That time of year again!

It’s here again! No Meat November 2012 !!

This year, I’m spending my meat-free-month in Karachi, Pakistan. Stay tuned to find out which Animal Rights and Welfare group I will be working with and raising money for , and watch out for new recipes and resolutions!

Happy November , Everyone 🙂

Advertisements

Easy & Healthy- Vegan Energy Boosters for Working Bee’s

 

Hey Everyone,

Recently I have had a lot of friends complain about how they’re tired and have no energy at work! I have a few quick solutions for you busy bee’s who need a great vegan- energy boost during the work week WITHOUT turning to dehydrating , teeth staining , high -fat and high-sugar treats !

A few tips before I start :

– Drinks LOADS of water! Water is an under appreciated energy booster and can be an amazing replacement for any caffeine drink!

– Snack frequently on Seeds and Nuts ! Nuts are full of natural energy and good fats. Particularly almonds, cashews and sunflower seeds!

– Cut down on Coffee, Black Tea and ‘energy drinks’! I know this is hard, but it’s very very important to understand that these drinks dehydrate you and are only good for a high doses of instant energy that wear off and leave your body more tired than before.

– Try to quit smoking!! WORST thing in the world for people who suffer from work-fatigue ! Smoking cuts the amount o f oxygen in your blood which makes you instantly lethargic. This is just ONE of the many many reasons not to smoke! (ps, I am an ex smoker, I know how hard this one is to swallow).

Anyway, on to some energy boost recipes and further tips :-

For starters : Please make sure to have a delicious and satisfying breakfast!

– Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not eating breakfast is the worst thing you can do for yourself! It kills your energy levels as your body begins to use reserve energy which tends to run out pretty fast and  It kills your metabolism.

Quick and Easy breakfast solutions full of energy to keep you going till lunch :

1) Apples/Kiwi or Apricot and Oatmeal with a pinch of Guarana powder.

Out of all the fruits , Apples, Kiwi and Apricot are the best energy fruits. They are full of delicious natural sugars which work as a caffeine substitute without being too harmful or fattening! Second, Oatmeal (real oats, not the instant kind) are a great source of energy and fibre; they also keep you full longer which is a great bonus! Finally,  Guarana powder! Just a pinch of this stuff mixed in to your oatmeal is more than enough! Guarana contains a high amount of guaranine, a chemical substance with the same characteristics as caffeine. This makes Guarana a great and healthy substitute to your morning coffee!

2) Quinoa and Instant Oats with Dates and cinnamon

I LOVE Quinoa! I cannot talk about it enough. It is high in protein and fiber and can be used in so many delicious dishes. it is light and easy to digest, and keeps you full and full of energy! Dried dates are sweet , low fat and high in iron and vitamin A.

All you have to do is take a cup of washed  red quinoa- boil it in a saucer with half a cup almond milk, half a cup water and a teaspoon of agave honey. allow the quinoa to cook till it’s soft. Add in a sache of your favourite flavoured instant oatmeal and a pinch of cinnamon. Once it’s cooled down a little , add a handful of chopped dried dates !

This recipe is quick and easy and it’s a great way to do something fun with your regular instant oats!

Next – LUNCH!

The best way to stay healthy and have a great vegan lunch filled with energy is to incorporate the right leafy greens, herbs, grains and lentils to your meal!

1) Dark Green’s , Red Peppers, Chickpea and Spelt Salad

I cannot express just how good this salad is!

of course, leafy greens are amazing – Kale, Spinach and Swiss Chards are by far my favourite greens and I use them in almost everything! For taste, you can throw in some rocket and Arugula.

Spelt is an ingredient that is not given nearly enough credit for it’s high energy value. Spelt is also known as the ‘Marching grain’, it is one of the easiest grains to digest (unlike glutenous grains which make you lethargic) and become is high in iron, zinc and vitamin B it really does give you a fantastic boost.

Chickpeas are also high in iron and when paired with red peppers , which are high in vitamin C , serve as an amazing, light energy kick!

you can use any light/low-fat salad dressing of your choice to make this high energy salad into a delicious lunch meal!

