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I am back. Apologies, explanations and some interesting Vegan food

May 20, 2010

Many people have contacted me asking me when was I going to start back blogging..and I kept telling them in 2 weeks and the 2 weeks turned into 4 and 6 and 8.

I have been stressed out after embarking on a big project and then I really did not want to be cooking and rushing to blog to be honest. I needed my space and time away from the food and that is what I did. Not only did I stop cooking I went on a diet and started to  eat differently and with that change the blog will be moving in a different direction. There will still be food porn but there would be lower carb recipes on the blog as well. I do not do that low fat thing as I need all the fat I can get in my diet meaning cold pressed oils. It is very easy for vegans not to get enough fat in the diet so I look to see how I can add some extra cold pressed oils to my meals

My Story

Many vegans and vegetarians are overweight and some are obese, some are slim and healthy and some are underweight. There is no poster person for veganism even if society wants us to think that way. When I went vegan( 5 years ago) I was around 230 pounds on my 5 feet 7 frame and in 8 months I exercised and ate healthy and I was 130 pounds. Not only did my peers not recognize me but people came up to me saying I was their inspiration. I somewhat felt obligated to these ppl and I started to worry about my weight worrying if I could continue being slim. Fwd to present day…now I am going to come down hard on many people including myself. Just because you are vegan does not mean that you should indulge heavily in sugary and high simple carbs meals. I think the problem with many of us is that we cannot go buy a slice of vegan cake easily so when we come up with a recipe for a dessert or someone puts one out there we go like ” shit I deserve that cake and all of it”. Many of us do not look at portion size and many of us do not care about quality protein sources and this is where the problem starts. Some of us throw away everything we learned about food and think because we are vegan the rules do not apply to us. I found myself in this situation briefly and those pounds started to creep on again. I took sometime to look at how I ate and made some changes and I am happy to say I am at a healthy weight now. Here are some rules I follow to keep me on track. Most of you know this already and do not have any weight issues so please ignore. THIS IS NOT DIET ADVICE I AM SHARING WHAT WORKS BEST FOR ME.

1. No white flour in my everyday meals. I would indulge once a month in something made with this.

2. Brown rice, quiona, bulgar in small quantities and only following a workout where I did strength training

3. Quality multivitamins tailored for vegans

4. No juice and low juice. Juices are a bunch of sugar even if it says sugar free so drink those in moderation.

5. Green tea after every major meal

6. Sugar free daily life and indulgences once per month or every 2 weeks in something sweet

7.No white rice, potatoes in my everyday meals

8. Slightly reduced carb breakfast. Low carb lunch and dinner.

9. Moderate exercise.

10. Loads of water

11. You know the usual fresh organic veg when I can get it because if I cannot get it I have to eat the pesticide soaked one or go without.

This is my way to keep my weight constant and still feel like if I am not starving myself …I know how bitchy I can be with a reduced carb diet…where is my rice dammit.

OK

So I went home a few weeks ago AGAIN yes and  I picked up lots of things on the way and I will blog about them separately.

Here are some interesting things I cooked up for the last 2 weeks

Here is a chickpea and raisin stew. Yes you heard me right. OMG. I went to this restaurant in Barbados called the Balcony located in Bridgetown and basically it is in the middle of a department store and it is a buffet with a salad bar. Usually you can have a vegetarian meal with mac pie and stuff there but when I got there low and behold I saw a brightly orange chickpea stew. I almost passed out from joy. As I was serving myself the stew I noticed these brown granules in the stew and I looked closely and it was raisins and I said YUCK prompting stares of other customers. I went back to my table with my stew and salad and I showed my husband who looked up from his newspaper and said oh interesting it should be good Taymer…….raisins in a savory dish like chickpeas?????….ughhhhh….

When I took a taste of my stew it was the most amazing way I had chickpeas not only were the chickpeas well cooked but the raisins worked well with this dish. Be sure to use fresh tumeric meaning the root veg to make your stew bright orange.

Here is a snapshot of some I made for myself the other day

Chickpea and Raisin Stew

My husband introduced me to Tabbouleh recently and it is something I eat every couple of weeks now with less bulgar than what is in the photo.

Tabbouleh

So I went to this “posh” farmers market in Barbados and I  bought about 12 usd in produce for my parents and 12 usd gets you a lot of things at these farmers market.

