High hopes…

Hi all, hope you all had a great weekend! We spent the weekend and most of last week organizing to go to auction for our dream house. Unfortunately although we won the auction we didn’t get the house. The owner had really unrealistic expectations of price that they only made clear the day of the auction and would not budge. It was a bit disappointing, but at least I can sleep again. Most of last week I spent tossing and turning and stressing. So its Monday morning and I’m feeling more refreshed for the week. Things could still turn around, but we will just have to wait and see.

Besides stressing about the house I spent most of last week stressing about something else. I admit since I have started my job I have put on a little weight. I spend most of the day sitting down and have found it difficult to exercise in the evenings. Beside that winter has continued into spring, I am just generally exhausted at night and have lacked motivation. However this week someone I won’t mention was not going to let me think my weight gain has gone unnoticed. I was just so embarrassed and upset that I spent the rest of the weekend trying to sustain a mostly liquid diet. All that I achieved was giving myself a migraine, being short tempered with even one and hating myself. It wasn’t until the end of the week that I realized that I don’t need to change myself for someone else. I am still a healthy size 10 and it is expected that a change in my lifestyle was going to impact my body. Which is something that I can bounce back from once I get use to my routine. People who make nasty comments only do it for their own satisfaction. It is not out of care, but to highlight imperfect in someone else to mask their own insecurities. Instead of being motivated by someone else’s jealousy, I rather be motivated by my own need to live the healthiest life I can. So I have been trying to make more of an effort to walk my dogs and be active. Looking forward to the sun staying out a little longer as we get further into spring.

Anyhow on a brighter subject, as I mentioned I tried to live on a most liquid diet. But I still had to eat some solid foods. I tried to keep it as light as possible, but I certainly wasn’t going to eat lettuce leaves. I am really not a fan of plain old lettuce tomato and cucumber as a main meal. So to sprice up my salad I added some roasted Japanese eggplant and sweet potato. This is now my favourite way to have Japanese eggplant. I just chopped them in half and lightly brush some oil roast for 20-30 mins. They taste great in a salad with Agave & Tahini Dressing. I also prepared them to accompany a Roasted Garlic, Cherry Tomato Coconut Oat soup. Marco wasn’t a big fan of oats in soup, but I just wanted to see what it would be like. It wasn’t bad, but still needs so fine tuning. A recipe I did include was Quinoa Sushi with Red Onion, Cucumber and Mayo. Marco was a bit freaked out about quinoa in sushi, but he ended up loving it. The combination was surprisingly really nice and didn’t feel like anything was really missing.

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Quinoa Sushi with Red Onion, Cucumber and Mayo (vegan, gluten free, nut free)

Ingredients:

white quinoa

rice wine vinegar

mirin

sea salt

red onion diced

cucumber sliced

Soy Mayonnaise/vegan mayonnaise

nori sheets

Method:

1. Cook quinoa according to packet directions. Then let it cool down and add some rice wine vinegar, mirin and sea salt to taste.

2. In the meantime combine the diced red onion with mayonnaise.

3. Lay out the nori sheet then add a layer of quinoa. Then in the centre add red onion and 3 slices of cucumber.

4. Roll up the nori sheet then slice and serve.

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I have been a bit slack continuing my Cookbook Project for the recipe book Energise Your Life: Release Your Natural Energy. After the Aloo Gobi debacle, I was a bit hesitant to try something else.  I finally got all the ingredients together the Vegetable crumble, so here it is. My family really liked this recipe. I quite liked it too, but I did find the crumble a bit dry. I had a feeling when I was adding the crumble that it was a bit floury and thick, but I decided to trust in the recipe. Turns out my instincts were right and there wasn’t enough vegan butter to make the crumble that hard and crusty, so it was a bit on the floury side. But nevertheless I really liked this recipe.

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Vegetable Crumble (vegan, gluten free option, soy free)

To make this recipe you will need:

1 onion sliced

2 medium carrots, sliced

2 sticks of celery, sliced

1/4 cabbage, shredded/sliced

125g vegan butter

200g organic flour

2 tablespoons flaked almonds, plus more to garnish

225g tomatoes (about 3 small)

125g hazel nuts, chopped

1 tablespoons yeast (I used 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast) mixed with 175 ml boiling water

sea salt & black pepper to taste

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First I preheated the oven to 180 degrees and slicing all the vegetables and nuts. Then I melted half the Nutlex in a large pan on medium to low heat. Then sautéed the vegetables till they were soft.

