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!

 

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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!

 

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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.)

 

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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!

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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!

 

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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

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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!

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

 

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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.

So I had a baby. Now I have no time. So I use MANY vegan life hacks (5 recipes included)!

I had a baby a few weeks back. I was very ill before that causing a HUGE lull in my blogging and quite honestly my eating as well. I developed preeclampsia and could barely eat anything or walk, before that I got C-Diff… again no eating mostly doing the opposite of eating. I was the worst pregnant lady ever. If I was glowing it was strictly from swelling and fever. Thank goodness that is over. And let us welcome my vegan baby Solana Bray!

 

Solana

 

That all aside… I am getting back into my kitchen. Cooking when I can. Thinking of new recipes and enjoying my short moments of quiet when they come. The baby is out of the NICU (newborn intensive care unit, she was only 3lbs at birth but look at those cheeks now!) and at home so these moments are rare nowadays and my two stepchildren came to live with us in August. I think it is easy to tell that things have been hectic. So today I wanted to share some of my yummy vegan life hacks that I have been using to get through meal and snack times after work and on the weekends.

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VEGAN HACK RECIPES:

 

Peanut Butter Cookies: Use Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookie Mix and then sub out eggs with Egg Replacer. They come out perfect. I also use a silpat instead of cooking them directly on a cookie sheet because they are a little more crumbly. Let them sit for a few minutes before serving or else they fall apart.

 

Cinnamon Rolls: Use Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and don’t separate them at the triangle perforations or buy the dough itself if you can find it. They spread with Earth Balance Buttery Spread and sprinkle with cinnamon, brown sugar, and Penzey’s Vanilla Sugar. Roll up and then cut into 8-10 mini rolls. Bake for about 8-10 minutes until browned. Again, I use a silpat because they get sticky :).

 

Cheese Quesadilla: Grab some tostadas from the Mexican section of your grocery. I prefer Maizada. Top with crumbled Daiya Jalapeno Havarti. Microwave for about 30-45 seconds and top with another tostada and microwave 10 more seconds. Enjoy!

 

Taco Salad: I eat this for lunch almost everyday lately. Chop up 1 head of iceberg lettuce. Add shredded carrots. Toss with Catalina dressing. Then mix in cooked Beyond Meat Feisty Crumbles (I make 2 packages) and crushed Fritos. It will be your favorite lunch, I promise. My step kids adore it as a quick dinner as well!

 

Chocolate Chip Pancakes: 4 cups Bisquick, 3 1/2 cups Silk soy creamer, 1/2 tablespooon of Penzey’s almond extract, 1 cup of Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips. Mix and cook on a skillet sprayed with Pam Canola Oil Spray. These are amazing. As a quick trick sprinkle some Penzey’s Vanilla Sugar on the raw side before you flip it and they are amazing! What a treat! Makes enough for 4-6 hungry people.

 

And there is always this very easily veganized “cronut” recipe to indulge in if these weren’t enough to make your holiday happier!

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Happy Holidays! Much Love! Food is Love!

 

Enjoy!

The Hippie Gypsy.

Blackberry & Apple Compote

LD:

This is just a perfect recipe to convert the sweets of summer fruit to the warmths of a fall recipe. Emily does such a wonderful job narrating her recipes also so I always love reading her entries. I am looking forward to this on top of some of my homemade vegan vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon!

Originally posted on Emily Cooks Vegan:

Okay, so I have a small confession. I don’t like summer. I burn really easily and I don’t like hot temperatures, and aside from the brilliant day-drinking opportunities and balmy evenings, it’s my least favourite season. So obviously I’m really excited that it’s hit September now and I can delve into my Autumn recipes and start wearing the outfits I like to wear rather than just T-shirts and factor 50. I just love the crisp air, and the food, bonfires and fireworks. So here’s a recipe that I came up with to symbolise the start of Autumn, and it’s healthy for a change, which is great as I have quite an impressive hangover currently, so the fruit is a welcome change from my usual indulgent recipes!

