Friday, 16 October 2015

Vegetarian and Vegan recipe ideas.

Although I have a pretty good idea of what kinds of foods I am able to eat, I am still in the process of getting to know my body. I've discovered that I should avoid most grains for now, until my body settles. So I am strictly eating a vegetarian diet now. I have been doing a lot of online research on IBS and found some really informative videos on youtube. I've also been cooking a variety of vegetarian/vegan dishes which I found to work for me. I wanted to share some of the recipes which I have tried and tested so far that can potentially help someone else with digestive issues. Most of the recipes I use are either from or from youtube.

Cowboy kale -

I made some alterations to this recipe. I didn't have any bell peppers at the time, and I used white onions instead. The result was still quite delicious. I completely forgot to serve it with the vinaigrette, but even as is it was flavourful. I cooked kale again last week, but this time I had lightly cooked the kale, and added (raw) cherry tomatoes, avocado pieces, and whole almonds. Also another great way to eat kale.

Cowboy kale served with baked salmon. I wanted to try the fish to see if I could handle it. I later learned that it's best to avoid all meats for now, including seafood. However, if you are able to eat couscous or quinoa, this kale recipe would pair nicely with it!
Grilled Mediterranean Vegetable Sandwich -

Since my body can't handle the store bought breads, I made homemade (whole wheat) roti and had this Mediterranean mix in a roti roll. I am not a huge fan of eggplant, but in this roll it was really good. The garlic mayo was what topped it off and gave it an excellent flavour.

Fabulous Zucchini Grinders -

Another vegetable that I don't particularly like. I made this before I realized I couldn't have breads. I served it in casserole form, as opposed to sandwich form. Also, I eliminated the cheese.

Spinach and Ricotta Calzone -

This was one of the first recipes I tested out on myself. I have my own pizza dough recipe which I used and I made the dough out of whole wheat flour. Although it was extremely delicious, the crust and cheese did not agree with me. I used only mozzarella cheese.

Spinach and cheese calzone made with all purpose flour
Spinach and cheese calzone made with whole wheat flour
Roasted Brussel Sprouts. with apples, golden raisins and walnuts -

I made this recipe as is but I eliminated the brussel sprouts, raisins and wine. It was so simple yet so delicious. the apple slices gave it a really nice sweetness.

Baked Eggs in Avocado -

I find that avocados are a hit or miss for most people; you either love it or you hate it. This is a great breakfast idea which is very filling, if you haven't re-introduced grains back into your diet yet.

I baked these in the toaster oven. I did find them to be very mess to eat. However, delicious nonetheless.

Almond Milk Ideas

So far I've tried sweetened vanilla, unsweetened vanilla and unsweetened original. Personally, I like the unsweetened vanilla but there are many other flavours of (non-dairy milks) out there. Like chocolate almond, coconut/almond blend, coconut milk, cashew milk, and soy milk to name some. It's important to remember almond milk is watered down compared to cow's milk, therefore you would have to make some adjustments to how you use it. However, it is fortified with the same nutrients as cow's milk. I do not like the taste of soy milk, so almond milk is what I found to be right for me.
  • Use it in cereal. My cereal of choice is Shredded Wheat because it's high in fibre.
  • Cook oatmeal with it. Oatmeal made out of almond milk has an acquired taste. It won't be as thick as oatmeal made out of cow's milk and slightly less flavourful. You can add your choice of sweetener or fruits such as apples or bananas to adjust the flavour.
  • Use it in teas. I usually make my tea with 1/2 part water, 1/2 part milk and heat it up with my choice of tea bag. As previously mentioned, almond milk is a lot more watery, so you are required to use 3/4 part milk and 1/4 part water.
  • Latte. My husband and I both wanted to try the almond milk with coffee but it didn't seem to be working. The trick is to do the same thing with it as you did in the tea: use 3/4 part almond milk and 1/4 part coffee. Make a little bit of espresso and in a separate cup, heat up the almond milk and foam it with a frother. If you don't have a frother, your latte will taste great but just won't have the foam on the top.
  • Milkshakes. The great thing about milkshakes is that there's no right or wrong way to make it. You put what you want in a blender, blend and you have your milkshake! My favourite type of milkshake is made with ripe bananas and some cinnamon powder. Since the bananas are already sweet, you don't even need to add sugar. I've also tried it with strawberries but didn't like it very much due to the tartness of the berries.
  • Hot chocolate. I warmed up the milk, and mixed in some cocoa powder and honey for sweetness.
Vanilla tea made with almond milk. I used a vanilla earl grey tea bag and vanilla almond milk for this 

Vanilla almond milk latte
As you can see, almond milk is extremely versatile and a great alternative for anyone who may have a sensitivity to dairy. Furthermore, it adds a hint of nutty flavour to your food and/or drinks.
When adjusting to a new diet, the most important thing to remember is: be patient with your body! Don't get frustrated when you get flare ups because it most likely will happen. Our bodies are funny and need time to change. As much as we wish they'd change overnight, they won't! Furthermore, we are all designed differently. Some things may work for me, but won't work for someone else. It is important to be observant and see what food works best for you as an individual. Reading so many online forums, I found that most people feel the way I did; frustrated. When doctors keep suggesting "add more fibre to your diet" and nothing seems to be helping, you really feel helpless and like giving up. But there is hope! We are lucky enough to live in a world where there are so many alternatives that there is something out there for everyone. I will continue to post about my journey as much as I can, in hopes of helping out anyone out there who may feel alone, frustrated or helpless.


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