Dr. McDougall’s Vegan Meal Plan Day 6: Lunch

So we are closing in on day six. I wake up hungry and I am hungry each day by dinner which means that I am losing the weight and my body is reacting at the appropriate times. I am not hungry all day and I actually have enjoyed all the foods I have eaten and don’t think of them as “diet food” as much as a normal breakfast and lunch. At dinner I just eat reasonably. i splurge a little once a week but that’s all. Simple enough.

 

Pistachio Citrus Quinoa Salad 2

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Lunch Day 6: Pistachio Citrus Quinoa Salad (made with organic quinoa and couscous)

 

Okay first off this smells amazing coming out of the microwave and is also the simplest to make so far. 1.5mins inthe microwave and some water and we are good. When i took it out of the microwave my coworker declared she was going to lunch because I was making her hungry with whatever yumminess I just made. So far, so good and it isn’t even in my mouth yet! It is not too salty or sweet and you can definitely taste teh citrus. It does get a little thick as it sits so keep that in mind. You may want to add some extra hot water, a dash of oil or margarine if you feel it is too think but I ate it just fine as is. The seasoning is very nice and backs up the refreshment of the citrus flavor. I did notice the pistachios but couldn’t really taste them. I did get one that stuck in my teeth though! Overall a very simple dish. I would say this is more of a side dish I would have with maybe a vegan chicken salad. I wouldn’t eat this as much as a main meal but I enjoyed it overall.

 

Pistachio Citrus Quinoa Salad 1

 

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Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy

Dr. McDougall’s Vegan Meal Plan Day 5: Lunch

I was in a curry kinda mood all week. I love curry. I had a wonderful tofu coconut curry at this restaurant Opus in Salem, MA the other night and it just made me want to eat curry forever. I really kinda hate Indian food though so I am more of a Thai curry kinda girl. This lunch cup was more of an indian curry but I was surprised by it!

 

All Natural Asian Pilafs Lentil Curry 1

 

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Lunch Day 5: All Natural Asian Pilafs Lentil Curry

 

So, now that you all know I kinda hate Indian food I must say this wasn’t terrible. It was spicy which I am absolutely okay with but it was also very salty and had a lot of flavor going on. I would say thus far, this is definitely my least favorite but I did eat it all. I struggled a little because the curry was strong but the meal was hearty and filling. I have learned to put a napkin instead of foil over my meals as they sit and it works fine enough. The rice was a little chewy but generally okay. If you like this kind of curry please eat up! Otherwise, maybe go for the other curries I listed before.

 

All Natural Asian Pilafs Lentil Curry 3   All Natural Asian Pilafs Lentil Curry 2

 

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Food is Love. 

The Hippy Gypsy

 

 

Dr. McDougall’s Vegan Meal Plan Day 4: Lunch Only

Sorry for the delay between day 3 and 4. I went on vacation and had a nasty cold so I am just getting back to the computer. I am still sick though. What is with these summer colds everyone is getting? My father has double pneumonia my husband is heading toward bronchitis and even the baby had the sniffles. Well, nothing a little oatmeal and about a bucket of drinking water and ten cups of tea hasn’t seemed to handle well enough! Back to reviews of this awesome vegan meal plan.

 

terriyaki

 

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Day 4: Teriyaki Flavored Organic Asian Noodles

 

So I am finding with all the organic Asian noodle cups that they are slightly sweet. I am not sure entirely what this is accounted from, I checked the label and it only had 8 sugar grams. So I guess it must be something in the sauce. It isn’t a good or bad thing it is simply something I am coming to notice and a pinch of me wishes it wasn’t quite that sweet and a little more savory. The noodles I love though. They remind me of an egg noodle with their elasticity. They have such a good chew to them for being a microwaveable noodle cup. I expect mushy ramen but get these really great quality ones instead. I have also come to find out that many of my local whole foods carry a limited variety of these cups so i may be able to buy more from the store in the future and not just in bulk over the internet. Save the shipping cost. At Whole Foods the cups were all about $1.99. So I think that was a pretty good deal. Now back to the flavor, it is a nice rich terriyaki flavor. Coworkers walked buy adn said wow who is eating that it smells so good. My only comment between mouthfuls: “It actually is really good!” I really have yet to complain about this brand and it is kinda scaring me. I run into so many boring “vegan” meals out there or ones with bad consistency or weird flavors. This has been surprisingly spot on. Bonus to the whole I am losing weight thing for sure! As for the breakfasts, that oatmeal is still killing it. I am so full from it, I can’t even explain what does it but I am stuffed after breakfast! So far, so amazing!

