Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cooking Confessional

I had finally got all the ingredients I need to make my favourite smoothie from the Thrive Diet by Brendan Brazier. Brendan is a professional IronMan Triathlete who regularly logs 40 hours of exercise a week. He is completely vegan yet still manages to be at the top of his field. I highly recommend the book as it talks a lot about stress management and the importance of the right type of diet as well as how he manages to get all his nutrients from a raw diet that is meat, dairy, wheat, sugar, gluten, soy and corn free. Amazing. I could not follow this eating style 100% and Brendan does not try to impose that on readers as he knows it quite extreme but there are lots of recipes in the book and the smoothies are particularly good.

Chocolate Almond Smoothie
1 banana
2 fresh dates
1 cup cold water
1 cup ice
2 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp hemp protein
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1 tbsp cocoa powder or carob powder

Throw it all in the blender. It's so thick and chocolaty, the perfect way to start the day and also a great for post workout refuelling.

I had it for breakfast in preparation of my cardio kickboxing class I was attending at 11am. Thank goodness I was fuelled. The class involved, among other things, 100 sit ups in a row and doing squats while carrying someone on your back. When I got home I was starving and was very happy to have leftovers from last night ready for instantaneous hunger zapping. I was so hungry, I didn't even heat it up but it still tasted good.

I met a friend for tea and talking at 3pm and we chose Brazza on Lonsdale as it's a nice cosy place AND they sell delicious gelato. They serve loads of dairy free ones which makes me happy and I chose my usual 2 scoop combo; 1 scoop mango, 1 scoop Belgian Dark Chocolate. Hard to believe there is no dairy in these, they are very decadent and indulgent.

Pasta hotpot with Chorizo

Once I got home, I started to make what would be my meal for the evening as well as tomorrows lunch. I did not follow a recipe but knew it would taste good purely because it contained Chorizo. I cooked some rice pasta and while that bubbled away, I browned the chorizo, added chopped red pepper, garlic, a tin of chopped tomatoes, broccoli and sundried tomatoes. I added the cooked pasta and then mixed in some parsley. I served myself a portion and sprinkled with rice parmesan and liberally applied hot sauce. There were plenty of leftover so I texted Ms MJ to tell her I would bring lunch to work for both of us tomorrow. I have a bottle of hot sauce stashed at work for this kind of occasion.

After eating, I had enough time to make something to take to my book club meeting later on. I had a delicious brownie recipe from another friend and they were the most decadent rich brownies I've ever had so I got the oven preheated and assembled all the ingredients.
you can find the recipe here I had all the dry ingredients mixed and had added the eggs and vanilla essence (tip: always use the real stuff, artificial vanilla is not even comparable). The only thing left to add was the vegetable oil. No wonder these are really decadent brownies, there is a LOT of oil in them! I reached into the cupboard to find I only had about 1/3 of the oil I needed. Arggghhh...what to do? I had no time to go and buy more and the rest of the ingredients would be ruined if I left them til tomorrow as the eggs were already mixed in. So....I pondered over whether to use the other oil I had...Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO for short). I knew it had a pretty strong taste and was not likely to be suitable but at this point the brownies were destined for the garbage before they got anywhere near the oven so I had nothing to lose and maybe the vast amount of chocolate and sugar in the recipe would cover up the distinct EVOO taste. So I put it in, finished mixing and poured the batter. It looked really good but I could definitely smell the EVOO. Maybe the cooking process would eliminate it.
They finished cooking and looked divine. As they cooled, I cut out a gooey, decadent mini square for sampling. Mmmm, chocolately goodness....and a very clear bitter olive oil after taste. Dammit! 'Twas clearly not meant to be although brownies were apparently in my destiny as the book club hostess, Ms KC, has made brownies too! I did not mention my failed attempt but did tell the group that I had a funny story that I would be posting to my blog tonight. This is it. I'm sure you will all remind me for a long time to come...maybe as long as the olive oil after taste is going to last in my mouth.

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