2) Avacado , Barley , Parsley and Cherry tomato Salad

Another high energy Salad filled with yummy goodness !

Mix together half an Avacado (chopped), some cooked Pearl Barley, a handful of Parsley and a few chopped Cherry Tomatoes with a teaspoon if lime juice and a tea spoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The Cherry tomatoes and lime juice will give a colourful vitamin C boost. Parsley is a famous ‘bitter’ which cleanses the digestion system , helping with weight loss.

The avacado adds protein and ‘good fats’ , As well as increasing feelings of fullness, the oleic acid in avocados can help reduce cholesterol levels.

Barley – One of my favourite grains.It is packed with fiber, is low-fat and low-cholesterol. Unfortunately, it does have gluten – so if you’re on a gluten free diet stay away!

*———-*

Anyway, I hope these tips and recipes help keep you energized during your crazy work day! They are all healthy and delicious and full of good nutrients to keep your body in check !

I will upload more upon request!! Keep reading for great summer recipes and fun herbal remedies to Summer heat ailments !

See ya soon 🙂

 

 

Eco-Friendly could mean ‘Economically Friendly’

‘Eco-friendly’ doesn’t just mean ‘environmentally friendly’ , it also means ‘economically friendly’ !

Here are some great tips to save money while saving the environment !

1)   PLASTIC BAGS & ZIPLOCK PLASTIC SANDWHICH BAGS :- Invest in Fabric Grocery bags! Say no to Plastic or polybags ! Aside from being charged for every bag you use, there are very few companies and stores that carry recyclable plastic! The plastic that is thrown into the waste cannot be broken down and more often than not, gets tossed into the ocean where it remains in it’s original form and can be threatening to life under the sea.

Sandwich bags are also a huge offender in the ‘plastic’ category. Luckily, these bags are easily reusable. They can be washed and used over and over rather then being thrown out after one use!

2)   FOOD WASTE :- A large percent of household “garbage” is actually compostable; for e.g., Fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy waste and leftovers. By composting, you will divert thousands of tonnes of organic material from the landfill and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When food is mixed I with regular ‘trash’, it rots and produces harmful gasses. Composting is a much more eco-friendly way of disposing your food waste!

3)   ENERGY CONSERVATION :- Switch off your lights and unplug all your electrical devices! Phantom electricity (Leaving a switch on, or a device plugged in even when not in use) is both wasteful and is a huge offender on your electric bill! Energy saver light bulbs are also a much better option; they often come with longer life warrantees than regular bulbs and consume less energy!

4)   WALK OR CYCLE:- This one is pretty simple. Specially in the summer months, you have no excuse to use your car if your destination is close enough to walk or cycle to! Cycling/Walking is not only beneficial to you and your health, but also saves on gas/petrol bills and reduces harmful greenhouse emissions!

5)   USE A BRITA FILTER :- Simple and easy! Though many plastic bottles are now recyclable, they are still harmful for the environment! Not only will it save you tons of money to use a Brita vs. buying bottles upon bottles of water; it is also a great way to consume LESS energy! You don’t need to boil the water out of your tap or worry about the energy that goes into producing plastic bottles! You Brita will last you a long time if well maintained!

Vegan Valentines Sweetness!! (decadent desserts)

It has been quite a while since my last post as I have been traveling and barely had any time (or a secure internet connection) to come online and blog. Even so, I truly appreciate the constant feedback /emails/ messages and love that I have been getting from people. A special thank you to my amazing twitter followers 🙂

Recently I had a friend request a ‘quick and easy vegan valentines day dessert’, which I found rather cute. so today I will be posting a lovers special – 3 great valentines day dishes for your sweetheart !!

1 ) Red wine Poached Pear

Recipe:

1 Bottle red wine (I use a good malbec or port for best results)

5 Ripe pears

1 cup sugar

1 stick cinnamon

Directions:

Peel pears (but do not chop). On low heat, mix red wine, sugar and cinnamon. Add in the pears so they are almost fully covered in the wine mixture. Cover and let simmer for about 25-30 minutes, or until the pears are tender and ruby red!