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Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy

Dr. McDougall’s Meal Plan: Day 3 Lunch Only

So I am starting to feel the diet a bit today. I have officially lost weight already and furthermore my drives to work are filled with the sounds of my tummy yelling for my oatmeal. I had the apple today, used a pinch less water and had it sit longer. Voila! Perfecto! As for the lunch time meal I chose, I picked The soy ginger noodles. Again, I was wanting to put peanut butter in them and make them a satay flavor but I held back sort of. I waited until I ate most of them and then seeing they were only 200 calories added a tiny bit just to try it out and they were phenomenal still. I know I know, don’t alter but don’t you want to know your options if you want to spice things up? I know I do! So here is my full review (before I started adding peanuts).

 

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Day 3: Lunch Meal of Organic Soy Ginger Asian Noodles

 

Okay so I admit I didn’t know how to reduce the work microwaves power so it is my fault that the water/broth boiled over a little. I kept checking it every 30 seconds like an idiot. After I realized it was done, I looked for the sitting time and saw that I needed tin foil to cover it (really?). I get that this seems like a normal item one would have at home but not really on the go. SO I had to forgo the interesting rules about having the noodles sit and just let them sit sans foil. No matter, they came out good anyhow. I think normalizing directions is critical in take away items for people. Telling people to do things like bring more materials and reduce power and chant to it for 30 seconds. All a bit much. I mean I know it is probably a tad more tasty or well cooked with all these fancy instructions but maybe we just need to be more realistic int he rules we set for our cup of noodles. I am flexible but I don’t carry foil to the office. I do carry a can opener though and everyone thinks that is amazing, so I have that going for me. The noodles were very light and had a chew that was reminiscent of the rice noodle or mung bean noodle in its elasticity which I enjoyed. The broth it was cooked in was perfectly light and flavorful and I think I may enjoy it in lieu of a light soup any day of the week. I think my stepkids and husband would even love it with a grilled cheese sandwich some afternoon (we use chao creamy now and multigrain bread, so good). It was filling and even though I did add a dash of PB at the end for taste testing it as a peanut sauce, which was very successful, it didn’t necessarily need anything accompanying it. I did love my chunky PB in it though. :)

 

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So overall? Again, a winning day. I am feeling like I am on a lucky streak and afraid that I won’t like the next days lunch because the odds are against me now. I am bound not to like something I would think. But hey maybe not maybe everything from this group will turn out to be delicious. Like diner food is always delicious. I don’t think I have ever had a bad meal at a diner.

 

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Food is Love.

 

The Hippie Gypsy

Dr. McDougall’s Meal Plan Day 2 (Breakfast and Lunch Only)

So we are on Day 2. Last night, I had a portion controlled dinner including thai curry seitan with grains that was just so yummy and 350 calories so definitely staying on track! I wasn’t sure I could do it with leftover pie in the house but I did :) .Today we started the day off with the Organic Maple Whole Grain Oatmeal. I figured this was a safe bet. Everyone loves simple oatmeal with maple syrup. I, as a New Englander, have that stuff running through my veins after a childhood of nothing but that for breakfast every morning in the winter and my grandmother would put a splash of milk on top to cool it down. Who knew then I was allergic?

That being said. Let’s analyze Day 2!

 

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Breakfast: Organic Maple Whole Grain Oatmeal (GF)

Day 2 started out challenging because I was STARVING by the time I got to work. I had a hot coffee and my oatmeal and put in a splash less boiling water and the oatmeal came out freaking perfect! Fluffy with a chew and awesome. I loved the maple flavor. it didn’t taste fake or artificial like a fake sweetener. I got full less than halfway through and I take into account not only the heat of my office window but the coffee and oatmeal being hot as well. The oatmeals are just so filling I am not sure what this company does but its magical. I was still picking away at it an hour later because I was full but wanted to stay that way all day. Definitely a winner, I think I liked it more than the apple.

 

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Lunch: Curry Almond Brown & Wild Rice Salad

FYI this is not a cold salad. This is a hot bowl of rice unless you choose to refrigerate it later which honestly sounds just as good as when I ate it hot but would take longer at work and well I am hungry by lunch. This meal is super filling and amazingly delicious. I loved the light curry flavor and the surprise sweetness when I would get a piece of dried fruit or crunch an almond. Sooo yummy. I wish I ordered more of these now so I could but some in the fridge as snacks. We are going away this weekend and this would’ve been the perfect food for lunch stops. I can’t eat much at those roadside places and honestly I don’t even want to because who wants a belly ache of burgers and fries on a long drive? Not me. The downside of this meal is only 1 thing. The smell of the curry may linger on your hands if you get some on you. Which I did. Because I am a mess. It gets a little strong later in the day and you have to wash your hands a few times. Otherwise enjoy the curry goodness. This was delicious!

