Food Journal

For years I have had problems with eating. It is because for years I have also known that I had an intolerance for certain foods such as eggs, dairy, cilantro, and other things that most people indulge in. Then I started to have a disdain for the smell of certain meats such as chicken and also pork. Beef is the only meat that doesn’t turn my stomach on occasion, but it is unhealthy to eat all the time. So this was my dilemma in cooking. Meat. Now I have started steps on freeing my mind and eating healthier and happier. By omitting meat in most of my meals, and eventually all of them, along with the dairy that wreaks havoc on my digestive system, I am going to learn to listen to my body and make it more harmonious. I have just started this journey but with my mind fully on not even thinking about meat my options have opened up so drastically to other things I loved but never even considered eating as I was too caught up in the meat issue. I thought it was going to be a hard transition but I am finding it easier and easier every day. I cant wait until my stomach resolves its issues and calms down from this change of diet, but I know the benefits will be worth it.

November 30 2016

Note: You can also find a list of the inspirational recipes that I am using on my you tube channel Tales from the Vlog…formerly..Doing T in Croatia…under the healthy eating section.

Here I will chronicle for myself and also anyone who would like to try any recipe, the new items that I am eating on my journey. If I skip a day or two it is because I am repeating a meal or have fallen off the bandwagon (and this journal will help me pony back up) , or just because I am steadily growing on my healthy eating adventure. Either way these simple recipes will definitely be full of flavor.

Breakfast: Warm tea

Lunch:

8 balls of frozen swiss chards

Half of a fresh yellow onion, chopped

Half of a medium sized tomato, chopped

1 medium mushroom, sliced

olive oil, himalayan sea salt, butter

Put olive oil in pan and sautee onions with frozen chards, after chards melt add tomato, and then mushroom. Throw in butter and simmer for about 10 minutes. Scrape onto plate and season with sea salt.

Snack:

Tahini Smoothie bowl topped with chia seeds, bananas, and granola.

Dinner:

1 large sweet potato

Partial can of black beans

Portion of tomatoes

Portion of onions

lettuce

Boil sweet potato in pot. Drain. Mash up and place on plate. Garnish with the rest of the ingredients. You can put it in the oven to warm the toppings up or eat it like it is. You can also use the lettuce to make lettuce wraps by scooping the ingredients and placing into the leaf. I used cream cheese as a sour cream substitute. It wasnt vegan.

December 1, 2016

Lunch:

Multi grain wrap, warmed

Cucumber slices

Carrot slices

Red Bell Pepper Slices

Iceberg Lettuce

Olive Oil (extra virgin)

Himalayan salt, pink

American dressing (similar to thousand island)

Orange juice, 100%

Since I have heard that the hulls of veggies are the healthiest I kept the skin on both the carrots and cucumbers. I just sliced them long way and put them in the wrap along with the rinsed lettuce and bell pepper. Before wrapping it up I drizzled on some olive oil, salt, and dressing. Voila!

I am not much of a measuring kind of gal, so I just literally cut off what I think I can eat for the portion and then with the salt and olive oil, it is done by preference. It actually reminded me of eating a subway wrap and I could have sworn that I tasted cheese. I didnt even miss any meat inside. Yeah me!

It was definitely filling and I only ate one wrap, although I am sure it wont be a problem to eat more since it is just veggies. Eat until you are full.

The key is keeping around fresh items in eyesight. I have my veggies that don’t need to be refrigerated out in the open to encourage me to use them. I used to throw things in the fridge and forget about them. Now all of my food items are easily visible and I am finding creative ways of using them outside of the youtube inspirations.

December 2 2016

Breakfast:

Half a lemon, squeezed

Cup of hot water

Squeeze fresh lemon juice into cup and add water. Drink for a refreshing warm feeling.

Cream Cheese

Honey

Pecans

Multi Grain Bread ( Preferred a Bagel though  but they arent sold at the store)

Mix cream cheese with a knife or spoon with the honey until it reaches the texture you prefer. A little honey goes a long way, so go light on it. Add bits of pecan to the mix then spread on your favorite bread. It is heavenly! I remember eating a similar rendition while in undergrad in Tuscaloosa AL at the NY Bagel Cafe. Who knew it was so easy to recreate.

Lunch:

Leftover sweet potato, sliced

Pecans halves

Leafy Green Salad, Arugula or even fresh Spinach

Cream cheese dressing: Use the same ingredients from above and add more honey to loosen the texture.

