Sick and tired of dieting?

Are you sick and tied of dieting? I was so sick and tied of diets that promised that they could work wonders, but never changed a thing. I was tired of feeling deprived of the great meals that I was missing, of eating boring, tasteless food that really didn’t satisfy me in any way. I was sick and tired of counting calories and feeling guilty if I ate something “bad”. Life is too short for that.

The great revelation for me was to eat more plant-based foods!

In our family, we have now changed many of our meaty meals to plant-based foods.

Sometimes we do VB6 – Vegan before 6, meaning no animal products until dinner. Then you eat anything you like for dinner. Sounds  fabulous? It is! VB6 was invented by NYT food journalist Mark Bittman because his health was suffering (see the link below). But through VB6  he got his health back.

I love this idea, it is something we can all do, quite easily. It is totally doable, not a big change, but it has huge impact on our overall health and well-being. By eating like VB6 or a similar scheme, you can keep your cholesterol down, your blood pressure healthy, your blood sugar good, your weight down and, at the same time, you will feel energized and full of life.  We love this way of eating so much that we actually sometimes expand the idea to VUF – Vegan until Friday!

Eating this way is delicious, tasty, satisfying and nourishing and it feeds your entire body and soul. It is the perfect way to stay healthy and loose the extra weight. I never think calories when I eat like this – my weight stays ideal and I feel ideal – there is no going back for me. I love this way of living and eating – I enjoy my meals and I never feel I am missing out because I am not.

Take this burger for instance – a quinoa burger with all the trimmings, guacamole, arugula on a homemade bun. The perfect exchange.

A favorite burger – Quinoa burger made with sweet potatoes and mushrooms.

500g Mushrooms – I use the brown mushrooms or Portobello

3 shallots

2 medium size sweet potatoes

2 cups of cooked quinoa

2 teaspoons of paprika

3 tablespoons of flax-seed meal

2 cloves of garlic

Sea salt and pepper

Flour

Chop the mushrooms, chop the shallots, add some olive oil on to the frying pan and brown the mushrooms,garlic and onions. Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Bake the sweet potatoes till they are soft, e.g., for about an hour in the oven. Scoop out the sweet potato from the skin and put it into the blender, add the mushrooms, onions and  garlic. Blend into a soft mixture. Put the mixture into a bowl and mix in the flax-seed meal. Mix it well.  Let it cool. Make the patties and gently turn them on a plate with a bit of flour/sea salt/pepper on all sides. Fry the quinoa burgers in olive oil till they are golden brown on both sides.
Serve on a warm homemade bun, with slices of red onions, homemade guacamole, slices of tomatoes, and lots of fresh crisp arugula.

Enjoy!

Another delicious veggie burger from Somer at  Vedgedout

We went plant-wild for a week, check it out here

Read more about Mark Bittman and VB6

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Plant-wild week-day 5

Wow – this is one effective diet! I wasn’t trying to loose weight, all I wanted was to boost my health – give myself a serious health kick. That has happened in a big way, but on top of it, I have lost 2kg!!!

I’m feeling great, so great, that I’m excited about continuing this plant-wild adventure another day!

Here’s today’s breakfast

Slices of fresh watermelon and a delicious fruit smoothie made from summer berries – strawberries, raspberries, almonds, ice and filtered water.

Lunch

Baked tomatoes and red pepper fattoush – one of my absolute favorites – full blown taste of summer!

6 big ripe tomatoes

4 red peppers

1/2 cucumber

fresh mint

large-leaved parsley

1/2 red onion

some black olives

olive oil

4 pita bread

Cut the tomatoes into quarters, half the peppers and take out the seeds – put them on a baking tray (on baking paper), drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt – and bake slowly in a 300C oven for about an hour – checking so see that they don’t burn. Once they are done, take them out and leave them to cool.

Cut the pita breads in half and then separate them – put them on a baking tray in an 400F oven – bake till they are slightly brown and crisp. Put aside to cool.

Cut the cucumber in half length-wise and then cut into bite sized slices. Wash and roughly chop the parsley and the fresh mint, cut the red onion in half and slice it. Remove any skin of the red peppers that is burnt. Cut the red pepper into smaller pieces. In a bowl put the cucumber, the herbs, the baked tomatoes and pepper and the olives. Mix carefully, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar,

Serve with pieces of the crispy pita bread on top – and enjoy, preferably outside in the shade with a cool drink!

