Tomato Quinoa + White Bean, Pumpkin and Kale Casserole

IMG_5619

There’s something to be said about staples.

They become like best friends, somewhere you can go to when times get crazy.  A dependable, and welcoming hug, a comfy shoulder, nourishing for the soul as well as the body and mind.

That’s how I feel about these next two dishes.  I can just see myself making them over and over again.  The variations may change, but the formula will stay the same.  Why?  Because it’s easy, flavourful, nourishing and done in a flash.

Tomato Quinoa with Green Beans

Makes 3 x 120 g serves

Ingredients

quinoa 1/2 cup (soaked and rinsed well)

tomato 65 g (about 1 medium tomato)

capsicum 65 g (1/2 cup chopped)

1 garlic clove

1 cup of water

frozen green beans 100 g

Method

Place the tomato, capsicum, garlic and 1 cup of water in a blender and blend until smooth.

In a small saucepan, add the rinsed quinoa and add the tomato/capsicum blend.  Season to taste.

On medium-high heat, bring it to the boil.  Then reduce heat to low, cover and leave to cook.  About 15-20 minutes.  When quinoa is cooked, turn heat off and add the frozen green beans. Leave lid on for another 5 minutes before you fluff the quinoa to warm through the beans.  You don’t want to over cook them.  Stir and adjust seasoning if required.

Pumpkin, White Bean and Kale Casserole

Makes 3 x 120 g serves
Ingredients

1/3 cup of water

Pumpkin 120 g

1 can of cannellini beans

Tuscan kale 40 g

1 garlic clove

1 vegan stock cube

Method

Add water, garlic and pumpkin to a medium saucepan, cover and cook on medium heat until pumpkin starts to get soft.  Add more water if needed to keep it from drying out.  Once the pumpkin is soft, add the kale, stock cube, beans, and another 1/3 of a cup of water.  Cook for another 5 minutes, until beans are warmed through and kale has softened.  I like to squash some of the beans and the pumpkin a little bit and mix it with the water to make a little bit of a sauce.  Season to taste.

 

As you can see from the methods, both dishes are really simple to prepare and shouldn’t take long at all.  I’m constantly rushing, so I always make sure I can cook in minimal time.  I know that there’s lots of you out there like me, time poor, which is why I share all these recipes.

Whilst they are simple, they are still tasty and best of all nourishing.

Would love to hear how you go with them if you try them out.

Also, I’m happy to change measurements to cups if people prefer that rather than grams.  Whatever works.

 

Peas, love and mungbeans

 

xxb

 

 

 

Lentil and Eggplant Stew

IMG_5413

I’ve been really loving my legumes of late as you may have noticed.   I had stopped eating them for a while, mainly because at the time I was experiencing, or thought I was experiencing,  digestive issues as a result of eating them, however in hindsight, and if I’m honest with myself, it was just me being influenced by the books I was reading at the time.  There’s a lot to be said for the mind in situations like these, where we believe something and it actually manifests in physical symptoms.  Hmmm, but let’s not get to deep into the psyche, after all, we’re here to talk about food and my new found love affair with the humble legume.

This recipe, like the previous recipe, is simple, which you may have noticed by now, is the crux of what One Hungry Mami is about.

So, without further delay, here’s the recipe.

Lentil and Eggplant Stew

Makes 3  x 1 cup servings

Ingredients

1/3 cup of water

1 tsp of dried oregano

onion diced 35 g

garlic 1 clove crushed

capsicum diced 80 g

eggplant cubed 125 g

tuscan kale finely sliced 30 g

nutritional yeast 3 TBS

lentils (425 g can)

diced tomatoes (400 g can)

Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Finely chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

 

Method

In a large non stick saucepan, add the water, onion, garlic and oregano and cook on medium-low heat until onion is tender, about 3 minutes.  Add capsicum and eggplant and stir to combine, add a little bit of water if it has started to dry out.  Place lid on and let the eggplant soften, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Add the canned tomatoes, rinsing out the can with another 1/3 cup of water and adding that to the pan too.  Stir and cover with the lid.  Leave to simmer for another 5 minutes.  Add the lentils and kale and cook uncovered for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Turn of the heat and add the nutritional yeast.  Stir to combine and serve.

