Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Abundance Diet, Day 9

Every day in January, I'm cooking from Somer McCowan's The Abundance Diet cookbook. I'm following her 28-day meal plan of whole, plant-based meals free of white sugar, gluten, and processed foods. Today was Day 9, and I'm feelin' fine!

No, really. I'm actually feeling great! Somer's healthy meals are hearty, so I've rarely felt hunger on this cleanse, not even really before meal times. That's rare for me because, in real life, when I'm eating more processed foods, I get ferociously hungry about an hour before any scheduled meal time. But not so with the Abundance Diet. That probably has something to do with eating more nutrient-dense foods, and it's also likely related to the fact that the meal plan includes a number of small meals throughout the day rather than three big ones.

Today started with a small glass of Somer's Raw Cashew Horchata — cinnamon-vanilla cashew milk — before my Yoga With Adriene Yoga Camp video. This date-sweetened drink was so creamy and thick. And it only had one tablespoon of cashews per one cup of water! It's amazing how creamy cashews can get in the Vitamix.

After yoga, I had my usual weekday breakfast on the plan — a green smoothie! This one was the Spotted Peach Smoothie, a creamy peach-banana smoothie with kale, spinach, and chia seeds. The seeds were added after blending, so they did that cool thing that chia seeds do in liquid where they expand and get a little chewy, like mini tapioca pearls. Yum!

I didn't add protein powder to my smoothie today since I didn't go running. And that meant it only held me over until about 10:30. That's when I busted out first lunch at my desk — Lentil Taco Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Dressing.

Why, yes, those are tortilla chips on that salad! Such a treat! The recipe called for a few no-oil corn chips to be crumbled atop the taco salad, but I had some Beanfield's bean & rice nacho chips that needed using. And while they're probably a processed food, they're certainly healthier than your average tortilla chip. They're not oil-free, of course, but I've nothing against oil. The "meat" on this salad is made with lentils, and it's seasoned with chili powder and spices. It's served over greens, purple cabbage, carrot, and tomato with a homemade roasted red pepper dressing. There's salsa on top, and the recipe also called for some of Somer's homemade cashew sour cream. But I used it all in recipes last week and didn't feel like making more for a couple tablespoons.

Second lunch was this super-creamy, dreamy Chipotle Corn Chowder. This is definitely my favorite soup from the book so far! It's made creamy with cashews and tapioca powder, and it gets a smoky, spicy kick from chipotle powder.

My snack was more of the Oil-Free Olive Hummus that I made last week with cauliflower, zucchini, and radishes for dipping. No fancy presentation here. Just some Tupperware in the office breakroom.

For a few days now, I've been thinking about how much I miss pizza. It's usually the first thing I start craving while I'm on a cleanse. And it didn't help that Cassi texted me on Sunday saying she wanted pizza and asked if I'd go with her to a pizza place and watch her eat pizza so she'd have some company. Ha! That temptress! Anyway, I resisted, knowing that, although my willpower is strong, I probably couldn't do that without giving in.

But tonight, I got to eat an Abundance Diet-approved pizza! This is the Cheesy Herb & Vegetable Pizza. It's got a crust made with gluten-free flour, spinach, and cauliflower. It's topped with a homemade fire-roasted tomato sauce, homemade cashew mozzarella, mushrooms, red bell pepper, and kalamata olives. I'd never had cauliflower crust before, but I really, really love it.

This was a small six-inch, personal-sized pizza, so I served it with a side salad with Somer's Rich Balsamic Dressing, an oil-free dressing with a touch of sweetness from homemade date paste.

That's it for Day 9. I've got a whole line-up of new meals ready for tomorrow! See y'all then.