Vegan Food Journal: Smoothie, Dessert Hummus, and Pizza

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It’s been so long since I posted a food journal for the What I Ate Wednesdays blog link-up; my last entry was June 26th right before Alan and I left for Dr. Fuhrman’s Health Getaway. Now that I’m blogging much more frequently for Vegan MoFo (see my outline here), I’ve dedicated Wednesdays to this weekly event.

Yesterday’s breakfast was, surprise, surprise, my Choco-Green Smoothie recipe. I changed it up a bit by using spinach. I also used quite a few strawberries:

Green smoothie with spinach and strawberries

I was feeling like I needed some broccoli in my life, so I threw in a few frozen florets:

Frozen broccoli florets in my green smoothie

My “goodies” included (clockwise from top left) cacao nibs, sacha inchi powder, flax meal, maqui berries, and ground chia seeds:

Goodies in my smoothie

The whole shebang:

Green smoothie in my VitamixMy serving:

My serving of green smoothie for breakfast

I followed that with a hot cocoa made with about two tablespoons of cocoa powder (I told you it was addictive for me), some unsweetened soy milk, and a dropper-ful of liquid stevia:

Vegan hot cocoa

Lunch was a little strange, I made a platter with my Dessert Hummus, celery, red bell pepper, and an apple:

Dessert hummus with fruits and veggies

Dinner was inspired by my friend Jan-Marie over at My Midlife Mumblings who made crustless pizzas using portobello mushrooms. I served mine with some hummus and a salad for dinner:

Portobello Pizza with salad for dinner

I’ll be sharing the full recipe for these tomorrow, it’s a winner.

Some Thoughts:

What do you think about my day of vegan eats? Are you surprised I’m using stevia again? I was hesitant to share that news with you because many of you follow Dr. Fuhrman’s approach that doesn’t include sweeteners. I tried abstinence for a full 7 weeks from chocolate and sugars or sweeteners in July and August. For awhile, my cravings diminished, but it was very, very tough and, for now, I’m not willing to devote the energy to that fight. Also, I know it’s probably a brain chemistry thing, but I am happier with chocolate in my life. Feel free to give me supportive or challenging comments on this topic, but I couldn’t bear not to be honest with you where I am with this thing.

Conclusion:

If you’re on Google+, join the Healthy Vegan Recipe community I created here. You can also find me on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram, and don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win one of 10 free downloads of Vegan Delish, my healthy recipe app for iPhones and iPads using this Rafflecopter link (open to U.S. residents only):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The app is now up to 130 recipes including Herbed Cashew Cheese from Gena, Peach Cobbler from me, and Strawberry Fruit Leather and Buckwheat Raisin Granola from Rachel:

New recipes from Vegan Delish

Comments

  1. says

    Okay, I’m officially stealing the idea to have dessert hummus and fruits and veggies for lunch… that’s genius! I also love using a mushroom as pizza crust!

  2. Andrea says

    I have a challenge for you. :). I bought an assortment of flavored vinegars from a specialty store. Thy are delicious (you could just drink them straight they taste so good) I bought them to use in salad dressings. But I can’t figure out quite how to do it. I went online but all I can find are sites on how to make flavored vinegar, not what to do with it once you have it!! I have put it on the salad straight but you don’t get consistent coverage that way. One bite will taste like delicious blueberry vinegar and then next two like lettuce. So I turn to you ETL guru. What say you?

    • says

      I have an answer to your challenge!!! This was discussed at Dr. F’s Getaway this summer and Chef James suggested “cooking” the flavored vinegars with arrowroot powder to thicken them and offer better coverage to salads. I’m afraid I don’t have the measurements, though, because I haven’t actually tried it myself yet. I’ll put that on the “to-do” list. I think there might actually be a recipe for it on Dr. Fuhrman’s website, do you have access to that?

      • says

        Here’s the measurements (or, actually, a recipe). It works with any of the flavored vinegars and is very handy because the vinegar doesn’t end up in a puddle in the bottom of the salad bowl. Enjoy!

        Pear Vinaigrette
        James Rohrbacher

        Serves: 8
        Preparation Time:

        Ingredients:
        1/2 cup Dr. Fuhrman’s D’Anjou Pear Vinegar
        1 cup water
        2 teaspoons arrowroot powder, dissolved in an additional 1/4 cup cold water

        Instructions:
        Bring the vinegar and the cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Once boiling, whisk in the arrowroot-cold water mixture and let boil for 2 minutes, but no longer, whisking occasionally. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to use.

        Makes about 1 1/2 cups, approximately 8 servings.

      • Andrea says

        I don’t have access to the pay for section. I did that for a couple of months but I didn’t find it that useful so I stopped. I did by his cooking DVDs but his dressings are all creamy. I prefer a vinegarette style but don’t know how to get that without using oil with the vinegar.

