Saturday, October 31, 2009

All Saints' Eve / Reformation Day

It's early afternoon as I start this post and I haven't thought of making anything celebratory for the occasion of the day, but when I hit the grocery later maybe I'll get some sausages for the folks, sauerkraut, that kind of thing . . . as for me? Let me think on that.

Decision: bratwurst and sauerkraut on small rolls for the family, and for me some of their baked beans and sauerkraut and . . .


1 bunch fresh asparagus, cut into 1-1/2" segments
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1-1/2"-long narrow strips
4-6 kalamata or other olive bar olives, with a bit of their oil/marinade, each quartered
4-6 marinated mushrooms (no oil), each quartered

Heat about a teaspoon of olive marinade in a skillet, then add the lower stem pieces of asparagus and saute for two or three minutes, then add the upper stem pieces and the pepper, then the olives and mushrooms and saute all until tender.

Verdict: Good. After Italian dressing for lunch I wasn't really ready for this flavor, but it's a nice mix of the sweet pepper, the piquant olives, and the musky asparagus. I shared but ate most of this myself.


Breakfast--1/2 banana with peanut butter and flax seed meal, 1/2 pink grapefruit

Lunch--Salad of almost one whole heart of romaine, 1/3-1/2 cup black beans, 1/4-1/3 cup canned corn, a radish, and drizzled Red Bull Inn low-cal Italian dressing (25 calories in 2 tablespoons, 20 of those calories from fat); 1/2 cup butternut squash microwaved with a dozen "boozy cherries" (small tart cherries that were soaked in vodka and sugar to make liqueur this summer), with a scattering of roasted edamame on top; large pear

Tea Party--Several roasted mixed nuts (under an ounce)

Supper--ASPARAGUS OLIVE SKILLET; cup of QUINOA MUSHROOM SOUP; cup canned baked beans with sauerkraut mixed in; red grapes; one tablespoon cherry liqueur (in process since June and ready today!)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Nutritarian in a Nutshell

Click on the title of this post or here to find a pdf file of an article in Women's World that summarizes Dr. Fuhrman's principles in just a couple of pages. I must say I don't read Women's World and the cover is sort of embarrassingly National Enquirer, but the material is easily digested. Ha ha.

Friday Fish

I've been thinking about having some fish, so a Friday night seemed just the time for that--kind of celebratory, very traditional . . .

I think I need to go to the store--I've used up the last of a lot of things recently!


1 South Beach Living Multi-Grain Wrap (110 calories, 8 grams fiber)
2 tablespoons MOOSEWOOD HUMMUS (finally using up the last of it)
1/4 - 1/3 cup canned refried beans
several sliced grape tomatoes
several small slices red onion
fresh baby spinach leaves

Spread hummus all over one side of wrap, then spread refried beans over that. Stud half of the surface with tomatoes and onion and then lay spinach over that. Fold in half and cut into three or four wedges.

Verdict--Very Good. This is a revision of the KALE/LEMON SANDWICH I had the other day and not quite as spectacular, but very nice and easy. I contemplate mixing PESTO with the refried beans for a different take on it at another time. This is a great way to use up bits of things in the fridge, Dagwood style.

CREOLE POLLOCK WITH SPINACH AND RICE (Adapted from pp. 183-184 of Eat For Health )

The original recipe is for chicken, but I've used the equivalent in pollock loins (Costco frozen item--nutrition content very similar). The recipe calls for browning thin slices of chicken breast in oil, then adding celery, onions, pepper, tomato products, and some seasoning for a Creole kick. My version is actually easier, though I wouldn't try it with a thin fish like flounder. I sauteed the chopped veggies first and then added a bit of mashed anchovy and balsamic vinegar for a deeper flavor. I scooted the veggies over in the pan and laid down the firm pollock pieces, covering them with the veggies and then the canned tomatoes, with fresh spinach going on top at the end to simmer until the fish was poached, basically. I also added a dash of sweet white wine and at the end a teaspoon of sugar to correct the harshness.

Verdict--Excellent. Very intense flavors, and the fish was nice and firm. The nutrition data from the original recipe (very similar to mine) is 359 calories, 23g protein, 65g carb, 3g fat, 148g sodium per serving (which includes 1/4 cup of dry brown rice, cooked with appropriate water--is the yield of that about 2/3 of a cup?)



Lunch--TWO-BEAN SANDWICH WRAP, Tuscan melon (a cup or so)

Snack--Golden delicious apple, 1/2 ounce mixed nuts

Supper--CREOLE POLLOCK WITH SPINACH AND RICE, orange, one Harry & David chocolate eyeball (25 calories) ;-)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Purple, Confetti, and 'Shrooms


1/2 cup frozen homegrown blackberries
1/4 cup frozen homegrown sour cherries
1/3 frozen banana
A dozen or so frozen strawberries
A tablespoon or so flax seed meal
Smallish handful fresh spinach
Water to blend

Blend all together. I added a teaspoon or two of sugar because it was quite tart. Another banana would have fixed that. Half of this is a tall glass.

Verdict--Very Good. I love using our homegrown stuff!


One whole romaine heart, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1/2 can black beans, drained
1/4-1/3 can corn
Tablespoon dehydrated onion
1/4 cup or more salsa
Tablespoon guacamole
Tablespoon-plus plain yogurt

Combine chopped vegetables in a large bowl, and heat beans, corn, onion, and salsa together to put on top. Garnish with a "dressing" of the combined guacamole and yogurt. I "guesstimate" this whole salad is about 400 calories. Note: I recently purchased single servings of salsa and guacamole in a combo pack at Costco. This makes them very convenient to use for a take-along salad of these ingredients!