 

Now you can eat this straight up as is or you can serve it as a side as I have in the above picture, with some red rice and a dollop of cashew mayo.

IMG_5412

You can also use it as a filling to baked spuds or sweet potato, add some salsa on top and a squeeze of lemon juice.  If you wanted to, you could also add some chipotle pepper to the lentils to give it a Mexican vibe.  Totally up to you how you party.

Like most stews, this tastes even better the next day when the flavours have had more time to develop, so enjoy the leftovers!

Peas, love and mungbeans

xxb

 

 

Silverbeet and Cauliflower Curry

IMG_5549

I have to admit, a lot of the meals I make are purely out of necessity, using what ever veggies I have left over and adding lots of herbs and spices.

This one was no different.  Basically I wanted to make a curry that was low fat, low calorie but tasty and filling and would go well with whatever I threw at it as sides.

I don’t normally cook with oil so that’s nothing new, but I kept this low fat by using unsweetened coconut milk instead of the coconut milk that you buy in a can.  Vitasoy make a good one, and no, I’m not payed to say that!

Whilst I’d always recommend making your own milks, I like to have this on hand because I’m busy, it’s low fat, it’s versatile and it keeps well.

Back to the curry.  It’s actually really simple, no fancy steps and it’s fast to make.

Silverbeet and Cauliflower Curry

Makes approx. 5 cups

Ingredients

1/2 medium head of cauliflower, chopped (about 700g)

1 medium carrot, chopped

3/4 cup of pumpkin, cubed

1/2 cup of frozen green beans

3 cups of chopped silverbeet (or spinach)

3 cloves of garlic crushed

1 TBS grated ginger

1 vegan stock cube

1/2 tsp of ground cumin

1 tsp of curry powder (or more depending on taste)

1/2 tsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp of fennel seeds

Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 cup of water

1/3 cup of unsweetened coconut milk

 

Method

Pour 1/3 of the water into a large saucepan and turn heat onto  medium.  Add garlic, ginger and spices and cook until it becomes fragrant.  Add the carrot, pumpkin and cauliflower and mix until it all becomes coated in the spices.  Turn heat down to med-low and cover, stirring occasionally.

Whilst the vegetables soften, place the silverbeet in a blender with the rest of the water, and stock cube.  Blend until smooth.   Pour this mixture into the cooking vegetables, and stir to combine.  Put lid on and let it simmer until vegetables become soft.

When vegetables are ready, add the frozen beans and stir in the coconut milk.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Continue to cook with the lid off so some of the liquid evaporates off and it becomes a little bit thick, about 5 minutes.

Done.

Serve with a side of basmati rice and a sprinkle of fresh coriander.

IMG_5494

Because it tastes better the next day, I’ve been using it for my lunches and dinners that I take to work.  Today I made another batch but here’s the first batch I made.  It was good for 5 meals.  So cost effective!

If you wanted to up the protein, you could stir in a can of chickpeas, or some cubed tempeh.

I just bought some soy free tempeh (made from chickpeas or fava beans) so I might try that with the next batch.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I am right now, literally been eating it for lunch and dinner A LOT!

And, if you follow me on instagram, you would’ve seen that I wrote it up as spinach but as I found out today, silverbeet (which I thought was a type of spinach) is actually a chard.  So there you go, learn something new every day!

Peas, love and mungbeans

 

xxb

 

 

Plant based power

When I think about body building, the first thing that pops into my head is muscly people walking around in tiny bikinis/speedos, eating bowls full of boiled chicken.

So, when I came across plant based body builders, the popular idea that you must eat animal products to be ‘buff’, was blown out the window.

Shani Vetter, aka @smilingassassinfitness on instagram, let’s me probe into what it’s like in the life of a plant based body builder.