 

IMG_1102   IMG_1103

 

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Overall? A huge win today for the BRUNCH period of my day. I was very surprised and floored by how good this food is and I felt full all day at work. Usually I nibble away at snacks. So happy :)

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Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy

Dr. McDougall’s Vegan Meal Plan: Day 1 (Just Breakfast and Lunch)

Happy Summer!

 

So I decided that it was time to lose the rest of baby weight and get back to my blog now that my daughter is big and healthy and all that fun stuff. Although, I am a little concerned that she is actively trying to kill herself daily or be a stunt woman in Hollywood with her crazy attempts to leap off things and roll towards tile floors. I may need to invest in a baby inflatable sumo suit. Do they even have those? I digress. I looked up about a million “vegan” food plans including but not limited to Beyonce’s and ones claiming to be vegan friendly but were really just vegetarian. Most were overly costly, made me add my own fresh veggies (umm isn’t that the bulk of the meal?), and didn’t ship to where I live since none are in Boston. I needed something like Weight Watchers for vegans without the meetings unless they include a Mommy and Me Yoga class after work hours, then I would be in but that doesn’t exist. Maybe just… Easy, accessible, and I can bring it to work? Well I did get somewhere eventually. I found Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods and ordered a bunch of stuff after looking at the prices and options and rolling over in my mind a dozen times if I was really ready to deal with this, I would have to give up my morning bagels eventually I guess.  @RightFoods have what seems to be a million options of foods and for $65 (roughly and I paid like $20 for fast shipping because I wanted it sooner than like 10 days or whatever), I bought 12 packages of breakfast oatmeals and I think 14 lunch meals. That being said it’s like $5 a day for breakfast and lunch. Probably closer to $2.50 a meal which I think is like a dollar or two less than a weight watcher meal and I got two for $5 and they weren’t even on sale :) . So I am a happy camper in my wallet. Now it is time to eat this stuff. Will I be hungry? Will it be bland? Gross? Funny smelling? I am basically fat right now in my opinion (and probably the opinion of my doctor, scale, and BMI too but not my husband because he wants to sleep in the house not the shed tonight) and before my darling babes I was a runner, yogi, and surfer so I know I need fuel for exercise not just weight loss. I need to be not hungry after I eat my meal or I will fail at this and eat more than just an orange or two, I will eat that bagel and then I will have had two breakfasts which is worse than before. So let’s see how Day 1 went this weekend in my test. Have you had experience with any vegan meal plans? Tell me about them in the comments!

 

IMG_1063   IMG_1064   IMG_1081

 

Breakfast: Organic Apple Flax Whole Grain Oatmeal (NOTE: it is Gluten Free too!)

 

First, I put the whole sugar packet thing in it which is optional but in my opinion, it is not optional. I found it didn’t even feel very sweet with it in it. I do have a sweet tooth so this is probably saying its a little sweet but it was still tasty and I enjoyed it. The fill line could’ve been a little lower or maybe I should’ve microwaved it a bit instead of just adding hot water. Not sure but it was a little watery. However, that was no matter because about 3/4 the way through I was full and I mean like “wow there is still more in there? I am not sure I can finish” – full. But I finished it and I was full all morning, maybe a tiny overfull but in a good healthy way. Gefore I would eat a big multigrain bagel with earth balance and still be starved and it was wayyy more calories and fat. The meal itself was very hearty. You definitely get apples and flax and oatmeal. I mean you can see the chunks of everything and it’s great. You feel like you made it and chopped it yourself not like a traditional oatmeal packet of barely there freeze dried apples that are sponge-y. So kudos to them on this. It was a success over all.

 

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Lunch: Asian Organic Noodles in Thai Peanut flavor

 

Okay let me preface this by saying I kinda knew I may get disappointed on this one. I am obsessed with satay peanut sauces and think that thai peanut should be always a little dense and creamy like a touch of peanut butter is added. I even contemplated getting out PB for a teaspoon of it just in case. But I didn’t. I restrained myself because the point is too cut calories not increase them! Moving on, I was actually not that disappointed at all. It definitely was more spicy than it was peanut-y but it was good and it was actually a bit creamy. The only issues I ran into were (1) at first I didn’t believe there were enough noodles. It looked meager. This was not the case, (2) the cooking time was off for me. It said 50% power for 2 minutes. I actually needed 4 minutes. So I was a little annoyed going back to the microwave after letting it sit each time. I added 1 minute and then waited two to settle and then had to do that again. I had to keep separating the hard noodles and stir them around a bit and I worried it was going to be a bust and it took forever it seemed. Which made the cook time ten minutes instead of like 4. Not world ending but make sure to keep an eye on the time for yourself, watery just add a minute and worry about setting it to cool only when most of the water is gone. The noodles did fluff up and it was a good peanut noodle meal. I ate it with  chop sticks to take me longer (plus I inherited them from my great grandmother who lived in Okinawa so its fun too) and I really actually enjoyed the meal. So yea I would eat that one again. (Below: look at the sides of the container see the creaminess? That made me happy.)

