Almost three weeks into this sweetener-free challenge. How has it been?
Basically, not as bad as I thought.
I knew it wouldn’t be that challenging to eat savoury dishes without sweetener. I don’t need the sweetness at mealtime. Right now, I have been getting my fix from roasting and coaxing the sugars from vegetables.
However, I like to eat raw veggies, too. Even if it is winter (yes, snow = wintertime). In the summer, I had a habit of adding fruit to my salads. Now, I add more vegetables instead. Red peppers are quite sweet, too, as well as snap peas. Carrots, too!
I also like tart ingredients, which begs for a bit of sweetener to be added to my dressings. For now, I tried to keep the tart ingredients to a minimum to help keep the sweeteners lower. I can’t stay away from lime and lemon too long but I did not find this dressing was lacking without sweetener.
This is a great salad, focusing on sweeter vegetables (red pepper, carrot and snap peas) while contrasting it with more bitter/greener veggies like baby bok choy and just cooked broccoli. Edamame gives some sustenance to a veggie-heavy bowl. The dressing was complex, with ginger, miso and lime, as well as toasted sesame oil and tamari. I wasn’t sure about it when I tasted it on a spoon, but combined with the veggies, topped with toasted sesame seeds, everything was well matched.
I would hate to mislead you that this is a very unchallenging challenge. One just needs a plan.
Nevermind the constant bombardment of fabulous dishes from fellow bloggers, and with fruit galore in our kitchen for Rob, there continues to be a lot of temptation. Especially when I find an apple to be a quick, satisfying snack. Or there are berries in the fridge. However, I replaced that snack with raw carrots and hummus. I am also drinking a lot more tea. Three times a day. I am loving all things chai right now, especially Yogi’s Tahitian Vanilla Hazelnut which is a creamy, sweet chai blend. Except after a week of nearly daily consumption did I realize that one of its ingredients is stevia leaf, which explains its sweetness. I have a few other stevia-free chai blends that I have added into my tea rotation, though.
My biggest fear was breakfast actually (no fruit in my oatmeal?!), but I will share those thoughts in another post.
Buddha Veggie Bowl with a Ginger-Miso-Lime Dressing
Adapted from Eat, Spin, Run, Repeat
3/4 cup broccoli florets, chopped small
1/2 cup carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sugar snap peas, sliced diagonally
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 cup shelled edamame, thawed
6 cups baby bok choy, julienned
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp white miso
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tbsp low-sodium tamari
1. In a small pan, bring an inch of water to a boil and steam broccoli for 3 minutes until cooked slightly and turns a bright green. Do not overcook. Set aside to cool.
2. Combine chopped carrot, sugar snap peas and edamame with the cooked broccoli.
3. Meanwhile, combine your dressing. Whisk together the garlic, toasted sesame oil, ginger, miso, lime juice and tamari.
4. Divide julienned bok choy between 2 bowls, top with vegetables and drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Want more? Serve with quinoa.