Allow to cool and serve.

(Non-alcoholic option: switch the red wine with pomegranate juice)

2) Divine Vegan Chocolate Truffles

Recipe:

1 cup unsalted cashews

1 cup cold water

2 bars of Vegan semi sweetened dark chocolate (there are several varieties in the market. particularly health food and organic markets)

ground toasted coconut (optional)

finely chopped toasted almonds (optional)

Directions:

Soak Cashews over night in cold water.

When ready to prepare – put cashews and cold water into a blender and mix till you get a creamy almost milk like texture (should not be ‘clumpy’)

Next, Place chocolate bars in a double boiler and allow the chocolate to melt into a creamy paste- Do not allow the chocolate to bubble – that is an indicator that it has over heated and will likely burn/ turn bitter.

Turn off the heat and SLOWLY fold in the cashew milk into the chocolate, stir carefully till you get a rich, thick, chocolatey mixture.

Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes and then scoop out small spoon fulls of the chocolate and roll into tiny balls.

At this point, while the chocolate is still moist, you can dip in cocoa, shaved coconut, or chopped almonds for a decadent coating. You can also choose to use sprinkles or vegan chocolate chips.

Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes to cool, and serve 🙂

note – if you have a nut allergy and do not want to use Cashews, you can also use Coconut milk (email me for the recipe).

3) Bubbly Strawberry Sorbet

Recipe:

2 cups champagne

frozen strawberries (allow them to thaw , lightly)

2/3 cup caster sugar

2 Table spoons lemon juice

Mint leaves (optional)

Directions:

Combine caster sugar and champagne in a saucepan and cook on low heat till sugar dissolves .  add in lemon juice and allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes on low heat. turn off heat and allow to cool

place thawed strawberries in a blender and blend till they make a thin paste/puree

mix the super/ champagne syrup (make sure it’s cooled down) with the strawberry puree – place in a container and leave in the freezer for 2 hours.

When ready to serve, scoop the sorbet mixture out into small bowls or glasses and decorate with a mint leaf 🙂

—–

I really hope you try these delicious recipes and wow your loved one this Valentines day. Please do contact me if you want any further recipes, need help or recommendations AND stay tuned for great eco-friendly gift ideas!!

follow me on twitter @nomeatnovember or email me at nomeatnovember@gmail.com

I hope to hear from you 🙂

Day 28 – Yam & Cauliflower Spice Curry (Pakistani style)

While lunching with my cousin about a month ago, I was told a hilarious story of a 5am , post-night-out, cook fest. My cousin, being the amazing host that she is, decided to cook a typical Pakistani breakfast, ‘Aaloo Bhujiya’ (potato curry – for lack of a better name/ not really knowing what the correct translation of ‘Bhujiya’ is). Anyhow, She sent a friend out to pick up some potatoes only to be greeted 10 minutes later with sweet potatoes! That’s what you get for sending someone out at 5am to buy groceries!

If you ever do see a ‘sweet potato’ in Pakistani food, it is never served as a salty dish. Sweet potatoes are cooked into delicious ‘Halwa’ ; a thick, rich, oily, sugary desert. My cousin though, was determined to make a Bhujiya, and so, un-phased by this new ingredient, she decided to continue cooking. Apparently, the sweet potato Bhujiya, turned out to be delicious!

Today- I made up my mind to cook a dish I was really craving – Aaloo Gobi (Potato and Cauliflower); I was completely convinced I had potatoes at home and didn’t bother to go get groceries- Unfortunately (or fortunately) when I got home; all I had was a single Yam! I decided to take inspiration from the ‘sweet bhujiya’ story, and try out ‘Yam Gobi’ out to see how it would taste.

It tasted GREAT!

