Tag Archives: Go Veg

My journey finding the perfect vegan prenatal supplement

=&0=& are vitamin and mineral supplements intended to be taken before and during pregnancy and during postnatal lactation. Although not intended to replace a healthy diet, prenatal vitamins provide women of child-bearing age with nutrients recognized by the various health organizations including the American Dietetic Association as helpful for a healthy pregnancy outcome — Wikipedia
During my last pregnancy, I took the prenatal tablet my Doctor prescribed to me. I did not think too much of it or the ingredients for the matter; I just trusted that it was okay to take. Fast forward 4 years and I am of a completely different mind when it comes to what I put in my mouth. And, I mean completely different!

34 weeks pregnant with my only Son in 2010

Gelatin is a substance which is an ingredient in most tablet capsules and most jelly like lollies (candy). But, how many people know what gelatin is; not many apparently. I played around with this theory asking people in stores, “Does this product have gelatin in it” – sadly most people I encountered did not know what gelatin was. Just like me a few years back! It is not like the brands are screaming it out to the world and I see why; it seems like such a paradox to put animal by-products in fruit products, medicines and candies right?

Gelatin is favored as a coating for medicinal tablets and caplets, and is usually made up of body parts from slaughtered cows, pigs and horses too. Feel sick, I do?

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Home Baked Miso Glazed Tofu Cubes

One of Miles Storm’s favorite snacks is our Home Baked Miso Glazed Tofu Cubes. They are very easy and fast to make. We like to make this for him as a snack once a week, as our pediatrician told us that it is not good to give little boys too much tofu. Her reasoning was that it has high level of estrogen and is only recommended in moderation.

You will need – Olive Oil, Miso paste and a package of organic firm tofu. I always use South River Chickpea Miso paste, as it is organic and tastes great. It is a little pricey though but worth it as one jar goes a very long way – you can buy it online here.

The ingredients

What To Do

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Line the baking tin with olive oil – a good amount which covers the bottom of the tray.

2. Drain tofu, place on cutting board and roughly chop into 1 inch cubes.

3. Mix a few teaspoons of miso paste in a few tablespoons of olive oil and blend together.

4. Either paint tofu paste on with a brush, or spoon mixture on to tofu pieces.

5. Put tofu in oven and cook until golden brown. Turn pieces of tofu every 15 minutes. It should take between 45 minutes to an hour to cook.

Just out of the oven

6. Perfect for Little hands. Feed your munchkin!

Great for little hands

Thanks for stopping by Willy B Mum!

Buddha Bowls are Back In Vogue

My version of the Buddha Bowl

One of my favorite things to make at the moment is a Roasted Vegetable Bowl also known as a “Scrap Bowl” or a “Buddha Bowl”. There are so many varieties of Buddha Bowls but generally speaking, one consists of 3 parts being a grain, vegetables and a sauce or seasoning on top. And, this is as far as it goes with rules!

So happy eating my Buddha Bowl

Everybody is going to have their own twist on a Buddha Bowl, as mostly the inspiration comes from opening your fridge to see what you have available. With this in mind, the possibilities are ENDLESS! Maybe you want to add avocado (which I love), or a boiled egg, some tofu or some spicy black beans. Hmm, I am just getting hungry writing all this down! This dish is also ideal to tailor to food allergies and restrictions such as being gluten-free, not eating animals or not being a fan of dairy products.

I know I write this with a lot with my recipes, but this is beyond easy to make, and one of the most adaptable and fun recipes ever.

Need a close, well today is your lucky day

To get you started on a creation of your very own, here is the recipe of the one that I made for lunch today.

Part 1  – Grain

  • Cook a cup of Quinoa and place to the side

Part 2  – Vegetables

  • Pre Heat over to 350F
  • Roughly chop 1 broccoli, 1 cauliflower, 1 whole onion, half a cup of peas, 2 cups of mini carrots and 3 cups of shiitake mushrooms
  • Place in a baking tray lined with olive oil and a small amount of sea salt to season
  • Roast for approximately 45 minutes or until desired consistency

Read More Willy B Mum

Tomato & Basil Hummus

MIles Storm helping me make, and then tucking in to the hummus!

This week I went to the Health Food Store with Miles Storm to buy some organic dry chickpeas. I had a great urge to make him hummus as he eats so much of it. Lately, I have been lazy and buying hummus at the supermarket for him. I feel bad about this as I know the Sabra Brand we always buy is made with GMO and non-organic ingredients. But, this mad-supermarket-hummus-buying is stopping right now. From here on in, it is homemade hummus for my family all the way!