Dinner

Pasta with sun dried tomatoes and olive pesto – topped with garlic, chili and herb bread crumbs and served with summer salad

Spaghetti 75 g pr person

Pesto

Big bunch of fresh basil

100g of sun dried tomatoes ( I used about half a small glass)

15 black pitted olives

1 big clove of garlic

1/2 olive oil

2 table spoons of nutritional yeast

2 table spoons of pine nuts

Add all the ingredients in to the blender and blend into a perfect pesto sauce

Bread crumbs

1 cup of bread crumbs

a bunch of basil

a bunch of fresh oregano

2 cloves of garlic

some red fresh chili ( depending on how hot you like it baby)

grated lemon peel

sea salt

I used some of the good, but now stale, bread and chopped it into tiny bread crumbs. Finely chop the herbs along with the garlic and the chili, grate some lemon peel and mix everything all together.

In a frying pan – add some olive oil and heat – add the bread crumbs, stirring and tossing all the time to prevent them from burning, fry until they are slightly golden, then add the herb mixture and mix well. Leave on the heat for another minute still mixing. Take off the heat.

Cook the pasta – detente – drain and mix with the pesto sauce, serve on big plates with the bread crumbs. Serve with a summer salad, with tomatoes, of course.

Plant-wild week-day 4

Day 4 – This morning I went for an early morning run along the beach while the sun was rising, thinking, I can do another day of this! Another day eating greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains – everything that supports my body and fills me with this zippy wonderful energy!

 

Breakfast

Rawfood musli with blueberries

This has become a breakfast stable in our family – we eat it almost every day. It is so tasty and creamy. I came up with this recipe because I wanted to make a healthy version of an old favorite that had both full fat yoghurt and cream in it!! This tastes just as good and just as creamy and sweet as the original, but without the guilt!

In the blender/food processor add:

1 cup of raw oats,
2 good handfuls of raw almonds
1 big apple cut into chunks
6-8 Medjool dates ( more or less depending on how sweet your tooth is)
1 cup of filtered water
Blend it all – not too much because it is nice if it keeps it’s crunchiness

Enjoy with either fresh berries, banana or dried fruit in the winter – today I served it with fresh blueberries from the garden.

The Good-Morning Smoothie is made from fresh raspberries and pineapple today.

Variations.
You can add a little less water and add an orange – orange and dates are a perfect match. You can also add a bit of cinnamon or cardamom

Morning snack

A delicious green smoothie made from fresh kale out of the garden, peaches, pineapple, lemon, ice and 2 cups of water

Lunch

Delicious vegetable wraps with garlic/ginger dipping sauce

Rice paper

1 avocado

1 red pepper

fresh spinach

2 carrots

1 zucchini

1/2 cucumber

3 spring onions

Fresh basil

fresh coriander

fresh basil

fresh mint

Rinse and cut everything into strips of julienne.

Prepare the rice paper – one at a time. Take a clean tea towel and make it wet, place one rice paper on the wet tea towel and fold so it is completely covered with the wet cloth. Leave for about a min. Over the sink, wring out the water and carefully place the soft rice paper so you can fill it and roll it. Fill it with spinach leaves, a little avocado, carrot, red pepper, zucchini, spring onions and alfalfa sprouts, add some fresh basil leaves, some coriander leaves and some fresh mint. Roll them together and cut them in halves and arrange them on a plate along with the garlic/ginger dipping sauce.

Dipping sauce

juice of 1/2 lime

4 small lime leaves

thin slice of fresh ginger

1 clove of garlic

2 spoons of hoisin

1//3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup water

4 spoons of braggs

Blend it all together and serve with the vegetable rolls

Dinner

Baked zucchini and eggplants- served with new potatoes and green salad with fennel

I found these gorgeous looking green and yellow zucchini and some beautiful eggplants. I decided to make a really tasty dish that i think is perfect for summer with ripe tomatoes, fresh herbs and all you need to make this dish amazing. So this is my take on the Turkish specialty, Imam Bayildi – baked zucchini and eggplant topped with a spicy fresh tomato sauce, served with little new potatoes gently baked with herbs and garlic and a green salad with fennel.