I hope you like it, and I hope you’re all looking forward to the season change as much as I am (sorry if you’re…

View original 181 more words

3 Ingredient Vegan Biscuits

Yup, I said it three ingredient biscuits in just 20 minutes. No this is not heaven but according to my omnivore husband it sure does taste like it! He has deemed these biscuits his favorite vegan item I have ever made and that he would not know they are vegan because they are so buttery and fluffy. He also demanded I make them as a birthday cake in the future covered in gravy. So I guess I am going to have to start work on a white country gravy recipe! In the meantime he was happy with drizzled local wildflower honey. Yes we are those vegans that eat honey (See the Great Vegan Honey Debate Here). However, if you are not…. You can always try that vegan honey that is out since it is actually pretty identical in flavor or maybe some agave, maple syrup, jam, or brown rice syrup.

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I have been super sick throughout the last few months being pregnant and am finally starting to turn the corner into my third trimester. I can cook more and the smell of the refrigerator does not make me run to the bathroom to heave up my lunch of water fruits and veggies anymore. So this is definitely a good thing. I hope to start testing recipes again (with the taste test help of Lola my angel of a Dog) and getting more out to you all and I want to thank you all for your patience!

 

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Enjoy this cook hack of a recipe I saw online and veganized. I wish I knew the original source of the base recipe but I don’t so if you do please share!!!

 

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3 Ingredient Vegan Biscuits

(1) cup Lemon Lime Soda (Sprite, 7UP, etc.)
(1) Cup Tofutti Brand Sour Cream
(4) Cups Bisquick

*1/2 to 1 cup of melted Earth Balance Buttery Spread is required to pour in bottom of pan but is not a biscuit ingredient for the dough

 

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PREPARE:

Pour melted Earth Balance into bottom of baking pan. I used Pyrex pans as they are easier to see the baking through and to keep evenly heated.

Take 3 ingredients and mix until very sticky in medium to large mixing bowl with a fork. My little trick is to put 2 cups of Bisquick in the bowl and then wet ingredients and then the other 2 cups of dry to mix easier.

Form biscuits with your hands and pat down into buttered pan so that each biscuit is slightly separate from it’s neighbor. This allows for the butter spread to cook in between each.

 

BAKE!

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.

The bottom will be a golden crust and any peaks on top will have browned.

Makes about 6 very large biscuits. Cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!

 

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FOOD IS LOVE!

The Hippie Gypsy

Veganized Bisquick Pancakes

I grew up in the 80’s and I grew up on Bisquick pancakes. When my Dad would go away on business trips my mom would make huge batches of these for dinner with butter and lots of pancake syrup and cold milk. The Aunt Jemima stuff just wasn’t as good and I remember dreading church pancake breakfasts because it was always AJ instead of Bisquick thus making the pancakes grainy and flat for whatever reason and not fluffy. Well I was pleased as pie when I went vegan and found out Bisquick was also vegan! The only problem… ummm… whole milk and eggs are the additional ingredients. For the past few years I have used flax eggs, mashed bananas, and soy milk to sub but this weekend I tested something else out and it came out exactly how I wanted. So please take a look below and get ready for a delicious weekend breakfast because these pancakes are fast and unforgettable!

 

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Veganized Simple Bisquick Pancakes

2cups Bisquick

1 cup Silk Soy Creamer

1-2 tbsp Vanilla Extract (I use Penzey’s Mexican Vanilla)

2 Energ-G Egg Replacer Eggs

 

Making the Batter!

Make two Ener-G egg replacer eggs in a mug. Mix all other ingredients together and add egg substitute mixture last. Mixing all in well.

 

Cooking!

Heat a skillet to medium or medium high heat spraying with cooking spray or buttering with Earth Balance.

Cook until golden on each side.

Serve with Earth Balance and Maple Syrup. Enjoy!

 

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Food is Love. The Hippie Gypsy.