©ChristianMarcPhotography_Shani&AmandaINBA_Portrait_14thSept2014-045lowR

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I arrived in Australia from Zimbabwe at 18 years of age all set to study and pursue a career in Illustration with no real passion for food, running or even the thought of lifting weights!  Boy have things changed!  About 6 years ago I started to take a good hard look, not only at my aesthetic body on the outside, but also how I was feeling about myself inwardly.  Remembering a time in my life where I felt most confident, light and full of energy.. I remember it was a holiday I had taken for about a month where I stayed with a friend who was basically eating a Vegetarian diet.  Instantly I knew I had to make that change for myself permanently.  Flashforward a few years my passion for running and weight-training combined led me to a career in Personal Training – a career I never expected but now can’t imagine living without!  
What is your eating philosophy?
IMG_5505
I have been Vegan for ethical and health awareness reasons for nearly 3 years now.  When making the very abrupt decision to make this step with my husband I was very careful to surround myself with as much advice and inspiration as possible – I knew that this was a lifestyle that was going to stay with me for the rest of my life and I wanted to thrive on it as I knew it could be done!  Looking back on how my diet has changed I can’t believe how crazy it really is for instance to be consuming another species milk (?) – I’m positive any adult would turn up there nose at drinking a human mother’s breast milk and yet we are happy to drink a baby calf’s source of milk?  It all seems so clear once you take the “blinkers” off in  life.
When and why did you decide to start eating this way?
After dabbling in some reading on Facebook one evening it led me to an article particularly describing the process of eggs and how all male chicks are “disposed” of within the industry – it had honestly never even crossed my mind that this occurred and it’s like I opened a flood door of new research and emotions that just couldn’t be closed.  Over the next few days my husband and I immersed ourselves in documentaries and articles – one imparticular that we loved as it talked a lot about the health aspect of a plant-based diet was Forks over Knives.  From that point onwards Veganism – the diet and the lifestyle, have been a driving force in both our lives – we truly do want to lead with gentle inspiration and allow our fit and healthy lives to be a form of “activism” for going Vegan.
Have you noticed any difference since changing your eating philosophy (if any)?
IMG_5501
Absolutely!  Initially the changes were a drop in body fat, a feeling of more energy (lightness) and waaaay more regular bowel movements – did I just go there? Yep I did…  My digestive system went from train wreck to smooth running freeway within a matter of days.  Looking back over the last 3 years it amazes me that NOT ONCE have myself or my husband needed to go to the doctor for any reason whereas prior we had various issues requiring antibiotics etc…
Have you met any barriers to eating this way, if so, how did you overcome them?
In the first few months the challenges we faced were mainly when “eating out” – we still had to educate ourselves on what may contain hidden animal products and not be afraid to politely ask for changes to be made at cafes where possible.  Nowdays we realise there is such a great range of whole foods to eat – you start to look at menus differently… anything is doable :-)
What is your favourite dish to make?
Whenever we have guests coming over I love the chance to serve a tasty plant-based spread – my favourite “go to” dish at the moment is grilled Smoked Tofu served with a Spinach, Mango and Avocado salad topped with Walnuts and served with Quinoa, Rice or Sweet Potato.  Dessert is Banana ANYTHING!
What ingredients are a must-have for your fridge/pantry?
IMG_5497
In our fridge you’ll always find Berries, Baby Spinach, Organic Tofu, homemade Almond Milk, Soy Milk, Veggies and pre-made batches of Roast Sweet Potato, Rice and Quinoa to add to meals.
Staples in the pantry are Rolled Oats, Nuts, Seeds Chickpeas, Lentils, Kidney Beans, Raw Protein Powder and Nutritional Yeast Flakes (sprinkle that stuff on everything!)
Juices or smoothies? What do you prefer and what combination?

