Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Exercise guide and other healthy stuff ;-)

Cornbread or corn muffins

Here we go, another carb-orientated blog post! :p
Since I've never posted the recipe I use for my corn bread (or muffins), I figured I should post it finally! ;)

I use the Quaker Easy Corn Bread recipe as a base and just tweaked it a bit. :)

~* Veganized Quaker Easy Cornbread/muffins *~

*3/4 c white flour
*1/2 c pancake mix [that's a trick of my MIL actually]
*3/4 c yellow corn meal
*1/4 c sugar
*2 tsp baking powder
*1/2 tsp salt
*1 c soy (or other plant) milk
*1/4 c coconut oil
*Ener-G egg replacer for 2 eggs (3 tsp Ener-G + 6 Tbsp water)

Pre-heat oven to 400 F and either slightly grease an 8x8 or 9x9 form *OR* if you want muffins, muffin tins (I get ~10 muffins out of the mix).
Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ones, stir thoroughly and fill in the pan/tins.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, done.

And just because I love this pic so much... 
Our Tommy slightly HDRed ;)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Carb-load anyone? =)

 I don't think I could ever go gluten-free! Not that I ever wanted or felt the need to anyway! LOL (I actually don't think it's good to go completely gluten-free if you have no medical reason to do so!.. Another vegan fellow blogged about this very subject just recently too: JL goes vegan)  
I think in these regards my German genes are just too strong; loving my breads and potatoes... and anything dough-y in general! ;)

So it shouldn't be a big surprise that many of my blog posts actually revolve around bread and anything closely related, right? :)  
Let me dive right into it, presenting some new pics and recipes!

This pizza actually came to me spontaneously after having some leftover chickpea piccata and some artichoke hearts in the fridge.
The pizza dough was made quickly in the bread machine! I've recently switched up the recipe a tiny bit, using partially soy flour for the added protein!

~* Pizza Dough *~

1 1/2 c water
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
3 1/2 c bread flour
1/4 c soy flour 
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

Put on dough cycle (mine takes 1.5 hrs) and done, ready to continue with your pizza.

 Another spontaneous creation; using some leftover smoked tofu (I've posted a recipe -Lauren Ulm's from Vegan Yum Yum actually- here about a year ago, I believe!?), some mushrooms, onions.. lightly fried in the frying pan, add some corn (I know, sounds weird, but I liked it!), done!

Now on to bread (again). The other day I had a major sweet tooth but didn't want to go the cake or muffin route! So I've looked through my books and found a recipe in 'Vegan Sandwiches safe the day'. But I quickly realized that this recipe requires to let the dough rest 1 day in the fridge..and I clearly didn't have that much patience! I wanted something now!
So.. I pulled out my little recipe booklet that came with my bread machine and saw it included a Brioche recipe -only not veganized yet!

Long story short, I used Celine's & Tami's recipe as an inspiration, altered the amount so it wouldn't overflow my breadmachine and hoped for the best!...
It worked!!! ^_^

It was 'buttery' soft inside and sweet... I ate it just plain for the next days with just a teeny bit of virgin coconut oil spread on top (because I believe in the benefits of taking 1-2 Tbsp of coconut oil a day and love the flavor!).

~* Vegan Brioche (Breadmachine) *~

*1 Tbsp cornstarch mixed w/ 1/2 c water
*1/4 c coconut oil
*4 Tbsp sugar
*1/2 tsp salt
~ 3 3/4 c breadflour 
*1 pck. (or 1 1/2 tsp) yeast
*~1/2 c soy [or other plant] milk

Mix the cornstarch with the water and heat it in the microwave for about 1 minute.
Let it cool for a bit and then put it in the breadmachine form.
Add the plant milk, the coconut oil and lastly the sugar, salt, flour and yeast. Set it on the according bread setting (I think mine is labeled as 'sweet bread' or something) and let the machine do its magic! ;) 
[I only pulled it out ~ 1/2 h before the baking time was done as the top looked darkened enough for my taste. Before that I did a little 'wash' on top with a bit of soy milk, though afterwards I realized it didn't really do anything other than just putting a bit of a gloss on it.]  

This seedy bread is actually just another variation of the other no-knead bread recipe I've posted last year sometime.. 

~* Peasant No-knead bread *~

* 3 c whole wheat flour (or 2 c whole wheat + 1 c white bread flour)
*1/4 tsp active dry yeast
*1 1/4 tsp salt
*1 1/2 c lukewarm water
*Seeds if wanted (I used whole flax seeds and sunflower)

Mix flour, yeast & salt together in a bowl, add the water and combine well. Add the seeds, mix well again.
Cover the bowl with Saran wrap and let rise for 16-20 hours!
Once the rising time is over, flour a working area so the dough [which will be very sticky!] won't stick too much. 
Work the dough until you can form a loaf/ball shape. (You might have to add more flour as you go!)