Warm the sweet potato in the oven or microwave if you have one. Place it on top of salad leaves and add halved pecans. Drizzle dressing over salad and enjoy!Snacks: Salsa and chips

Dinner:

Multi Grain Tortilla Wrap

Basmati Rice

Sliced Bell Peppers

Black Beans

Fresh Tomatoes

Fresh Avocado

Cream Cheese

Cut the avocado and blend with cream cheese for a condiment or just place the sliced avocado and spread the cheese..easy breezy. I would have preferred sour cream but didnt have any, so I am trying to utilize what is in the fridge. Add cooked rice with all of the other ingredients into the wrap and enjoy. You can also sautee the bell peppers if you like to give it a Southwest Flavor.

Snacks: Salsa & Chips and also Rice Cake with Chia Seeds

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So guess what happened to me. I purchased coconut flour thinking that I could use it to make spring roll wrappers, only to find out that it doesnt clump like all purpose flour. Therefore I had to do a quick search to discover what easy recipe I could find to utilize this ingredient. I found cookies!! Here is my rendition of coconut cookies:

coconut flour

olive oil

chia seeds

almond milk

honey

pinch of salt

Basically I just mixed everything in a bowl until it had a firm enough consistency to mold into balls. I greased a pan and placed it in the oven. Not sure how high the heat was due to the stove I use being ancient. If you want to see the recipe how it originally was when I found it please check it out here.

Drum roll please……

I would love to say that they came out perfectly, but, hey…look at the pics. I will state that this is officially my first time trying to bake cookies from scratch. So when you look at it that way I didnt do so bad. They crumbled when I picked them up but tasted pretty good. The texture was really soft in the middle, but very moist. I definitely could taste the coconut, and at times it reminded me of eating cornbread. At least I am venturing out and trying new things, and that is really what matters.

December 3, 2016

Alright alright alright. Today or lets say tonight I was in the mood for hummus dip. I had the youtube video all pulled up while doing this, and although I saw that she used a food processor I decided to use a hand held mixer. Needless to say the chickpeas sprang out from afar and near.

Thanks to my quick thinking I was able to salvage the rest by grinding them with a potato masher. I blended in the garlic, cumin, roasted red peppers,water, and tahini. A good amount of tahini which helped the flavor. Even before I put the red peppers in it started to smell like my favorite hummus dip from the grocery store in the US. I also added cayenne pepper and himalayan salt to flavor then set it in the fridge to cool. It tasted amazing.

Here is the channel with the recipe I followed:

December 6, 2016

Today I had my first fresh food stumbling block. I pulled my veggies out of the fridge and they were frozen. I figured this would happen as I stated previously that my refrigerator is dinosaur. Not to worry though, I just let them set out on the table for about 30 minutes and the veggie wrap was decent enough. Later on that day I made a mushroom and tahini sauce recipe and topped it off with riceimg_0182.

For this I used Tahini, garlic, honey, and added peanuts for texture. Here is the link to the website that inspired me.

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http://lovingitvegan.com/tahini-mushroom-sauce-over-penne/

Now on to the good stuff. On the day before, I may a veganish (I used regular butter) to make french toast. Here was my ingredients:

Loaf of multi grain bread

Almond milk

Chia seeds

Butter

Cinnamon

Dip:

Almond Butter , Cinnamon & Honey

I cut the bread into slices and then mixed the milk, chia seeds, and cinammon into a bowl. Then I placed the bread inside, which was my first mistake. It became too drenched and I had to throw away the first couple of slices. I tried again, dipping it lightly until it was coated with the mixture. Then I heated the butter and placed it on the stove until it became crispy enough. It took a while and I even added some coconut flour and then at least one slice finally became crispy. The damp part was very delicious though, especially with the dip.

For the dip I scooped out some almond butter and then added honey and cinnamon to my taste.

Here is the video that inspired my rendition of the meal:

December 12, 2016

During this last week I experimented with tofu and also desserts. I made cinnamon carrots, bean salad, and tofu sauteed in soy sauce and sesame seeds. For breakfast I tried a tofu ‘omelette’ made with crumbled tofu, carrots, bell peppers, onions, olive oil, cayenne pepper, and salt.

For the dessert I made a coconut yogurt bowl with frozen mixed berries on top. I also created a creamy smoothie with two portion coconut yogurt, a splash of orange juice, and mixed frozen berries. It was the perfect combination of creaminess with sweetness.