 

IMG_1100   IMG_1101

 

In the end, double success on Day One. Or as my Chinese food menu may say Double Happiness :).

 

Stay Tuned for Day Two including:

Breakfast: Maple Oatmeal

Lunch: Curry Almond Brown and Wild Rice Salad.

 

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Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy

The Easiest Monkey Bread Recipe Ever with @earth_balance and @Pillsbury Crescent Rolls #vegan

Every Christmas my mother would make cinnamon rolls for breakfast and we would snack on their sugary, gooeyness while opening gifts on the living room floor. Recently I have either have to make my own from scratch which can be a two day process or buy some that are vegan. This year my mom bought some online from someplace and they were actually pretty awesome. Some company she saw on Shark Tank I guess. However, I was looking for an easier option that I didn’t need to ship in for $100 or make for days. I am a lazy mom of a new infant and all my time is taken up either cooking, cleaning, burping, feeding, changing, or working. I barely sleep. So when I came across a Pillsbury recipe for monkey bread I thought oooooh I can veganize this. AND. I. DID. Bam!

monkey bread 4

It was amazing, the whole thing was eaten by 4 people in a gluttonous feast that lasted less than an hour. We were gross I know, but it was that good. Enjoy!

 

monkey bread 3

 

Vegan Monkey Bread

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INGREDIENTS:

  • (4) Tubes of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Soy Creamer
  • Pam Canola Cooking Spray
  • (1) Earth Balance Buttery Stick
  • Optional: Nuts

monkey bread 5

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bundt cake pan, spray with cooking spray and then start pulling apart crescent roll dough and balling it up and dropping it into the pan.
  3. After each tube sprinkle a layer of brown sugar and cinnamon very lightly over the dough balls, then continue balling up the next tube worth of dough. The balls should be small about 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter. I also sprinkled in walnuts at this point but any nut will do like pecans, walnuts, etc.
  4. After all dough is in the pan and everything is sprinkled, get a sauce pan and place the stick of earth balance butter in it to melt down over medium heat.
  5. Once melted add 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of creamer. Stir until combined into a soupy caramel sauce. I sometimes add a pinch of salt as well.
  6. Pour sauce evenly over the entire bundt pan of dough balls. I try going around the circle from the outside in to make sure I get some on everything.
  7. Note that the bundt pan will not be filled completely but will bake all the way tot he top once the dough rises in the oven.                monkey bread 6
  8. Place in oven and bake for 45-50 minutes.
  9. When it comes out i used a plastic spatula around the edges of the bundt cake pan first before I tipped it over onto the plate in order to serve it. Otherwise the caramel sticks and it won’t come out of the pan.
  10. Serve hot. Pick apart and enjoy!

monkey bread 1

Serves 8-16. Or 4 if you are my family ;)

 

monkey bread 2

 

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Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy.

My Aunt’s Taco Salad – Veganized with @BeyondMeat

I love love love my Aunt Linda’s Taco Salad. Everytime we would have a family event at my Dad’s parents home in southern Massachusetts she would seem to bring this very simple Taco Salad with her despite the fact she is a trained chef. You would think a trained chef would bring something more severe and fancy but nope, Taco Salad. Here is something I can tell you though, this is the best Taco Salad in the universe and if you are a trained chef and you want the masses to eat salad, this is the salad you bring! It is salty, sweet, hearty, and healthy all mixed together and thanks to Beyond Meat I can now make it VEGAN! (Insert personal dance party moves here). So grab this for the next potluck, Meatless Monday, or Taco Tuesday. You won’t be sorry.

Bravado aside here is the recipe. Enjoy!

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Aunty Linda’s Veganized Taco Salad

 

Ingredients:

2 bags frozen Beyond Meat Feisty Crumbles

2 tbs Olive Oil

2 heads of Iceberg Lettuce Shredded

2 tomatoes diced

1 snack size bag of Fritos (2-4 servings like you’d get at a convenience store)

Catalina Dressing (I use Kraft)

 

Cooking:

Heat Oil and crumbles in frying pan until cooked. Set aside

 

Finishing Preparation:

Chop and shred lettuce and place 1/2 in a bowl.

