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38 Days

38 Days – that’s how long my vegan “stint” lasted this time. It’s no secret that i’m not a full-time vegan. As much as I would like to be, it’s incredibly difficult in a city like Hong Kong, especially for a foodie like me. I always struggle with what to do and where to go to eat out. As much as there are fabulous vegetarian restaurants and one in particular is a vegan favourite – they are few and far between and life as a vegan if you eat out, get’s very repetative – same places, same dishes – i’m not that kind of girl.

So i’ve opted for a semi-vegan lifestyle – vegan lunches and non-vegan dinners. Eventually, when I find myself willing to spend more time working out a vegan menu at home, it will mean vegan full time again – when? I don’t know. For how long? Again, i don’t know. But the challenge awaits.

In the meantime, a new challenge – to lose weight. I find, that everytime i do a vegan “detox” when i come off it, i put on all the weight i may have lost as fast as lightening. So i’ve decided now a food diary is the way to go. This inherently makes me feel guilty if/when i snack on anything as I don’t want to write down any seemingly unhealthy foods, so if i’m writing down everything that i’m eating, i can’t eat any inherently bad foods. Not as easy as it sounds.

Additionally, a lovely friend of mine signed me up to a 1-month trial at a gym – complete with Bollywood aerobics and Yoga…so attempting to frequent that, get into a routine, then hopefully – not give it up. The classes provide the structure and the motivation that I lack because once you get home after a long day – the last thing you want to do is change into trainers and trackies or swimmers and head down to the gym/pool. Even though they’re only a stones throw from home. Instead, the structure of going to classes (not close to work or home mind you but that’s another story..) seems to work. I just hope it lasts.

I am the kind of person that gets more motivated when I see results, and so far…no results. Reducing portion sizes at both lunch and dinner, limited healthy snacking during the day – let’s see how we go. I’ll keep you posted. But do bare in mind that this is no longer my whole-ly vegan blog…it shall return one day, just not today.

If you do however, need advice on being vegan…I can still give you that – so don’t hesitate to ask or post questions.

I leave you now..with some fabulous gluten-free / vegan cookies I discovered awhile ago and didn’t get round to posting:

They are fab, available in Hong Kong and I would totally buy them again – bonus point: you can’t really tell they’re gluten free.

I also experimented with some gluten free vegan chocolate cupcakes…but that’s another post altogether.

Rxx

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Posted by on May 25, 2011 in Baking, Chocolate, Cookies, Gluten Free, Vegan

 

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Step 1: Meal Planning (Day 1)

So, I mentioned previously that I felt the need for structure. And I googled and googled vegan meal planning, but there wasn’t anything that I liked, or that would fit my lifestyle, or so I felt. So I guess I have to devise my own (I was counting on that quick fix google never fails to provide me with, but alas, I have to put the effort in). I started thinking about what I like to eat, and what I wanted to include, and most of all, what the reason for the seesawing was.

To be honest, I love food. I love meat too. So when temptation drew me in, I caved. But this time, no. This time, I’m remembering how great I felt, how much energy I had, and most importantly, how much I loved cooking! (If my mother reads this she’s going to think I’m nuts because my motto has ALWAYS been “I only cook because I have to eat”, let’s hope she doesn’t see this then!)

Where do I begin with this planning then? At the beginning I guess – first meal of the day – breakfast. Well for a start I’m not a breakfast person so I guess I’ll just have to stick some fresh fruit in there…so that brings me to lunch. During the week I need something that can be prepared the night before, and stuck in a box in the fridge ready to be dragged to work and microwaved or eaten cold at lunch time. I’m a huge fan of cous cous so a simple cous cous salad would work for me here. Then there’s dinner. Something quick, easy and doesnt require a lot of faffing or time between starting to make it and it being set on a plate in front of me. That’s why I like the sound of this tomato and onion tart – looks easy enough, not requiring huge amounts of ingredients and hopefully will taste great!

That’s one day out of the way, I’m off to pull out all my recipe books and fill up the rest of the week! I’ll be back shortly with my findings…

Rxx

 
 

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For the love of…Yummy Earth

Short but sweet today, I still have that funk, god only knows why. I’m going to put it down to the fact that i’m unhappy in multiple aspects of life at the moment (I count the hours until 6pm – that surely is a sign that I need to make some life-changing decisions), and I really need to give myself a good kick up the backside. But while I think about doing so, I’m munching on these divine organic candy drops by Yummy Earth, a wonderful organic candy company based in the U.S. Thankfully their products are on sale in the handful of organic supermarkets based here…and I whole heartedly recommend them. I’ve tried a number of their products – their organic lollipops included, but my favourite by far are these candy drops – I especially love the Mango ones.

If you can get your hands on a bag, I definately suggest you try them – they’re 100% vegan and made with real fruit juices!

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2010 in Candy, Dessert, Food, Snacks, Vegan

 

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For the love of…Cookies

My sister is fantastic. Seriously. My mother thinks my sister and I have switched places because I’ve been doing copious amounts of baking recently, because my sister is the baker in our family. She is honestly amazing, she sent me a few vegan cookbooks amongst which was Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, and my mouth simply started watering.

This book features a selection of mouth watering recipes for all kinds of cookies you never imagined would be vegan, including vegan style oreo cookies! Now that really excited me, especially with my new found oreo cookie cupcake fetish!

So over the weekend I decided to refrain from baking cupcakes in order to try out a vegan version of traditional chocolate chip cookies and I was happily surprised!

These were whole wheat chocolate chip cookies that were perfectly chewy in the middle, and crunchy on the outside. The kinds you dream about dunking in a glass of milk (soy of course) and enjoying as a midnight snack!

Once again as proof I did actually bake, my handy dandy blackberry provides you with an image:

I do promise I will be investing in a camera soon – I just havent found one I liked yet! For now the handy blackberry will have to do!

