Sunday, January 29, 2012

We slaughtered a garden!

Messy but oh so good!Lasagna

Lasagna, a set on Flickr.

Tonight being that it is Sunday I made lasagna. I used a recipe, with some added touches, from The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds and I must say I finally found a recipe out of this book that I love! It took me about an hour to put together. I sauteed onion and garlic in veg stock then added baby bella mushrooms. I took those out and put them in a large bowl. I then sauteed broccoli and carrot in the mushroom juices(with a little extra veg stock), put those in the giant bowl and sauteed red peppers and corn. To that mixture I added seasoning, thyme, oregano, cayenne, garlic, basil, and S&P. I threw it all in the giant bowl. Now, the fun part, I squished a block of drained firm tofu with my hands into the bowl.

Assembly was the easy part. Sauce, noodles, veggies goodness, noodles, sauce, spinach, mashed sweet potatoes(you can cook them in the microwave!), sauce, noodles, sauce, sliced tomatoes. I baked it with a foil hat for about 50 min, took it out removed it's hat and added raw cashews I ran through the food processor. Another 15 minutes and you've got dinner! See, that's why I say it's a good Sunday night meal.

I was very impressed as was the hubby. I'm thinking even meat eaters would enjoy! The only not so win of the evening was BK, he looked at it and wouldn't even take a bite. After about a half hour he took one very small bite and guess what he didn't vomit, fall face first into his plate, or die! So, that's a win in my book!! He ended up eating some whole wheat bread with non-dairy(shhh, don't tell him) butter and a carrot although he was offered a few other healthy choices(chili, veggie soup, peanut butter and honey sandwich). I think had he come to dinner without the, "I hate dinner," mind set he may have actually liked it.

The hubby's mini "conversation" that may happen between BK and his friends tomorrow:
Friends: So, what did you have for dinner?
BK: bread with butter and a carrot
Friends: Wow, your parents must really hate you!
BK: yeah, they want me to eat healthy food.
Friends: Dude, that sucks!
BK: I know! They said that want me to live a healthy long life, it really sucks!

Anyway, dinner was awesome! I think it would be great for a dinner party or potluck. Seeing as we have way more leftovers than we know what to do with and all. I just made vegetable stock yesterday so that's taking up my freezer space. But, I'll try and freeze some of the lasagna. It would make a great meal for no cook Friday night!

Cheers and happy eating!

Menu for the week of 1/29/12-2/4/12

This weeks menu was not as creative as I'm sure it could be but I've been battling a sinus infection, I just didn't have the creativity in me. I still put as much thought as I could muster.

Sunday: 1/29/12
Lasagna, yep that's it just lasagna. It has everything you need. Veggies, sauce, noodles, cashews, you name it. And it looks and smells fantastic!

Monday: 1/30/12
Curried Tempeh kabobs with couscous and naan. I'm going to give tempeh a go, although to be honest it looks a little strange. I'll let you know.

Tuesday: 1/31/12
Big Ole Salad Tuesday. Perhaps with something on the side from the CSA. Oh, and bread of course bread!

Wednesday: 2/1/12
Meatball sub for BK and spaghetti to go with the meatballs for us. I'm going the easy route and got premade meatless meatballs from Trader Joe's. I'm told they are good, we'll see. As a side we have salad and greens still from last weeks CSA basket.

Thursday: 2/2/12
Burgers(I know it's on last weeks menu but because the tostadas didn't go well the first go around we didn't get to the burgers) meat burger for BK(we still had some left from Costco and he says he needs his meat "fix" because he's not getting red meat with us or at his mom's house, when they're gone though...) We will be enjoying chipotle black bean burgers with greens, sauteed onion and peppers, avocado and whatever else sounds yummy!. I will be serving tots on the side, I do love me some tots! Salad and greens as well.

Friday: 2/3/12
No cook Friday night. Now, last week wasn't actually no cook but I guess I look at using whatever is leftover in the house to make dinner as a no cook night. Last week(I know, I didn't blog) I made a whatever we've got soup. It was tasty! So, here's to another leftover no cook night. Everyone should have one!

Saturday: 2/4/12
Tuscan Bean Soup in bread bowls. The hubby requested a bean soup. Sounds tasty to me. I may cook up some green beans to go with.

