Sunday, 8 September 2013

week 2 - I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program

2 weeks down, 6 to go.  One common question I keep getting asked by those who know that I'm doing the program is 'does it get easier?'.  The simple answer is yes.  
Don't get me wrong,I think about fruit daily, maybe even hourly, and how can I not, every where I turn, it seems to be looking at me.  Their skin looks shinier, the little lumps of goodness plumper, as if trying to seduce me with their fructose filled deliciousness!
But I'm proud to say I have been exercising my little will power muscle and it's getting bigger by the day.
One thing I have changed this week is my breakfast. I have been eating a raw breakfast, which for me, just seems to work better.
I've been alternating between having raw buckwheat pudding and vegetable juice in the morning, I'm really enjoying that so will keep it up for the remainder of the challenge.  At the end of the day, it's a no brainer and sometimes, you really need that!

Coconut & Lime Buckwheat Pudding
Serves 1


1/4 cup raw buckwheat, soaked overnight and rinsed well
1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and rinsed well
2 TBS chia seeds
1/4 cup young coconut meat
1/2 cup of coconut water
1 tsp each of lime, lemon and orange zest

Toppings of choice: lemon, lime and orange zest
                    coconut flakes
                    raw pistachio kernels


After rinsing both buckwheat and cashews, place in a high speed blender with the rest of the ingredients and process until all ingredients have mixed through and the mixture is really smooth. Pour it in to a serving glass or bowl, and leave it for a few minutes, say, whilst you wash the blender and clean your prep area.  This will give it a chance to thicken a bit and turn like mousse.  Add your toppings and there you have it!
If you are wanting to sweeten it, you could add some stevia or a drizzle of coconut nectar or rice malt syrup.
If you are eating fruit, blend a banana with it and that should be enough.

This recipe is also really easy to adapt to suit your taste or whatever you are craving on the day.  Just make it as is, without the zest and add other ingredients instead.
Here are a few suggestions:

  • raw cacao powder and top with raw cacao nibs and crushed hazelnuts
  • rose water and cardamon and top with some rose petals and pistachio
  • cardamon and ginger and top with some slivered almonds

Vegetable Juice
Makes 500ml


2 large cucumbers
1 carrot
1 knob of fresh ginger
3 stalks of celery
1 small head of cos lettuce (romaine)
1 bunch of fresh mint
1/2 lemon


Juice and enjoy straight away or if you are making it for the next day, keep it refrigerated until you are ready to drink it.

I know I have a lot of zucchini pasta recipes, and I don't want to bore you with more of them but they are just SO good!  Eating a massive bowl of it is so satisfying, minus the bloat of regular pasta.  If you haven't yet tried it, you really should.  It's deadset the easiest thing on the planet to do aside from kissing, that's easy and fun too, but really, zucchini pasta, give it a whirl.

Zucchini Spaghetti with Olive and Tomato
Serves 1


2 large zucchini, spiralized using the spaghetti setting*
5 cherry tomatoes, halved
8 kalamata olives 
2 handfuls of baby spinach
1 handful of rocket
1 handful of chopped cos lettuce
1/3 cup capsicum, diced
1 cup of fresh basil leaves, torn roughly
2 TBS of hemp seeds
1 tsp of chia seeds
small drizzle of avocado oil (optional)
Himalayan pink salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


Mix the greens together and place them in the bottom of the bowl.  Mix all other ingredients together except seeds and oil and place on top of leaves, sprinkle the seeds on top and drizzle on the oil if using.  Done.
Alternatively, you can just mix the whole thing together and go for gold.
*you can peel your zucchini so it actually looks more like pasta or leave it as is.
I love this dish so much, I also make it to take to work.  I just place all the ingredients in a jar, and pour it into a large bowl when I'm ready to eat it.
Placing it in a jar keeps it fresh because all the ingredients are not sloshing around, rather are tightly packed.  It also looks really pretty, which is always good :)

This one I topped with some nutritional yeast and made the zucchini into fettucine because i was in a massive rush and couldn't be bothered getting the spiralizer out.  I just used my trusty old potato peeler.

Can you ever get tired of salad? HELL NO!  I eat salad all day, every day and never get tired of it.  I love the vibrancy of the colours, knowing that eating those fresh vegetables is injecting my body with a much needed and appreciated dose of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants.
I just love coming up with new ways of eating them too, that is definitely half the fun.

Here's an example of what I mean:

Looks great right?  So what's in it?
Start with some baby spinach, top with some parsnip and purple cabbage rice (process them together with some nutritional yeast and Himalayan pink salt), then top with your favourite veggies and some seeds.  I used tomatoes, capsicum, avocado and topped it with chia and pepita.  The dressing was just simple lemon juice and some raw coconut vinegar.  BOOM!

The following recipes contain some cooked foods.

Siverbeet and Pumpkin Risotto 
Serves 1


1/3 cup of raw buckwheat (soaked overnight and rinsed)
1/2 cup of baked pumpkin
1 cup of silverbeet, thinly sliced
1 tsp of dried dill
1 TBS of fresh parsley
1/4-1/3 cup of cashew sauce (see recipe below)
Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add well rinsed buckwheat.  Cook until tender (about 15 minutes), take of the heat, drain the water and place in a large bowl.
Add the remainder of the ingredients, and mix well.  Serve immediately while it's still warm.  If you want, you can heat it up on the stove once you add the other ingredients but I kept the sauce and silverbeet raw.

Cashew 'Cheese' Sauce
makes about 1 cup 


1 cup of cashews (soaked and rinsed)
1 tsp of dried dill
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup red onion, chopped roughly
2 TBS nutritional yeast
Himalayan pink salt to taste
1/2-1 cup of water


Place all ingredients (except water) in a blender and process, adding some water, 1/2 cup at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

You can use this sauce as a dressing for salads too, or to add on top of a vegetable lasagne instead of cheese.  It's delish.

I always like balancing creamy foods with something astringent so i served this with a simple salad of cooked baby beetroots, rocket and some lemon juice.

As you can see, I really got into the buckwheat this week. It's such a cool little ingredient, and is also good for those who are avoiding grains as it's not actually a grain, rather it's related to rhubarb, isn't that weird! Such a deceptive name.  
As such, it's gluten free and recent studies have shown that it is helpful in treating diabetes.  Awesome!

So much awesomeness deserves another recipe!

Buckwheat Tabbouleh with Hummus and Pumpkin
Serves 1


1 cup of cooked buckwheat
1 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 medium tomato, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/2 lemon, juiced
Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black paper to taste
Baked pumpkin, however much you like
1 handful of baby spinach
1/4 cup of Mami's hummus, recipe here
5 raw almonds


To make the tabbouleh, mix the cooked buckwheat, parsley, tomato, onion and juice.  Add seasoning and adjust to taste.
If you are having this on a plate, place the spinach on the bottom, top with tabbouleh and place the pumpkin on the side.  Top the tabbouleh with the hummus and sprinkle on the almonds.
I took mine to work so layered it in a jar.

There we are, hope you have gotten some ideas and as you can see, vegetables rock my socks.  
Week three begins tomorrow and I'm looking forward to coming up with some more dishes to share with you.
In the meantime, be good to yourselves, you're worth it.

Peas, love and mungbeans,


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