Thursday, 17 May 2012

Greedy Guts

That’s what I am. I will fully admit it. I am a foodie who loves my delicious vegan culinary experiences. I take after my mother with the ability to have an orgasm over food. Seriously.
 I wasn’t always this way. Having grown up being the pickiest eater in the western world there was so many things I wouldn’t eat. I was sensitive to texture and things that I deemed “irritable.” I lived on nothing but grits and egg and spaghetti-os for years. But having grown up to be a vegan I have learned to enjoy and savour different textures, tastes and foods.

 Saying that, I have a tendency to overeat all that delicious food. It is easy to say “It’s ok to have a second helping because the food is so healthy!”  I tried the theory that a smaller plate “tricks” your eye and helps you to eat less, but a smaller plate makes me eat seconds. Sometimes thirds. When I pile on a third helping then I know I need to sort myself out.

 I have gone back to a large plate, but I fill half the plate with salad. This is no real hardship for me as I really like salad. Even in pickiest days I liked the salad bar. My dear old dad and I had a standing monthly date when I was at uni where he would take me out to lunch at a “Big Cow” place (this was so called because in our town there was a steak house with a giant statue of a cow in front. This somehow morphed into any steak house being called a Big Cow place even with no statue) I was an omnivore then, but I always loved the salad bar and would pile my plate high with shredded carrots and chickpeas and all sorts of goodies. And then drown it all in Italian dressing. Oh well nobody’s perfect. My dad used to tease me about being a cheap date because unlimited trips to the salad bar were half the price of a steak.

 Spiderman has also gotten on board with this and it really does fill you up. The problem is prep time. When I am “in the zone” cooking some fabulous meal and coordinating the time to start this bit or add that bit I don’t have much time to be getting the salad ready. So I have started to “pre-prep” most of it.

We buy a huge bag of mixed  salad leaves and as soon as we get back from the shops we divide it evenly into 4 ziplocks. Then Spiderman grates a carrot and I chop a red pepper. Put those in the fridge and dinner is practically ready.  The carrot and pepper will be fine for 2-3 days in the fridge making the next few meals easy-peasy. I cut a quarter of a cucumber right before the meal as I find that cukes don’t do as well refrigerated after being chopped.  That’s it. After dinner we rinse out the ziplock bag and hang it to try and the next day we take it down stow it away until we have 4 empty bags and then we buy more salad leaves.

 We’ve been doing this as well with the kale for smoothies--dividing it into 4 bags--and Spiderman (who does the honours) says it makes the morning green smoothie go much quicker. 

 But what about dressing? My youthful mistake was to pour it on. I find I am sensitive to oily dressings these days. They seem to clog the leaves making them soggy. Spiderman often doesn’t even use dressing. But we have discovered that a dusting of home-made vegan “cheezy sprinkle” parmesan on top does the trick. It adds an umami flavour that boosts the taste and adds some calcium and B vitamins.

 To make it:

Zoosh in a food processor or mini chopper the following things.

3 TB nutritional yeast

3 TB ground almonds (or 1.5 TB ground almonds, 1.5 TB sesame seeds)

 ¼-½ tsp (smoked) sea salt

 How do you eat your greens?

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