Upon Waking: A cup of warm water mixed with 1 tbsp lemon juice (unpictured).
As per Gabby’s suggestion along with further convincing from this cleanse article, this Sunday I began drinking this alkalizing beverage, purported to stimulate metabolism and digestion, immediately after waking up in the morning. I certainly have no intention of embarking on a full cleanse (for what is there to cleanse of on my whole-foods vegan diet?), but I always like to have an extra guarantee of a healthy, functioning digestive system.
Breakfast: A bright green smoothie (belated from St. Patrick’s day, I suppose) of 1 frozen banana, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 cup frozen mango, 3/4 cup frozen peaches, 2 stalks of celery, a generous handful of kale, 1 cup almond milk kefir, and 1/2 tbsp lucuma topped with 1/2 cup Beet and Hemp Granola from Choosing Raw.
In my granola, I prefer to pack the most nutritional variety possible, so I expanded a bit on Gena’s original recipe by using 3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats, 1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats, 2 tbsp sunflower seeds, 2 tbsp pepitas, 2 tbsp hemp seeds, 2 tbsp chia seeds, 1/4 cup flax meal, 2 small beets (one red and one golden, about 4 oz worth), 6 dates, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp cardamom. I also omitted the goldenberries since I like my granola fruit-free. May I also pontificate on the genius of adding beets to granola? Honesty, what will this girl think of next? I’ve added carrots, but the bright red roots imparted a subtle earthy-sweetness, mellowed out by the dates, to coat all that nutty, grainy, crunchy goodness. Gena instructs baking at 375°F for 25 minutes if you, like me, live in despair without a dehydrator, but I found that the granola took about an hour to fully dry out in the oven.
Breakfast Checklist: Protein—almond kefir, sunflower seeds and pepitas in granola. Whole Grain—GF rolled oats and buckwheat in granola. Fruit—banana, peaches, avocado, mango, dates in granola. Leafy Green—kale. “Super Food”—hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax meal, lucuma. Added Veggie Bonus!—celery, beet in granola.
Local Ingredients: Beets from Primrose Community Farm.
Morning Tea: Kukicha Twig Tea from Eden Organics.
Lunch Box: Mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts, bean sprouts, 1/2 cup butter beans, a handful of roasted brussels sprouts, and 1 small cooked red beet topped with a mash of 1/2 a roasted sweet potato, 1/2 cup wild rice, and 1 tbsp dulse seaweed.
Meal Checklist: Protein—butter beans. Whole Grain—wild rice. Vegetables—alfalfa sprouts, bean sprouts, beet, sweet potato. Leafy Greens—mixed greens, dulse seaweed, brussels sprouts.
Afternoon Snack: A glass of NessAlla Kombucha in Raspberry flavor.
Dinner: A chickpea tortilla stuffed with wild rice, black beans, and veggies (inspired by Sketch-Free Vegan’s burrito recipe), with a side of lightly steamed broccoli and a handful of Cabbage Chips from V.K. Rees Photography.
Dividing Jac and Jenn’s original recipe by four and roughly following it produced one chickpea flour tortilla and enough filling for two burritos—but hey, I’m sure not complaining; the filling tastes just as yummy inside the tortilla as it does piled on top of it! My filling included 1 shallot, 1 clove garlic, 1/4 of a jarred roasted red pepper, 1 medium-sized carrot, 1/2 cup wild rice, 1/2 cup black beans, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast, 2 tbsp tomato sauce (I had no salsa on hand, but this substitution worked well!), a small handful of cilantro, and 1 tbsp lime juice. The saute turned out absolutely deliciously—succulent, hearty, and with just a hint of spiciness—while I achieved a very substantial milestone by successfully wrapping a burrito for the first time! Thank you, Bill Grady, burrito-wrapper extraordinaire.
I also experimented with Vanessa’s play on kale chips—red cabbage chips. Unfortunately, I completely butchered the recipe, originally intending to halve it, but forgetting this fairly important detail halfway through. Thus, I coated a mere half a head of cabbage in a much-too-thick batter of 1 cup carrots, 1 cup water, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 4 tbsp nutritional yeast (should have been 2 tbsp), 4 tbsp tahini (should have been 2 tbsp), and 1 cup cooked quinoa (should have been 1/2 cup). Oopsies! Thanks to my absentmindedness, the cabbage required close to two hours in a 375°F oven to adequately dry out, though even after that there still remained a couple over-battered, soggy chips. I quite enjoyed the pleasently pungent flavor, though, augmenting the batter with 1/2 tsp each of fennel seeds and garlic powder, and fully anticipate attempting this recipe again…perhaps paying a bit more attention next time!
Meal Checklist: Protein—chickpea flour, black beans. Whole Grain—wild rice, quinoa in cabbage chips. Vegetables—shallots, red pepper, carrot, tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, red cabbage. Leafy Greens—broccoli.
Comment Provoking Questions: What is the first thing you eat or drink in the morning? What are your favorite granola ingredients? Your favorite vegetables to roast? Are you adept at wrapping burritos?
Until next time, Ali.