2 eggplants

2 zucchini

600 g fresh ripe and chopped fresh tomatoes

4 cloves of garlic

4 shallots

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

2 tablespoon of chopped fresh oregano

2 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme

3 table spoons of chopped big leaved parsley

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

1/2 cup of water

Finely chop the shallots and the garlic, gently saute them in oil til they are soft, add tomato paste,the herbs and the cumin. Add the tomatoes and the water. Cook for about 15 min. Season with sea salt and pepper, set aside. Add the parsley.

Cut the zucchini and the eggplant in halves on the length wise. Gently brown them in a bit of olive oil – on the inside. Place them in a baking dish on some baking paper and add the sauce on top.

Bake in an 350F oven for about 45 min

You can eat them right out of the oven but they taste amazing at room temperature too.

Potatoes

It is season for new and delicious potatoes – I love new potatoes!!

I prepared them like this

I washed them and cut them in to quarters and put them onto a piece of baking paper, drizzled with olive oil, sea salt and pepper, added some fresh thyme and some fresh rosemary – packed them in to little parcels and baked them in the 350F oven for about 45 min. They tasted so good!!

I served everything with a green salad with some fresh fennel

The dressing is a classic that has been in my family forever – we use it, let me just say, a lot
The trick is to use the best ingredients – the better the ingredients the better the dressing. So in other words don’t use the cheapest hot dog mustard.

2 spoons of good balsamic vinegar
a teaspoon of good Dijon Mustard
a pinch of sea salt
one clove of freshly squeezed garlic

Mix this – then add a little olive oil while you constantly stir, add more olive oil while stirring – continue doing this till you have a thick, dark yummy dressing. You can add a little maple syrup for a sweetness if you like. This salad dressing is so good and so easy to make.

Plant-wild week-day 3

I’m well into this adventure and feeling amazing, vibrant and full of energy – it does make a difference, whether I fill myself or nourish myself. I run better on plants than on spareribs and ice cream!

Another thing I think is really cool, is that it is so easy to go shopping, I just head for the vegetable section of the grocery store, stock up on veggies and fruits, and away I go.

Okay, so last night’s dinner had some bread dough left over – which I had covered with a very wet cloth and left on the kitchen counter for the night. This morning I turned on the oven to 415 F, and before having my shower I scooped out the dough onto a baking sheet and put it in the oven. When I finished the shower, the bread was ready – about 20-25 min later – hot yummy bread.

Today’s breakfast-  slices of bread served with coconut butter, honey, walnuts and fresh blueberries – and a glass of smoothie made from fresh blueberries, raspberries, a good chunk of fresh juicy pineapple, some frozen summer berries and a handful of almonds. The almonds make the smoothie creamy and filling, the berries makes it irresistibly delicious.

Snack

Green juice and fresh peach

One bunch of collard greens

5 sweet apples

a slice of fresh ginger

1 lemon

Run it through the juicer and serve  on ice with slices of fresh peach.

Lunch

Warm kale Salad with tahini, lemon/garlic dressing, pine nuts and red pepper

Ingredients

2 big bunches of kale

one red pepper

2 spoons of pine nuts

For the dressing:

2 small tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons of tahini

1 clove of garlic

2 teaspoons of agave sirup/maple sirup

2 teaspoons  tamari

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1/3 cup water

a good squeeze of lemon

sea salt

Put everything into the blender and blend it into a creamy tasty dressing.

Wash the kale and take the leaves off of the stem. Roll up a couple of leaves at a time and cut thinly. Slice the red pepper into strips. In a frying pan, add some olive oil and saute the red pepper, add the kale – saute for a couple of minutes and add sea salt. Serve warm with the tahini dressing, pine nuts on top and some extra lemon for those who like.

Dinner

Summer Paella with vegetable served with baked cherry tomatoes on the wine

One favorite recipe in our family is paella with seafood, chicken and with intense flavors of fresh herbs, saffron,tomatoes, garlic and wine. Today I have left out the seafood and the chicken and made a delicious version with only vegetables. I was anticipating that there would be some complaints, about the missing seafood and chicken, but no, everyone ate and enjoyed.

