Sooo, I decided a couple of weeks ago that August would be my “Reboot Month” – I have excluded all refined sugars (bar a teaspoon of honey once in a while) and gluten, so I’m basically eating a low-carb vegetarian diet. No junk, processed food, bread, pasta, cakes, sugary treats etc. I had not been feeling my best for quite a while. I was permanently tired, my brain was foggy, my mood was depressed for no good reason and I was just feeling generally blah. Even though I eat vegan most of the time, with eggs and yoghurt thrown in once on a while, the last few months was not the healthy kind of vegan – lots of cakes, white bread & pasta, pastries, doughnuts… you get the picture. I knew that my diet was at least partially to blame (if not wholly), so I thought it would definitely be worth doing a cleanse of sorts.
I know the way my brain works and I knew that just saying: “I’ll cut down… I’ll eat less of…” etc. would not work. I need to be all in or all out. So I decided I would do a strict reboot month and after that carry on depending on how I feel. Well, I’m one week in and I can tell you, I feel fantastic!!! I did have one day where my body was rebelling and asking for its dose of sugar and I felt tired, sick, with no energy and a persistent headache. But other than that, it has been surprisingly easy. I never really feel hungry as I make sure I eat plenty of healthy fats (avocados, nuts, coconut oil, eggs and cheese etc.) and combine them with veggies. I’ve also noticed that I’m eating less than before and am not really getting many cravings. My clothes are already fitting better, I have lots of energy but the biggest change has been my mental state and my mood, which has improved immensely. I still have 3 weeks to go but I already know I will definitely not be going back to eating my old way afterwards.
Another great advantage of this experiment has been new ideas for things to cook, as I find that once you adopt an eating pattern, you tend to go for the same meals/recipes with little variation. This has forced me to do a lot of research, think outside the box and discover plenty of delicious new combinations without the need for carbs in every meal.
One such meal is the bowl I’m bringing you today – Veggie Bowl with Peanut Butter, Coconut & Coriander Sauce. It is vegan, low-carb and gluten-free, full of healthy fats from the avocado and cashews and so so good (I may or may not have had it several times last week… 3? 4? 5? who’s counting? 😀 ) It is also ready in under 20 minutes, so there’s no excuse. The sauce was a complete throw-in-whatever-you-love-and-have-on-hand, so my favourite things such as coconut milk, coriander, peanut butter and curry spices have all made an appearance. And surprise of surprises, it is actually delicious. You can make a large batch and it can be poured over virtually any veggies/rice/quinoa or salad and trust me, you’re going to want to do that.
And here is my assistant Leni, helping me shoot said sauce 😀
I chose to pour the sauce over my favourite steamed butternut squash and broccoli, added an avocado and sprinkled with toasted cashews. Whatever you do, I beg you, do not skip the toasted cashews! They bring the whole meal together and add a lovely crunch and nuttiness.
You can also add or substitute these veggies to whatever else you fancy at that moment, but something with a sweet edge works really well here, such as carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin etc.
This also keeps great for leftovers, if you store veggies – sauce – cashews separately in the fridge and then combine when you’re about to eat.
I hope you enjoy and I’ll see you next week for another healthy and delicious low-carb vegetarian instalment!
- 3 cups butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled and cubed
- 3 cups broccoli, cut into florets
- 2 avocados
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1/2 cup coriander, tightly packed
- 1/2 teaspoon red curry paste
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground aniseed
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/3 cup raw cashews, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- First, make the sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a blender and whizzing until uniform. Then pour into a small saucepan, bring to boil on medium heat and cook for about a minute whilst stirring. Set aside and let cool.
- Whilst the sauce is cooling down, peel and cube the butternut squash and steam or boil. When almost ready, add the broccoli florets and steam for another 4 - 5 minutes.
- In a frying pan, toast the chopped cashews in the coconut oil until golden.
- Assemble the bowl by starting with the veggies, pour the sauce over and finish with a generous sprinkling of toasted cashews.
- You can add or substitute these veggies to whatever else you fancy at that moment, but something with a sweet edge works really well here, such as carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin etc.
- This also keeps great for leftovers, if you store veggies – sauce – cashews separately in the fridge and then combine when you’re about to eat.