Wednesday, August 22, 2012

2nd meal (snack)

Vegan chili leftovers from Meatless Monday. Really delicious, and even better as leftovers! I eat it with cheese on mine, so my meal was vegetarian, not vegan, but that works for me. I just don't like vegan cheese substitutes I've tried so far. Here's the recipe: next time I think I'll only use one can of pinto beans, and it will be just as delicious.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pesto - Raw Food you may already eat

Yesterday was Meatless Monday, and I guess today is Italiano Tuesday.

I love pesto. Did you know it is often made raw, and can be made with any number of ingredients? I first fell in love with pesto as a child, but didn't know what was in it. Later, I started asking restaurants where I found it particularly delicious, what is in this stuff? And soon I realized it can be as simple as 3 little ingredients, olive oil, nuts, and basil. It can also have cheese in it like Parmigiana or Romano, but I don't think cheese would qualify as raw. I'll have to look that up. Anyway, I left it out of this recipe, as I figured it's easier to just shake some on and know the measurements since I keep track of exactly what I eat on at least 3 days a week. If you choose to add cheese, I'd add about 1/2 an ounce, taste, and see if you want more.

Today I made some with Thai Basil from my neighbor's garden, (Thanks Amy!) and some pistachios that needed to be used up. We have a tiny food processor, so here's the slightly more complex recipe I used:

1 cup of Thai basil (just the leaves, flowers and stems excluded) 
1/2 cup of green pistachios
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Spicy Pasta Olive Oil 

The Spicy Olive Oil is a seasoned oil from The Dipping Well, a locally owned store that just opened down the street from us near 26th Ave and Baseline I believe. It basically has roasted peppers, basil, and sea salt infusing the oil, so you could add the above to some olive oil if you're not in the Phoenix, AZ area.

Pulse a bit to begin mixing, adding olive oil between pulses, and then using a spatula, push ingredients down and pulse until it is the consistency you want. You may need to push it down a few times to get all the leaves and nuts well chopped and blended. I chose to use less olive oil than most recipes I've found, because I am watching my weight and pesto is a high fat food. All good fats, but still, something to be aware of. 

For lunch I had some on flaked salmon with wilted spinach and arugula and a pear. BtW, we got some amazing pears from a neighbor recently. DELICIOUS! If I had my aquaponics system up and running, I could have had everything grown at home or from neighbors. But we canned some of those pears, and today I gave a can to the wonderful lady who gives me as much basil as my heart desires. Why spend money on food, when you can share your excess with neighbors! I call it being neighborly, but I suppose in a way, it's a form of Freeganism. I am not freegan myself, but I try to incorporate as many sustainable practices in my life as I can. Step by step, I've been learning and adding more. 

Who knew Thai Basil would be so good in pesto! It has a more floral scent and taste than Italian Basil, but is very good. Everyone who has tried it today has enjoyed it. And I didn't end up putting any cheese on my meal, which means I can have some on my chicken spaghetti later for dinner. Hooray! 

First meal

Half a bagel, peanut butter and organic strawberries. Yum!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Meatless Mondays

Today is our first ever official Meatless Monday as a family. I'm a flexitarian, as in I eat some vegetarian and some carnivorous meals. Most days, I get at least one vegetarian meal. Recently at work, Patch asked their dietitian how she could lose weight and be at her healthiest, and told the dietitian about my current method of eating. The lady said "Do what he's doing" so Patch has started heading down the same path towards health I'm on. Now I'm no dietitian, so I plan to meet with a dietitian myself to make sure that we're getting all the necessary nutrients, but in the mean time we're basically following the DTOUR plan with some vegan or vegetarian meals mixed in, and a few of our standard favorites, or some new twists on old comfort food.

While on vacation, Patch and I agreed that we will start having vegetarian and vegan meals all day every Monday starting today. Carlie wasn't there and I can't remember if we shared this little gem with her, but the two of us are a go, and Carlie will either join in or not. Often if we prepare delicious food, everyone else eats it too, so maybe she'll start having some accidentally vegetarian days. I'll ask her tonight if she wants to try it out with us.

So here's what today's food adventures look like:

Breakfast: (serves 1)
Shredded Wheat spoon sized cereal, 1 cup
Almond Milk, unsweetened, original, 1.5 cups
Raw cashews, 1 oz
(Shredded wheat really soaks up the milk and I would have liked to put some berries on there too, but we were out)

Shopping trip! I looked up a couple of vegetarian meals, made a list of the ingredients plus a few salad fixins, and we went to Fresh and Easy where found everything on our list, most of it in the organic section. Put Vegetarian Chili on to cook after shopping for Dinner, it takes 3 to 6 hours to cook down to the correct consistency depending on method of cooking.

Snack: (serves 2)
1 head of Romaine Lettuce
1 cup arugula
2 oz pistachio nuts
1 stalk celery
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon white balsamic

 Lunch: (serves 4)
Vegetarian Stir Fry
1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 cups water
1 head bok choy
1 can baby corn
1 can water chestnuts
1/2 cup raw cashews
3 baby sweet peppers (1 red, 1 orange, 1 yellow)
1/2 onion (chopped)
1 stalk celery
2 cups bean sprouts
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons seasoning sauce of choice

 Snack: (serves 2)
1 apple
1 whole grain bagel
4 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter

Dinner: (serves 8)
Vegan Chili (This smells amazing!)
2 cans sliced pear tomatoes, 28 oz each
1 can diced roasted red tomatoes, 15 oz (in basil sauce)
1 can tomato paste, 4 oz
1 can black beans, 15 oz (remove liquid)
1 can butter beans, 15 oz (remove liquid) 2 cans pinto beans,
15 oz (remove liquid)
1 medium sweet potato
2 cups diced celery
1 medium red onion
3 baby sweet peppers
1 tablespoon garlic
3 tablespoons chili powder
top with cheese if you're vegetarian, cheese substitute if you're vegan

Dessert: (serves 3)
6 whole grain fig cookies
12 large strawberries, sliced
6 tablespoons spray whipped cream (fat free)

Movie snack:
Kale Chips from 1 head of Kale, flavored to request (see previous entries for various recipes)

Obviously these are just lists of ingredients and not full recipes. If you would like to see the full recipes for lunch and dinner, please let me know and I'll write them out.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Vegetable Tortellini Soup

Patch made this soup today. She doesn't cook from a recipe, but wrote this down for me and I translated. If you're vegan, obviously you won't want to use cheese tortellini but we really enjoyed it and so far today has been a vegetarian day for both of us. :)

Flax seeds

Flax seeds, when ground, are a wonderful thing to put in bread.  They add omega three oil, and if i'? Not mistaken, fiber. But... I have a difficult time putting them in smoothies because of the texture. Today i am trying them on my togurt. I am not really sure that will eork fir me either. Maybe if i bake them into a healthy granola i could put that on things.

What do you put flax seeds in? How else do you get omega 3's in your diet?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Salad and dressing

I feel like I've been neglecting an important part of the yumness around here. That would be salads and dressing.

There are so many wonderful salads i've been trying out lately. Like this one! Red leaf lettuce with red bell peppers, bean sprouts, peanuts and orange pear vinegrette. Yum! Sometimes a simple salad really hits the spot.