Cheers and happy eating!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dinner fiasco! FAIL!

I know, I know, you can't win them all! But, tonight's dinner, what a disaster!

Tonight was to be Mexi-Cali tostadas, sounds simple and tasty, right? Simple...NO. Tasty...well, I didn't get that far. The recipe I was using was from Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health and so far the recipes have been great! It called for a can of beans with corn mashed together with salsa. Now, I make my own salsa, have been for years. I can make red salsa, chunky salsa, green salsa and with spiciness to satisfy your palate. I do make it the lazy way, most of the time. So, I start out with my can of organic diced tomatoes, add the cilantro we got from the CSA, add a red onion(I usually use white but thought red would give a great flavor), with green chilies(canned, from Costco), I then added garlic, lime juice, salt and chipotle sauce, blended it up, boy did it look good! As my 10 month old stared, the blender is so noisy, I got the back of tortilla chips to give it a try. Most of the time it just needs extra salt and maybe lime juice. At first it tasted a little bland so I added a little more salt and some lime juice. I then tried it again and BAM the bitter hit me like a bag full of bricks! I thought I was crazy, you know that crazy you get when you're in a hurry, the hubby is late from work, the kid is in to everything, and you just want to get dinner going with good salsa? Yeah, that! The second time just seemed worse, so dang bitter! I tried the cilantro to see if that could be it, nope, tastes of cilantro. I tried the lime juice, nope. I then tried the chilies, they seemed bitter. Now, I had opened a can of chilies and put the left overs in the fridge but to be honest I couldn't remember when. It couldn't have been more than last week, the smelled fine. :) I thought maybe they were bitter because they were in the fridge too long.

Try number two. Another can of tomatoes, another onion, more cilantro, and some chilies from a new can. After blending it all together, I tried it and BAM yet again, it's bitter as a my husband's IPA's(damn, they're bitter!). The hubby was brave enough to try the chilies straight from the can, he didn't even have to say anything, it was all in his face! Salsa-FAIL.

At the same time as all this was going on I had shredded some carrots to put on top of the tostadas as a garnish. We had some golden beets(never had these before) from the CSA and I thought I'd shred those as well. I've done it with other beets to add to coleslaw before, what's the harm, right? I decided to try the beet before shredding, guess what was wrong? Yep, bitter! Bitter, bitter, bitter!! Perhaps it was the bitter left over from the salsa. I don't know, they went back in the fridge as the salsa went down the drain. I was frustrated with all this I asked Sam to just order Chinese food, luckily we have one very close by.

Well, I'll head out tomorrow and get salsa and try again with tostadas for tomorrow nights dinner. We'll see, wish me luck! Quite the dinner experience. Oh well, something to laugh about later.

Cheers and happy eating!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Eating like a vegan

I have been one of those people that believe vegans can't eat anything and if they do it's full of carbs, sugar, fats and processed foods. When I decided to eat a more whole diet with far more plants than I ever thought possible I wasn't sure the outcome. I'm sure others now think of me how I once thought, "what does she eat?"

I have to tell you, I feel like my door to the food world has been opened, really opened. I had no idea certain things even existed and I'm sure there are so many things out there left to discover.
Things I've never had before this lifestyle change:
Collard greens
Tofu(not that I never had it, I just didn't realize the ways to make it and make it good!)
Most of the leafy greens we've gotten from the CSA.

It's only been about 3 weeks and to be honest, at first I didn't feel satisfied after I ate. I felt hungry, empty, and sometimes late at night I'd wake up starving which never happened before. But, that changed and it didn't take long. I now find myself leaving food behind because it was just too much to eat. I'm satisfied, full, happy! A plate full of veggies is filling, who knew?!

I thought about whether or not I'm missing anything and as of yet the answer is no. I'm sure at some point, probably when I smell bacon, I will miss things I once had but for now it just sickens me. I know after eating breakfast, lunch or dinner I've done my body good. I feel good, I feel satisfied, I feel clean.