Here’s what I cooked up:

Recipe:

1 Yam (Chopped into small cubes)

1 large bunch of Cauliflower

2 Table spoons olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 tomato (chopped)

1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder

salt

1/2 teaspoon Ginger paste (I used the bottled kind)

fresh coriander

half an onion (preferably white onion) – (chopped)

splash of lemon juice

pinch of Red chilli flakes

1 cup water

Directions:

In a deep set pan, pour 2 tablespoons olive oil and let it heat. Add onions and cook on low heat till the onions brown. Add in cumin seeds and ginger paste and let the flavours infuse into the oil. Next, Add in chopped tomato, turmeric powder, fresh coriander and a splash of lemon juice and red chilli flakes. Cook for about 1 minute, and then add the Yam and 1 full cup of water. Cover the pan and let the Yam cook in the tomato/spice mixture for a tleast 8-10 minutes on medium heat – Make sure the Yam has softened and the water has evaporated about 90%.

Once you are sure the Yam is cooked, Add in Salt (to taste), and Finally add in the Cauliflower heads. Mix everything together, allowing the cauliflower to get fully coated by the juices of the tomato and the spices in your pan. Cook on medium heat for another 5-7 minutes or until your cauliflower has become slightly tender and all the water has evaporated.

Garnish with some more fresh coriander and then serve 🙂

Colourful, flavourful AND packed with nutrients! Serve this up with naan bread or pita bread and watch it disappear before you eyes!

Anyhow- that’s my recipe for the day. I hope you try it out! No Meat November is nearing it’s end , but the recipes will keep coming , so stay tuned 🙂

Day 26 – Marinated Tofu & Avacado on Greens

A great salad to serve with the Quinoa is an avacado and tofu Salad – I can guarantee that after this meal, no one on the table will have any meat cravings at all!

Here’s how to make it:

Recipe:

1 Slab of extra firm tofu

2 ripe avacados

Leafy greens (I prefer Spinach, parsley and Kale- but most people prefer to leave out the kale)

Walnuts (for garnish)

Light soya sauce

Apple Cider Vinegar

Directions:

Chop extra firm tofu into cubes- place in a large plastic bowl. Pour in 1/3 Apple cider vinegar and 2/3 light soya sauce. (make sure all the cubes are covered). Let the tofu marinade for ATLEAST 2 hours.

Once the tofu is done, simple it to a bowl of fresh greens and throw on chopped avacado and walnuts!

( i didn’t have extra firm tofu or walnuts- so your salad will look a little different.

That’s all for today. Will post another recipe tomorrow! Hope everyone is enjoying No Meat November!! For updates and recipes follow me on twitter @NoMeatNovember , and don’t forget to donate to the amazing WSPA (www.wspa.ca) to support Animal Rights this month!!

Day 26 – Red Quinoa with Sweet Potato & Roasted Cauliflower

I haven’t had a moment free for the last 2 days with work and travel; But today I decided to post 2 great recipes ! I bought organic red Quinoa and have been experimenting with it a whole lot .

Inspired by the delicious quinoa dish I had in New York, I decided to make my own version of it and post up the recipe here.

Recipe:

1 1/2 cup organic red quinoa

1 small sweet potato (finely chopped)

half a red onion (finely chopped)

1 head of cauliflower

handful of fresh parsely

2 tablespoons tzatziki sauce (optional)

3 tablespoons lime juice

olive oil

Red Chilli flakes

salt

pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a roasting pan, place cauliflower (only the heads- don’t make them too small as they will burn), Drizzle with Olive oil, salt and red chilli flakes. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 15 minutes

Rinse Red Quinoa and place in boiling water with a pinch of salt, bring to a simmer, cover and let cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.

After 10 minutes (once 90% of the moisture is gone), add in chopped sweet potato. Allow to cook for another 5 minutes or till the potato is tender.

Add in chopped parsley, chopped onion, tzatziki sauce, lime juice,a  hint of olive oil, salt and pepper (just a pinch). Cook on low heat for 3-4 minutes , or until all the moisture is gone.

garnish with roasted cauliflower and serve 🙂

Hope you try it out !! Delicious and full of protein, this is definitely a hearty meal and a much healthier option than rice or pasta!

Previous Older Entries