IMG_5499

I’m definitely a smoothie lover!  Even more so when they are made from frozen bananas so it’s like eating ice-cream!  My fave combo is Banana, Spinach, Dates blended and topped with Pumpkin Seeds for extra protein/zinc.
Sweet or savoury?
Sweet – that’s why I train – haha!!!
Can you share a fave recipe with us?
During my comp prep I kept my sugars and fats lower than normal but definitely did not sacrifice my carbs!  This was a little treat I ate every single day in the lead up – it really reminded me of good old-fashioned Rice Pudding.
1/2 Cup cooked Basmati Rice
Mix with 1 scoop Vanilla Raw Protein Powder (such as Prana Organic)
Enough Almond Milk to make creamy
Top with Cinnamon
Can you describe your day on a plate (from rise to bedtime)?
IMG_5500
Upon rising – Oats with Almond Milk and Raw Protein Powder with sprinkle of coconut flakes and Cacao.
Mid-morning – Green Smoothie
Lunch – Chickpeas with Salad and Hummus
Pre-workout – Banana smoothie
Post-workout – Raw Protein shake + rice or sweet potato
Dinner – Grilled Tofu with Quinoa or Rice and stir fried Veggies
After dinner treats – I have a warm cup of tea with Soy Milk every night and occasionally add a square of Pana Chocolate or make a little banana ice-cream bowl
IMG_5498
How do you stay fit and what is your training schedule like?

IMG_5503

My passions are weight training and running – some may say that’s a little conflicting but I do make sure I focus on one more than the other if it’s in the lead up to a comp or a big run event.  At the moment my routine is a little more relaxed so I’m weight training 3-4 x per week and running at least 3 times per week in the lead up to a 28km trail run in January.  During comp prep in order to gain lean muscle mass and lean down as much as possible my focus was entirely weight-training, only bringing in cardio sessions such as HIIT and walking about 3 weeks out.  My week looked like this in the lead-up:
Monday PM – Chest and Back
Tuesday PM – Legs
Wednesday AM – Cardio
Wednesday PM – Shoulders and Arms
Thursday – REST
Friday AM – Chest and Back
Saturday AM – Cardio
Saturday PM – Legs
Sunday AM – Shoulders and Arms
If you had limited time and space, what would be a kick-ass work out that you would do?
When my husband and I travelled Italy/Greece last year we made it a rule not to go more than 2 days of rest without getting a good sweat session in so they had to be short and sweet so they weren’t cutting into our time.  An example of a tough but really simple “no equipment required” workout is below:
20 Burpees
20 Squat Jumps
20 Pushups
20 Jump Lunges
Scales down to 18 of each then 16/14/12/10 etc…. and record what number you make it down to in 20 minutes!
Next time you do the same workout try to get lower!
(Exercises can be changed but theme of reps stays the same)
You’ve been involved in bodybuilding comps, and your pre-comp and general meal prep has inspired me to be more organised, thank you for that!  But how did you get interested in bodybuilding?
I never thought I’d ever be keen on hitting a stage in front of hundreds of people in a skimpy bikini simply to flex my muscles BUT what really enticed me was (A) this would be a great way to challenge myself into transforming my own body – something I’d never really stuck to any sort of routine with before and (B) I knew that the Bodybuilding community was one full of Chicken/Egg and Whey Protein Powder diets – I want people to know you don’t HAVE to do it this way, in fact you can thrive far better without the meat and dairy inflaming your already stressed body!
Does bodybuilding require a lot of protein consumption  to be successful?  If so, how do you get the sufficient amount to hit your macros on a plant based diet? (sorry, probably the most annoying question ever)
IMG_5496
Haha – so you’re asking “So, where do you get your protein?” :-)  Happy to answer!  I have not had enough time under my belt in the Bodybuilding world to experiment with my diet but I know other Vegan athletes who have competed purely on a Raw diet consuming no Tofu what-so-ever.  I myself had the help of a great friend and coach Luke Tan who educated me about the balance of my macros and to be honest getting protein in was the easy part – I filled my day with a little tofu but the rest came from seeds, powder, beans and leafy greens.  We need between 1.6 – 2.2g protein per kg of bodyweight with male heavyweight bodybuilders being on the higher end.
Do you follow a different nutrition plan and training schedule before comp?
IMG_5504
Yes – I have found that although I can “wing it” I am setting myself up for a risk of ending up without the right type of food an sabotaging my balance which would stress me out especially closer to the comp date. So I plan weekly and try to keep prepping at least a few days worth in advance.  I carry this through even when I’m off season at the moment – I don’t tend to carry around Tuppaware containers though off season haha!  It’s more flexible now.
A lot of bodybuilders talk about finding it a challenge to maintain a certain physique post comp.  Do you find this also? If not, what is it that you do that makes it easier?
I think more than anything it’s a mental challenge coming out of your “comp body”.  The physique that you walk on stage with has been trained for and planned for meticulously and many girls drop to an extremely unhealthy level of body fat.  I did not feel I went to the extreme at all.. of course I looked forward to freely eating treats and not “thinking” as much about what I was eating but my body is still in great shape – the muscle mass I accumulated during my training has made my body tolerant to eating more – yay!
If you could give someone a piece of advice regarding adopting a healthier lifestyle, what would it be?
Surround yourself with other healthy inspirational people both in life and on social media but remember it’s your journey and everyone’s is going to be a little different – find what works for YOU and make sure you are happy with it – it’s not necessary to struggle through.
What are your tips for staying mentally healthy in our fast paced world and with so many different life pressures?
Learn to say “no” sometimes… It’s ok to make YOU a priority in your life – if you are healthy and happy then those around you, your work, your family, your friends – they will all benefit from it.
IMG_5502
So, for those of you thinking about starting on a body building journey, I hope that you have found this informative and please get onto IG and follow Shani @smilingassassinfitness for daily inspo :)
I know that I will definitely try to do more meal prep, if anything, it just makes it so much easier for those days that I’m at work.  I do shift work so having healthy food prepped, packed and ready to go, means that I have more time to spend with my little ladies, train, clean the house, and all the 100 other things that mums do!
Here’s to multitasking and getting shit done!
Peas, love and mungbeans
xxb