So, I suppose if anyone ever asks what I eat here is what I can say.
Eating a more vegan diet doesn't mean just carbs, just processed foods(we don't eat a lot of the fake stuff), just sugar(we don't just eat desserts either). What we do eat and by eat I mean an abundance counting calories, no overeating and feeling ill, no worrying if it's healthy.
Collard greens, kale, beets, beans(all kinds), leafy greens, herbs, spices, tofu(sparingly), peppers, carrots, celery, radishes(several different kinds), potatoes, quinoa, rice(so many, we have yet to try them all), pasta(mostly whole wheat), cereal, plant based milk, edamame, green beans, brocoli, cauliflower, the list is endless. I realized that eating in moderation really doesn't exist when you eat healthy. You can eat til your hearts content. Tonight is no exception, we had a large salad, large! It was not only filling but I don't feel bogged down after dinner. It's a great feeling!!

I now crave veggies more than before and I thought I craved them before. I look forward to dinner every night! I look forward to feeling good.

Cheers and happy eating!

Salad with a side of red potatoes

Salad by VlinderM
Salad, a photo by VlinderM on Flickr.

Tonight is salad Tuesday. I add lots to my salads, lots meaning veggies, not fruits. I don't care for fruits in my salad. I made this with romaine hearts, spring mix, baby spinach and added beet greens after I got the beets from the CSA. They are quite tasty! I added garbanzo and kidney beans as well as pepperoncini's and almond slices. My 10 month old likes pepperoncini! Wow! The potatoes were from last weeks CSA basket, thought I'd make them up since we just got more. I cooked them with mini bell peppers, roasted rather. J loved those too! I do love salads!! Such an easy way to get all the veggies you need.

Cheers and happy eating!

CSA week 3

CSA week 3 by VlinderM
CSA week 3, a photo by VlinderM on Flickr.

This week is all about the greens! Collard greens, lettuce greens, braising mix(all greens), kale, and cilantro. We also got brocolli, red potatoes and beets. The green mix has mustard greens mixed in, I didn't know and ate a large chunk. Woah!!! It was like eating a spoon full of dijon mustard. I am not a fan of mustard. I will, however, put them on my black bean burger tomorrow night. Not a lot but just enough to get the flavor.

Cheers and happy eating!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Stir fry with asparagus

Stir fry with asparagus by VlinderM
Stir fry with asparagus, a photo by VlinderM on Flickr.

Ah stir fry, it is such an easy go to meal. I'm still learning what and how to make certain things so for a Monday stir fry just sounded simple. I used asparagus, red bell pepper, mushrooms, carrots, green beans, water chestnuts, and edamame. I added fresh ginger as well. I made quinoa and chopped up fresh cabbage(left over from last weeks CSA basket) to add to the dish. It was tasty, simple and filling all at once.

I'm feeling so full of energy lately, even if I'm tired from well, caring for an infant. The foods I make are more filling as well. I was full after dinner! Love it. I'm loving this choice of foods!! Sam even feels good, better, more energy, etc. I now crave veggies, I had edamame for a snack today. So good!

Cheers and happy eating!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lentil soup

Lentil soup by VlinderM
Lentil soup, a photo by VlinderM on Flickr.

This turned out very well! Lentil soup with chard. I decided not to use the entire loaf for the bread bowl and instead cut one in half so that we have another for lunch tomorrow. Super simple soup!! Great tasting!!

I got the recipe from

Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health.

Oh and by the way, last night I was on my own for dinner since the boys went to a soccer game. So, I put the baby to bed and decided simple and quick would do. I sauteed some spinach, brocolli, and edamame with some garlic and bam that was dinner. It was super tasty, super simple, and super quick. Edamame has great protein so it kept me filled for the evening. I love quick simple yummy meals!!

Cheers and happy eating!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Menu for the week of 1/22/12-1/28/12

This week we have BK Wednesday through Sunday. I have found it's a bit more of a challenge to plan the menu the week we have him for a longer stretch of time, but I do love a challenge! He more than makes up for it anyway by being so darn awesome...but anyway.

Sunday 1/22/12:
Lentil soup with chard(I needed to figure out how to use the chard from our CSA basket). I will be serving these in bread bowls from my favorite place, Beyond Bread.

Monday 1/23/12:
Asparagus(great sale at Sunflower this week!) red pepper stir fry with rice. It's a great time for J to try asparagus.

