Tag Archives: plant-based

My delicious adventures in homemade vegan sushi

I’ve been making sushi. No bamboo roll mat needed, no fish, just fresh rice, avocado, sesame seeds, wasabi, seaweed sheets and a lot of love!


These maki rolls are delicious, healthy, affordable, cruelty free and fun to make.

I bought a package of 10 roasted sushi sheets at my supermarket for about two bucks. I bought a bag of my favorite rice, some rice wine vinegar, wasabi, some sesame seeds and the rest is just your fillings.


Don’t put hot rice on your seaweed sheets, wait for it to be room temperature and then spread it on the seaweed sheet with a plastic spoon.


I added some rice wine vinegar to my rice and stirred it in. You leave the top inch with no rice so you can spread some water on it with fingers as you roll up.


You put your fillings in the middle and roll. I got it on my first try but they say it takes practice. So easy, delicious and super healthy!


I discovered how to do this by watching YouTube videos by High Carb Hannah and Cheap Lazy Vegan. Love both those channels!

It’s a great vegan lunch or dinner, and so fun to make! I’ve made these sushi rolls twice now and they were delicious until the last piece! I drink a cold homemade elderflower Italian soda with my vegan sushi.


xxSerena

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Are mini salads the start to significant weight loss? 

It’s happened to all of us I think, whether work gets too busy so you decrease your workouts, maybe the birth of his child leads you to sleep less so work out less, or you put on those “I’m in love” pounds. 

However we get there, all of a sudden we realize we’re suddenly five or 10 pounds overweight!

I think the real success is the realization that you did gain five or 10 pounds. Because at that point, it’s doable.  It can be caught and tended to. 

One thing I did was start eating one small salad, extra, a day. And what I did was a few things: regulated my taste buds, made me crave less sugar fat or salt, added fiber to my diet so I felt more full, and reminded me that I needed to watch what I was eating. The salad looked a little something like this:


I think the trick is to make it small, very easy to make, very minimal ingredients, so that you can make it fast and it’s not a huge thing. 

All I did was chop up half a head of romaine and a quarter of a pepper.


And then I made the dressing: Half a teaspoon of olive oil, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, dried Greek seasoning, a teaspoon of fresh salsa, and a quarter teaspoon of turmeric/salt.

That’s it! 

I found a little container that keeps the dressing separate from the salad and keeps the salad cool. It’s good I like it for a small salad, but any container will do.


Would you add a small salad to your diet every day for a week? Have you before? Do you think it’s a good idea or not?

xxSerena

Vegan meat and potato dinner

I made seitan from scratch the other day. I had watched the documentary called “Cowspiracy” and thought it was so motivating! 

So here’s my recipe for chunky potatoes with meat n onions; vegan style! 

Boil diced potatoes and add spinach: 


I wanted Asian flavours so I added Braggs amino acids (soya sauce), rice vinegar, sweet chili sauce and a splash of apple cider vinegar.


I cooked that together covered for about 10 minutes under low heat.


Then I fried my seitan, diced, with diced onions and some all of oil and water. 

The “meat” has a spicy flavor, good meaty consistency and goes well with the potatoes and onions and spinach.

It might not look like much but I’m proud of myself for making it and truly enjoying it! 


I made my meat from scratch! 

Have you ever tried seitan? Do you think you would like it? 

xxSerena 

3 Day Juice Cleanse: what, why and results!

After a two of decadent vacations in NYC and Montreal, fiancé and I both felt we needed to give our digestive systems a break.

So we had our fill of black-and-white cookies, donuts, ice cream, poutine, Burgers and fries after midnight, donairs, chips, milkshakes, the odd salad here and there, bottles of wine in the park and desserts galore.

But after it was all said and done, summer officially wrapped up, the leaves started turning yellow, we both decided on a three day juice cleanse each.

Perfect way to start the fall season!

I decided to try the three day juice cleanse at Freshii, because I’m Canadian, and there was a convenient location on the way to work.

Here are some things that I had going for me before the juice cleanse that I recommend:

1. I had a partner to do it with. This helps with morale, motivation and understanding for both of you! It’s a great advantage.

2. I did some research about different juice cleanses in my area.

3. I researched what others had gone through on their cleanses.

So I called the Freshii located on the way to work the day before I wanted to pick up my juices. So exciting!

This cleanse is comprised of four juices, which you drink about 2 to 3 hours apart, water in between and then finally a metaboost salad.

