup frozen Watermelon
1/4 cup lite soy milk
  • chop fruit into chunks before freezing
  • defrost for 5 mins to be nice to your food processor/blender
  • combine fruit and milk
  • blend well, scraping down the sides and checking for chunks
  • enjoy with no guilt whatsoever!
Mango and Nectarine 'Ice cream'
Makes 2 serves
1 cup frozen mango
1 cup frozen nectarine
1/2 cup lite soy milk
  • chop fruit into chunks before freezing
  • defrost for 5 mins to be nice to your food processor/blender
  • combine fruit and milk
  • blend well, scraping down the sides and checking for chunks
  • enjoy!
Pear and Cinnamon 'Ice cream'
Makes 2 serves
2 cups frozen pear
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup lite soy milk
  • chop fruit into chunks before freezing
  • defrost for 5 mins to be nice to your food processor/blender
  • combine fruit, cinnamon and milk
  • blend well, scraping down the sides and checking for chunks
  • enjoy!
Blueberry and Banana 'Ice cream' version # 2
Makes 2 serves
2 cups frozen blueberries
2 frozen bananas (small)
1/2 cup lite soy milk
  • chop fruit into chunks before freezing
  • defrost for 5 mins to be nice to your food processor/blender
  • combine fruit and milk
  • blend well, scraping down the sides and checking for chunks
  • enjoy!
Remember the Cacao-Cookie Dough Dip? I do, I've been dreaming about it, but sadly it's all gone. Since I've decided to cut out fat I can't make another one so I decided to try a low fat version of the dip but in a different flavour profile. Everyone likes vanilla and lemon right? well we do! So I eliminated the fat (nut butter) from the recipe, fiddled with the ratios a bit and ended up with this little beauty. 

Vanilla/Lemon Cookie Dough Dip (Low Fat)
Makes 3 serves (1 pictured above)
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 cup oats
1/2 cup lite soy milk
3 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon essence
stevia to taste
  • process oats into a fine floury consistency
  • add chickpeas and process together
  • add stevia, vanilla and lemon
  • drizzle in lite soy milk whilst processing
  • remember to scrape down the sides and combine really well (its a texture thing)
  • refrigerate for 1hr to firm up (the oats absorb the milk and it gets thicker)
  • Enjoy with fruit or a spoon!
I swear, If you don't tell people things are healthy they enjoy them so much more. This is so good I'm thinking of making a version of it to have as a dip with fruit at christmas.

I went through all my recipes and divided them into low and higher fat sections to make it easier for us all to use it (yeah ok it was mainly for me since I'm cutting out fats) but I thought you might appreciate it too.

Hope you're all well and having a lovely day! xxx
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

"Katsudon" Tofu, Veg & Millet Stirfry

We did the big shop today, I just love it when the house looks like a green grocers. The variety makes me want to cook and eat well- is it just me or do you find you eat better when there's lots of good food in the house? I also eat better when the kitchen is clean though so I may just be odd. The kitchen table is covered in beautiful fruit- bananas, grapes, strawberries, kiwi fruit, apples, oranges, pineapple, lemons, limes and the fridge is full of veggies- cucumbers, celery, lettuces, spinach, choy sum, mustard greens, capsicum, tomatoes, carrots, pumpkin, beanshoots, broccoli. I'm so grateful I have access to such great food.

Ok, recipe time. My apologies, I was so hungry I forgot to take a photo- you all know what a stirfry looks like though- millet on the bottom, veggies on the top, tofu sauce all over, yummy yummy yummy.

This was inspired by Katsudon. It used to be my favourite Japanese dish before I went vegan. The meat was never my favourite though- I used to pick it off to get to the delicious mess of sweet onions, bean shoots, egg and rice. So after dreaming about it I decided that I would try to make something similar. Now I'm not insane and would never try to convince you that tofu tastes like egg- it doesn't. But it does make a good substitute that tastes delicious in its own right! 

"Katsudon" Tofu, Veg and Millet Stirfry
Makes 1 big serve (main meal)
Sauce:
Silken tofu 1 pack
1 tsp rice wine
2 tbsp soy sauce
10 drops stevia
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp veggie stock
1/4 tsp asafoetida (If I could eat them I would have used onions- feel free to!)
Veg:
2 cups bean shoots
1 bunch choy sum or bok choy
1 cup cooked millet (cook 1:3)
  • rinse and cook millet (1 cup millet, 3 cups water)
  • chop veggies
  • steam veggies over cooking millet
  • combine sauce ingredients
  • blend with stick blender
  • heat and cook off rice wine
  • Serve together and enjoy!
This really hit the spot. Its been about 2 years since I had the original so it was amazingly satisfying but I'm sure it would be equally as good any other time. The tofu sauce has that sweet onion-ey flavour without the onions so it doesn't hurt my stomach, I can tell it will be reappearing. 