For the cinnamon carrots I just sliced and boiled some carrots, drained them, and then tossed them with butter and cinnamon to flavor. I soaked the tofu in soy sauce and sesame seeds then pan fried them with olive oil. The flavor was magnificent and reminded me of salisbury steak. For the bean salad, something that I have grown accustomed to in Croatia, all I did was open a can of black beans, add yellow onions, and refrigerate. They usually put vinegar and other spices but I found the flavor acceptable with just these two ingredients and ate it cold.

The omelette was my first attempt at cooking tofu and it came out decently. I crumbled the tofu in a skillet by hand (hot oil), then added the bell peppers, onions, and carrots. I sauteed until I figured it was done and it was tasty. I ate it with ketchup on the side which made it even more flavorful.

All of these recipes I came up with myself with inspiration from what I had in the kitchen!

December 18, 2016

So this weekend I decided to lean off the wagon a bit while I travelled around Montenegro. I had a salad with chicken and bacon. Yes I did. But I shared it with my dogs. They ate most of the meat. I was concerned about being sick but I haven’t forgone meat for that long so my stomach sustained. I am still eating vegetables at home though so don’t despair.

Earlier in the week I actually made a spaghetti with wheat spaghetti and textured vegetable protein (TVP). I used bell peppers, carrots, onions, and a can of vegan tomato sauce. It had a wonderful texture and really did taste like a bolognese meat sauce. Here is the link to the video which inspired me..and also pics of my meal.

There are two types of protein mixed into the container on the right. I used the smaller pieces for the spaghetti (which was leftover from the day before). I have used the bigger chunks for asian inspired dishes such as with ramen noodles, carrots, sesame seeds,  and soy sauce.

I also made a nice soup with the left over tofu that I had from earlier in the week. It had to be used within four days of opening the package, so I soaked the tofu plus shredded cabbage, carrots, broccoli, and sesame seed, in soy sauce. Then I boiled some ramen noodle package and tossed the mix in with the noodles and let it boil. It tasted wonderful.

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December 23, 2016

This past week I made a sweet potato with black beans, mixed veggies )including corn, sweet peas, and pimentos), and added butter and cream cheese. It was delicious and satisfying enough.

Next, I made a pasta salad with the left over black beans and mixed veggies. I drained the pasta and added a chili pesto mix, then added cream cheese. I added salt to flavor it a bit was good, although I would have preferred to serve it warm.

December 26, 2016

I decided to try a chickpea salad recipe from Fabgirl.com and this is how I cooked it. I soaked some chickpeas overnight in water then boiled them the next day for about 45 minutes. After that I used a potato masher to grind the chickpeas, then added onions, pickles, vegan mayo, mustard, garlic powder, and himalayan pink sea salt. I also made homemade pita chips to go with it and placed the salad on top of a bed of lettuce and garnished it with a roasted red bell pepper. It was great until the garlic caught up with me. Next time I will definitely go light on that ingredient but overall it has been my favorite recipe thus far.

December 28, 2016

Due to the increasing cold weather I decided to start making soups. I found a nice recipe from tastemade raw vegan not gross channel featuring a tomato soup and I tried my best.

I used two tomatoes, dried oregano, a large onion, and a small piece of garlic. I placed them in the oven for over 30 minutes and when they were roasted I blended them with my hand mixer and added salt to flavor.

I coupled it with a fresh salad with olives, cucumbers, and the leftover roasted red bell pepper from the chickpea salad and made a vinaigrette with apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and himalayan sea salt. It smelled so great, but I was surprised that it only wielded one bowl. Good thing I was just cooking for myself, but I do plan on trying this out again in ample proportion for leftovers.

December 28, 2016

I am doing a veggie broth to cleanse and detox my system for a few days so I placed a small piece of garlic, three carrots, a few pieces of cauliflower, and some red bell peppers in a pot and boiled for over an hour. I am drinking this mixture along with sipping the apple cider vinegar *tea* made with warm water, fresh lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and a cap full of vinegar. I blended the veggies together to make a soup for when I complete the cleanse. I am having a great time smelling all of the aromas of these soups that I am creating. They will also nourish my body and warm it a lot more than the cold wraps that I have been eating on throughout the day. Yeah me!

January 1, 2017

Now that it is the New Year and I have been eating healthy for over a month I am ready to start a section for recipes. Please check out the simple dishes that will hopefully inspire you to eat more fresh produce and veggies and create a better balance in your body,mind, and spirit while on this journey called life.