Tuesday 1/24/12:
Big ole salad(seriously I put every veggie in it, yum!) and bread, once again from Beyond Bread. Or if J and I are feeling particularly active we'll head to the little bakery near our house.

Wednesday 1/25/12:
Mexicali tostadas with black beans. Sam makes a killer guacamole and I'll make the salsa. I'm pretty sure BK won't be able to resist!

Thursday 1/26/12:
Burgers(real for BK, chipotle black bean for us(J loves these!) with tater tots because I cannot resist and some left over salad from Tuesday night.

Friday 1/27/12:
Since last week didn't go so well with me cooking I think we will either go out or eat some left overs from the freezer. I really shouldn't be cooking on Fridays, something just shuts off for me. Ha!

Saturday 1/28/12:
Chili(I'm trying another vegan chili, I really hope this one is fantastic!) with cornbread. I did buy two boxes of cornbread mix this week. I will make one during the week using a spoon full(about the size of an egg) of silken tofu to replace the egg to see how it turns out. I know there are egg replacers out there but I'll try the tofu first. If it doesn't work we may need to figure something else out.

Things I've found that make great snack food for the work week:
Hummus(all different kinds) and pita chips, pretzel chips, pita bread, veggies.
Veggies(I cut up celery, carrots and sometimes radishes every week and portion them out for the week, saves time during the hectic week)
Dried fruit
I try and make my life easier during the week by preparing as much as possible on the weekend that way it's all ready to go, it's like a healthy convenience store in my house!

Cheers and happy eating!

Not bad, not great

Not bad, not great by VlinderM
Not bad, not great, a photo by VlinderM on Flickr.

Last night we tried a recipe from the CSA newsletter, at the recommendation of a friend. All the recipe called for was cabbage, noodles, water, onion, salt and pepper to taste. Simple, easy, light. I started out with the onion, added the cabbage and in the meantime made a rainbow(vegetable) pasta. I added the pasta to the cooked cabbage, tried it and was quite disappointed. Perhaps our head of cabbage was not as flavorful as our friends because it had none! I decided to add onion powder, garlic, basil, thyme, a little bit of non-dairy butter and some veg stock. I made some black beans on the side and we sat down to enjoy dinner. I added my black beans to the bottom of the bowl with the cabbage and pasta on top. It still seemed quite flavorless. It wasn't bad I just don't think I'll make it again. The upside, it was filling. The downside, it's lunch today. I'm at a loss as to how to make it better, it's just not my style perhaps. Oh well, I can't have a win every night, right?

Cheers and happy eating!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Paula Deen discusses her diagnosis

I watched a clip of Paula from The Today show the other day and it got me thinking. If you haven't seen it please feel free to take a gander.

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Paula has been a chef to watch for some time now. She has a quirky personality, bubbly and cheerful. I know I've caught myself watching from time to time. Now, I know cooking with butter, which she does so often, is joyful, tasty, easy. But, what about "eating in moderation" she boasts about. What does this actually mean? Is moderation for you the same as moderation for me? My idea of moderation for, say, junk food is way different than that of my 13 year old bonus kid(BK), right? He could sit down to a bowl of candy and think it's moderation when for me that is WAY too much. And, on the other hand I could sit down to a large bowl of vegetables and think it's plentiful when he would think otherwise. So, what does Paula mean by moderation? Will she limit her intake to four sticks of butter per day instead of eight?

I think moderation is a relative term that is subjective by the person at hand. For Paula though, I do believe that her lifestyle choices have led her to the disease she now has, type-2 diabetes. This is far too often caused, I believe, by poor diet. I know T. Colin Campbell feels the same way, he speaks of it in The China Study.

So, what happens now? Paula becomes a spokesperson for Diabetes? She donates a ton of money to further the research on how to cure this awful disease? How bout she watch Forks over Knives, decide to change her habits and teach those who are willing to listen, and indeed there will be many, the positive affects of a whole foods, plant based diet. I bet people would listen, I bet they would do some digging for themselves to find out the health benefits this could lead to and I bet less people would die from diabetes and diabetes related illnesses.

Moderation, Paula? Moderation in what? If you used this to consume butter in moderation but decided to consume leafy greens in abundance you would no longer be in this situation. I do wish wellness in her life. I just hope she can open her mind to the benefits of a whole foods, plant based diet. Good luck, Paula.

