Friday, January 14, 2011
Today I spent much of the morning at a clinic for a scheduled annual exam. I was really impressed at how efficient the process was. Usually I have to sit around waiting, so I took a book. I never had a chance to open it. I was glad I had taken a peanut butter sandwich with me. By the time I was able to eat, I was really hungry.
I stopped at Trader Joe's on my way home. There is a new one just a few blocks from the clinic, and I had forgotten about it until I drove past. I doubled back and went in. Parking is a big problem at the one I usually go to, but this store has street level parking AND underground parking. That was a nice surprise. I just bought a few things I needed and picked up some mango sorbet. Oh, heaven! That is going to be a lovely treat some evening when I am craving something cold and sweet.
I stopped a few more times before I finally got home. By the time I put the groceries away, I was ready for a real meal. I finished the last of the casserole. It is such a good leftover dish. For dinner, I was really hungry for some of the veggies I bought on the way home; but I didn't want to do anything structured. I ended up steaming a couple of small stalks of torn kale, broccoli florets, thinly sliced carrots, thawed corn kernels, and cauliflower cut into small pieces. As I was cutting the veggies, I had red lentils cooking in one pot and brown rice in another. When everything was cooked, I mixed it all together in a big bowl and served myself from that. It made 3 servings all together. I seasoned it with soy sauce. It was a utilitarian meal, nothing fancy - just what I wanted. I'll have some fruit later this evening.
Last night I had some So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk with a banana and wheat germ. It was very good. I happen to love coconut, and there is definitely a coconut flavor to the product. The next time I have some, I am going to add some mandarin oranges. I really like that combination. It was nice to find a non-dairy, soy free product that has the consistency of yogurt. It will be great as a sweet treat, but I won't use it for savories like raitas.
Once a month I cook dinner at my church with a team of cooks. Next week is our week, and I got the menu last night. I am taking on the role of vegan specialist this month. The main dish is stuffed shells, so I am going to make Robin Robertson's Lemony Chard Stuffed Shells www.harvardcommonpress.com/lemony-ch
ard-stuffed-shells/ as the vegan option. I haven't made it before, so that is going to be my dinner this weekend. If I want to modify anything in the recipe, I would rather know that before I cook 30 portions instead of afterwards. We cook 100 servings total. Since a lot of folks love the chard/lemon combination, I might end up making more than 30 servings. I love cooking with this team! Tuesday I'll shop with a couple of folks from the crew, and Wednesday I'll probably get there around noon. The last time I did this, we ran out of time and had to delay serving 15 minutes. This time I want to start early!
Thursday, January 13, 2011
This morning I decided I wanted something different. I couldn't decide between sweet and savory until I spied a bag of Arrowhead Mills Organic Buckwheat Pancake and Waffle Mix in a cupboard. A quick glance at the ingredients verified it was egg and dairy free. I followed the directions on the package substituting Ener-G Egg Replacer for the egg, rice milk for the milk, and agave nectar for the honey. My pancake breakfast was very satisfying, and I love the combination of buckwheat and maple syrup.
I had hummus and a pita with lots of celery and carrots on the side for a snack. Lunch and dinner were leftover Chilaquiles Casserole. I could eat that just about every day. I love it.
I did some cardio exercise late in the afternoon. Yes, we got more snow. I was working at the computer this morning. When I looked outside after a couple of hours, I was surprised to see snow - and there was a lot of it. Fortunately it ended by midafternoon, and it was light and fluffy which made it easy to shovel. Everything is relative.
I can't have anything to eat after 9 PM, and I won't be able to eat tomorrow until I get home from my morning doctor's appointment. Maybe I'll take a peanut butter sandwich with me to eat after my blood draw. I won't get home until close to noon, and that is a long time to go without food. I think I'll sign off and take a couple of slices of bread out of the freezer. I'll post again tomorrow.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
This morning I woke up feeling better, but I am still a bit under the weather. I expect whatever this is will be out of my system by tomorrow. Not long ago, I would have eaten chicken noodle soup if I was ill. Somehow that doesn't sound at all appealing now.
Breakfast was a piece of Alvarado Street Bakery Sprouted Whole Wheat Bread with a tablespoon of MaraNatha Organic Chunky Peanut Butter and an organic banana. Lunch was a wonderful sandwich: 2 pieces of the same toasted bread with a light smear of Veganaise on one piece, a piece of Galaxy American Veggy Cheese, tomato slices, and alfalfa sprouts I had a cup of the mushroom barley soup with it. When I bought the cheese, I assumed it was vegan; but it isn't. Galaxy makes a vegan cheese, but I grabbed the wrong package. Lesson learned: read every label!