Day one:

  • I drank my juice is in the order that I was supposed to. She had each juice numbered. I didn’t like any of the juices so I drink them quickly, rinsed out the glass with filtered water, drink that quickly and just kept peeing the whole day!
  • After my third juice my head started throbbing, I was getting irritated, hungry, a little slow, and experienced a foggy brain.
  • I drank as much water as I could, went shopping with a supportive girlfriend, and ate my first metaboost salad while she ordered a delicious beef udon soup from the food court!
  • She felt bad, but I told her not to! I knew what I was getting into, and I agreed to do this!
  • I really enjoyed the salad. It had field greens, kale, edamame, mango, goat cheese, almonds, carrots and a balsamic vinegrette.
  • I went to sleep fully hydrated but kind of hungry, wondering what I had gotten myself into.
drink juices every 2 1/2 to 3 hours apart in this order: green energy, carrots zinger, mighty detox, then red power. Photography by Serena Alibhai
approximately 600 cal, spinach, kale and field greens, goat cheese, mango, almonds, carrots, edamame, balsamic vinaigrette
Yes I used ALL the dressing! Salad was very good. Also it satisfied my hunger! 


Day two: 

  • I didn’t wake up feeling hungry. That was odd I thought. I sipped some water and waited a little longer to drink my first juice.
  • I was peeing more today. A lot. Like every two hours for sure. Maybe every hour and a half.
  • I continue to supplement my juices with a cool filtered water immediately after.
  • And then the miracle happens. My eyes become clear. I feel happy. There is extra energy in my step. The words come easy. No more brain fog. No more headaches.
  • The juices are tasting better now. Not like day one, where they were gross.
  • I eat the salad that evening with vigor. I love it.
I didn’t enjoy the juices enough to sip. I gulped them down! 
After drinking each juice, I filled up each container with cold filtered water, gave it a swish and drank that too! 


Day three:

  • I was very impressed with the way my waist looked and felt this morning!
  • I’m dreaming about what I’m going to eat tomorrow. I’m imagining vegetables in a clear broth with rice noodles.
  • For the third night in a row, I’ve had very vivid dreams, complex storylines, a lot of color, vibrancy, and I wake up feeling refreshed. My dreams are interesting movies that I even remember after I wake up!
  • At night I dream about cheating. I dream about eating real food. But instead, I drink water.

Final conclusions and realizations: 

  • Again? Yes, I would do this again. My body felt lighter, clean, better than before.
  • Vivid dreams? First, two days after, explained that one of the symptoms of a juice cleanse is a detoxification of the penial gland, deep inside the brain. This results in vivid clear dreams.
  • Weight loss? I lost five pounds, and so did my fiancée, on a different juice cleanse. But I don’t expect to keep that weight loss. What I loved though: I kept two pounds off a week later.
  • Cost? Was it worth it? This juice cleanse cost $80 for three days. Totally worth it. Convenient. Simple. Worked for me.

Feel free to ask questions you guys!!

xxSerena

Blood orange binge documented with nutritional benefits

I got sick, and I’m still sick, the kind where you sneeze 30 times a day, have no energy, you get chilly then sweaty, and you’re exhausted. Plus no appetite. 

I couldn’t even taste food. But what I could taste, fortunately, were blood oranges. Ice cream. Caramel popcorn. I realized that I could taste sugar but not savory flavours. 

So I feasted on blood oranges. I started with one of course.

 

I started with one blood orange. photography by Serena Alibhai

 
Couldn’t resist another blood orange. Photography by Serena Alibhai
 

The oranges made me feel good. I was always thirsty so the oranges provided moisture, sweet delicious flavor and relief.  
 

Blood orange nutritional facts.
 
So the next day, when the sickness had not subsided yet, I ate more. I cut them into four’s and then peeled them. I realized I liked them refrigerated. So I ate them cold.

Inhaling more blood oranges. photography by Serena Alibhai

Have you ever eaten these luscious citrus gems? 

xxSerena  

Making a cheese and tomato sandwich for work

In my quest for a good work sandwich, I wondered how to make a boring cheese and tomato sandwich more exciting and up to date. How will I make this tomato and cheese sandwich modern?

First, slice the flax bread.

   
 
And then one side gets sun-dried tomato and onion chutney and the other side gets fresh rosemary mayo.

Fresh rosemary Mayo is just ordinary mayo with finely chopped rosemary spread into it.

  
Then we add the layers. Finally sliced tomato. Aged cheddar cheese. Butter lettuce. Fresh basil leaves. Pea sprouts. And cucumber.

 
  
  
  
And then pack the sandwiches up nice and tight! To eat at work the next day.

   
 
What are your favorite sandwiches to make for work?

xxSerena 

 

Stuffed baked portobello mushrooms recipe

I love stuffed mushrooms. Mushrooms hold stuffing really well and to be honest I love stuffed fish, stuffed cabbage, stuffed pastry, the list goes on and on. I like something delicious inside  something already delicious! Anyways I’ll stop the ramble before this gets off-topic. Back to my stuffed Portobello mushrooms.