Cheers and happy eating!

Tofu Steak

Tofu steak by VlinderM
Tofu steak, a photo by VlinderM on Flickr.

I changed up the menu a little for this evenings dinner because we got our CSA basket yesterday so I wanted to use some items from there. I still made the tofu steak but I marinaded it in a ginger-sesame vinaigrette that I made this afternoon. Sam then grilled it along side some limes using a grill pan my mom gave us for Christmas. I must admit, I was a little skeptical because tofu is still so new to me. But, when it came out, wow! was it good! It's a definite for another weeks menu. Sam loved it and although BK complained he never did stop eating it so we think he complained out of principle more than anything else. Even J, the 10 month old, loved it. I think even those who aren't sure about tofu may like it. The sides were broiled red potatoes with thyme, veg broth, salt and pepper. I broiled them for about 15 minutes, quite tasty. For a vegetable I sauteed some valentine(or watermelon) radish in non-dairy butter and some EVOO(extra-virgin olive oil), then added some water to steam them a bit and once that evaporated a tad I added tatsoi(a leafy green). That was incredibly tasty!! The radishes were great raw and great cooked. I do believe tonight's dinner was a success all around. Mmmm!

Cheers and happy eating!


Some of the books I like, so far! I'm sure there are many more. And some on my wishlist as well.

The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health

Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health

The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds

The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook: 125 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Jump-Start Weight Loss and Help You Feel Great

My wishlist:
Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook

Vegan with a Vengeance : Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock

Movies to watch:
Forks Over Knives

Fat Sick & Nearly Dead

Sam and I are going to do a juice fast once we regulate to the whole foods, plant based lifestyle. And, we need a great juicer! The juice fast is described very well in Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. Great movie!
We have others we will be watching when we find the time. I'll share when we do. One movie we did not care for, not enough research to back up the statements, was Foodmatters but if you have the time check it out for yourself.

The juicer that was recommended by my health coach, which she loves, is Breville BJE200XL 700-Watt Compact Juice Fountain or this one, which you can regulate the speed of juicing. Breville BJE510XL Ikon 900-Watt Variable-Speed Juice Extractor

Just an easy list in case you want to check these items out. Enjoy!

Cheers and happy eating!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Udon noodles with shiitake and button mushrooms

This evening I made Udon Noodles with Shiitake and Button Mushrooms. I found it in the book, The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook: 125 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Jump-Start Weight Loss and Help You Feel Great. I've found several recipes, so far, in this cookbook that I really enjoy!! This dish had great flavor! I did add more veggies to it, green beans, more carrots, bok choy and green onion. I then made a side of green beans sauteed with garlic. I put dinner on a bed of red leaf lettuce we just picked up from the CSA. The lettuce was a bit too bitter for me but it wasn't bad. I think I would prefer it on a bed of spinach or perhaps a bed of tatsoi(my new favorite green!) Sam told me this evening he feels less hungry during the day which is great! I feel the same way. I eat breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack(when I don't forget, oops!), dinner then an evening snack. Keeps me going all day long and I feel I have a lot more energy.

Cheers and happy eating!

CSA week 2

CSA week 2 by VlinderM
CSA week 2, a photo by VlinderM on Flickr.

CSA week 2, a basket full of goodies. This week included red leaf lettuce, cabbage(looks fantastic!), carrots, tatsoi(new green for me but it's quite tasty), valentine beets(I've got to look up what to do with these), red potatoes, grapefruit,and chard. Lot's of greens and I've already made a salad for the week. Oh well, I'll just add some in. Maybe make another too! I really love going to pick up from the CSA!

Cheers and happy eating!

Menu for the week. 1/15/12-1/21/12

Every week I write up a menu for the following week as well as a shopping list of all the items I will need for that week. I generally shop at Sunflower Market, Trader Joe's and sometimes Whole Foods. I also check out Farmer's Markets when time permits and the 17th Street Farmers Market. Every Tuesday we get our CSA basket as well.