    • Sue says

      I have been making a salad dressing that I love using the flavored vinegars from Dr. Fuhrman. I use a Vitamix to blend an orange, fennel bulb, 2-3 T of the flavored vinegar (I have been using either blood orange or raisin Riesling), a small handful of cashews or sesame seeds and 1/3 c almond milk. I like things with a little heat so I usually blend in some jalapeno also.

        • Andrea says

          Thanks for all these tips!! I haven’t been able to try any yet cause my vitamix broke! Coconut butter was too much for it. I tried buying a magic bullet while I wait for it to get fixed but it jut spun the seeds around in the vinegar and didn’t mix them. But these salad dressings are the first tong ill make once its fixed!

  3. Stacy L. says

    Carrie, I really enjoy when you do WIAW. It’s always neat to see what delicious and beautiful foods someone else’s day consists of. I also find it refreshing to see that some days are “less than perfect” for all of us. (Not that I see that in your eating really, because your diet is so incredible, but am refreshed by the honesty of your posting about it).

    On the note of chocolate and sweets – I have tried the same that you have by avoiding sweets and stevia as well and just recently began having Fridays nights as our “sweets night” where my husband and I share a healthy, plant-based chocolate dessert (usually one of your recipes! :). I’ve found that I also feel much happier by not completely abstaining, feel more balanced overall, & don’t give into poor choices with sweets when I know that I have our Friday Night date-night treat to look forward to. :) So…all that goes to say, I have been encouraged, challenged, and refreshed by your goals of limiting, but also of allowing it back in as you have.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Thanks for the comment, Stacy! Sometimes I get confused in discussions of food addiction where abstinence is preached similar to dealing with people who have alcoholism. I can see for some people that might be the best route but I suppose I hadn’t appreciated that not everyone (including me!) responds the same way to that method. I’ve also realized that the desire I have for sugar and chocolate likely isn’t as serious as dealing with other types of addiction and that perhaps I don’t need to be so regimented about it. For now, I am in agreement with you that I’m happier this way and understanding that I don’t have to be perfect.

  4. says

    Sugar and chocolate are my two guilty pleasures..so hard to give up, and I’ve tried only half heartly. I’ve been allowing myself the pleasure of some dark chocolate when the craving strikes along with trying to only use dates when I need something sweet in a recipe or for baking…so far not too bad. But my question is what stevia do you use? I just can’t get use to the after taste and I love me some hot chocolate especially living in the North East, hot chocolate season is coming up. My go to way of making it: melting 72% dark chocolate into almond milk with a dash or two, three maybe four of cinnamon (another love), dash of vanilla..so delish!

    Also, for Andrea above…I use flavored vinegars straight on a salad, try putting all the ingredients in a bowl with a lid, add your vinegar then close the bowl and shake it up…this way the vinegar will coat all the salad

    • says

      Hi Kimberly! I have also had varying experiences with different brands of stevia. A lot of bloggers use NuNaturals(?) but I’ve never tried that one. I actually really like the Trader Joe’s brand, I don’t find it bitter at all.

  5. Patty says

    I really enjoy your Wednesday food journal, Carrie. Thanks for sharing it with us! I think your meals always look super healthy, and that really inspires me. I’ve been struggling to clean up mine a bit, and seeing all of these beautiful smoothies and salads and recipes really helps me. But, also, I am happy to see that you’re reintroducing a little stevia and cocoa/cacao back in….I think it’s nice balance in life and I feel that’s very healthy. I’ve been using some stevia and cacao, too. And, I was wondering if I should get the cocoa powder you have, because I’ve been using Navitas Cacao, which I love (love all their superfoods!), but sometimes it’s a little strong, but I don’t know a lot about the differences between that and cocoa powder. I’m loving getting to see you more on the blog. When you are busy, it’s good to dial back, but, of course, I miss you during those times, even though I completely understand and support that (again, I think the balance is great!). :) Have a great day!!

  6. D'Ann Martin says

    I’m on the same fence! I know Fuhrman is down with cocoa powder and dates. Dates are natural and stevia is natural, so I’m confused with sweeteners. I myself use sweeteners judiciously and just “enough” to enhance the flavor of my food. I’ve actually never used stevia to make hot cocoa, but since I’ve been trying to kick the coffee habit, I may have to give it a try! I’m currently drinking organic decaf coffee that’s water pressed. I just love the taste of coffee, and don’t really care if it’s reg or decaf. I find the further down this journey I go, I just keep tweeking my diet more and more. Glad we’re on this journey together! Great post!

