Thursday, 29 March 2012

Carotenosis and my greens addiction ensues

Looks good, eh? Don't worry recipe to follow, but for now a lesson vegetable overdosing:

Well, I never need to worry about whether or not I am eating enough rich-coloured vegetables.  My mom kept pointing out how "abnormally orange" my hands and feet looked, and as an ever worrying parent she had figured it was something to raise concern. I thought it was just my skin undertone, but I will admit, next to everyone else's they did have an extreme orange glow to them. 

This is how I learned about "carotenosis". "I have carotenosis! Ahhhh!" Sounds just terrifying doesn't it? haha It is completely harmless and causes no need for alarm. It is simply a condition that results when someone (me, in this case) consumes an excessive amount of carotenoids. It is common among vegetarians and vegans or people who just cannot get enough carrots :) Well I have two out of two there. 

My mom asks: "How much carrot do you eat in a day?"
Me: "Well, a 4 pound bag lasts about 2-3 days..." 

It made sense... in addition to the other carotene rich vegetables I eat everyday, consuming 2 lbs of carrots in a day is a bit more than the average bear. At least there's only 180 calories in a pound of carrots!

Apparently, I also had this condition when I was a baby. My mom said a lot of people commented on how "tanned" her baby looked. Nope, just loves carrots and squash!

Despite my orange skin, I cannot seem to get away from greens in every other aspect of my diet. Every meal in my day consists of bright-green themed foods. I even painted my kitchen walls bright green, green area rug... hmmm... I must be subliminally telling myself how amazing greens are.

Without further ado, here is my GREEN supper last night! I cooked every green vegetable in my fridge, baked some tofu in crushed chilis and garlic, cooked green spinach rice vermacilli and made a DELICIOUS vegan pesto recipe!

I will make this pesto recipe a new staple in my fridge. Instead of using pine-nuts or almonds as a base, it uses cooked chickpeas. The texture was just fantastic! And the nutritional yeast or "nooch" gives it a nice cheesy flavour. I can't believe I wasn't using nutritional yeast before, it tastes excellent in many recipes and is extremely nutrional, just as the name promises. Since becoming vegan, I have been search for ways to get my Vitamin B-complex intake without supplements. The nooch's got it, and it's a complete protein to boot!

Homemade Vegan Pesto


1 cup fresh basil
2 large garlic gloves
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas

Add all ingredients into a food processor, blender or Magic Bullet and blend until creamy and smooth. Set aside.

Greens and Tofu Stir Fry with Pesto

Ingredients (serves 2)

1/2 block of Tofu (medium-firm)
1/2-1 tbsp Crushed Chilis
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 tsp High heating Oil
Sweet Onion
Broccoli floretts
Pea pods
Green Zucchini
Purple Cabbage
Spinach Rice Vermacilli Noodles

Cube tofu and toss with crushed chilis, garlic and high-heating oil. Place cubes on aluminium foil and place in pre-heated oven (400 degrees).

Fill a small pot with water and set on high heat to boil. (This is to soak the vermacilli in).

Heat a large pan or wok with enough water to cook veggies. Use as many or little vegetables as you would like. You can add any other favorite vegetables into the mixture as well. I put kale stems and broccoli in first to cook longer, then after 5 minutes added the rest. Cook until all veggies are tender, but not overcooked (approximately 10-15 minutes).

The tofu should have a nice and crispy outside by now, if not, turn oven to broil and keep a close eye to make sure they do not burn.

Once water in pot is brought to a boil place rice vermacilli in, cover and remove from heat. The noodles will only take about 2 minutes to cook in boiled water.

Portion out a bed of noodles, the veggies and tofu on top. Add pesto to taste and mix well. Enjoy your healthy GREEN supper :)


1 comment:

  1. Hi there,

    I have the axact same problem!! Everybody taks to me about my yellowish fingers, but I dont want to change my daily intake of greens and fruits..
    You are not alone!
    Laura from Germany