The other thing I've been eating lately that I haven't snapped a pic of is lots of salads with this yummy dressing.
'Cheesey' Herb and Dijon Dressing
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
3 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1 tbsp Braggs organic sprinkles
2 tbsp Water
  • combine in jar by shaking
  • use over salad or steamed veggies
This keeps well in the fridge and is packed with flavour. I love the tang on dijon but if you're not so keen on it just use less of it! As always just adjust things to your taste.You know the bad thing about blogging? You feel like you need to have new recipes every day so you don't always get the chance to go back and re-make the things you really loved. Does anyone else find that?

Hope you all have a lovely day! xxx
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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Spicy (3 minute) Tomato Soup & Paprika & Lemon Tofu Burritos

Today I thought I'd share my blog and let my darling husband write a post! I've taken some pics of a couple of his favourite meals so he can share them with you.

Ok. Claire told me to tell you why I like these meals and why I think you should try them. So here goes. This soup tastes great, it's really quick and easy to make and has very rich flavours that can be enjoyed with any type of bread. I like to dip a good quality turkish bread in it but any bread will taste great. I like spicy food so beware! This may be too hot for you (and is too hot for Claire!) so perhaps reduce the chilli powder the first time you make it and see how hot you like it. 

Rich and Spicy Tomato Soup
Tomato Paste + 2 cups water
OR
Passata + 1/2 cup water
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
handful of fresh coriander
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 tsp ground cardamon
1 cup water
  • dry fry spices
  • add tomato paste/passata and water
  • bring to the boil
  • serve with fresh coriander and bread
Please feel free to experiment with different spice combinations/quantities to find your perfect 3 minute soup! Claire says feel free to add some vegetables too, even frozen ones!

This meal I eat all the time. Seriously once or twice a week. It's my favourite tofu dish, it's filling, flavourful, easily customisable (when you're out of something you can just adapt it and it still tastes great). It's also a great way to eat salad that doesn't feel like you're eating salad. It's my comfort food. Make sure you pick a good salad mix- one with lots of variety, small leaves and use good quality lemons- the real ones! no plastic juice.
Spicy Paprika and Lemon Tofu Burritos
Makes 2 big serves (2 fill me but hubs usually has 4- the picture above is 1)
300g thinly sliced fried tofu
Juice of 1 lemon and sliced whole lemon
1tsp chili flakes (to taste- this is hot!)
1 cup water
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
2 tbsp smoked sweet paprika
3 tsp 'chicken' stock powder
3 tbsp olive oil
pepper to taste
mixed lettuce leaves
fresh coriander 
green/red/yellow capsicum or baby capsicums/peppers
Multigrain tortillas
  • slice tofu in thin strips (2mm ish)
  • fry in oil (use a large pan, it will make your life easier)
  • when tofu is browned off add spices, garlic, chilli and cook for 2 mins
  • add lemon juice and slices of lemon, stock powder and water
  • simmer until the stock has turned into a thick sauce
  • chop salad
  • toast tortillas under the grill or in a dry pan
  • serve with fresh coriander and tabasco sauce (or any chilli sauce) or guacamole or nutritional yeast to taste
  • enjoy!
This recipe is easily adaptable to different diets- ie. vegetarians can add cheese, you can get gluten free wraps, you can all make your own so everyone gets what they want. Please give these a try, they're awesome- you won't regret it.

I just have to add- even if you think you don't like tofu you have to try these! They're so full of flavour that you don't miss the traditional version at all.

Have a lovely weekend! xxx
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Herb & Almond Sauce

I love using nuts in my salad dressings and sauces, especially since trying to cut out processed oils it's a wonderful source of good fats... having said that I have now decided to limit the nuts too but still, this is a great sauce/dressing.

Herb and Almond Sauce
1 cup raw almonds soaked overnights (so they double in size)
1 cup water
handful of sage
2 handfuls of oregano
handful of mint
2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Soak almonds overnight
  • Blend all ingredients and enjoy as a sauce/ dressing/ dip
This recipe would work well with pretty much any herbs, I just went with what was growing well and tastes good together. This freezes well and keeps in the fridge for about a week (well that's how long it lasted me anyway). If you're not a salad fan having a yummy dressing makes it much easier to get all the good veggies into you.

Salads are a staple, if you don't like them stick veggies in your smoothies or dress them in yummy dressings/sauces like this one.

Asparagus Salad with Almond and Herb Dressing
 Naked
Dressed
Salads are a meal. I don't care how many times people tell me it's not real food- its the real food you're meant to eat! Veggies are the main course, fill up on them and your body will thank you for it.