I was so inspired with such fresh produced (even fresh onions) that I made my parents a  nice rice dish called Veg Rice in Barbados and I made some sticks of vegan chicken strips and marinated them in some cool marinades I picked up at the market. Here is the almost totally organic dish I made for my parents.

brochet of vegan chiken with veg rice and tossed salad

Finally in food here is a cake I took to a party last weekend. The good thing about being vegan is that you can bake and take desserts you can actually eat to other peoples houses and you are not trapped with a whole cake to eat. This is my rum cake with buttered rum glazed and walnuts. It is not a health cake at all it is a cake so you know what that means so  I knew not to overindulge.:)

Taymer's Rum Cake

So would you like to take a peek into my fabulous life? OK it is not very glamorous but I do go to some sexy destinations during the year:)

Anguilla

I went there last week Friday for the day and I must say it has the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. It looks like a freaking screen saver and I am from Barbados so saying that is something big. Vegan scene sucks so much. Trust me to go into at least 2 supermarkets to see if they had tofu. I did a day of research before and saw some ok options kinda low protein but hey it is for one day…When I got there most of these places were closed or they were out of their homemade veggie burgers so I settled for a industrial veggie burger at this beach bar and no comment.

Anyways here is a pic of me at one of the many beautiful beaches on the island of Anguilla.

Ok here is a garden I went to in Barbados called Hunte’s Garden. OMG. I was expecting a mad hatter or something to come out from behind the trees. This place is whimsical and the staff was so lovely.

OK FOLKS THAT is a wrap

Want to know how to make vegan yougurt that does not look like a slimy mess and really taste better than the starter? Stay tuned.

Want to soak your own beans and learn how to use that elusive pressure cooker? All that and more is coming up. in the next post.

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. bajangyal permalink
    May 20, 2010 3:49 pm

    Well it’s about time that you reappeared Miss Mam…lol…welcome back

  2. May 20, 2010 11:40 pm

    great post, as usual.
    and you should know about raisins in Indian food – pilaf and samosas – LOOOVE!

    • Taymer permalink*
      May 21, 2010 1:25 pm

      I know abt the raisins in pilaf but never saw it in a curry sauce before. I googled it and saw that it is kinda Moroccan to do that.

      • May 21, 2010 7:22 pm

        That, too!
        I used to hate raisins – why people put it in coleslaw was beyond me.
        I made a basmati pilaf once with chickpeas, cashews, lentils, a bunch of other stuff, and added raisins – it was SO DELICIOUS!

  3. May 21, 2010 12:11 pm

    Everything you said on your recent blog post is so true. Since I embraced veganism I have gained an extra 35 lbs. Eventhough I eat lots of veggies & fruit, I often forget vegan food has many calories and I end up eating extra servings which I shouldn’t of. I eliminated all white food products years ago but wheat pasta, brown rice & wheat bread still has lots of carbs. I am now on a strict high protein low carb diet because I am trying to drop 20 lbs before my back surgery in August. Only time will tell but I must try. Good luck on making the right changes on your diet intake and enjoy life.

    http://nuestracena-vegancuisine.blogspot.com

    • Taymer permalink*
      May 21, 2010 1:20 pm

      The point you made about the weight gain is important. I know people would tell me how crazy I am because I worry about controlling my weight but all those wheat breads and brown pasta adds up and for some unfortunate people like us it puts on weight. The veganism movement went from health nut to this kinda fake meat and potatoes way of eating but slowly we are moving back to a balance between these two worlds. I am not going to knock vegan baking because I do bake on occasions but when you just live with your husband and you do not know much people what will we do with a whole cake? I am all for enjoying food and not just eating for nutrition but we really need to stop eating all this sugar and white flour every week. I am good now weight wise and I am staying with these “rules” and I look forward to the times when I will have my cheat meals. It amazes me how many people do not bat and eyelash when a restaurant offers them pasta and veg and call it a vegan option. I have a reputation for giving the workers a speech on what a balance vegan meal is. They just omit the meat and think I would be happy with some veg and empty carbs

  4. May 21, 2010 12:57 pm

    First let me say the food pics are beautiful and the beach as well. I would do anything to be there right now.

    Your post brings home a good point. It reminds of one time when I made brownies for a party and my girlfriend told her son “just because those brownies are healthy for you don’t go eating all of them.” My reaction was, she actually thinks just because they are vegan that they are healthy? They are brownies, they still had sugar, flour and fat in them so no, not healthy, but not loaded with cholesterol and saturated fats, that’s it.
    It’s like you said, it’s what kinds of foods we eat and how much of it we eat. It all goes back to eating an unprocessed whole foods diet.

    That rum cake brings bake memories. Growing up we had a family we were close to that came from Jamaica and on special occasions he would make Rum Cake and Rum Punch. He made a ton of Rum punch for my older sisters wedding. I was young then but did get to try it when I was older.

