Thursday, 21 July 2011

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Now, i realise i'm on a diet - and no this doesn't mean i've given up!! It was to take into work I promise. I also realise the photo isn't great - but I took it in haste before it was all eaten! (next time I make it i'll update this)
I make this cake in two 9 inch tins and put it together like a Victoria Sponge with lemon buttercream and lemon syrup drizzled on top.
This recipe is very reliable and has been my go to cake for a number of years.

3 1/3 cups of flour

2 1/4 tsp baking powder

2 1/4 cups sugar

Pinch of salt

3 tbsp lemon zest

2 1/4 cups rice milk

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 cup + 2 tbsp oil

First - mix together your dry ingredients, then add the wet and mix well. You should also mix in half the lemon zest.
Grease two 9 inch tins and divide the mixture between the two.
Bake at 180 degrees for 55 minutes.
Once cool mix up some lemon buttercream. For this you will need:

1/2 cup vegan marg ( i use Pure )
1/2 lb of icing sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice

Once you have sandwiched the layers together leave it to set a little for 30 minutes.

The final step is the lemon syrup for the topping. To make this you will need:

⅓ cup lemon juice
¾ cup sugar

In a saucepan gently warm until all the sugar is disolved and the mixture has thickened. Using a cocktail stick poke little holes all across the top then generously drizzle the syrup all over. Top with a little lemon zest

Friday, 15 July 2011

'Mcdougall' Mushroom Pate

So, i have been looking for more recipes that fit with the MWL diet. I've looked through those in the book, but really nothing really has jumped out at me. I do however like the idea of making dips and spreads to liven up rice cakes. I've also used this as a filling for sweet baked potatoes, but could be useful for much more.

I should point out- this isn't the recipe from the book. I got my inspiration from it, but made it to my own taste/ recipe.

1lb of mushrooms (i used a mix of types)

200g chopped leek

2tbps frozen chopped garlic

2tbps soy sauce

1/2 cup chopped fresh mexican basil

1/2 tsp dried sage

1/2 tsp dried herbs de providence

1tbsp mushroom ketchup

2tbsp vegan stock

Salt & pepper to taste

To make this it's pretty simple - remember this is oil/ fat free so no marg or oil is to be used in cooking!

Place the chopped mushroom, leek, stock and frozen garlic in a big saucepan with a few cups of boiling water. The aim is not to boil but gently simmer for around 10 minutes until everything is soft and cooked - be careful not to cook it so much as it turns to mush.
Drain this off and place into a food processor with the rest of the ingredients.
Blend until smooth, leave to cool then place into an airtight container and keep it in the fridge.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Getting Used To The Mcdougall Way...

It has been a week since I began the MWL diet and my meals have much improved as i've settled into this new way of eating.
I knew i'd settle into the swing of things - not sure if i've lost any weight yet, want to wait a few more days before I weigh myself!
I've been browsing the Mcdougall forums and have been trying to follow the suggestion of eating salad/ vegetables in a meal first and then starches last to try and fill up on the least calorie dense elements of the meal first.
One of my favorite easy work lunches is baked potato with salad and fat/ oil free dressing. I've been adding more taste to my salad by including chopped Parsley ( or whatever herbs I have on hand).

One of the ways I may have cheated is by having slightly more than my two allowed fruits a day. I haven't done this every day and it's only been by one extra item.
I've also been making up my morning porridge with half apple juice/ half water. Other recipes in the MWL book use apple juice (such as the breakfast apple rice) so figured the small amount was worth it if it got me to eat my porridge in the morning!
The first few days I really struggled with my willpower when in the office. I missed my morning coffee and afternoon snack. The key for me is to have something healthy to have on hand instead. I've been drinking mint tea (with no sugar) and having a plain rice cake if it's the choice between that and slipping up!

Although as you might of gathered from my last post I felt deprived in a way on the first day - but now I'm genuinely finding my food satisfies me. As the plan suggests I haven't let myself go hungry, but I guess the proof of if this works will be seen on the scales over the next few weeks.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The Mcdougall Maximum Weight Loss Diet

So, deciding to diet i've looked around for something that suited a vegan. I'd heared of John Mcdougall around 3 years ago, but back then I glanced over the rules of this diet and dismissed it as being very extreme/ restrictive.

So here I am those three years later and embarking on the diet. I'd been shopping the previous day and stocked up on the 'allowed' foods. Potatoes, brown rice, lentils & beans, vegetables and salad being the main ones. There is absolutely no fat from any source in this diet (apart from that naturally found in vegetables etc). One of the main things that drew me into trying this was the 'eat until you have satisfied your hunger' rule - there are no portion size rules as long as you stick to the allowed foods.
The first day was a nightmare, i hadn't appreciated just how hard it was to stay TOTALLY fat/ oil free. My oatmeal (porridge to me and you) made up with water instead of the usual soya was bland and horrible and my lunch of baked potatoes with sauted vegetables was dry and tasteless. I suddenly started to wonder what I had let myself in for! (This is purely to illustrate how unappealling breakfast really was).

Then I got myself thinking. When I first turned vegan it took me a while to get into the groove of things and find out what I liked. Maybe this would be the same? Remotivated I decided to cook from some of the recipes in the book for dinner and find something better than oatty slop for breakfast.
For my dinner I had brown rice and vegetables in a tomato sauce. While this wasn't amazing, it was a massive improvement on my lunch!
For breakfast I made the 'Breakfast Apple Rice' - this has been my favorite thing so far. I'm guessing this is going to be a regular feature for the next few months.

So I guess i'll keep you updated - we'll find out if this thing actually works and i'll share with you the best of the recipes I find along the way.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Final Word on Graze

So today i had the last Graze box i'll order. I do think it's a great idea, however slightly limited - it would need to be better value for me to continue.

I sent @mrflibbletweets a box last week and he was also left slightly unimpressed by it. I have only had around 4 and already I am becoming bored of the selection!
I think perhaps i just got really lucky with my first box that i liked all of the selection so much - i've not had such a good box since. I'm going to stick to my bags of Suma apple rings and nuts, much better value for money.