I must confess that I've already eaten most of my dinner and it's just late afternoon! I made this Chilaquiles Casserole recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=929172 with a few changes. First, I didn't want to make the full recipe because I already have a lot of leftovers in the freezer; so I halved it. Since it's pretty hard to halve a can of diced tomatoes, I drained the liquid and set it aside to use in another dish this weekend.I used all of the tomatoes, but a small can of tomato sauce would have been a good subsitute. I like the tomato chunks in the dish. I didn't have any zucchini, but I don't think it adds much to the dish anyway. I added more corn to have the right mixture of sauce and veggies. To keep it vegan, I used Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds. I usually make this as a 2-layer dish, but this time I used a glass loaf pan and made 3 layers. I cut the tortillas to fit each layer. I baked it at 350F for 55 minutes and let it sit 20 minutes before cutting it. It was delicious. Since this is not a true loaf, after it cools completely I will refrigerate it in the pan covered with plastic wrap. It is SO delicious! I decided to make the Mexican Corn Salad another day since the casserole contains corn. Later this evening, I'll have a simple romaine salad and maybe another little bit of the casserole.
Tomorrow is day 11 of the Kickstart. It's hard to believe it will be half over! I have really enjoyed finding new recipes and converting favorites like the casserole above. I have added even more cookbooks to my collection, all vegan; and I look forward to cooking lots of healthy, plant based foods in the future. I'm starting to use new-to-me ingredients like raw cashews to make creams. I'm going to start putting money aside to buy a VitaMix. Now I want to master the craft of vegan baking. This is a great adventure!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Today was another lackluster day. I feel better today, but I have not fully recovered. Thank goodness for leftovers! For breakfast I had some millet with about a tablespoon of the duxelles. Lunch was a cup of the mushroom barley soup. Dinner was an Arnold's Thin and a Morningstar Black Bean Burger. Today was obviously short on fruit and veggies, but I hope to add them back to my diet tomorrow. I have been drinking lots of water, herbal tea, and Seitenbacher instant vegetable broth.
I got some cardio minutes shoveling the 4 inches of snow we got overnight. I did about 2/3 of my walks and drive, and that took 45 minutes. I'll finish the rest tomorrow.
Earlier this evening I went out for a while, mainly just to get out of the house. I picked up some more kale at Whole Foods (it's on sale through today). Tomorrow I will prep, blanch, and freeze it. It will be very tasty later in the winter when the price of greens has skyrocketed.
I keep pushing meals out because I haven't felt well for the past couple of days. Tomorrow I want to make the corn salad that was on today's menu, but I will thaw frozen corn instead of using canned and halve the recipe. I have a great recipe that uses black beans in a chilaquiles-style casserole. That sounds like a nice dinner assuming I am back on my feet tomorrow. I picked up the ingredients I was missing for Robin Robertson's Comfort Loaf, so that will probably become a weekend dish. Decisions, decisions!
Monday, January 10, 2011
This is a verse from Robert Burns' poem "To a Mouse" written in 1786. It tells of how he upturned a mouse's nest while ploughing a field and is an apology to the mouse.
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane [you aren't alone]
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft a-gley, [often go awry]
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promised joy.
I used this poem because I love Burns and because "the best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley" is what my day was like today. My despair is certainly not as deep as his, but it was filled with plans gone awry all the same.
I got up at 6:30 this morning and had a nice breakfast consisting of 2 slices of Alavarado Street Bakery Sprouted Whole Wheat Bread, 2 tablespoons of MaraNatha Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter, and an organic banana. It was the same breakfast menu that I had yesterday, but it's what I felt like eating. I had a meeting at 9:30 and planned to leave around 9 so I would have plenty of time to get there and park.
Around 8:15 I started feeling really ill. I was cold, and I started having major GI distress. No further detail on that. I canceled my day, and I am staying home trying to feel better. I had a cup of Seitenbacher Vegetable Bouillon with some saltines midmorning. For lunch I had a bowl of Cream of Wheat. I'll have another cup of broth later. Dinner will be millet with some mushrooms. I have a can of Amy's No Chicken Noodle Soup and might have that instead. If I'm feeling a lot better, I'll have a potato with some Earth Balance No Soy Buttery Spread as a dinnertime treat.
[8 PM UPDATE: I steamed some small potatoes and ate them with peas and buttery spread. They were very tasty. I think I'm going to steam potatoes instead of boiling them whenever I can in the future. It really makes a difference, even to my not quite up to par palate.]
It's midafternoon now. Though I feel better, I'm not out of the woods yet. I'll take it easy for the rest of the day and hope I recover by morning. I must have some sort of virus. How annoying!
Bland and boring today - but still vegan.
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