 

Cheap as chips……but better for you

IMG_5189

So when I was a poor university student, leaving out of home and having enough money only for the important things (read beer and good times), I basically lived off this soup.  It was easy, fast, filling, tasty, and best of all, cheap.

This is the type of soup you make when you don’t want to make something but still need to eat.  Better yet, it makes enough for two hearty servings so you can have it again the next day.  WIN.

For those of you who don’t like to used canned veggies, you can still soak and cook the cannellini beans as you would, and instead of canned tomatoes, just blend about 6 ripe tomatoes.

But the whole point of this soup is that it’s cheap and easy and uses up most people’s pantry staples.

Tomato Veggie Soup with Basil & White Beans

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 can of cannellini beans

1 can of water (from the canned tomatoes)

1 carrot, chopped

1 small zucchini, chopped

1/2 medium leek, thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 large stalk of celery, chopped

4 basil leaves, roughly torn

1 vegan stock cube

Himalayan pink salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

In a medium saucepan, put in all of the ingredients, except the cannellini beans & basil.

Bring to the boil, then lower heat to low-medium and cook until carrots are tender.  Add beans & cook for a further 5 minutes.  If it’s too thick, add some more water, but I like my soup thick. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  Add basil.  Done.

Told you it was quick.   The longest part is probably cutting all the veggies.

I normally serve it with a scoop of wholegrain, like millet, quinoa or brown rice to make it extra filling if I’m really hungry or you can have it just on it’s own or add pasta to it when you add the veggies.

Another good cheap recipe that I make on a regular basis is hummus.

Here’s my recipe which has been adjusted since I first posted it a while back.  I really like this one.  It uses canned chickpeas because I always have them in my pantry and it’s quicker than soaking and boiling my own but you can certainly do that if you prefer.  Sometimes I do this, and it still tastes the same.

OHM Best Hummus 2.0

Makes approx. 450 mLs.

Ingredients

1 can of chickpeas, rinsed well and drained

2 TBS of unhulled tahini (or hulled, whatever you’ve got)

1 lemon, juiced

1 clove of garlic

1/2 tsp of cumin

1/4 cup of water

Method

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and creamy.

To make beetroot hummus, I just add 1/4 of a small beetroot to the mix.

Easy A.

Peas, love and mungbeans

xxb