Monday, November 30, 2009

Just like Orange Chicken!!!

Two days ago I blogged about how I was feeling so ravenous all day long. I attributed it to a lack of greens in my diet that day. It was my body searching out for nutrients it wanted. I wasn't "really" could I have been...I ate plenty of calories, yet I found myself hungry. As soon as I gave it a green monster shake the hunger for the rest of the evening was completely gone. I find that SO totally cool and interesting.

Our bodies are such amazing things.

Since that day I've paid close attention to my carb to greens intake to make sure I don't put my body in unnecessary nutrient shortage. Plus, who likes feeling hungry all day? NOT ME!

This morning I decided to change it up a bit and NOT have my standard oatmeal bowl! Boy o' boy did I certainly enjoy THIS breakfast! It was really really really good!

Left over (2) Apple Cinnamon Flax Pancakes with 1 Tbsp. of Almond Butter
Around 10:30 I felt my body signaling that it was hungry again so I decided to GREEN-IT-UP and make a Green Monster Smoothie!

Filled the blender full of kale and 1/2 cup of Almond Milk
Then added one scoop of Amazing Grass Chocolate Superfood
And one frozen banana...chopped up to make it easier to blend.
(Oh Santa...I'd really really love a VitaMix for Christmas!!!)
And Voila! One AWESOME smoothie!

Lunch did NOT let me down either. I was eagerly anticipating leftovers from the Meaty Vegan Green Bean Casserole I made last night. I stuck it back in the oven to re-crisp the crumbs on top. This has got to be one of my favorite dishes right now. I am soooo going to be making this for potlucks, etc. that we go to! Vegan or not, it will be a favorite!
For dinner tonight I wanted to try to recreate the essence of my meal at Tang's Thai restaurant the other night. It had a sweet orange/pineapple type sauce over it. After a quick internet search I found a recipe that I was able to tweek and turn into a very good meal!

Orange Chik'N

Morning Star Chik'N Patties (or marinated extra firm tofu)
1/8 tsp. ginger
2 Tbsp. agave nectar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Cup orange juice
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance spread
2 cups brown rice

Cook your brown rice & Chik'N patties as directed. While they are cooking combine the rest of the ingredients in skillet and heat on low until it bubbles and thickens.

I also decided to add some lightly roasted carrots and zucchini.
Once everything is done cooking, arrange how you see fit. I added the veggies first, scoop of brown rice next and chopped up Chik'N on top. Then drizzled the sauce over it.

I meant to add some sesame seeds, but totally forgot until I was half way thru eating this dish. I really liked this. I could have added twice the amount of veggies than I did. Next time I'll double the zucchini and add water chestnuts as well. Perhaps even some grilled pineapple would be great too!

Curious about your experience with eating greens.

Do you find yourself LESS hungry and more satisfied when you fill up on greens? What is your favorite way of incorporating them into your diet?

Juice Detox???

I need some advise, especially from you seasoned juicers/foodies!

While in many areas of my face I have found a glow, and healthy skin, my forehead STILL does not look as clear as it did when I was doing a high raw diet, with lots of juicing going on.

I'm considering doing a juice detox solely for the purpose of clearing my skin up, definitely NOT for weightloss. I'm enjoying my eats way too much (with the added benefit of losing weight along the way too), but really want to see my youthful complexion come back.

So my questions are these:

1. Have any of you had any success on a juice detox?
2. How long should I expect to be on it?
3. What juices do you recommend?
4. Can I do smoothies too or must stick strickly with juicing?
5. When I return to solid food eating will my skin issues re-appear and all will be for not?

I'd really love to hear from you all on these questions!!!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day of Sabbath Rest...

This morning, before heading out to church I had my customary breakfast: Coffee (with stevia only), oatmeal, granny smith apples, cinnamon, flaxseed, and dates. Sorry I'm so boring and stuck in a rut, I just really LOVE this breakfast! It is so scrumptious and keeps me full for a looooong time! If it ain't broke...why fix it right?
By the time we got home from service I was "Starvin' Marvin"!!! I threw together this salad: Romaine, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, sesame sticks, hummus and BBQ. With a side of leftover "Ain't Granny's Sweet Potatoe Casserole" from Thanksgiving!
Later on in the afternoon I got a wee bit hungry for a snack, it was not anywhere near dinnertime, so I decided to have one of my Chocolate Superfood Granola Bars I made the other day. So so good!
Dinner tonight was REALLY delish! (Man...I just realized that I'm saying everything I'm eating is REALLY good. But it IS! I'm so proud of my cooking self. I wasn't that much of a cook in days gone by, but I've really stepped it up a notch, or three, lately and have really grown HIGHLY fond of cooking and creating!)