Sunday January 15th
Mexican Lime Soup
Blue corn tortilla chips, avocado and tomatoes were served to taste

Monday January 16th:
Red beans over quinoa with Kale
I also made a large salad to last the week for snacks and sides

Tuesday January 17th:
Udon noodles with shiitake and button mushrooms
I will make a side of green beans sauteed in veg broth with garlic

Wednesday January 18th:(we have BK(Bonus Kid) so I have to get creative) :)
Tofu Steak with mushrooms and mashed potatoes. Salad as a side. If BK hates it, we have backups for him. Hopefully he'll give it a try though. He does like tofu, sometimes.

Thursday January 19th: (we have BK tonight)
Sloppy Sam's(that's the recipe I found, too funny) made with lentils.
Sides will be tater tots and sweet potato fries. Salad tonight as well, or something from the CSA basket.

Friday January 20th: (this is no cook Friday)
We will eat whatever leftovers, either in the fridge or things I've put in the freezer for dinner. Yum!

Saturday January 21st: (Sam and BK will be headed to Phx for a soccer game)
I will munch on leftovers again. Why cook? Leftovers, a glass of wine, and a chick flick. Sounds devine!

Cheers and happy eating!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Red beans with quinoa and kale

Tonight we had quite a bland dinner, not bad just bland. Again it was from the The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds
, I just have to know that I will need to jazz up most of the dinners I cook from there, they do have a great base though. This was red beans with green bell peppers over quinoa. I had some patty pans so I added those. I also made wilted kale by steaming it in water for a few minutes. The problem is, I thought it was going to taste horrible so I over salted it by accident. Both Sam and I think it would have been fine had it not had all that salt. Oops! I will definitely try that part again. As for the rest, it lacked in flavor. I will try again another day and add some extra flavor. The salad on the side had romaine, spinach, carrots, radish, cucumber, mini bell peppers, celery and green onions. We dressed with balsamic vinegar, now that was tasty! At least it wasn't an order from Ba Dar(closest chinese restaurant to our house) kind of night. It may have been bland but it wasn't bad! Phew!

Cheers and happy eating!

Mexican Lime Soup

Mexican Lime Soup by VlinderM
Mexican Lime Soup, a photo by VlinderM on Flickr.

Last nights rainy weather dinner, Mexican Lime Soup. I got this recipe from The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds
and it too was fairly bland like the last recipe. I did taste this one first to see then proceeded to add "extras." I added black beans, green chilies, oregano, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. When serving this dish I added blue corn tortilla chips, avocado and tomatoes. Once I jazzed it up a bit, it was absolutely delicious!! I will definitely make this again!! We finished off the tortillas so we just had wheat bread from Beyond Bread, J liked that part, she's a bread fan!

Cheers and happy eating!

The China Study

I can't comment much on this book, The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health
yet only because I just started it. What I can say, is wow! In just the first few chapters I'm intrigued, hooked, in awe of the amount of research this doctor, T. Colin Campbell, has put into healthy eating and lifestyle. It's not a diet fad, it's a life change and one that can change your life. I have high cholesterol, above 250, which I've had for a very long time. My doctor told me I would need to go on Statin drugs to help me to avoid a heart attack because this is ALL genetic. I've eaten healthy, or what I believed was healthy, for many years and never was able to bring that number down. So, I believed it was as the doctor said, all genetic. My dad has high cholesterol, as does my mom and sister. So, I should too, right? Wrong, I tend to prove them wrong. I will be 34 in a few weeks (eek!) and I do not want to go on a Statin drug. My drug of choice is to stop eating animal proteins, especially casein found in cow's milk. I will update you all on how this goes! I'm looking forward to it, as I'm looking forward to finishing the great book I'm reading! So much info! So much!

Cheers and happy eating!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Chili with riceChili with cornbread

Chili, a set on Flickr.

I was very excited to make the 3 bean chili from The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds
because the author Rip Esselstyn is a firefighter, don't they make the best chili? I generally tweak my recipes but decided to follow this one, mostly, just to see how it turned out. First off, we did like it, don't let this discourage you. We just found that it lacked oomph! It needed a pop, a kick, something. With all of the yummy ingredients I'm surprised it did not have that wow factor. I'm wondering if the tofu soaked it up a bit. So, next time I will keep it as is regarding the veggies and beans involved but will season as if I were seasoning my meat chili. I also will saute the mushrooms before had and as Sam suggested cook the garbanzo beans, first, to soften them a bit. I did add a beer instead of all the water suggested and will do that again. I do plan to make this chili again, like I said the base was fantastic!

