Packed lunch Taco Type Salad & other thoughts

Beans in a Cup

Greeting all! How is everyone’s New Year goals holding up so far? I was a good girl and did my juice fast for 4 days in the end and had great fun creating juices! Some were lovely and some barely drinkable! 😦 My own fault for experimenting a little too much with the blends!

However, I’ve not kept up one of my resolutions, which was to run 5 days a week again. I used to a few years back but a number of factors got in the way and it all became a little too hard in the end. The reason I’ve not managed to so far this year is a combination of shift work and getting sick! Yes, gang, I commenced annual leave last week and have pretty much had a fever or virus ever since. It sucks. However I’m coming out of it now and am trying to focus on eating healthily and getting my strength back so I can train again!

I’ve been living off tinned tomato soup since I’ve been ill, which is my comfort food. Rosella’s to be precise, and yes that’s a plug because soon the brand won’t be around anymore! They’ve announced they’re closing it down and I’ll do my little bit to keep my favourite soup on the market!

Sorry, slightly side tracked there! Anyway, last night my body started to tell me it needed more than salty, tinned tomato soup and I started craving veggies. So I whipped out my spare veggies (carrot, capsicum, celery and mushrooms) and water sautéed them with some onion and garlic. Towards the end I added some drained and rinsed chickpeas and some spinach to wilt. To serve, I served it over brown rice and mixed through some of Carrie on Vegan’s Saffron Cheese Sauce and topped it with a little diced red onion and avocado. It was so beautiful and wholesome to eat, just delicious!

Saffron Cheese Veggies

As you guys may have guessed, I’m a HUGE fan of Carrie on Vegan. She really opened my eyes to easy vegan cooking without making up for lost flavour with loads of oil or salt or 50 different spices. I love how simple her meals sometimes are and it is my go-to site when I need a new salad dressing! I added a gushing little comment about her Saffron Cheese Sauce on the link above and was thrilled that she commented back! Follow the link above and you can see my comment (I use my real name there – Kath).

After feeling so revitalised by eating some plant-based, whole foods, I decided to plan my lunch for the following day. Unfortunately the fridge has been running a little low since I’ve been too sick to get out and go shopping. However, using my ingenuity (hmm…) I threw together a Mexican inspired salad. Like a taco without the tortilla. It looked fab!

Taco Salad

I left it in the fridge overnight and when I felt hungry for lunch, just mixed it all up and it made a yummy salad. I know taco salads aren’t anything new but I loved this and will definitely make it again!

Taco Type Salad (serves 1)

1/2 cup of cooked brown rice
1/2 cup of cooked red kidney beans
1/4 of a large bag of spinach or two large handfuls, chopped
2-3 small tomatoes (I used Black Russian tomatoes – an heirloom variety)
1/2 a medium avocado
1-2 tbs coriander
1/4 a lime, juiced
2-3 tbs of salt free salsa
Chopped red onion to garnish

Add all the ingredients to your bowl or container and stir until well combined. Perfect for packed lunches and store well overnight!

I worked out this meal to be approximately 405 calories with 55 grams of carbs, 14 grams of fat (mostly the avocado so add less if you’re restricting fat) and 17 grams of protein. I worked this out using http://www.myfitnesspal.com/, which is an iPhone app plus website. Very useful! It was a lovely satisfying meal for me and so easy. Definitely one for me to pack for my lunches now I’m going to be working 9-5 soon!

Yes, that is my big news for 2013. I’ve been accepted into a temporary 9-5 position for the next six months, which hopefully will be extended to a permanent position after that time is up! After working shifts for the last four years, I am very much looking forward to having a routine again. It also means I can focus on my health and fitness properly without trying to have to fit everything in around my shifts! I will be required to undertake a pretty heavy study load while in the position but hopefully it will pay off in the end!

How is everyone else going with their 2013 goals? Any successes so far?

Stay awesome x

Welcoming in the New Year…

Green Salad with Balsamic

Wow, just looked at the last time I posted and saw it’s been over a month! So sorry to any people who read my humble little blog. I can say I have a reason – my laptop died on me and had to go to my brother to be fixed so I was without internet for a few weeks! I almost died and have spent the last week since I got it back, catching up on all my favourite blogs like Carrie on Vegan and Choosing Raw and various others.

So, I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year? As I spoke about in my last post, I ended up having the family over to my place on Christmas Day. It was only immediate family, so there was only five of us for lunch. Plus, I was super organised so it ended up being a really stress free day for me. Usually when I host Christmas I stress out and plan way to many dishes and only end up producing half of them! Instead, I made up a big batch of Carrie on Vegan’s Lemony Brown Rice and Lentil Salad the evening before and just gave it a fresh squeeze of lemon before I served it. I made a big green salad with a balsamic dressing (a small portion is picture above!) plus a potato bake which was about 80% vegan (I used soy milk and some soy cheese but it didn’t melt well so I added a little of Tom’s cheddar on the top). I also made up some vegetable kebabs which I marinated in olive oil, lemon, oregano and garlic. Tom cooked these on the barbeque and was very good because he cooked them first before he grilled all the meat.

Yes, there was meat at my table. Unfortunately, with a very old fashioned mother-in-law, there had to be. But Tom organised all that and I was thrilled that almost everyone tried my vegetable kebabs and loved them! 🙂

One of the lovely things about having Christmas during Summer here, is having access to all these amazing fruits and other produce. I made a massive fruit salad in the morning and served it up after lunch with the option of whipped cream. Everyone loved it and it was such a nice end to the meal, rather than a heavy cheesecake or pudding. Plus it meant I didn’t have to consume dairy if I didn’t want to!

Fruit Salad

There’s so much I could catch up on but I’ll keep it short and sweet for now. Suffice to say, despite my best efforts, I did fall off the wagon a little over the holiday period. I ate to much, I drank to much and I even had a few ciggarettes. Yes, readers, I am an ex-smoker who occasionally lapses when she drinks too much. It flies in the face of everything I stand for about healthful eating and nourishing our bodies and I dearly would love to completely kick the habit. As I said before, I’m not perfect. Hopefully 2013 will be the year to kick that!

So, because of my debauchery over the holidays, I’ve started a juice/salad fast. I only started yesterday but so far I’m feeling awesome. I’ve found it relatively easy to get my head around the ‘liquid meal’ idea and the fact I’m still having one salad a day helps a lot. I got given a juicer for Christmas (at last!) so thought that was a good reason to finally try a juice fast. Yes, I’m cheating mildly by having salads, but I’m working night shift this week and really need that something extra.

That’s all for now. I’ll update soon with some of the great juice recipes I’ve been creating plus I’m also working on a peanut butter sauce that’s been a big hit with Tom when dipping it cold rolls into it and I thought maybe I could thin it into a salad dressing. I’ll have a play and see how it goes!

Happy New Year to you all. What are your resolutions or goals for 2013?

Stay awesome x