Breaking breakfast habits and sun[chokes]

The unimaginable happened. Guess what? I ate savoury breakfasts. Yes, not just once but twice. Seasonally awoken again, I think. Maybe my savoury appetite awoke from.its hibernstion. Sweet rich breakfasts do an awesome job at luring me out of bed and offering warming comfort during the colder months. But when it gets warmer I occasionally need the morning savouriness. Just wait for it: next week I’ll be eating banana softserve topped with salty roasted chickpeas for breakfast [yes, I totally made that up but hey, why not 😉 ] to beat the heatwave supposedly approaching us during the next days. Yes, 28°C are considered a heatwave around these parts. Hot or not: let’s talk about food! It’s What I ate Wednesday after all.

wiawloveyourveggiesmonthbutton2

Because I’m pretty sure I’ve had a mention-worthy amount of veggies during the last week I felt it was only appropriate to use the fitting WIAW logoo. Plus Jenn did an awesome job at designing it so why not let it shine once more?! The first of my unusual breakfast featured the vegan pumpkin cheese sauce I mentioned last week – and was probably induced by a constant craving for it. Didn’t I say it was ridiculously addivctive? Proof is in the pudding breakfast. Broccoli finally found its way back into my life after an at least month-long absense and chickpeas? Do they really need any explanatation on this blog??

Pumpkin cheese

What do you do when you’re out of potatoes with no oppportunity to buy some but they’re a reoccuring ingredient in just about every meal you want to try? Sub. Chances for a great result are 50:50 after all. (: First up where nachos. After seeing Amanda’s delicious-looking dinner last week I couldn’t get it off my mind. And sorry, no, that didn’t have to do with any sweet potato cravings. They don’t happen for me. White potatoes win. Only I didn’t have those, either. But I did have sunchokes. Far from potatoes but why not?

sunchoke

Topped with quickly made cheater refried beans, tomatoes, shredded zucchini* and way too little cheese which would likely have taken it up a notch or two. Because that’s what happens when you forget about the cheese in the back of your fridge and are too afraid to still use [much of] it. These wannabe-nachos were still nice but next time I’d probably go with the vegan queso mentioned here. Because yes, I haven’t forgotten about my challenge and definitely intend on trying it.

Sunchoke nachos

 

*About the zucchini: it was a very last minute add-in because the lack of green in a meal makes it …unsatisfying?! Or maybe I’ve just ingrained that I’m supposed to eat the colours of the rainbow deeply. Either way a colourful meal is much more satisfactory for the eyes, too. Speaking of satisfaction and non-sweet breakfasts: Coincidentially, I came across this post by Irina which gave some hints on the possible whereabouts of my savoury cravings early in the day. Some more breakfast experimentation is in order and if it there’s pictured evidence you’ll find out in future WIAWs.

 

Sunchoke nachos 2

About the sweet part of today’s post. Or better yet the sweet fail. But to begin on the beginning: I still don’t get the hype about avocados. But somehow I can’t resist them when they’re on offer and looking way too tempting. After adding some to the nachos I was left with more than half an avocado begging for good uses. The idea of a finally trying the famous avocado cookies was tempting. But if you’ve been reading for a while you’ll know I simply can’t follow recipes.

Avocado protein cookie

Kitchen experimentation got the best of me again. A little of this, a little of that and… cookies! Chocolate Chunk Protein Cookies to be exact. Vegan, just a little bit of sugar in the [not] optional chocolate and gluten-free, too. Probably I just expected too much but while not bad these aren’t worth writing home about. Maybe second time’s a charm?! Or I should probably follow recipes after all… We’ll see next time avocados are on offer again 😉 .

After all of that sunchoke talk I hope all of you – wherever in the world you are – get to enjoy lots of sunshine today. Happy Wednesday!

Happiness inducing today: A lot! A surprise text from a good friend being one of them – because he’s one of the few people still writing long texts instead of using instant messengers.

 

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Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Have you ever tried sunchokes? If so: please share your favourite uses!

Do you feel a tendency towards sweet or savoury foods depending on the season?