Hummus is definitely one of my Son’s most favorite foods, which is fantastic as chickpeas (AKA Garbanzo Beans) are high in protein – to be actual a cup of cooked chickpeas contains almost 12 grams of protein! They are also a good source of Dietary Fiber, and antioxidants – Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

As it is still quite hot here in the Northern Hemisphere we have a ton of tomatoes and basil growing in our garden. With this in mind, I thought why not make a hummus with them as as an addition to the chickpeas. Well, it turned out really well and I am happy to share it with you on the BLOG today!

This recipe is so simple, and using raw chickpeas and making hummus from scratch, you eliminate the ton of salt which is usually added to the canned varieties available at supermarkets.

Additionally, this is a fantastic activity to do with your Little One at home. My little boy loves to help me out in the kitchen already becoming a keen Chef in the making. Go Miles Storm Go!

Ingredients for the hummus – chickpeas, sesame tahini, lemon juice, cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, sea salt

What You Need

  • 4 cups cooked organic chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup of organic sesame tahini
  • 1/4 of cup organic lemon juice
  • 1 cup of small organic cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup of organic olive-oil
  • 8 organic garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup of fresh organic basil leaves
  • A couple of organic bay leaves
  • Sea Salt to taste

Read More Willy B Mum

Make your very own Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce

Have you looked at the ingredients in a jar of commercial processed tomato sauce lately?

All food that is processed has preservatives added to it to keep a long shelf life, and let’s not forget that most jarred tomato sauces are also heavy-handed with unnecessary amounts of sugar, salt and oils. Call me crazy but I just do not see the point of adding sugar to a tomato sauce? One also has to consider whether the ingredients used are sprayed with chemicals/pesticides and are in fact Genetically Modified Organisms -GMO’s.

That is a lot to consider for one little small jar of supermarket bought tomato sauce?

Thankfully, as we love tomatoes, my husband grows a lot of lot of them during the Summer Months. We eat as many as we can as they grow, but we do always have an abundance. Not wanting them to go to waste we like to can some for the winter months, and make our own tomato sauces. We do a few different varieties of sauces and the one I am highlighting today is Roasted Tomato.

It is so nice to always have fresh made tomato sauce in the refrigerator, especially made from ingredients which we know to be safe in quantity and quality.

A tomato pasta sauce can be as simple as 6 ingredients – tomatoes, onion, garlic, oregano, olive oil & sea salt.

What You Need

  • 12 San Marzano Tomatoes (cut in half long ways)
  • 3 Beefsteak Tomatoes (cut in to pieces of similar size to the San Marzano tomatoes)
  • Full Head of Garlic (peeled of skin)
  • 2 Sprigs of Oregano (remove leaves from stem)
  • 3 Small White Onions (cut lengthways into thin slices)
  • A quarter of cup of Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt to taste

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Gruž Market – Dubrovnik Croatia

Local fruit stand at the Gruž Market

Being on holidays in a foreign country can be, at times challenging to eat in the way that you are accustomed to in your own environment. Whether you have health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure, or dietary restrictions like not eating meat or being gluten-free, you can never be 100% sure of what really is in the foods from supermarkets, cafes or restaurants.

This is why buying fresh produce from local Markets and making your own meals is a great option! This way, you know exactly what is going into your fares as you are making them yourself. And, it also gives you a local understanding of the food, and where it comes from.

My family is currently renting a house in Dubrovnik, Croatia; which means we are able to cook at home a lot! I think, that we are an extremely healthy family eating mainly fish, vegetables, grains and fruits. A lot of the time we eat vegetarian, cutting fish out all together, so a local Farmer’s Market is indeed a godsend.

So where can one get produce if spending time in Dubrovnik, Croatia?

Our Market of choice is the famous Open-Air Fish and Produce Market in Gruž, where it has stood for many decades on a section of the ruined garden of an old Summer Villa known as Gundulić. These Ruins were previously owned by the last known Royal’s of Dubrovnik – the Bona Family. The Villa was first attacked in the World War 1, and completely ruined in World War 2.

The Gruž Market is the largest and cheapest in the City. It is a lively, colorful and very busy exchange where local farmers (& farmers from further out) sell everything from flowers, cheese, eggs, sweets, oils, liquors, fresh fruits and vegetables. Generally speaking the smaller stalls are run by immediate farmers, while the bigger stalls are hosted by farmers who travel from Konavle (suburb of Dubrovnik) or the neighboring country of Herzegovina.

There is also is an indoor fish market with daily freshly caught seafood coming straight off the boats governed by local fisherman who dock and drop-off at the Harbour directly across the Street – you can’t get any fresher than that!

Have you EVER seen tomatoes this good before. They tasted AMAZING!

