Monday, April 30, 2012

Love Affair With My Vitamix!

Can we say Carb overload? Since we got the Vitamix on Saturday I have been making making everything I can  in it. In the span of two days I made Stu and I butternut squash soup, green smoothies, and potato soup (pictured above). For the kids I made vanilla ice cream, scooped some out for my one child who only likes vanilla, then added cookies and chocolate for the two chocolate loving kids. What a breeze! Where have you been all my life Vitamix 5200?


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Which Syrup is Healthier?

Today we had our favorite Sunday breakfast of GFV chocolate chip pancakes and scrambled tofu. I posted pics of this in a previous post.

Stu had the Blue Agave syrup, while I had the pure Maple Syrup. The kids had the Lite Butter syrup which ironically says  "Contains No Butter" under the title.

While we were having our after breakfast chat at the table I turned the Maple syrup bottle around and almost fell out of my chair after reading the calories. We quickly began comparing and I was wishing I could go back in time and "unpour" some of the syrup I had already eaten.

PURE MAPLE SYRUP
AGAVE
LITE BUTTER SYRUP
I am now officially confused as to which would have been a better choice! The Lite syrup had half the calories and sugar! HOWEVER the list of ingredients was long compared to the Pure Maple Syrup. The Agave is a low glycemic index sweetener so perhaps that would have been the better choice. I just thought by going with PURE and NATURAL I made a wise choice. Maybe next time I need to put less than a quarter cup though :(

I would be interested in any feedback concerning this.

Bean Noodles Stir Fry

Stu said this has been his favorite dish so far. I used bean noodles which he prefers to the rice noodles. Tossed in broccoli, squash, mushrooms, scallions, garlic, tamari sauce, chili sauce and peanut sauce. I will take a pic of the sauces we use because they are GFV and I only use a spoon or two when cooking a dish so they last a long time.

Portabello Mushrooms and "Not So Great" Curry Tofu

Lightly seasoned with Sea Salt and pepper- very quick and easy side dish which Stu loved.

This tofu curry wasn't too bad but not great either. It was just good enough to get another dinner done.I had no idea what I was making for dinner and just started throwing stuff in the pan. The end result smelled good and tasted alright. I think the mushrooms were the star of this dinner.

Amazing Polenta

Friday night we went to get more salad stuff for dinner. I prefer making several trips to the store than buying it in advance and having it wilt in the fridge. We were still un-decisive about what to have with our salad and I came across the Polenta- Sundried tomato polenta.

I browned it in some olive oil and threw in some  Mario Botali's marinara sauce, which is my new favorite marinara sauce by the way. There are so few ingredients which makes me love it even more.

This was our very quick and yummy dinner.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Vitamix

Kicking things up a notch.
Will be getting good use out of
It.
Stu

Monday, April 23, 2012

Greenwave Cafe


On Saturday night we decided to check out a local raw food restaurant in Plantation called Greenwave cafe. I ordered the "burrito" pictured above.  I have to say it was extremely fresh and the taste was AMAZING. They make the best guacamole. I was skeptical to try the cheese sauce made from cashews but was pleasantly surprised by it all! Stu had the "cheeseburger" -

We had some tasty nachos as well-
We topped it all off by sharing an almond milk cappuccino and taking a dessert to go.  All in all we had a great, fresh, raw meal, served by friendly staff and were home in time watch "The Firm" :)

Gluten Free Vegan Brownies!

I discovered that Publix has a nice little section of products that are GF. This brand, Enjoy Life, makes all their products free of common allergens- nut free, dairy free, egg free, gluten free. I enjoyed these little bad boys a little too much. Stu had to remind me about moderation :( . So I had one more than the serving size of two cookies and called it a night. I do have to remind myself that I am trying to eat cleaner so I really need to save these kind of things for occasional treats only.

Rice Burgers

We had these burgers Friday night that I got from the frozen section of Whole Foods. They are gluten free, soy free, dairy free, egg free... The taste was actually quite nice and not dry as I expected they would be. They were actually too thick for my taste so I cut them in half depth wise to make an average size "veggie burger". We had it on GFV bread and paired it with a nice salad.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tricked!

Last night we decided to have salads from a salad and wrap place called  "Tossed" down the street. We were delighted to see all of the menu items labeled V for vegan, VG for Vegetarian and GF for Gluten free. I chose a Thai salad with peanut dressing which was labeled V,GF, - perfecto! Stu ordered a Go Green salad with garlic dressing which was also labeled V, GF. When we arrived home to eat he noticed his salad dressing was white. I told him it was probably made with soy milk or something so he hesitatingly forged ahead. When he was done he couldn't shake the feeling he might have had dairy so he called the place and asked for the ingredients in the dressing. Sure enough, it had mayo. We looked at our to go menu and noticed the dressings were at the bottom of the menu and his dressing was labeled vegetarian and not vegan. We should have asked before we ordered but we learned a lesson. I still think they should not have labeled the salad vegan if it already came with an assigned dressing. Maybe I'm wrong. I'm not always right so if I ever post anything on this blog that I have eaten and it is NOT vegan or Gluten free, I am open to being made of aware of the situation! Please! Also, the waiter told us the tofu was not GF. I was wondering, is all tofu not gluten free?