 

Eating [on an] off schedule

Time for another round of playing the food show-off known as What I ate Wednesday via our lovely host Jenn. I’ll admit I wasn’t sure if I’d tag along this time because I usually take pictures of my meals on the weekends only. Weekdays? Taking pictures in the morning would require extra time [that I don’t have – just imagine a headless chicken running around and yes, that’d be me]. However, yesterday was the perfect relaxed opportunity to take pictures and eat. Because for the record: I don’t enjoy eating at the office. Then again: does anybody?? Long story short: here’s [part of] what I ate yesterday with a side of some recovery chat.

WIAWbutton_1

 

One of the main points I still have to work on majorly in my recovery is straying from set meal times. Eating on different preset [by work or the likes] schedules. In short: not making time matter over hunger cues. A day off work and therefore sleeping in yesterday gave me the chance to test out the waters again on an off day. Sleeping for [too] long throws me and my appetite completely off my usual habits. Some pre-breakfast snackage happened.

Almond butter 006

Breakfast… happened a little later after waking up than usual because I could and because I wasn’t forced to eat in time before getting to work. Now here’s a little secret I never shared. The one reason why I hardly share pictures of my breakfasts or dinner is not just the lack of time and light. It’s also that – differently from other bloggers – I hardly ever transfer all of my oats to a bowl. Not that I hadn’t tried before but I’m honestly not a fan of how quickly the oats drop their warming temperature. Cold oat bran? Not for me. That’s why I serve it up in the pot and continue to eat it in smaller bowlfuls that I top with almond butter*.  Another bonus: I get to mix cocoa into just half of my oat bran so I have part banana oats/ part chocolatey oats. It’s the way I roll[ed] the oats 😉 .

oat bran_breakfast* In case you’re wondering: it’s not a die-hard habit. If I need to adapt and have breakfast at work I can just pack things up and go.

Snack #1 was a funny encounter that allowed me to tackle a fear food once again: avocado. I’d bought a package of shirataki pasta – yes, roll your eyes at me – out of curiosity when I saw they were on offer at a store. Knowing these wouldn’t satisfy me but making use of their low-calorie tag I stir-fried them with some garlic and odds and ends [read: leftover zucchini and tomatoes] and covered them in avocado sauce.

Shirataki

Not something that’d ever keep me satisfied as a real meal but that’s what lunch was meant for: savoury baked oats. Initially, I was feeling like having polenta but noticed I didn’t have any left so I simply cooked rolled oats and wheat bran in water, seasoned it. Stirred in a spoonful of nutritional yeast and added a mix of sauteed vegetables on top. Blame the grey skies at that point for the less-than-stellar picture but it didn’t lessen the meal’s quality. Or let’s say it was interesting and still needs some tinkering to get a full sign of approval.

baked oatmeal_polenta

In terms of recovery this was a good day because I tried new dishes, tried to strain from my usual meal times and not focus on the fact of how hungry I was compared to other days. It’s all a work in progress but I feel I’m getting there. Slowly but surely.

Happy Wednesday! Now go and get inspired over at Jenn’s or the [past and future] Vegan Wednesday board(s)!

 

Happiness inducing today: A conversation with a friend overseas. Time difference be damned but still.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Shirataki pasta: Have you ever tried it? What’s your take on the non-noodles?

Do you have any odd eating habits? My oat bran one might rank among those but I don’t see myself giving it up anytime soon.

 

Embracing the fats [Spill it Sunday]

When Arman announced the topic for this week’s Spill It Sunday I knew I wanted to chime in again. From enemy during my deepest ED days to multiple nut butters in the same meal these days I’m a fan of this little macronutrient. And you should be, too, because else Arman might have to come over all the way from Australia to bring you to senses.

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1. What is your favourite fat source? Okay, I might not like playing favourites but when we’re facing the facts here:

Almond butter

Well, that and just about every other nut or almond butter. And that would basically answer the second question[s] already …

2. What is your favourite nut? What is your favourite nut butter?  … but to be more creative here I’ll say that my favourite nuts to eat as is are cashews. My mum used to buy those little cans of salted cashews and I’d hide them from my dad to make sure I’d get my fair share. Why, yes, it was necessary.