In the meantime, heat the oven to 450 F and put a Dutch oven in it, letting it heat up as well!
Once the oven is really hot, get out the Dutch oven, open the lid and carefully put the ball of dough in, closing the lid again and back into the oven!
Bake for ~30 minutes, then remove the lid of the Dutch oven and bake for another 10 minutes.

Take the bread out of the Dutch oven and let it cool completely on a rack, done! :)

I had a little bit of sourdough starter left and knowing that the upcoming weeks will be a bit busier with our upcoming move and me possibly not baking as much anymore (plus, I'm parting with my beloved bread machine since it's European 220 V) so I figured, I just give it a try and make a sourdough rye bread in the machine!
The loaf turned out mega small, but it was still very tasty!

~* Sourdough Rye Bread *~

*345 g starter
*70 g water
*345 g whole wheat/rye flour
*10 g salt

Add everything to your bread machine, set it for the according program (whole wheat etc.) and done! 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Another subject: Fitness!

I've meant to blog about this already quite some time now and never got around to it... Somehow I always end up thinking and talking about food! LOL
Well, my other passion is fitness, particularly fitness DVDs that I can do at home! It's my 'me time', when the kids are in school, the Hubby is at work, I had my 2nd cup of coffee in peace and some breakfast and I'm ready to go, right here in my own 4 walls in the living room! (Once we own a house I'm hoping to have a nice corner in the den or something where I'm completely by myself, but for now I have to make due with what I have and that's the living room! ) Not only do I love the privacy and convenience but also the fact that I don't depend on other people! No instructor cancelling etc. It's just me popping in a DVD and if it happens that I'm not in the mood for that chosen workout, guess what, DVD out, another one in, done! ;-)
Another big fact that I love about working out at home is that I can be a role model for my kids! Many times when I'm busy and have no time for a full 45 min or 60 min workout, I squeeze in shorter ones! Even 10 or 15 minutes are better than doing nothing at all! And many times I have some more time later on again where I can do another 10 or 15 or even 20 minutes.. You get the picture! ;)

I've been using DVDs now as my main fitness routine now for almost 12 years, having tried tons of different things, finding what I love and what I don't. (It saved my sanity and helped me getting quicker back in shape after both of my kids were born! Back then I would have had no opportunity to go to the gym!)

I'm a big believer in doing what you enjoy when it comes to fitness! If you struggle through a workout every time, chances are, sooner or later you're going to quit! Workouts that you love will get done, and that's all that matters in the end!

So for me, I've realized I enjoy simple, low impact cardio most of the time (walking with Leslie Sansone for example), sometimes mixed up with some short kickboxing, Turbo Jam, FIRM workout, Denise Austin, Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels, Jackie Warner.. But overall it's Leslie I pick for my daily 1-2 mile walks and then I add on other workouts like strength, yoga, pilates or lately again more barre (think ballet).
Because I love variety, my DVD collection is quite big (there are actually a lot of people like me, lovingly called 'vidiots' by ourselves -many of them having 10x more the amount of DVDs than I do! ;) ) but I've also lately been using videos that are being shared on YouTube! Some are amazing finds!!!

So, in case any of you 're curious, here's my channel on YouTube with lots of different playlists! :) 

And in case you're interested to find out more about fitness DVDs and all, come on over and join us at Video Fitness . It's a friendly forum of people who're all enjoying working out at home (or sometimes do both, go to the gym, attend classes as well as use some DVDs) and seriously so many of them are the most kind and generous people I've ever met in my life!!!
Without having ever met IRL, some have become truly important and wonderful friends to me!!! [You know, who you are out there! :* xox]
But beware! Reading on that board can become quite addictive and not always good for your wallet! Just sayin'... Don't say I didn't warn you! LOL 
[I'm more of a 'veteran' by now and not immediately tempted by every single thread, making me want ALL those kinds of different workouts.. I've calmed down to the point where it's now only the genre that I'm mostly into these days that causes me to have thoughts of wanting this or that DVD.. ;-) Since I have no other 'obsessions' with purses, shoes, makeup or whatever -not counting my vegan cookbooks *cough cough*- I think it's absolutely fine if I 'indulge' here and there with a 10$ DVD! :D

So, there you have it, finally a post about fitness, which goes hand in hand with healthy eating IMO! ;)

Great cheat sheet for veggies & more

I don't know about you, but sometimes I completely forgot how long to steam or cook a certain veggie! I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but I do!..
Apparently I'm not the only one as I came across this awesome cheat sheet on Facebook today! ;-)