This was my dinner plate tonight. I about licked the plate, literally.
We had a spinach with mandarin orange salad. Also included chopped pecans and red onion. Dressing was EVOO, balsamic vinegar and a small squirt of Agave Nectar.
We also had Rosemary & Thyme Roasted potatoes! I cooked them atop a piece of parchment paper and what a difference that made! They were evenly cooked and no darker side. Definitely going to be doing a lot more cooking with parchment paper!
And the main dish was this beauty! Meaty Vegan Green Bean Casserole I got from Mama Pea! I added an extra Tofurky Sausage Link to make it even more hearty. It was a HUGE hit, even from the little guys in the house! Daddy loved it too. It seriously is sooooo good and tastes like it should be loaded with fat, but it's NOT! Will most definitely be returning to this dish more often!!!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!

Yesterday was full of hustle and bustle! We had purchased our tree on Friday, but patiently waited for it to settle and absorb water for 24 hours before we decorated it! Okay, so we only waited about 20...sue me! :) First though....the boys were just itching to get started decorating but I had to get in a 4 mile run. Daddy was gone doing some work so I loaded up the car and took us to a local park that has a .8 mile looped track. The boys rode their bikes while I ran behind them. 5 laps later we were done, feeling accomplished, and on our way home!

I had my standard breakfast of oats, apples, dates, cinnamon, and flaxseed! DELISH!

Then we finally started to decorate!

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...
Found a cute spot for these random ornaments...over my kitchen island!
Decorated the tree with all of our favorite things!
Decked the halls (or banister in this case)!

Got these awesome tin soldiers last year and they found a perfect home above my cooktop!!!

For lunch I was feeling pretty hungry so I made me a humungous salad and some leftover Kale/Brown Rice soup!
The salad: Romaine, leftover marinated tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, zucchini, peppers, sesame sticks, hummus and BBQ sauce.

The soup: Let me know if you want the recipe but it's basically brown rice, kale, vegetable broth, lemon juice, onion. It was really really tasty and felt nice on this cold day!

A little bit later in the day I got hankering for something sweet and I opened this baby! Oh my word!!!! Cappuccino Coconut Bliss ROCKS MY SOCKS! I have a dear friend that introduced me to Starbucks Java Chip icecream back in the day. It IS really good. Not so really good for you. THIS so reminded me of it, but without the dairy and such! So Jenny....if you are may want to try this. I know how you are very particular with your icecream, but you may want to give this a shot. It's awesome!

Last night we got a date night! My mom took the boys for an overnight visit so we got to have a night to ourselves!
We went to this great Thai Place called Tangs! Everytime we go we are NEVER disappointed! We started with Tangs traditional thai salad. It's large enough to just order one and split!
And then.....I got the Jumbo Aloha! THIS is probably the best dish in the world at the moment. It was soooooo good and I soooooo enjoyed every last lick of the plate! Comes with 5 jumbo prawn shrimp atop al dente vegetables (zucchini and carrots) with fresh pineapple. On the side was jasmine rice and curry rice. Seriously this plate was so good to eat.
After dinner we went to see The Blindside. It was a GREAT movie, however, it was frustrating to sit thru an adult movie with several toddlers and babies in the audience and parents who don't seem to care if they are carrying on and disturbing the rest of the people there. UGH! Get a sitter!!!!

What a great weekend though. I don't want it to end.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


It's been a GREAT day today! I'll post more about that later, with pictures, but something is on my mind...

My hubby and I are having a date night tonight. And we are wanting to go to this really awesome Thai restaurant we've frequented before. And I want this shrimp dish he got last time. Really bad.

I'm thinking that makes me not so much a vegan! LOL But I'm okay with that. I really don't want a label anyways. Or the label I'll take, want to achieve, is a "healthy, balanced, sane (LOL) eater"

What veganism HAS taught me the last 6 weeks is my body can and does feel great on a plant based diet. My body responds well when I put good things in my body, and take care of my body thru vigorous exercise. I am worth taking care of.