3. What fat is receives unfair flack? What fat is most overrated? Most overrated? By now I think just about every fat that was once bashed has been reestablished. Maybe the paleo lifestyle with its focus on fats is to thank for this one. Butter had a negative image for years but during the past months I’ve noticed more and more health magazines and ‘experts’ promote its benefits again. In case it seems weird for me as a vegan with benefits to say this: I might not use butter one the regular when cooking – actually don’t even stock any – but when we have potatoes at my parents’ just a smidgen of butter can make them taste so much better. If you haven’t tried it yet: white [yes, that’s how we roll over here] potatoes + butter + salt = perfection.

As for the most overrated I’m sorry to say it but for me that’s still …

Avocado

avocado. Yes, I know. Others are eating half of one just as is as part of a meal but I just can’t get quite that excited about it. In my defense, though, I don’t plan on giving up here just yet. Does anybody want to come over and prepare authentic guacamole for me 🙂 ? If anything the tortilla chips involved for dipping action might be enough to convince me already.

4. Link up a favourite recipe embracing fats (it can be your own or another bloggers!)

Again, it’s way too hard to choose so I’m going with one that has been on many blogs and is a simple everyday staple food for me: coconut butter. It matches with everything but tastes just as good on its own. Throw some shredded coconut in a food processor or blender, turn it on and watch it process into amazing drippy deliciousness – can this even be called a recipe?

Coconut butter

5. What is YOUR perception of this macronutrient?

Embrace it! I turn my eyes up at any article in health and fitness magazines claiming x grams of fat as a daily maximum for best health. Best health is not stressing about fat grams but enjoying the foods we like. And as Robyn said there’s no such  thing as too much fat. Go and dip your spoon into the nut butter jar – unless you’re not living on your own. Then please pour a generous amount into a bowl before scooping it up 😉 . Not that anybody knew, though …

6. What benefits do FATS play in YOUR personal eating habits?

Actual satisfaction after eating. Rich taste. Being able to focus. Fooling myself for years by eating low-fat foods in huge quantities only to never feel satisfied I’ve noticed a profound difference since being less strict when it comes to adding fat. From those first awkward teaspoons of nut butter for “dipping” next to a giant apple to going through the 1 lb+ jars of almond butter in a little over a week these days. It’s safe to say fat has been playing – and still does – a decided role in my recovery.

Thanks to Arman for hosting this fat event today – maybe Lurpak can honour this by finally making you their poster boy 😉 ?!

Happiness inducing today: Just to match the theme: a new nut butter in my collection. Any guesses?!

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

What’s your ‘history’ with fats? Did you ever fear them?

Which one’s your favourite nut butter [if you’re able to pick one]?

When life hands you [avocado]

Sometimes we make plans for life. And sometimes life decides not to work out as planned – in a very good way. This is what happened to me in terms of food during the past days. What did I plan? After last week’s post on incorporating more grains into my diet I’d planned on “investigating” a bit more in that field.

Granted, I hadn’t had an elaborate plan but more of an idea of wanting to keep experimenting with different grains and amounts of them. But as hinted above life seemed to have another idea. Enter: the add-more-fat edition of WIAW [meant in a very kind way]. Thanks as always to Jenn for hosting!

WIAW GOES GREEN

[Note: I felt like all the green foods to come in today’s post deserved that logo once more :)]

Actually, I hadn’t intented on giving avocado another try just yet. The brownies were nice but I hadn’t dared avocado on its own and that’s exactly what I feel I “have to” in order to truly repair my relationship with food. When I was at the health food store to pick up a jar of my favourite almond butter I spied some perfect avocados. Perfect because they weren’t only just the right state of ripeness but also not too huge. Because admittedly, I had more than one avocado go moldy due to me not eating it fast enough. Most of those I can get at the supermarket are just too intimidatingly huge for me. Certainly not for serious avocado admirers but not being there yet I didn’t want one of them. Long story short: I picked up one of those perfectly-sized avocados and let it all happen.

Zucchini pasta with lentil chili and avocado sauce

Zucchini pasta with lentil chili and avocado sauce

What happened were very good and satisfying meals. Day by day I upped the amount of avocado just a little and never cut down on my nut butter consumption. Yes, it was and still is scary but I’ll keep going and see what happens.