Stuffed baked Portobello mushrooms ready to enjoy, hot out of the oven. Photography by Serena Alibhai
This recipe makes two stuffed mushrooms. For a dinner of two you can serve this as the main course along with a side of salad, pasta or potatoes.

Ingredients:

2 portobello mushrooms, stems trimmed
1 teaspoon olive oil

For the stuffing:

2 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan Reggiano
Half teaspoon hemp heart seeds
Half a small red onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon fresh salsa
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Fry onion with salt and oil for five to 8 minutes until lightly browned.
  2. In a bowl combine yogurt, Parmesan, hemp seeds, salsa and cooked onions.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Fill portobello mushroom caps. Place a tiny bit of olive oil under each mushroom cap before placing on cookie sheet or foil.
  5. Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes.

Portobello mushrooms. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai

Stuffed. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai

Stuffed and baked. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai

Tender, great flavor and delicious. Photography and recipe by Serena Alibhai
They were delicious. And very filling. Check out this link for some nutritional facts for portobello mushrooms:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/9170/2

Do you like mushrooms? Have you ever made stuffed mushrooms? How do you make them?

xxSerena

A plant-based trip to the Chinese market

Plant based food contain a high number of nutrients, high amount of fibre and of course low in fat. 

Sometimes just walking around the market can inspire you to cook a new vegetable.

 

Broccoli at the Chinese market. Photography by Rizwan Alvi

Who knows what color of vegetable will strike your fancy. There are so many recipes for vegetables.

 

Chinese eggplant. Photography by Rizwan Alvi
 
Eat the rainbow. Photography by Rizwan Alvi
 
Chinese broccoli ( Gai-lan ) Photography by Rizwan Alvi
 
Fresh ginger for sale at the Chinese market. Photography by Rizwan Alvi

Does this inspire you to cook with plant-based foods? Have you used to these ingredients before?

Have a great, happy, healthy week!

xxSerena 

Vegan rainbow power lunch bowl 

Post workout today was a vegan potato veggie bowl. Did you know that there are plant based foods with just as much protein, less carcinogens and more antioxidants than meat?

Broccoli is delicious 🙂

The main ingredients in this lunch bowl are russet potatoes, red bell pepper and broccoli. Here are some nutrition facts before going through this super easy uber healthy lunch:

Potato nutritional facts
Potato nutritional facts
Red Bell Peppers nutritional facts
Red Bell Peppers nutritional facts
Broccoli nutritional facts
Broccoli nutritional facts

Some interesting information on the health benefits of raw vs. cooked broccoli:

Both cooked and raw broccoli have great health benefits. Just don't cook for too long!
Both cooked and raw broccoli have great health benefits. Just don’t cook for too long!

Ingredients:

4 small russet potatoes
1 small stalk broccoli
1 red bell pepper
1 green spring onion
1 tbsp Braggs amino acids
1 tbsp Rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Flash boil broccoli and red bell pepper for five minutes. Chop.
  2. Roughly peel potatoes. Dice.
  3. Boil potatoes for 10 minutes.
  4. Drain and add chopped bell pepper and broccoli.
  5. Add seasonings, chopped green spring onion and stir.
  6. Heat, covered, on low heat for five minutes to steam and combine flavors.
  7. Serve.
Flash boil your broccoli and red pepper for five minutes. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
Washing potatoes, broccoli and red pepper. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
After a five minute boil. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace

 

Roughly peel potatoes. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
Boil diced potatoes. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
Dice steamed veggies. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
One green spring onion about to be diced. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
I added some sprouted mung beans, optional, I had on hand to my power vegan bowl. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
Add your seasonings. Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace
Season with pepper and enjoy! Photography by Serena Alibhai @serenapeace

It was good. It was satisfying, filling, I felt great after eating it and I was happy it was totally vegan. Perfect post workout fuel!

What do you think about getting your protein from plant based foods? Would you? Do you? Have you?

xxSerena

Great sources of plant protein

The more you know, the more you may change. While you may not be ready to transition into complete vegetarianism or veganism, cutting down the amount of meat to eat is healthy and good for the environment.

Here are some plant protein sources for you to browse through:

  
Mushrooms lol!! 

Do you take breaks from eating meat? Are you a vegetarian? What are some great simple food ideas that are plant-based but high in protein in your diet?

I will be trying to eat less meat, so I’d love ideas! Last week I made two work salads with veggie meatballs I found from IKea instead of my usual chicken breast or seafood.

   
 
xxSerena