I'll be back later, with pictures of the delish shrimp dish I am going to enjoy! :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday!!!

This is the first Black Friday that my mom and I haven't gotten up at the crack of dawn for this:
We typically just enjoy the hustle and bustle of everyone, sort of our kick off to a wonderful holiday season. But this year, since I've pretty much had all my Christmas shopping done, and I get up at 4:45am every other day of the week to go workout, I decided to stay home instead with my family!

I made us some Apple Cinnamon Flax Pancakes for breakfast! These were awesome. My kids didn't particularly like them, but that's not because they weren't incredible. I'm having a battle over food lately with my youngest. He is by far my more picky eater. It's the war of the wills right now. He is not adventuresome when it comes to eating new foods. He's particularly fine with eating the same thing everyday, that he knows he likes.

A little later in the day I got a bit hungry and I decided to make myself some chocolate Almond Milk using this product.
I didn't particularly like it. I guess I was expecting your old fashion chocolate milk taste. That's not what I got. If you drink this, how do you prepare yours???
For lunch I decided to make some Spinach Pies. While I was prepping the pies I got hungry, especially since the chocolate milk thing didn't go over so well, and munched on carrots and about 1/2 the tub of Sabra Roasted Red Pepper hummus! YUMMY!
To make the pies (which are super duper easy) I use one large bag of frozen (thawed) spinach leaves. Chop up one small onion. Juice of 2 lemons. Mix together.
For the dough I use the low fat crescent rolls (if you have a better suggestion I'm all ears). I roll each triangle out to make it larger. Place a large spoonful of spinach mixture on top.
Fold dough over on one side and pinch close.
Fold the other two sides over as well, pinching close.
Bake them on 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
These are so good. I actually ended up eating FOUR of them! For some reason I have been ravenous today! I was going to make a salad to go along with it but after shoving 4 in my pie hole I got momentarily full and decided against the salad!
All day today I have been so hungry. Like my body used to feel all the time. I know I shouldn't be hungry based on the number of calories I've consumed so I'm guessing that it's actually my body searching for a nutrient that I haven't given it today. Looking back on my eats so far I realized that it's VERY HIGH in carbs, and pretty low on veggies and greens! So I made myself a big ol' green monster!A LOAD of kale, banana, 2 scoops of Chocolate SuperGreens and water. Added it to my wine glass again...just feeling in the mood lately to drink from that cup. It just makes the drink FEEL special! :)

I was still in a baking kinda mood, and we were out of our granola bars, so I decided to make more of THESE except this time I decided to make them chocolate berry bars. I added the chocolate supergreens again (probably 1/4 cup), vegan chocolate chips and dried cranberries.

They turned out INCREDIBLE! So good for you too! Excited about having a bar tomorrow!

There have been many of you that I see that are stopping by my blog lately...but you're remaining quiet! :) Come on out...I'd love to hear from you!

Question for you all, especially those with kids: what do you do, or what have you done, especially with a picky eater to convert them over to a more vegetable based diet? I'm not expecting them to become vegans, or even vegetarians (Daddy also still loves meat) but I don't cook two meals. Therefore, when we are eating meat I just don't grab a portion of it for my plate, but when the main dish is vegan, I expect them to eat it, or go without. I've had many a tears lately, but it's just not something I'm willing to give on. I've NEVER been a mom that will cook two meals, vegan or not.

So what do you do for your family??

I survived!!

Well...I survived my first Thanksgiving without eating ANY turkey or anything laden with cream, butter and pork lard! LOL I did get a wee bit of the Spanish Inquisition during meal #2, and I'll tell you more about that...but let me share some pictures from my preparations pre-Thanksgiving!

First...I can't start talking about Thanksgiving without sharing a picture of my favorite part of my boys!

We always have two Thanksgiving meals. The first is in a small country town that my husband's mom grew up in. Several generations of family, included extended cousins, aunts, uncles, and MANY people we have no idea who they are, gather together around noon and have ourselves a big ol' time. These are country cooking folks. No waistlines are considered when eating here. In years past I'd be licking my lips to get to the meal...good stuff! Or so I thought!