The Gruž Market is the real-deal. Here you will find food that is grown on farms the old-fashioned way with no pesticides, additives or harmful chemicals. This area is one of the oldest settlements in the world, and they have thankfully kept themselves removed from modern-day food culture, which unfortunately is not the way with the same industry in the United States where I live with my family. Literally, what you see here is exactly how the local climate was able to produce the foods and I LOVE that!

Perhaps this is why people who eat a Mediterranean Diet are so healthy compared to other cultures, not to mention the natural beauty they have all around them keeping people calm and stress-free — just a thought!

Buying some local produce

Gruž Market is open every day from early morning 6AM to 6PM in the evening. I have heard though that all the good stuff is sold very quickly at the start of the day, especially in summer when locals/restaurateurs travel first thing to shop before it gets too hot. Friday and Saturday mornings are known to be the busiest, while Sundays are the quietest as a lot of the farmers take the day off.

Please Note; the adjoining Fish Market is a little different with timing. They open at 6AM but close when the fish runs out and on some days this is 10AM. However, the official closing time is 12 Noon.

How To Get There

If you do not feel like walking to and from the market (dependent on where you are staying) it is located close to public transport options of boats and buses. Privately, you can catch a taxi, with a pick-up hub conveniently located right across the Street.

**Environmental NOTE

Just say NO to plastic bags and take your own to the Market. I see so many abandoned bags littering the Adriatic Sea, and while I try to pick up as many as I can, if we just stop using them – PROBLEM SOLVED!

The Gruž Market is on the Street Obala Stjepana Radića on Gruž Harbour.

Other Markets Read More Willy B Mum

Chilled Avocado Soup with Dill, Coconut and Nuts

Ingredients – Water, Dill, Red Wine Vinegar, Red Onion, Walnuts, Avocado and Coconut Milk

Many years ago, during a summer in New York, I was introduced to cold soups. Yes, with the popular tomato-based Gazpacho Soup. I will admit, it look me awhile to get used too – cold soup – but now I actually look forward to it in the warmer months when Summer comes around.

Today, wanting to try something that my (almost 3-year-old) could help me with I came up with a Chilled Avocado Soup. You can tell from his face in the photo below how much he LOVED being involved. I mean, when I turned that blender on it was priceless. Of course, he wasn’t interested in helping with the dishes…. But that is a whole other story!

This soup takes minimal down time as there is no cooking involved. It is more like a smoothie kind of vibe – you put everything in the blender and press blend. Genius right? And, not just that, this soup just doesn’t have to be soup. What I actually found after making it (and you can see from the photos it was a lot of soup) is that it is also perfect as a dip, and as a topping to foods like Veggie Burgers.

Miles Storm LOVES helping out in the kitchen

WHAT YOU NEED 

  • 2 ripe Avocados
  • 2 cups of Coconut Milk (I used So Delicious)
  • 1/2 cup of nuts (I used walnuts as it was all I had BUT I think Macadamia or Pine Nuts will be tasty too)
  • 1/3 cup of the herb dill and a little extra for the garnish
  • 1/2 cup of diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • 1 cup of water
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Read More Willy B Mum

Early Summer Vegan Plate via YoginiCuisine

Eating vegan, meaning you do not eat any animal flesh or by products, does not have to mean “eating rabbit food” with a piece of carrot for breakfast and a piece of celery for lunch. On the contrary, eating a plant-based diet can be an eye-opening array of tastes and textures which can help to prolong life by reducing your chance of developing such ailments as diabetes, heart disease and cancer – TRUE Story!

Personally, I like to call myself a try-hard-vegan because in my heart-of-hearts I really do hope to eat as a strict vegan one day. But, for now, I eat seafood, the occasional piece of cheese and sometimes eggs. However, I have not eaten animals for 25 years purely because I love animals so much and can just not stomach the thought of eating a furry friend.

I think that I could probably become a Vegan easier if I was able to coordinate a constant array of dishes at each meal time. Unfortunately, this is something I constantly struggle with. I mean, I know how to make a salad, or a vegetable soup or a Veggie burger with dressings but I lack the skills to make a proper meal with a variety of options. So weird though, that for my Son I can whip things up in a jiffy but for me it is like the “lights are on but nobody is home”.

My girlfriend, mother, yoga teacher and sustainable food nut, Sarah Willis AKA YoginiCuisine, graciously put together this posting for me this week of an appetizing vegan meal with a small tasting of different foods.

Sarah calls this the “Early Summer Vegan Plate ” as beginning of the season Radishes, Garlic Scapes, Scallions, Lettuce and Beetroot are all in abundance.