Stu immediately felt sick but it could have been a mind over matter thing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Something with Rice Noodles

I am a major carb-craver who has been missing my favorite meal of all time -Panang Curry. I'm sure that there are great GFV recipes out there but I had to use what was already in the pantry. After spending $300 on groceries this weekend we vowed to stay out of the store until at least a week. So this recipe was just a creation that turned out so tasty!

GFV chili sauce and peanut sauce were used but only a couple spoons of each with addition of Tamari Sauce , which is a Gluten Free soy sauce.

I sauteed the following with a tad of sesame oil in my Wok:
Garlic, green onion, mushrooms
a few spoons chili sauce (depending on how spicy you want it!)
baby corn
fresh steamed broccoli (I steamed in the microwave for two minutes)

Then I threw the boiled rice noodles into the wok and stirred it all up and tasted :)
Thats when I added a couple TBS of peanut sauce and Tamari to taste.

Topped w fresh cilantro. Quick and easy.

Sunday Breakfast

After scouring the aisles of Whole Foods for some Gluten-Free Vegan pancakes I found something better than I expected! GFV CHOCOLATE CHIP pancakes!The directions simply call for the addition  of rice milk and two teaspoons of oil. 


Then I made Tofu scrambled eggs for the first time. I
sauteed some garlic, tomatoes, green onions and a jalapeno and added the smashed firm tofu and cooked till it looked amazing. I also added some salt and my favorite secret ingredient I discovered- Nutritional Yeast Flakes which add a great cheesy flavor.
This was the finished product! Stu was raving over how delicious everything was and I have to say, I was so impressed, as this breakfast rivaled any other non vegan gf breakfast I've ever made in the past!

Two Quick Meals

VEGGING OUT!!
One Evening last week we made a big tray of roasted veggies in the oven. I couldn't believe how simple, clean and tasty it was. I drizzled a little bit of olive oil over the veggies and some Montreal Steak Seasoning. (Hey I cant use it for steak so..!) I also dusted some cinnamon sugar over the sweet potatoes. Although we shouldn't have, we ate almost all of it in one sitting!


                                                        GF  VEGAN CHILI


There is alot more label checking going on these days and we had to be sure not to buy beans that were made with meat seasonings. It wasn't that difficult to find though.

2 cans of any beans you prefer
1 large can of tomato puree
1 large can of whole tomatoes
1 large onion
fresh garlic to taste
and lots of chili powder- I always wing it but usually add, keep adding, add some more...

We topped it with fresh avocado:) yummy!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Things We've Learned Getting Started

Well, it's the end of week one and here is what we have learned about eating gluten-free vegan food.

1. Groceries are expensive. I think the initial week is expected to be expensive. We had to stock up the pantry so there would be no excuses. But to be honest, I think we bought a lot more than necessary for fear we would starve without dairy and meat products! In the long run it evens out as we are not eating out and buying lunch everyday at work.

2. I can actually live without my morning chocolate biscotti! Who knew I would not curl up in a corner, rocking from withdrawals.

3. Stu is often concerned there is not enough protein on his plate. Initially, I was more concerned with making sure we weren't eating the wrong foods, that I forgot about incorporating portions of protein. I have found some great sources of protein I will share in my next post.

4. We never feel deprived! Perhaps our bodies are getting all the right nutrients. I have noticed that I have not had any cravings for junk food or sweets. Stu is still wishing he can have meat, and continues to mention vegan eating is only "temporary" for him. We shall see.

5. We spend more time in the bathroom. We are eating a high fiber diet which is good for pushing out the sludge in our systems. We start each morning with our home made cereal made of gluten free oats, ground flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chopped dates, pecans and raisins. Of course we have this with almond milk. 

6. To be careful of calories!  It sounds healthy but the calories still count. I spoke to lady at the health food store who is a GFV and eats 75% raw food. She suggested that most of our meals should consist of fresh veggies. It can't always be rice and beans, as good as they are!

7. There are many good resources available to guide us. We bought two GFV cookbooks and have been inspired by some great blogs. 

Next I will post pictures of some of the incredible things we ate this week! On a side note: I lost FOUR  pounds this week! Mind you, I am not doing this for weight loss however I DO need to lose weight. Stu has lost weight also. He started his vegan diet several weeks ago when he went home to Jamaica to see a doctor. He did not weigh himself but I notice a difference and so have a few others. In all fairness, he had a head start while I was indulging in what they call "last supper syndrome" to be sure I ate all the things I love before he got back. Now, I am committed to supporting him both on an emotional level and a nutritional level. I want him to get better. When someone you love gets sick, it changes the way you look at things. Health is more important than any of the joys we put in our mouth. Thus the name of our blog came about. For us, this is Food:Take 2!