Funny story though...I'm here in this small town and the conversation comes up from my sister-in-law that she heard from someone else that there is this blog called "Chocolate Covered Katie" that she said has lots of great healthy recipes! Katie...your infamous, even in remote parts of the USA, your name is sparking up during people's Thanksgiving meals...too funny!

For this stop on our Thanksgiving tour, I decided to bring some marinated tomatoes. Included is red tomatoes, yellow peppers, sweet onions, fresh basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, EVOO and a tsp of agave nectar. I let them marinate overnight...this was a GREAT dish. So glad I brought this b/c it was THE ONLY raw thing on the VAST table to eats!

Little side note: While I was doing all the Thanksgiving prep on Wednesday night, this was the kids dinner: Thai lettuce wraps and organic blue chips! :)
While I was cooking I decided to have some of this. I've heard so many people drinking these that I thought I would give it a whirl! I had no idea what flavor was the best, or most popular. I ended up popping open the cosmic cranberry one first and poured it into a wine glass. Note: Do not shake this prior to opening. I learned the hard way.
Is it just me or do these taste very vinegary?? I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't what I tasted. I ended up putting a few sprinkles of Stevia in it and enjoyed it much better that way. What say you? What's your favorite flavor? Do you drink it the way it comes? Do I just need to bear down and stop being whimpy? Does it matter if I doctor it up?
Then I got on with business and made some really yummo things! First I decided to use the Raw Chocolate Fudge Babies recipe as a crust for a Raw Chocolate Berry Pie!

First I blended up all the Fudge Baby ingredients and poured it into a pie tin. Press it down evenly, packing it as firmly as possible.
Then, to make the "syrup" that goes next I blended several fresh strawberries, a few dates and a 1/4 cup of water.
Pour that in the bottom of the pie. The night before I had sliced 2 pints of strawberries up and sprinkled some stevia over them and a tad of water and allowed them to "marinate". Next, arrange the berries over your syrup in whatever fashion floats your boat!
I decided to sprinkle a few vegan chocolate chips over the top too!
Here is a piece I sliced up for myself last night. It was sooooo good! Everyone raved about it and couldn't believe it wasn't bad for you! :)
Next I made Angela's This Ain't Granny's Sweet Potatoe Casserole. This is OUT OF THIS WORLD GOOD! And so easy too!

This picture is prior to cooking, so the top isn't nice and golden and glowing!
I also made a favorite...broccoli cashew salad. The ingredients included: two heads of raw broccoli, 3/4 cup of raw cashews, organic raisins and cranberries. For the dressing I used vegannaise, apple cider vinegar and agave nectar all blended together and then poured over the top.

Here is my plate at meal number one: pole beans, green beans, marinated tomatoes, Ain't Granny's sweet potato, cup of fruit! This meal was so satisfying. I did not miss out on anything as far as my palate or my tummy is concerned. I felt GREAT! While everyone else was moaning about how stuffed and tired they were, I felt like a million bucks!

Always for meal number 2 we go to my Dad's house and eat again. I had escaped any type of questions about my food preferences these days while at meal number 1. We were all scattered about and everyone eating at different times since there were so many to go thru the meal line that no one seemed to notice that my plate was missing the customary bird!

However, at my dad's with a more intimate setting, it didn't go unnoticed.

I really didn't want to draw attention to myself. I haven't even told my mom about how I've been eating...and we are really close. I know I even used to have this stigma about vegetarians, especially vegans, and I was sure they wouldn't understand. At one point my dad says to me "now I don't want you going and getting all unhealthy on me!" I about laughed and cried at the same time! REally? Are you kidding me! I am eating about as healthy as I have EVER eaten! I assured them that I'm eating ample food, quite the variety, color and taste and that they have nothing to fear. The inquisition only lasted about 5 minutes, for which I'm thankful. But there were a few turkey jokes and some bantering with me about them shoving in some meat in their mouths. Overall though they know I've got a sound mind on my shoulders and were accepting of my new decision. I'm hoping to inspire some of them with my results and how I feel.

The day went really well. It was the first Thanksgiving where I didn't come home miserable and with a belly ache. I'm no longer fearful of the holidays and what they mean in terms of an expanding waist line. Now I can truly just focus on enjoying the parties, the people, my family and friendships.

How was your Thanksgiving? What type of comments did you get from your healthy food choices?