Friday, 20 July 2018

Recipe Round-Up: Naturally Lean

Thanks for all the kind words and thoughts for my dad. After two and a half weeks, he is out of hospital and on the mend!

Naturally Lean by Allyson Kramer is a fun little book. It is divided up into chapters based on ingredients (such as nuts, grains, fruits, legumes, etc), rather than traditional chapters. You will notice that I talk often about how the serving sizes were far too small for me. This book is designed to have 300 calories or less for each serve, which I suspect is why some of them seem small. I don't count calories, so I just eat what makes me feel satisfied. Just bare that in mind if you are cooking for a crowd from this book. You can see what else I have made from this book here.

Popcorn Tofu with Beyond Good BBQ Sauce and Cucumber, Mango, and Radish Salad: This was a fun little dinner. The tofu is frozen and thawed, coated, and then baked. I found the chickpea-flour based dipping liquid very thick, so when I then rolled them in almond meal it got pretty sludgy. They baked quite nicely, but I had to increase the heat in my oven to get them to go golden. I The BBQ sauce was fairly easy to make, though initially had too strong a tomato taste for BBQ sauce, I added some extra brown sugar, and once it had time to sit a little the flavours melded better. I also left out the chili, used garlic powder instead of fresh garlic, and I didn't have any celery salt. The sauce also has some jam in it, and I used strawberry jam. The salad made a lovely side - it was so sweet and refreshing! My radishes were very little, so I cut the cucumber slices into quarters to make the sizes more equal.
Rating: Popcorn Tofu :), BBQ Sauce :), Salad: :)

Popcorn Tofu; Better Than Good BBQ Sauce; Cucumber, Mango, and Radish Salad

Strawberry Banana Green Smoothie: It is cute when smoothie recipes say they serve 2, when they clearly only serve 1. Or is that just me and my big smoothie appetite? This is a lovely, pleasant smoothie. I used frozen strawberries to make it extra thick (along with the frozen banana), and I only used 1 date (rather than 2) so it wasn't super sweet. The recipe recommends almond milk, but I used oat. I used baby spinach as my greens.
Rating: :)

Strawberry Banana Green Smoothie

Mint Chocolate Chip Green Smoothie: I am iffy about mint and chocolate together, but this one had a really nice flavour. Definitely because it uses fresh mint rather than mint extract. And the unsweetened cocoa powder and cocoa nibs for the chocolate component, sweetened with 2 dates. I used both dates in this one, and it was the perfect mix of not too sweet. It isn't pretty to look at, it is murky, but a nice way to start the day.
Rating: :)

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie

Goji Overnight Oats: A half recipe of this made a good breakfast (it says the full recipe serves 4... not on my appetite). A mix of goji berries, pecans, and cinnamon are mixed with rolled oats. She suggests only soaking rolled oats for an hour, but I did it overnight (as I normally do with overnight oat recipes), and the texture was fine for me.
Rating: :)

Goji Overnight Oats

Cherry Overnight Steel-Cut Oats: This is a variation of the above recipe, using steel cut oats. I was suspicious about how uncooked steel cut oats would be in the morning. They certainly did soften with their overnight soak, though were still quite chewy. I prefer the texture of rolled oats for this sort of thing. I switched this version up by replacing the goji and pecans with dried cherries and almonds, which was a nice combination.
Rating: :)

Cherry Overnight Steel-Cut Oats

Cinnamon Bun Milkshake: I made this for a snack, and a half recipe made one regular size glass (a whole recipe is meant to serve four, it would be pretty small serves!). I love cinnamon, and this recipe was so sweet and yummy, a great afternoon pick me up!
Rating: :)

Cinnamon Bun Milk Shake

Creamy Tomato Bisque: This is a super easy recipe to make, blending up tinned tomatoes and soaked cashews, though I found it overall was a little bland. I would have liked it to be creamier... some nutritional yeast added in was a nice cheesy flavour boost. I made a half recipe, which made one big mug for lunch, served with some grilled cheese. I didn't have fresh tarragon to use, so I used a pinch of dried.
Rating: :|

Creamy Tomato Bisque

Lemony Lime Chia Pudding: I don't know in what universe 1/4 cup of chia seeds would equal four serves of pudding, but not in mine. I made a whole recipe for me. There is quite a lot of liquid in it, so it almost felt more like a chia drink than a chia pudding. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup maple or palm sugar, I used maple but cut it down to one Australian TBS (20mL), which was sweet enough for me. I also left out the zest, as I was using pre-frozen cubes of lemon and lime juice, and I didn't add coconut cream on top.
Rating: :)

Lemony Lime Chia Pudding

Tempeh and Snow Peas: I cut this recipe down to be a single serving, served with some rice and some spinach. I wasn't a huge fan of the marinade, which I found to be very salty. There was some pineapple juice in it, but any sweetness was lost. I kind of wished I had some pineapple chunks in the stir-fry itself. I would also recommend crisping and browning the tempeh first in some oil after marinating, because when you just add it with the marinade and the snowvpeas it was just a bit mushy.
Rating: |

Tempeh and Snow Peas

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post

Dim Sim on her lead

Seeing as her catmax is out of action while we are renovating, I bought Dim Sim a harness and a lead so I can take her out in the yard for a little bit. I wasn't sure how she would take to it, being an 18 year old cat, but turns out she took to it just great! Though mostly she just wants to be able to drink out of the pool, and I have to keep encouraging her to enjoy other spots in the garden!


  1. I'm so happy your dad is out of the hospital!! I'm sure your whole family is so relieved!!
    I always really love your recipe round ups!
    I've been thinking about getting a harness and leash for Afro because she so wants to explore all of the outside, but I've been scared of how she'll react, but maybe she'll be like sweet Dim Sim!

    1. I got the harness first, and just put it on her a few times in the house to see how she'd react. Once I'd seen that she would walk around on her own in it, I got the lead and took her outside. I think it would be worth a shot. I was surprised that Dim Sim took to it!

  2. Great news about your Dad :)
    This book looks good. I really like the look of the PB, banana, cacao nib oatmeal from the earlier post that you linked. Think I'll try something like that in the next few days. The Cinnamon Bun Milkshake is also very appealing.

  3. Aw, that's so sweet that you're taking Dim Sim out on a leash for the first time in her 18 years. It makes me wish I'd been able to do that with Jezebel. It's something I've thought about doing with Avon, because I think he'd really enjoy it. But he's also so active and eager to chase animals, I worry he'd get away (and hurt someone).

    I'm so glad to hear that your dad is on the mend. That's a relief.

    About smoothies, I always think it's hard when writing smoothie recipes to guess how many people it would feed. People have such different preferences on smoothie sizes. David could have a huge glass of smoothie and be very happily, but I'm not a big fan of sweet beverages. So I only need a small cup to be satisfied. I usually say that it feeds 1-2, but not all recipe cards will allow that for calorie count purposes.

    1. Good point about smoothie sizes, I do tend to drink them as a meal so I need them to be big and filling.

      Dim Sim is thankfully not that interested in chasing things outside, so we mostly just potter around. I can understand being wary if they were going to be running around and pulling a lot on the harness.

  4. Great to hear that your dad is home! The popcorn tofu sounds fun, and the cinnamon bun milkshake looks delicious! Dim Sim is such an adorable explorer kitty! :D