    • says

      Thanks, D’Ann! I appreciate the words of support. Uh-ohhhh, don’t start drinking hot cocoa on my account, I would feel badly if you got addicted to it. :)

  7. Laura S. says

    Definitely don’t beat yourself up about the cocoa and stevia! Those of us who have had issues with food in the past sometimes forget that eating should still be a joyful experience. If your body is craving something, there may be a reason. I always get chocolate cravings around my time of the month and now instead of fighting it, I go ahead and have some. I find that depriving myself only makes things worse in the end – bingeing anyone?! I haven’t done that in a long time -and I’m so thankful I haven’t! – but it ‘s because I allow myself to have chocolate and sweets here and there. Within the vegan realm, nothing is off-limits but on the flip side nothing is overly tempting either because I haven’t told myself I’m not “allowed” to have it.

    I hope you don’t look at adding these things back in as “slip-ups” or failures. Be happy with your decision to listen to your body!

    • says

      Thanks, Laura! I don’t necessarily think that my body craves chocolate (or sugar) because it needs anything, but I do think that humans have evolved to search for calorie-dense foods to survive and so at the very most basic level, that might be what’s going on for me. But, I very much appreciate your comment on how fighting cravings can result in bingeing. So far, I don’t have a good handle on that either, but I am trying to be fairly moderate in my intake, not too much and not too little. :)

      • Laura S. says

        I am glad you’re allowing yourself not to be so regimented.

        On another note, I see you started following me on Pinterest which I find very amusing because I have hardly anything on there!! After my wedding I will hopefully find more time to pin :-)

  8. Rebecca M says

    I personally think the relatively small amount you’re eating of it isn’t that big deal in terms of health (remember, even Dr Fuhrman offers the 90% rule with the option for 10% of daily calories coming from non-nutrient dense foods); and if it’s not leading you to overeat in general, then you go for it and enjoy every bite/sip, my friend! :)

    • says

      Thanks, Beck, I appreciate the support. I’m still trying to figure out how to be moderate since I tend to gravitate toward the extreme. I’m also trying to appreciate that I’m not a failure if I’m not perfect. :)

    • says

      Thanks for the comment, Geoffrey! I totally agree with you that life is meant to be enjoyed. I guess my dilemma is that I don’t want to turn to food for my enjoyment, but the truth is that food and pleasure are very much combined and part of our genetic make-up. So, I’m sure you’re right that it’s a matter of degree and how controlled I feel by my desire to eat chocolate vs. having the ability to moderate my intake.

  9. Kate says

    I’m planning on making your dessert hummus this weekend! I think in my personal-vegan-food pyramid, hummus takes up an entire section ;) Your recipe looks amazing. And I think your balance of health and enjoyment is admirable.

  10. Maren says

    I think it is fantastic for you to embrace chocolate and sweeteners that you crave. I believe Dr. Furhman also supports a 90/10 percent rule and I say enjoy that 10% that honestly doesn’t sound all too unhealthy to me. I struggle with chocolate and whenever I eliminate it, I find myself unhappy and thinking of it even more. I don’t think we are meant to struggle like that.

    • says

      Thanks for the words of wisdom, Maren! I agree, I was so much unhappier trying to ignore and get past my cravings for chocolate and, at a certain point, I wondered why I was fighting it so much. I think every once in awhile it’s nice to take a “break” just to make sure I’m still the one in control, but for the most part I’m loving having chocolate back in my life. :)

  11. says

    It was fun to see your day of eats Carrie!
    I was just cleaning out my pantry today and put all of me NuNaturals flavored Stevia bottles in a basket – haven’t used them much in months since I started eating a plant based diet. I do think it’s perfectly fine to have some chocolate and use a little stevia now and then. I do enjoy a little treat now and then! I subscribe to Dr Fuhrman’s 90/10 rule so I figure I have a little wiggle room for something that’s not a whole food.

  12. says

    Hi Carrie! I love this recipe!!! So lovely!:) I actually do believe chocolate in its pure form is medicinal. I make a “raw” hot chocolate on my blog with cacao and maca, and it’s the best! I swear I feel like a new person afterwards!;) I also adore maqui so I love your smoothie :)

  13. says

    Hi Carrie!

    I’m sure I’ve seen a video of Dr Fuhrman saying stevia is ok – from memory he says to cut out all sweeteners by preference but if you are going to use them, then it’s ok. I’ve been using it! Though I’ve just seen something on Nutrition Facts that goes against it :(

    Do you know if date paste/syrup/date sweetened water could be used instead? For me, if I do eat healthier sweetened things then it is much easier to avoid binging on non-ETL temptations!