Guacamole with scant diced Red Onion, Pressure Cooked Beetroot, Sliced White & Red Radishes, Torn Green Leaves – All served with a Cashew Scallion Oregano dressing

MENU

  • Guacamole with scant Diced Red Onion
  • Beetroot (American for Beets) either canned, roasted, boiled or pressure-cooked
  • Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Sliced White & Red Radishes
  • Cashew Scallion Oregano dressing (see below for recipe)

**To reduce consuming toxins/pesticides I suggest only using organic or low-spray ingredients

Partial Ingredients to create this fine dish – Garlic Scapes, Red Onion, Scallions, Raw Cashews, Avocado, Lemon, Beetroot and Oregano

Ingredients AMAZING Cashew Scallion Oregano dressing

  • Garlic Scapes chopped fine
  • 1 bunch Scallions Whites and Greens chopped
  • 3/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 cup Raw Cashews
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon strained
  • 1 cup Water
  • Sea Salt & Pepper

Read More Willy B Mum

Roasted Cauliflower Soup garnished with Kalamata Olives

First step – Cauliflower, Onion, Rosemary and Garlic into the oven to roast

I love cauliflower, it is absolutely one of my favorite foods on the planet. I love it roasted, as a salad and mashed just like potatoes. I have always wondered about making it as a base for a soup and this week while on the Treehugger Website I saw a recipe for “Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Aged Cheddar” and it got me thinking…..

The thing is, the recipe on TreeHugger calls for dairy products and I am not a fan of eating any animal products in my diet if I can help it. My Son also develops eczema when he has cow milk or cheese, and because of this, my husband and I stopped giving either to him a long time ago.

So, I decided to create a non-animal-product twist that is better suited to my family needs by using unsweetened coconut milk and a vegan cheese substitute instead. For my first go at it, it turned out really delicious, and because of the thick consistency can easily be substituted as a pasta sauce or even as a dip (like hummus) with veggie chips or raw carrots.

Total cooking time with preparation is around 2.5 hours and serves 4 generous adult servings.

Cauliflower has many health benefits including being a great food to eat if pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant. Cauliflower is full of folate B9 which protects from birth defects and low birth weight in babies.

It is also high in important B vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and thiamine, can aid in weight loss and has been proven to considerably help prevent certain kinds of cancer like prostate, breast and colon.

This is just to start, there are also many other positives about eating cauliflower like aiding the body with digestion, supporting in anti-inflammatory issues like arthritis and being chock-a-block in antioxidants.

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 1 whole organic cauliflower, cut into small chunks
  • 1 medium organic onion, cut into small chunks
  • 15 whole organic garlic cloves
  • Small handle of fresh rosemary leaves (remove main stem)
  • 4 tablespoons of organic olive oil
  • 3 cups organic low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup vegan shredded cheese (I used GO Veggie!™ Mozzarella Style Shreds)
  • 2 cup of unsweetened coconut milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (easy on the salt)
  • Sliced organic Kalamata olives to use as a garnish

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Butter Bean Dish with olive oil, sage, rosemary and dried chillies

Miles Storm helping me cook up this yummy dish.

It is said that people either LOVE or HATE Lima Beans AKA Butter Beans. I am definitely a lover of Lima Beans. They are a great source of protein, and as my Son and I do not eat animals, this is a great plus for us to incorporate them into our diet. Lima Beans are also high in calcium and manganese which helps to maintain healthy strong bones. They give you energy, are high in iron (another plus if you do not eat meat), are low in calories and almost fat-free. Want more inspiration? Butter beans are high in fiber and bind with the bile acids in ones’s body thus lowering your cholesterol, this happens when the two leave together exiting the body. Lima Beans also help keep you regular by aiding your digestive tract.

Besides all of this, you can make really yummy dishes with Lima Beans like this recipe I am highlighting here – Lima Beans with Olive Oil, Rosemary, Sage and dried chillies. It does take a few hours to make and there are a few different steps, but is fairly easy and generously serves 4 adults. It will also stay in the fridge for a few days with no worries at all. If you find it dries out you can add some olive oil on top before serving.

It is a great meal to serve if you have a Little One, well for me anyway as my 2-year-old loves to eat with his hands and Lima Beans are a great finger food. Obviously though, you would separate a part and cook without the chillies. Miles Storm had such a fun time this afternoon helping me in the kitchen. He is such a foodie in the making, he gets great joy cooking  just like his Daddy.

THE RECIPE

Ingredients

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 2 Cups of Dried Organic Lima Beans
  • 3 Cups of Organic Vegetable Stock (I used Nature’s Promise)
  • A bunch of organic garlic cloves (I used around 15)
  • A big bunch of Organic Sage (which I took from our garden)
  • A big bunch of Organic Sage (which I took from our garden)
  • 4 Long Dried Chillies
  • Quarter of a Cup of Organic Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
  • A pot that you can put in the over to cook (we use Le Creuset cooking equipment in our house)

Read More Willy B Mum