Lazy-girl Chana masala – as in: totally unauthentical Indian food. Accompanied by some broccoli and – yes – more mashed avocado.

Lazy-girl Chana masala – as in: totally unauthentical Indian food. Accompanied by some broccoli and more mashed avocado.

And I’ll confess I cheated. Cheated on almond butter, that is. Let me explain: I’d spotted hazelnut butter on offer in the health food store chain I frequent for my almond butter only. While I’d been intrigued to  try it earlier already the price and – not lying here – the higher calorie and fat content had kept me from it. Luckily, curiosity got the best of me and … I sparked a new food obsession. Tastewise it reminded me of the healthier organic “Nutella” my mum used to buy for our family when I was younger. That organic version has a decidedly higher hazelnut content and I’ve always preferred it to the real thing. If you’re ever in Germany do yourself a favour and pick up a jar of Samba spread at a health food store :).

Addicted.

Addicted.

What I noticed when upping the amount of fat in my diet was that I felt even more satisfied after my meals. That’s not say I’d eaten a low-fat diet before but at least my lunches were most definitely lacking. Where does that leave me at? Admittedly, I’m not sure. I know many people in the blog world state themselves to be either a fat, carb or protein person – meaning the macro balance they’ve found works best for them. Right now, I don’t find myself belonging to any of these groups [yet?] and that’s okay. One week I might need more grainy carbs, the other I’ll go for more fat or protein.  Who knows what’s to come in my next WIAW post J?!

One thing I’ll never go without is dessert, though. Peanut mug brownies after finally figuring out the right ratios and perfect “baking” time resulting in a fantastic brownie.

Needless to say this was topped with hazelnut butter post-picture.

Needless to say this was topped with hazelnut butter post-picture.

Happiness inducing today: Sharing the excitement of a very good friend moving into her first own apartment.

Did you ever have life interfere with your original plans in a very good way? [Not necessarily food-related only!]

Do you consider yourself a fat/carb/protein person?

What was happiness inducing for you today so far?

Going green for success

What does the colour green mean to you? Maybe it makes you think of Spring? Nature? Or how about it being the great new WIAW motto for March? [Will you believe I had the title planned and the post written before I even knew that? Jenn clearly has mind-reading skills!]? During the past days, though, green had a different but no less postitive meaning to me: Success! Before I’m getting into the details let’s thank the wonderful Jenn for hosting yet another What I ate Wednesday! It’s always such a fun party!

WIAW GOES GREEN

Not like you hadn’t assumed it already or anything ;):  Yes, green meant success in terms of food. Okay, okay, I’ll make it short and sweet: I conquered a fear food!

Avocado

I’m well aware avocados are a healthy living blogger favourite but to me they were – and admittedly still are – a major fear food. Nutrient-dense, packed with fat and all that in combination with a rather unsuspecting taste. While I am quite fond of other dense foods – think almond butter or dark chocolate – this lovely green-hued food scared me. But – if for colour reasons of else 😉 – I decide it was time to conquer it once I stumbled upon Michelle’s brownie recipe.

Avocado and chocolate are a dream team.

Naturally topped with almond butter post-photo :).

Being quite the chocolate fan it was only natural for me to whip up this treat and let me tell you: It’s rich, satisfying and simply amazing. I’ve been enjoying an avocado brownie as a midday snack for the past days and don’t regret a bite. How could I, really?

Green made more appearances in terms of changing up my meals, too. Staying true with my February goals I’ve continued making more of an effort when cooking. Happening upon a surprise [maybe last for the season] kabocha I made the most of it come lunchtime.

Simple yet incredibly satisfying.

Simple yet incredibly satisfying.

Maybe you remember the Daiya cheese I got while in Berlin? It’s been sitting in the fridge for too long but finally jumped out to add a little something-something to my meals.

Spicy, warming and flavourful chili.

Spicy, warming and flavourful chili.

Winging it I created a tasty broccoli-packed vegan Chili Casserole made spectacular by the melty goodness of Daiya Pepperjack.  With that I’m off to get some work done swoon over everybody else’s WIAW posts :D.

Happy Wednesday!

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten this week?

Do you like avocado?

Are there any fear foods you’ve conquered lately?