    • Taymer permalink*
      May 21, 2010 1:25 pm

      yeah I had this same thing with a macaroni and cheese pie I made. Yes it is not fatty like the real thing but it is still high carb as well so yes enjoy but watch the portions. I am not sure if Jamaica makes this rum cake I made. It is actually not a common rum cake in the Caribbean. The rum cake he made for the wedding is fruit cake with rum more than likely which is called black cake. This one is something like Tortola rum cake which is a kinda vanilla buttery cake with a rum glaze on it. Different but I prefer it to the one with the fruits these days…. Yes my mother limited my intake of the black cake when I was younger.

  5. May 21, 2010 8:34 pm

    excellent post, taymer. beautiful pictures and great information. i look forward to visiting your neck ‘o the woods someday.

    • Taymer permalink*
      May 21, 2010 9:12 pm

      Hi Aimee Thanks for coming again. I will check out your blog again shortly to see what u were up to

  6. May 22, 2010 8:52 pm

    Nice to see you back Taymer. You’re keeping it real and I like that. Blogging is not easy and requires that from time to time you take a rest from it all. And with the book out I could imagine there would have been some challenges. Only you could see about you and it’s great to hear the changes you made.

    Like the picture of you by the beach: you look relaxed there. Looking forward to more posts and happy cooking 🙂

    • Taymer permalink*
      May 22, 2010 9:03 pm

      see u doing some veggie delights on cynthia’s veggie project green bananas had my mouth watering

  7. May 24, 2010 3:37 am

    I know what you mean about the health stuff. Every once in awhile I’ll find something vegan, that didn’t used to be, and will be unable to resist buying it a few weeks in a row — the latest one is vegan croissants.

    This is why, when I buy cookbooks, the first thing I check out is how many processed ingredients they’re using. If it’s full of fake meat and fake cream cheese, then I pass. But I like authors like Jae Steele who focus on the fresh and whole.

    As for cutting grain-type carbs, that can indeed be a challenge. Especially in the winter (I live in Canada) when it’s cold and I don’t want something salad-ee. But I’m trying, like eating raw veggies with hummus, rather than always pita bread.

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Taymer permalink*
      May 24, 2010 4:45 am

      coming from the Caribbean we eat a lot of carbs like larger than the amount people eat so I had this habit of eating a large portion of rice. Now I have learnt to eat 2 to 3 heaping tablespoons of rice if I am having it and increase on the beans I have carbs but is is less as my body type doesnt support it without high levels of exercise

  8. May 25, 2010 6:13 pm

    HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII! Great to see that you are back Tay and you are back with a bang. It was wonderful chatting with you and putting a voice to the face. The chick peas with the raisins does look good. It’s great to try something out of our comfort zone. Sometimes it results in a wonderful surprise. I remember many years ago in London being blown away by pineapples in my curried lentils. Honestly I tasted the thing just to be polite. Wasn’t I glad that I tried it despite my initial reservations

  9. PineappleSage permalink
    May 25, 2010 8:07 pm

    Your tabbouleh left me wanting to eat some. I sometimes make mine using quinoa instead of the crached wheat. Living a vegan lifestyle for the past twenty years, cut out deserts, fake porteins in any form, fake cream cheese one can do without, use fruits as a sweetener, and added olive oil only after the meals were cooked or prepared. I have been able to keep my weight down.

  10. May 26, 2010 10:43 am

    Taymer…check my blog you have won an award.

    nuestracena-vegancuisine.blogspot.com

  11. May 31, 2010 9:40 am

    Happy to see your back! I hope you feel better. It’s hard to be able to stick to a confort weight. I really hope you’ll find what works for you and manage to stick to your new food habbits. Waiting for your tabouleh recipe!

  12. June 2, 2010 10:10 pm

    All the best with your new diet.

    Tay, the world is full of flavours, all we have to do is to be open-minded: glad enjoyed the raisins with chickpeas. Makes me think of your comment and skepticism when I offered you a savoury dish with coconut 🙂

  13. Cam permalink
    June 5, 2010 7:32 pm

    I wish you luck on the new healthy lifestyle i too have struggled with my weight going from 200 lbs to 130 and now i’m at 150 and trying to get back down to a healthy weight. I’m very excited about your book i’m from Jamaican, so it’s nice to see a vegan cookbook coming out that has caribbean food, its been so long since i had saltfish fritters so when i get some eggplants i plan on trying it.

  14. July 29, 2011 9:39 pm

    Woh I like your blog posts, saved to fav!

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