I'm definitely doing a lot better about feeling full/satisfied. It's a nice feeling to not have to fill up with heavy meats and dairy products. Makes me feel clean, if that makes sense. I've lost weight, although that was not my goal, but that's nice to see too!

I'm having a lot of fun cooking!! It's all new it seems. I just love it!!

Cheers and happy eating!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Before being cookedMmmm pizza

Pizza, a set on Flickr.

This evening I thought I would try my hand at cheeseless pizza. Luckily, for any "bad" dinner night, we have a chinese restaurant right next door that's pretty good. We weren't sure if tonight would be one of those nights or not. I made a pizza using a whole wheat dough I bought at Sunflower Market, I love that place! I then cooked cut up pieces of eggplant in a tomato basil sauce I got at Trader Joe's, another great place. Once I added the sauce to the rolled dough I was able to add the toppings which included, red bell peppers, artichokes, spinach and black olives. I baked it and wow, it was good. Sam said he sort of misses the greasy aspect to the dough, that greasiness you get from meat and cheese, but he did really enjoy the pizza and would like to have it again. I thought it was tasty but yes, after eating cheese and meat on my pizza for so long it almost seemed as though it was missing a "heavy" element, one that I don't really miss.

I did have to step up my will power this evening while putting slices of peperoni on BK's(bonus kid) pizza. I made his "normal." It looked so tasty but I do know it's not worth it. I refrained.

I also made a coleslaw out of the items I got from the CSA. It had beets, daikon radish, carrots, fennel, and kohlrabi. I made a dressing using Veganaise(so good!), apple cider vinegar, celery seed and dill. BK even ate it and he said he doesn't like coleslaw! Yay! J, the little girl, like it too!

I'd say pizza night was a hit!

Recipe found in the book, The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook: 125 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Jump-Start Weight Loss and Help You Feel Great

Cheers and happy eating!

Let's get healthy!

If you are interested in eating healthy, gaining energy, losing pounds, feeling good all while lowering your cholesterol, your risk of cancer, diabetes, and other ailing diseases but you are unsure how or where to start check out the book I'm currently reading. The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds
is a very good place to start. I'm nearly done reading it and believe me finding the time to read is very difficult in a house full of health! It's just THAT good! It also has some great recipes. I look forward to the chili recipe, I mean come on this guy is a firefighter shouldn't he know chili? I'm making it this weekend.

Don't be scared. If you want to do the 4 week plan as written in the book, good for you. For those heavy meat eaters he even has a plan where you ween yourself from it all. We aren't necessarily going by the plan itself because we aren't looking at it as a diet, more of a life saving change. We are, however, using his principles in our daily eating habits. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. It definitely has a ton of great information.

Cheers and happy eating!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The beans...

Well, they weren't as flavorful as I had expected. They did turn out, texture wise, very well. Next time I will just add some more seasoning to them. Our burritos, all put together, were great! I made cilantro rice, the beans, sauteed peppers and onions, salsa, and we added lettuce. For the bonus kid we made some shredded chicken, he definitely ate more than he has lately!

I must say, though, making the chicken kind of grossed me out and I had no interest in it whatsoever. I was actually quite surprised with that. We are nearly out of the meat in the freezer, Sam and I have not eaten it but the bonus kid still wants to. That's fine, good way to get rid of it I suppose. We are working on healthy eating for him but it's a tad difficult with a teenager.

I still need to make the coleslaw with all the fabulous produce we got from the CSA. I will most likely work on that tomorrow. It would go well as a side dish with our mushroom edamame pizza we are having tomorrow night.

Cheers and happy eating!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Salad and baked chickpeas

Salad and baked chickpeas by VlinderM
Salad and baked chickpeas, a photo by VlinderM on Flickr.

Simple dinner this evening. Salad with balsamic vinegar dressing, whole wheat bread with a little Earth Balance non-dairy butter, and baked chickpeas. I love big salads, this one I ended up putting the chickpeas on it, so tasty!