Day 4 of the 7 Day Challenge
We're halfway there! It's now day 4 of our challenge and while we're finding it easier to keep on top of this diet than we expected to, we are starting to get cravings, especially for sweet treats!
Getting up this morning, we were back on the granola - we will do something slightly more exciting before the end of the week - honest! In the meantime, the our homemade granola is hitting the spot - so much so we'd scoffed most of it today before we remembered to take a picture, hence our lovely image!
With a busy morning setting up our new bird feeder (we'll show you it with it's first visitor at the bottom of this post!), we turned our attention to lunch. Usually, we make quite a lot of use of the vegan meat alternatives -we have a year's supply of Linda McCartney Sausages in the freezer and James loves This Isn't Bacon - so we've been missing these quite a bit. In the book which we're basing this trial on, they recommend a vegan nicoise salad to help fill this void. This salad has the leaves, tomatoes, green beans, tomatoes and smashed chickpeas.
The idea is that the potatoes and the chickpeas provide the substance that the tuna and egg would usually take in a normal nicoise salad. To help make it a little more convincing, you cook and then gently mash the chickpeas and cover them with a sprinkling of salt. It sounds a lot worse then it actually is; the salty, slightly mashed chickpeas provide a texture that's not a million miles from tuna and they offer a nice savoury flavour - we were pleasantly surprised. We definitely think this is worth a try in a normal week and we'll share a version of this recipe in the next few weeks, it's super simple though!
Mid-afternoon we got a little peckish. With the snack cupboard out of action, we turned our attention instead towards a healthy alternative. We ordered some pumpkin spice earlier in the week specifically for this and so we made our Apple Pie Smoothies!
We admit that the drinks you can see don't look the most appealing, but the flavour is spot on! If we were being slightly picky, the spice mix we had was about 15% clove and that was slightly too much for James, but that's a very simple fix for next time.
If you're interested in recreating this yourself, the ingredients are so simple: plant milk, 2 apples, vanilla extract, vanilla protein powder, pumpkin spice, medjool dates and ice. We know there are a couple of processed things in there, but it's a compromise we're willing to make to get our sweet hit.
Last but not least, dinner time swung around. After a birthday video call for one of our friends and whilst receiving a new house tour from another, we decided to use the brown rolls which we had from earlier in the week - there's no point letting them go off. We originally were thinking of using a recipe from the book which included mushrooms, black beans and an assortment of things which we couldn't get with our collection at the weekend. Instead we opted for our Indian-style burgers. They're without doubt one of our favourite things we've made since we went vegan and they're so simple - it's potato, carrots, spinach, onion and a variety of flours and spices. We rustled ours up and fried a few pieces of chopped courgette, which we had in the freezer, to bulk our meal out a little bit. As always, they were a triumph!
We were a little bit looser with the rules today - we've made it halfway so we're doing well, but we think today is a realistic reflection of how you could incorporate these fresh, healthy principles into a normal, working day.
There will be lots more new things for us to try before the end of the week so join us again tomorrow! Oh, and here's Keith, the pigeon, our first visitor to the new bird feeder!