The Verdict: I would recommend you buy this book in a heartbeat! I’m excited to try out more cookie recipes along side my cupcakes!

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2010 in Baking, Chocolate, Cookies, Dessert, Food, Recipes, Vegan, Weight Loss

 

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For the love of Fruit..

There’s something about cold weather that makes me love warm desserts. Although, to be fair, I do love them in summer too, especially topped with some vanilla ice cream. Just thinking about the sweet smell, the warm gooey texture with that cold ice cream. It’s absolutely perfect. My stomach is growling and i’m drooling at the thought of it.

We all have overly ripe fruit in our kitchens at some point. Those apples that you bought from the market thinking “I’ll take one to work with me every day!” and never do, and those pears that have sat there just that little bit longer than you hoped. Well, you have to do something with them – you can’t just leave them to rot or grow extra…bits!

This recipe is perfect for using overly ripe fruit, with that added sweetness. Note however that I said overly ripe and NOT mouldy! No extra growths are allowed – that’s just gross!

Ingredients

  • 2 very ripe pears, peeled, cut into quarters and cored
  • 2 apples, peeled, cut into quarters and cored
  • Broken pieces of 1 stick of cinnamon (you can just as easily use ground cinnamon – about 1tsp – or more, depending on how much you love cinnamon)  
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • Juice of 1 lemon, zest peeled into strips with a vegetable peeler
  • Juice of 3 oranges, zest from 1 orange peeled into strips
  • 75g raisins or sultanas (any dried fruit will do)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the pear and apples quarters in an ovenproof dish with the cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, lemon and orange juice with the zest strips. Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes or until the fruit is just soft.

It’s that simple! Serve warm with a scoop of soy vanilla ice cream, or eat on its own. Great as leftovers too – cold with musili as breakfast. Amazingly satisfying!

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2010 in Breakfast, Dessert, Food, Ice Cream, Recipes, Vegan, Weight Loss

 

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For the Love of Apples

For me, no meal is complete without a pudding of some sort, and I don’t know what it is about the combination of apples and cinnamon that makes me feel like it’s christmas all year round. The combination forms part of my ultimate comfort food, and it’s most definately on the frequent cravings list. That sugary, gooey, sweetness that completes any meal absolutely perfectly is generally what i’m after.

Ingredients

Apples:

  • 5-6 apples, sliced in 1/4-inch slices or so
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. nutmeg
  • 1/8 t. allspice
  • 1/16 t. cloves
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar + 1/2 c. water
  • Topping:

  • 1/2 c. oats
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1/6 c. canola oil (or 1/2 of a 1/3 measuring cup)
  • 1.5 T. soy milk
  • 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1/8 t. salt
  • Preheat oven to about 180.

    In a bowl, mix together the cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, brown sugar and water. Place the apples in a bread-loaf pan and then drizzle the mixture all over the apples.

    In a separate bowl, mix together everything for the topping and sprinkle this mixture on top of your apples. Cover with tin foil–bake for 10 minutes. Remove tin foil and bake for another 20-30 minutes.

    This is perfect served with some soy vanilla ice cream or soy cream, or perfect on its own. For your non-vegan buddies I suggest serving with custard or regular vanilla ice cream!

     
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    Posted by on January 25, 2010 in Dessert, Food, Ice Cream, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegan

     

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    For the Love of Cupcakes..

    I have been umming and ahhing about putting this recipe online. I made these AMAZING rainbow cupcakes awhile ago and everyone LOVED them, so part of me wanted to keep my recipe a secret. Something that was just mine, that everyone loved. It made me feel amazing. But then I thought I would get much more joy out of sharing my recipe, all of you trying it, and then seeing your amazing feedback.

    I must confess I’m a little addicted to checking these blog stats, as much as I don’t always have a new recipe to post. Recently i’ve been getting super excited because you guys have been googling for me! I am so thankful that you love to read the rubbish I write. I hope you continue to come back for more. If nothing else, the following cupcake recipe will definately make you feel that way!

    Ingredients

    1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
    1 ½ cups plain soymilk
    2 1/8 cups flour
    2 tsp. baking powder
    ½ tsp. baking soda
    ½ tsp. salt
    1 1/4 cups sugar
    ½ cup canola oil
    1 ¼ tsp. vanilla extract

    How we do it…

    Preheat the oven to 350º
     
    Place the apple cider vinegar in the bottom of a liquid measuring cup and fill the cup with soymilk to equal 1 ½ cups. Stir well and set aside (the mixture will curdle so don’t stress).

    In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another mixing bowl whisk together the soymilk mixture, canola oil, and vanilla extract. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and beat until smooth using a hand-held blender.

    Fill each cupcake cup with batter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.

    Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes from the pan and place on a wire rack.

    Make sure you let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

    I actually used this recipe to make the following awesome rainbow cupcakes:

    These are dead easy! Simply make up the batter as above, divvy up the mixture into 6 bowls. Add your colours to each individual bowl. Once you have all your colours ready simply put 1-2tsp of each colour in the cupcake cups, layer it up and then bake as directed. You’ll end up with these AMAZING looking cupcakes that taste like like, fluffy, vanilla cupcakes. Except they’re far more fun to eat.

    Just ensure that when you buy your food colouring it is vegan – read the ingredients, and if you’re not sure just ask and I’ll try my best to help you!

    Another trick to making these cupcakes if you don’t have time for the recipe above is to buy a pre-packaged vegan white cake mix and then add about a can of diet sprite…depending on the size of your box mix…it results in super sweet light fluffy very vegan cupcakes. Quick and easy. But don’t tell anyone else I told you to cheat!!!

     
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    Posted by on January 20, 2010 in Dessert, Recipes, Vegan

     

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