All the best xxx
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Friday, November 25, 2011

Jackfruit, Pumpkin & Spinach Curry (Low Fat)

Since my first experience with young green jackfruit went so well with the Young Jackfruit Sambal Salad I decided to use it in a curry. It was just as wonderful as I predicted. This will definitely be appearing on my plate again. I prefer the texture of the jackfruit to tofu (which usually appears in my currys) but it's on par with lentils/beans... perhaps they would work well together? one way to find out!

This curry is full of flavour and veggies, I would be great with millet, quinoa, brown rice but we made cous-cous. I'm willing to try things again because your tastes do change and I'm constantly trying to get my husband to try new foods (usually vegetables and fruits) so I have to do the same! but surprise surprise I still don't like it- so I can vouch for the fact this curry is good enough to have without it.

Jackfruit, Pumpkin and Spinach Curry
Makes 4 serves
1 can young green jackfruit
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
1 tsp cloves
1 tbsp mustard seeds
3 large green chillis- seeds in, they're mild but flavourful! Adjust to taste
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 small butternut pumpkin
1/2 cup light coconut cream (or sub in blended tomatoes)
2 tbsp ground chia seeds
1 cup frozen spinach
thumb size piece of ginger
fresh coriander to garnish
1 tbsp lemon juice
Stock to cover (approximately 4/5 cups)
  • Grind whole spices and chia seeds
  • chop chilies and pumpkin
  • pumpkin, spinach, chili, stock, ginger in pot- simmer till the pumpkin is tender
  • chop and add jackfruit- simmer for 10 minutes-ish
  • add lemon and coconut
  • enjoy with cous-cous/millet/rice/quinoa/buckwheat... whatever you fancy!
Curry, cous-cous, green beans, green chili pickle
I hope you give jackfruit a try- its really yummy, filling and low cal. It's going to be a regular in my cupboard for sure! How easy is canned jackfruit + frozen veg curry on a weeknight? I made another version with blended tomatoes instead of the coconut cream in the gravy- less calories and fat and worked very well. 

Thank you so much for the comments on my last post! I really truly appreciate every comment I get but those in particular were just what I needed to hear when I was making a change in my diet. I'm all in now- I'm cutting the fats, limiting the carbs, enjoying fruits and eating my weight in vegetables- wish me luck?

Hope you're all enjoying yummy plant based meals xxx
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

EAT TO LIVE-Dr Joel Fuhrman & Jillian Michaels DVD

I've been reading Dr. Joel Furhman's Eat to Live and I've decided to give a low fat plant based diet a go. It has the potential to work...I did some rough calorie counts and it ranges from 1000-1500 calories. If I supposedly need 2000 calories a day that would result in a 0.5-1kg loss per week. I've been doing some other reading that encourages an extremely low fat diet so I've decided to cut out the nuts/avocado that 'eat to live' suggests too. 

It isn't too different to how i'm eating now, I just need to focus on portion sizes of carbs and increase my fruit and vegetable intake. If I can't stick to it it's not going to kill me to eat more starchy veg or whole grain carbs- better them that fats right? Sounds healthy to me. One way to find out I guess...here's a quick overview of what I'm thinking of doing. What do you think? 
EAT
TO
LIVE

Raw vegetables
1 lb



Cooked green vegetables
1 lb



Other non-starchy vegetables
-



Beans/Legumes

1 cup



Fruit
4 serves



Whole-grains/Starchy Veg
1 cup



Ground Flax/Chia
1 tbsp



Soy Milk
1 cup






Breakfast
Fruit Salad
2 serves fruit (2c.)
Tea
Lunch
Super Salad (1lb)
Flax (1/2 tbsp) + Veg Dressing
1/2 cup Whole-grains OR Starchy Veg
1/2 cup Beans/Legumes
Dinner
Cooked Green Vegetables (1lb)
Assorted other non-starchy Veg
Flax (1/2 tbsp) + Veg Sauce
1/2 cup Whole-grains OR Starchy Veg
1/2 cup Beans/Legumes
Dessert
Fruit Ice-cream
2 serves fruit (2c.) + 1 cup lite soy milk
Tea
For more info check out his website

I found a dvd I'd been thinking about buying at the library the other day. So yesterday when I really didn't feel like going to the gym I did Jillian Michaels- no more trouble zones workout. I can tell you now, it's great! 
If you're looking for a workout to do at home this is a good choice. All you need is a mat/carpeted floor and some hand weights. Its a circuit based workout that goes for 40 minutes and targets your bum, legs, arms, back and core. I'm sore and tight today which is always a good sign for a new workout. I found a great new exercise from it too- surrenders they get your heart rate up so quickly and work basically your whole body. I'll definitely be incorporating these into my workouts. Give them a go and you'll get it.
Have you tried any good workout dvds? Any suggestions? I had to give up my gym membership so I'm searching for ideas. 

Hope you're all well and enjoying life! xxx
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