Green Monsters & Indian Lentil Cauliflower Soup + Chip Dip!

Green Monsters seem to be the essence of the Oh She Glows blog. As far as I can tell, that’s kind of how it all started – it’s definitely how I first stumbled upon it, searching for smoothie recipes – and it’s inspiring to read Angela’s story about how she was struggling with her health and how she came out of it. Part of that was these Green Monster smoothies – aptly named as she explains her first attempts were monstrosities.

I know that struggle, I’ve made a smoothie or two that didn’t go exactly as planned – mainly because I did zero planning and just threw stuff in. The original Green Monster recipe is an exciting plan to have instead of just winging it as per usual. These are great for vegans because they’ve got protein, vitamin C, the greens, and the almond milk I buy is fortified so I’m also getting those more difficult-to-get nutrients like B12 (which everyone is always so concerned about). So I meant to take a picture of it beforehand but then this happened….

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From a friend who lives there, I haven’t been to Banff (yet!)

Yeah. I drank it all and then was like oh crap – totally meant to take a picture of that. But there’s a really good reason that I drank this so quickly! It’s because I made it right after coming home from….

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…the gym! Where I sweat right through my shirt and didn’t notice until I got to the locker room. So I laughed and laughed about it because this is the first time it’s happened to me to this degree. Basically my sister said she wanted to go to yoga and I was like well… I don’t so I’m going on the elliptical while you do that. Little did I know, she was in there for an HOUR AND A HALF and then wanted to join me for a while! I got 15 more minutes in and was like NOPE I’m done. That’s an hour more than I was planning to spend on the elliptical gahhh. Surprisingly, my legs are functioning quite normally today!

So I think that’s a pretty decent excuse for downing an entire smoothie before realizing what I was even doing. I needed to blend mine more and would maybe add more almond milk because I don’t like them too thick but other than that, this tastes GREAT. Not too sweet but definitely sweet enough. I love the vanilla + cinnamon combo. You do not taste the kale at all, it’s miraculous. Finally the next day I was able to control myself and not drink the entire thing in less than a minute:

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Then I also made another soup and I was a little disappointed because I definitely prefer the Spiced Red Lentil Kale soup over this one, but it wasn’t a bad tasting soup. Just not what I wanted after having the best soup ever (yes, I’m obsessed). It was really easy to make so that’s a plus, and it was noted in the cookbook that it tastes even better the next day after the flavors mingle together for a while. That is true, it’s definitely more flavourful after spending a night in the fridge.

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At least I still officially love lentils in soups. Cauliflower is also amazing although apparently right now, extremely expensive here (but I am a terrible budget-er and so of course I didn’t notice the cost at all). I love greens in soups as well, this one called for baby spinach. It’s just a nice extra texture and colour. Sweet potato in soup…neutral. When you use an immersion blender and make a creamy sweet potato soup, all for it. But I’m really not used to chunks yet. They were a good flavor addition though.

Now it’s finally Friday and seriously, TGIF. Fridays for me are a special day where I go to work and try to stay stress-free for 8 hours then go home and have some actual downtime. Weeknights rarely include downtime; I go to the gym or meet friends or get groceries…you know, weeknight stuff. But Fridays are time for me to do whatever I want! Watch a movie, read a book, take a bath (god what a luxury you take for granted as a small child), browse the web and generally zone out. I usually have a guilty-pleasure snack Friday nights. Since becoming vegan, it’s been limited to certain types of chips that I know do not contain animal products. Lots of guacamole too. So I decided it was time to try to find a vegan version of my non-vegan favourite, French onion chip dip. You know the kind Ruffles makes? It comes in a jar, it never goes bad, it smells awful? Yeahhhhh. I was all about that stuff. Here’s my first attempt at a replacement:

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It’s kinda pretty, right?

So fortunately it tastes pretty good! I personally really like Veganaise but my sister hates it so she tried this and did not enjoy it. However we tried it tonight shortly after I made it when actually you’re supposed to refrigerate it overnight… oops! I actually found this recipe on Pinterest a couple months ago and have been meaning to try it, but I have been much more focused on trying out main courses rather than snacks. Snacks for me are usually fruit or nuts these days, but I knew eventually I would need to branch out into some vegan junk food.

Okay so the last thing – I picked five more recipes from the Oh She Glows cookbook to try out in the next week or so:

Broccoli & Cashew-Cheese Quiona Burritos – I’ve been avoiding making any cashew type cheese because it sounded time-consuming (soaking them overnight?!? YAH RIGHT) but it actually sounds doable here so we’ll see…

15 Min Creamy Avocado Pasta – Mmm avocados + 15 Mins? YAY

Creamy Vegetable Curry – Who knew so many vegan recipes would start with the word “creamy”

Apple Pie Oatmeal – I suspect it’s not exactly apple pie, but the spice combination looks promising

Tropical Beauty Green Smoothie – Definitely need some tropical fruits to brighten up dark winter days

I’ve sped through the first five recipes and I know the next five will go just as quickly. Especially because I have two new cookbooks on the way that I am extremely excited about 🙂 One book, I heard about through word of mouth and the other I heard about on a CBC Radio program, Ontario Today – I literally never listen to CBC Radio but this one particular time I’m so glad I did because this awesome vegan cookbook author was a guest today. Here’s the link to the show (hopefully it’s still up), it was all about finding out why vegans eat fake meat – really interesting topic!

Now off to relaxxxxxxxxx 🙂

L.

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