Chop tomatoes and place 1/2 in a bowl.

Add 1/2 of the crumbles to that bowl and mix. Then add remaining crumbles, lettuce, tomatoes, and toss until well combined.

Add Catalina dressing until covered like a Caesar salad.

Crush Fritos and add at the last minute and toss.

Serve immediately.

 

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Happy New Year. Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy.

New Year’s Resolutions!

Every New Year people traditionally make there New Year’s Resolution to lose weight or get fit. Although after having a baby this is an obvious need for me it isn’t my New Year’s Resolution. I like to make a few guide posts for my year but I never get too disappointed if things go awry… there is always next year right?!?! Puns aside here is my list of things I would like to accomplish in the next 52 weeks:

  1. Take a vacation with my daughter.
  2. Go to church more and really find a spiritual center than I can pass on to my daughter, whatever that is.
  3. Meditate more. I find peace and rest in this but hardly do it enough.
  4. Use more whole foods and whole grains in my meals and recipes.
  5. Bake my own bread more often.
  6. Go to sleep earlier.
  7. Read to my daughter more. My favorite book right now to read to her is “My Mom Eats Tofu”. It makes me smile and laugh.
  8. Organize my kitchen and my spices.
  9. Declutter everything in my house.
  10. Join a CSA.
  11. Practice yoga more regularly.
  12. Start running again. That jogging stroller isn’t going to jog my daughter around on its own!
  13. Learn to use my paddleboard.
  14. Learn to let go of things.
  15. Read more books for joy after work rather than watch tv.
  16. Teach my stepkids to surf.

So those are them. I may find that some aren’t feasible this year, or all are and add more, or even tweak the ones I posted, but here is to another wonderful. hope-filled year ahead of us. I hope everyone’s dreams begin coming true with the drop of that crystal ball in Times Square.

Happy New Year. Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy.

Being Vegan Doesn’t Always Mean I Eat Healthy

During my pregnancy and the past month or so of holidays, I have had to explain to folks that just because I am vegan does not always mean I am healthy. I still eat macaroni and cheese and french fries and candy. I just eat it prepared in a different way. Now yes, I am much healthier in what I consume because there are much more veggies involved but at the same time I gained weight when I became vegan because before everything I ate made me ill for the most part. The thing is though, cake is still cake. Vegan cake is still fat and sugars and flour. It is just vegan sugars, plant based fats, and organic flour. All of which still hit you right on those hips.

So when I went to the grocery store with my younger step daughter I thought, we need to clean our menu up just a little more. No more white and wheat bread from the store, we need whole grain bread. No more refined white pasta, lets try some new grains that the kids aren’t used to like quinoa and blends of brown rice and amaranth etc. We need to change this up and make more “whole foods” come in. My husband had just complained the week before that he had been on a business trip and was so sick from the garbage food he ate while away that he couldn’t wait to come home. He even asked if we had something to detox him so he could feel better faster. I gave him some Detox tea by Yogi and a salad. I think that should start the healing. The idea though was a profound one, we had adjusted our lifestyle just enough the last 3 years that we couldn’t be an “average” American eating out and having subs anymore. I took a little pride in this but also was kinda shocked that these little changes I had made for myself had truly affected my whole family. Even my Midwestern, meat eating, cheese loving, butter dipping, corn fed husband.

So last night I tried a new vegan product and figured this would be one more step to eating better but still not completely compromising. I tried “Vegg” eqq yolk replacer for cooking (not the baking kind, although I tried that the other day and it worked great on cookies) and tried to make a quiche with broccoli and Daiya Jack cheese. I failed at the recipe miserably and I still am not sure why. I think it was a sign that maybe even this was too processed and rich. It smelled amazing but just would not come together and set. It kept turning to liquid. So I finally gave up after almost 2 hours of baking and made vegan “chicken” and a side of couscous and spinach for the kids and sulked in my room. When I came down 2 hours later the quiche had set while it was on the table! I tried it and it was tasty but I had heartburn straight through this morning from it. So for lunch I made a sandwich with Whole Grain bread some curried chicken salad with Beyond Meat, Just Mayo, Cranberries, and sliced almonds. I have realized that my combo of healthier vegan meat/egg options mixed with whole grains, veggies, fruits, and nuts is what is going to work for our family. The kids love the fake meats and the whole grains so its easy to integrate in veggies they like. I think this will be our “recipe” moving forward this year.

 

So here is to a not so unhealthy 2015 that is filled with good whole food and hope and not so much refinement :)

 

Much Love. Food is Love.

The Hippie Gypsy.