    • says

      Hi Cat! I don’t want to speak for Dr. Fuhrman, but I also saw the video from Dr. Greger on stevia. I did a research paper on the safety of stevia a few years ago and wasn’t concerned by the research I found. I could definitely use a date sweetener in my cocoa, but I’m also trying to save myself a few calories. :)

  14. Tara says

    Carrie, I really enjoy your blog and Vegan Delish app! Totally worth 3823828x what I paid for it, I use it several times a week. My husband and I have been vegan for many years, but a few months ago we cut out sugar, processed grains, etc. I used to bake 3 or 4 tasty vegan treats a week, and as a result were eating way too many sweet and processed foods. We feel much healthier as a result, and my tastebuds have changed. We bought a Yonanas machine and have blended frozen fruit as dessert most nights, but one night a week we go out to our favorite vegan restaurant and have I have a small cup of house-made vegan “ice cream” as a treat. Keeping the sweets out of the house and only having them as a night-out treat seems to work okay for me. Once in a while, if I have a chocolate craving, I’ll throw a tablespoon or two of coco powder into my smoothie and that seems to satisfy me. I don’t see anything wrong with you occasionally enjoying small amounts of sweetener or coco. You are truly an inspiration and I appreciate all you share with the world via your blog. Thank you!!

    • says

      Wow, thank you for the amazing words of support, Tara!!! Your comment seriously brought tears to my eyes and made me feel like all my hard work is worth it. Xoxoxoxo!!!

      P.S. I just got a Yonanas machine as part of a review I’ll be writing and I am really enjoying it so far. You’re never going to believe this, but I’m going to try to make a kale ice cream. I think I might be bananas, I mean Yonanas! :)

      • Tara says

        I think that would work! I’ve also frozen things like pureed pumpkin in ice cube trays and “yonanaed” it. Works well! Pretty much anything frozen that fits thru the chute seems to come out a nice consistency. Thanks again for all you share and do!

  15. Jenn says

    I appreciate you sharing your diet with us, including the chocolate and sweetened parts of it! Whenever I see diets as nutrient-rich as your’s, I feel a bit of fear of orthorexia. Food influences our mental health, and it’s not something we can ignore/deny. As long as it’s not controlling us, I think it’s important to recognize and honor occasional cravings.

  16. Carla says

    I avoid stevia wherever I can… It gives me awful stomach aches. That, to me, says it’s not really the best thing to be ingesting. Since I started eating a nutritarian diet, sugar is so unappealing to me that when the urge for something sweet strikes, I’ll just have a few bites of something made with sugar. I use date sugar or honey wherever I can, but I have no problem with the infinitesimal amount of white sugar in my diet.

    • says

      Hi Carla! I have not had any stomach issues with stevia (I had some with erythritol, though), but I have noticed recently that stevia makes me very thirsty. That does concern me a bit so I’ll probably try to reduce my intake. Earlier this summer I was trying to be 100% abstinent from sugar to see if it reduced my cravings. I think it did for awhile, but then they came back. So, for now, I’m just trying to be moderate in my intake of sweet things. :)

  17. says

    Just found this from Dr Benson on Fuhrman’s forums from 5/14/13
    https://forums.drfuhrman.com/showthread.php?t=42805&highlight=stevia+risk

    “The whole stevia plant shouldn’t be ingested at all in any amounts until more information is available about safety in humans. The reason it hasn’t been marketed is that there were studies on rats that showed adverse effects on kidneys, heart, and their reproductive organs. Even Guarani Indians in Paraguay use it as a contraceptive, so that is a clue as to its toxic effects. Plus the purified versions can even be potentially harmful in large amounts. Did you see my web conference on sweeteners?”

    I use it myself in small occasional amounts, whole leaf green powder. This morning I made carob/blueberry oatmeal and put about 1/4 tsp in. It has been used a VERY long time in South America and though there may be some slight risk, it is impossible at this point to quantify. I just feel I want to enjoy my life however I can and I have a constant struggle to balance that against my huge tendency to paranoia and fear. Orthorexia indeed!!!

    • says

      Ack! Thanks for sharing, Geoffrey. I wrote a paper on the safety of stevia about two years ago for a seminar class in human nutrition and I concluded it was safe in moderate doses. My preference would be to use erythritol, but it bothers my stomach. I agree that there is a middle ground somewhere between enjoying life and worrying too much about the “what ifs.” To be honest, since I went through the cancer thing, I am less cautious about some stuff because I realize how quickly things can change and I just want to make sure I’m living my life to the fullest. I’d still rather consume stevia than regular sugar, though, which sounds like your trade off as well.

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  1. […] a more positive note, you may have seen my preview for these Portobello Pizzas yesterday in my “What I Ate Wednesday” post and today I want to share the recipe. What I love about swapping portobello mushrooms for the […]

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