Heading in the Right Direction

27 02 2012

And so begins week 10 of a switch to a plant based diet. I lost a pound this week which brings the total to over 47 pounds lost through diet, exercise and sickness. Trying to hit the 50 pounds down mark has proven to be difficult, but I’m making changes to facilitate it so we’ll see what happens. I feel pretty good that this will be the week that I see the plateau crumble and see some serious weight loss start up again. Limiting plant based fats like seeds and nuts and cutting out oils all together while increasing exercise should help to make make the difference.

As someone of an italian heritage, I’ve grown up around olive oil and it is used in an awful lot of meals. I thought for sure that switching away from it would prove difficult but it has not been. I’m using veggie broth to saute with and I am enjoying the natural taste of my veggies now. Very often in the past, asparagus would be covered with a coating of egg, breadcrumbs and cheese or wrapped with bacon or with a glaze of some sort. Don’t misunderstand me, bacon makes everything taste better, but it’s also nice to eat these vegetables and be able to just taste their natural flavors. Over the weekend I used broth to make an asparagus and zucchini wrap with dijon mustard that was amazingly good. I’m using alternatives for salad dressing and enjoying the the results more than I did when I was using oil. I recently heard about a semi-local retailer that is selling 13 year old vinegars that are reportedly so good, nothing else is needed for a fantastic salad dressing. I’ll be eager to check that out at some point. It’s interesting that when you cut out a lot of the processed foods, fats and oils, you feel like your taste for things really begins to more fully develop. I recently had a small portion of macaroni with no sauce or any other topping and it was the most enjoyable pasta that I have eaten in quite a while. A few moths ago, I would of rejected the idea of plain pasta, but now it is an absolute treat.

I thought I’d be upset about not getting further along this week but I’m slowly getting to the point where I feel like weight loss cannot be the only measure of success. “Further along” is relative. I feel good, so good that how I feel must also be factored in. And as long as I’m heading in the right direction with my weight, thats fine by me.





Veggies – the Perfect Prescription

23 02 2012

So the Broccoli Rabe soup came out fantastic. As I tried it, I was thinking of how much my mother and grandmother would enjoy it. My mom stopped by today and tried a little and told me it was some of the best soup she has ever had. Success!  This soup is hearty!

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I love cajun food and recently came across this recipe. I’m hoping to give it a try soon! It would have been perfect for Fat Tuesday!

CHICKPEA GUMBO (From Fat Free Vegan)
2 teaspoons olive oil (or 2 tablespoons water or broth—see SUSAN’s TIPS)
1 tablespoon flour
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 cups vegetable broth
1 28-ounce can tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with juice
1 16-ounce can chickpeas (drained)
16 ounces sliced okra, fresh or frozen
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 tablespoon Tabasco
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
1-2 cups additional broth or water

In a large pot over medium-high heat, sauté the onions, pepper, and celery in the olive oil. When the onions begin to get translucent, add the flour and stir continuously, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the flour begins to brown slightly. Add the vegetable broth and tomatoes, stirring to combine. Then add the remaining ingredients.

The gumbo should have enough liquid to resemble a chunky soup; if it is too dry, add some more vegetable broth or water. Cook for at least 30 minutes, until the flavors have a chance to mingle. Remove the bay leaves and serve over rice.

Veggie sausage can also be added!

That’s it for today, Brother Body wants some rest now!





Weekend Comfort Foods!

3 02 2012

Just spoke with a friend who I haven’t seen in some time.  He has lost over a hundred pounds and is eating a mostly raw foods diet.  That is amazing!   What an inspiration.

“Human beings have great potential; they can do anything.  The power of the mind is incredible, limitless.”
-Lama Thubten Yeshe
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Some folks have been sharing some fantastic recipes with me lately so I thought that I’d pass a few along:

VEGAN SPLIT PEA SOUP
one bag split peas
3 carrots – chopped
1 chopped onion
Baby red potatoes – chopped in half
2 tablespoons garlic
2 bay leaves (remove before serving if you  can find them)
1 Tablespoon cumin
1/2 Tablespoon marjoram
9 cups vegetable broth
Dash of cayenne pepper
slow cooker – all day
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VEGETARIAN MEATLESS MEATLOAF
One Pkg extra Firm Tofu
1 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1/3 Ketchup
3 tblsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 Medium Chopped Onion
1 Cub Italian Bread Crumbs
2 eggs (or egg beaters)
Mix
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9 inch square baking dish.
  2. In a bowl, mix,  Place the mixture into the prepared pan, and mold into a loaf shape.
  3. Bake the meatloaf 30-40 minutes in the preheated oven.

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VEGETARIAN GRAVY
http://allrecipes.com/Video/117/Vegetarian-Gravy/Detail.aspx

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And this fantastic link (that won’t link for some reason) to a downloadable file of plant-based recipes for the big game from “Forks Over Knives”.

http://www.forksoverknives.com/recipes-for-super-bowl-xlvi/

Have a great weekend friends!








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