I served it with a simple green salad with a oil/vinaigrette dressing

I used:

4 shallots

3 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon of tomato pure

200g of fresh ripe tomatoes

200g of sweet cherry tomatoes on the vine

300g of green beans

1 bunch of green asparagus

1 red pepper

lemon

1 teaspoon of paprika

fresh oregano

fresh thyme

1 1/2 cup of long grained rice

1 l. of vegetable stock

a dash of white wine

Prepare the vegetable so that they are ready to go in the paella. Wash and cut the red pepper into bite size, wash the asparagus and green beans and cut into smaller pieces,

Finely chop the shallots – (Shallots have a more intense flavor than regular onions, the limo of onions), garlic, fresh thyme and oregano. In a saute pan add some olive oil and gently saute the shallots, garlic, fresh herbs, add a spoon full of tomato paste and the paprika, add the rice and mix it with all the ingredients, add a good pinch of saffron, stir, add a dash of wine – let it reduce, while stirring.

Now add the vegetable stock and cook gently with a lid, stir the dish every now and them. Depending on how you like your vegetables done you can start adding them in at this time. I like my vegetables just crunchy so I put in the green beans already when the rice has cooked about 3/4 of it time and then wait a couple of minutes before putting in the red pepper. In the meantime, put the cherry  tomatoes in the oven – see below. Stir the rice dish again and again to prevent it from sticking and burning on the bottom, and now add the red peppers, wait a couple of minutes and finally add the asparagus, put the lid back on and cook another 3-4 min.

Cherry tomatoes – Turn the oven on at 350F. Place the sweet cherry tomatoes on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and sea salt, bake and keep and eye on them – for about 15 min keep them warm.

When the dish is ready and the vegetables are done to your liking – season with sea-salt, fresh pepper and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Serve the dish with the baked cherry tomatoes on top!

I must admit I was dreaming of seafood while I was making this dish – but it tasted so good I completely forgot all about the seafood and thouroughly enjoyed every bite!

Stuffed baked Portobello mushrooms

I was in a hurry and I needed to have dinner ready quickly – but — no compromises! I wanted it to be healthy and delicious too.

Luckily in-house I had a tray full of incredibly red and ripe tomatoes – sweet, locally grown and with intense flavor and aroma. I also had some Portobello mushrooms and a bunch of fresh basil.

Not only that but I also had some really good bread (from the greatest Italian bakery)! and, oh and a big clove of garlic. Everything I needed to make a quick feast!

 

I cleaned the mushrooms – took out the stalks, chopped them and some tomatoes, found a good bit of fresh basil and added some olive oil to the pan. When it was hot I added the Portobello stalks — left them to brown and then added the tomatoes and cooked them until they were soft. Added the fresh basil and some garlic. I flavoured with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and a fresh  squeeze of lemon. Then I added a slice of that great bread which I had cut into little cubes. I mixed it all together and added the mixture into the Portobello “cups” –  I put them in a baking dish drizzled with a little olive oil and put them into a 350 F hot oven to bake for about 20 min. I kept an eye on them because they are ready when they are just slightly browned and the Portobello meat is tender.

In the meantime, I cooked some sprouted quinoa in slightly salted water. When it was cooked I added a dash of olive oil, some freshly squeezed lemon juice and a sprinkle of ground coriander. This made the perfect match to the baked Portobello.

There is nothing like cooking with fresh ingredients, tomatoes together with the fresh basil and the Portobello were so good. A perfect summer meal!

Healthy and delicious lettuce wraps

I love anything spicy and fusion and Asian is a favorite of mine. I think it is mostly because I love the explosion of flavours in my mouth – sweet, sour, salty, spicy, bitter – it is  party in the mouth, simply and I love that!

We have always been big fans of lettuce wraps the traditional way – but this healthy version is now the preferred version – it tastes incredible and it makes you feel nourished and energized after eating it. It is really easy to make and even the kids love it – also works as a healthy snack.

 

I use organic Romaine lettuce for wraps and I fill them with what ever vegetable takes my fancy. Today it was snap peas, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, zucchini sliced into Julienne strips and arranged on the lettuce. I added some fresh cilantro on top.

For the dressing/dipping

I used

2 tablespoons of Hoisin sauce,

2 tablespoons of soya sauce

2 tablespoons of white wine,

A fresh squeeze of lime

1 table-spoon of sweet chili sauce

2 small teaspoons of cane sugar

1 table-spoon of finely chopped fresh ginger

1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh garlic

1 table-spoon of chopped green onions

Mix it all together and use it as a dipping sauce.

Wrap the lettuce around the filling and dip into the sauce for a mouth-watering experience.