While they were cooking, I adding the flour (minus 1 tablespoon of flour), half the butter and 2 tablespoons of flaked almonds into the blender and blended it. I also dropped the tomatoes into boiled water for a minute, then peeled and chopped them.

When the vegetables were starting to soften I added the hazelnuts top heat through, then added1 tablespoon of flour.

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Next I added the nutritional yeast mixed with the water, chopped tomatoes sea salt and black pepper. I allowed it to thicken a little before taking it off the heat.

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I placed the vegetables into a greased casserole tray. Then topped it with the crumble mixture and some extra flaked almonds. I baked that for 1 hour. Since my crumble looked a bit floury I added a bit of spray oil on the top and cooked it for a further 5 minutes. I think it did help to get make the top a bit more crispy.

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This was the result. It does look a bit dry but actually the vegetables underneath were moist and caramelized nicely. It serves enough for 6.

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The cook book recommended servicing it with steamed green beans and corn, which actually really went well with the Vegetable Crumble. I just sliced the corn off the cob and chopped fresh green beans. Green beans and corn do taste a lot better fresh then frozen. Steamed they taste great, all they needed was a bit of sea salt.

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I really did like this recipe and I think its both Marco and kid friendly. It can easily be made gluten free, using gluten free flour. The only think I recommend is using less flour in the crumble.

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7 thoughts on “High hopes…

  1. I am SO glad that you’ve decided not to let that person’s opinion get to you. It makes me angry that certain people in this world seem to get their joy out of making demeaning remarks about others. I have someone in my workplace who does the same thing, and I pretty much want to punch them on a daily basis. You are entirely right though, our self-esteem, respect and confidence should never be based on the remarks of others. I think for all of us, there’s a healthy weight range that we can maintain… with a bit of natural fluctuation from season to season and according to physical activity. Your diet is completely healthy, plant based, good fats so you have nothing to worry about. You’re beautiful, wise and healthy. That person needs to get a life. Your recipes here are gorgeous too…. yay for quinoa sushi, I’m falling in love with it too. Sending you a hug. Take care of your body but feel good from the inside, not just the outside. You’re amazing xx

    • Thanks so much for the lovely comment Laura! I really appreciate the encouragement. I guess its hard when someone who you think cares about you would say something so nasty that you assume it must be true, you must really look that bad. But the more I think about it the more I realize it wasn’t because they ‘care’, they just want me to look a certain way for their own reasons. I guess it this is the first time since I was sick and lost lots of weight that I have been criticized that way. I felt like I lost 3 years of my life before and the general consensus with my family was that I was lazy or ate to much. Nobody knew how sick I was. I also am very scare to go back to that again, so I panicked when I was confronted by this person.
      At least I don’t have to see them too often. I couldn’t imagine having to work with someone so critical. I know people here don’t agree with my diet and like most people think I’m too uptight or something. But noone says anything, they just apologize or pretend I’m not their when they pass around the cake and chocolates lol.

      • Yep, I definitely agree that some people just criticize others to try and make themselves feel better. It’s horrible but true. I’m sorry to hear that your family didn’t understand how sick you were. It’s the worst thing, to feel like you lack non-judgemental support during a situation as hard as that. I am so glad that you’re in a better position now, and that Marco is supportive in your food and health journey (despite his meat cravings… but that’s just boys, haha!). You’re definitely gorgeous, and the older I get, the more I realise that we need to do what’s best for our bodies (physically and mentally) rather than trying to meet other people’s expectations or impositions upon us. You are never going to end up back where you were a few years ago. You’ve completely changed your life. Glad that you’ve got a bit of separation from that person at least. Yep, it’s hard to work with certain people (I just try to keep my head down, do my job then go home!) xx

  2. The sushi looks great! Interesting idea!
    As for the negative comments, I sometimes need to remind myself that when others are negative and hurtful it really has nothing to do with you – it is a reflection of what they think of themselves and how unhappy they are. You look amazing and your recipes are too good to pass up for a liquid diet. 😉

    • Thanks Sophia. I realized the same thing. I think it also stems from that old school ethnic values that you need to look good to be a good person. But health I have to keep reminding myself health is the most important thing and looking good comes hand in hand.

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