Verdict--Excellent, and a very filling lunch. The sweetness and "bite" of the corn work nicely in the combination. It would be great with diced tomato and perhaps raw onion, but I just didn't make it that way. :-) By the way, I've taken to making my salads in the serving bowl that goes with my everyday dishes--a regular bowl just won't hold it all!


Tablespoon olive oil
2 sliced medium onions
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup quinoa
1 pint beef stock or broth
1 quart water (these two ingredients in appropriate proportions for flavor)
1 pound portabella mushrooms, sliced
Tablespoon or so dry sherry
Seasoning as needed

Saute the onion and garlic in oil until browned and softened, then add quinoa and brown slightly. Add broth and water and bring to a boil, adding mushrooms and then simmering until quinoa grains burst and release their curly threads and mushrooms are tender.

Verdict--Good. I have never cooked with quinoa before, and I started it before I added the mushrooms and overcooked the quinoa. The recipe above reflects the adjustment that should be made. The nutritional value of it is good because of the higher protein content than with grains (it's actually a seed), but I'm not sure what I think. I'll try something else with it soon. I think this soup would be very nice with barley, too, or even brown rice.


Breakfast--DEEP PURPLE GREEN SMOOTHIE (half the recipe)


Snack--Adorable little cookie tart Betsy created for me from ground raw almonds and oats, a dab of cream cheese and butter to hold it together, egg white, a dash of Cointreau, and frozen peaches from our trees. She wanted to experiment with Nutritarian-type ingredients, and the firm-but-crisp little wafers were wonderful, especially with the juicy peaches on top. Two small ones totaled probably about 125 calories at most. I felt pampered. :-)

Supper--QUINOA MUSHROOM SOUP (about a cup, representing about 100 calories of quinoa); 1/2 cup butternut squash with a tablespoon of raisins and cinnamon and ginger; green beans; large pear

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Great Sandwich, and . . .

. . . an important interview regarding the efficacy of a plant-based diet in preventing and curing heart disease. I am thankful that even when I was twenty-something pounds heavier I had fairly decent "numbers" for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, etc., and they improved to pretty much normal, if not optimal, the last time I had blood work done, a bit less than the weight I am now, a couple of years ago. But I know that in my late forties I am on the inevitable road toward difficulties in all these areas, especially if I stay overweight. I am glad to be working on it pretty aggressively and hope to be a poster child for Nutritarian concepts. :-)

In exploring links in that interview I found these recipes from Dr. Esselstyn, and I had the greens sandwich for lunch!


I have a lot of spinach, so I substituted that for the kale, and my MOOSEWOOD HUMMUS (a bit left over still) does have tahini in it. See below for the ingredients I used.

Verdict--Excellent. I like the advice to toast the bread to real crispness, and I expect the spinach might be even better than kale on top. I squeezed it out well and chopped it to keep it all neater.


Breakfast--Leftover GREEN PEAR SMOOTHIE (from frozen solid it defrosted beautifully in the microwave on the setting for a pound of ground beef :-) ); half a banana with peanut butter and flax seed meal

Lunch--KALE/LEMON SANDWICH, REVISED (Arnold's Sandwich Thin, MOOSEWOOD HUMMUS, steamed fresh spinach to yield about 1/2 cup, several grape tomatoes, sliced red onion and pepper, cilantro frozen from our garden, lemon )

Snack--Small local apple

Supper--Butternut squash (about 1/2 cup) heated with a dozen raisins, a tablespoonful of roasted mixed nuts, and a dash of cinnamon. Wow, this is great! Leftover CAULIFLOWER CURRY (about 1/2-3/4 cup) with a few leftover peas and a little leftover RAITA SALAD; fruit salad (about a cup) that hubby made from Tuscan melon, canned pineapple, apple, banana, and kiwi. I love it when somebody else makes something! I put some flax seed meal on that.

Snack--Leftover oatmeal (about 3/4 cup) with blueberries and a few almond slivers. (I was pretty hungry about 8pm, but I could have gotten by with about half of what I had.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Another Restaurant


Breakfast--oatmeal with cinnamon and nutmeg, tiny frozen blueberries, and lightly toasted almond slivers

Lunch--At Jordan's Restaurant in Grove City, I learned that the Filipino Lumpia (spring roll) was fried, so I ordered Jordan's Salad, a platter of mixed greens (mostly iceberg) with shreds of purple cabbage and red onion rounds, a dill pickle spear, and two tomato wedges. I asked for the balsamic vinaigrette (little or no oil that I could discern) and used just a couple of tablespoons, and I asked for the eggs and cheese on the side, putting a few slices of boiled egg white on the salad and leaving the rest of those things, including the garlic bread, for hubby and to take home. He ordered the Greek Pizza--very nice!--and I had the toppings from one small slice and one bite of the crust. The topping was red onion, Greek olives, fresh spinach barely wilted, slivers of sundried tomato, feta, garlic, and oil and was delicious. At home I had a cup of baked beans to finish things off--definitely hungry still before that!

Snack--Big, juicy pear (Kudos to Costco! I've been enjoying these for a week!)

Supper--Leftover CAULIFLOWER CURRY (about 1 cup), leftover SPINACH WHITE BEAN SOUP (about 1-1/2 cups, lots of broth), 3/4 of a pink grapefruit

Monday, October 26, 2009

Transformation / Inspiration

Emily Boller's "Transformation" website has been a real inspiration to me, and I've just re-read the whole thing, agreeing with her all the way, even though my journey has been so much shorter so far. Read it and be inspired!

Progress Report, Spinach and White Bean Soup


2 cups chicken stock (homemade preferable, with carrot, celery, onion, and garlic, fat skimmed off)
4 cups water (I should have used less, as I needed to add bouillon to give it some flavor)
1/2 onion, chopped (I used red)
1/4 cup chopped green and red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
three big handfuls (handsful?) fresh spinach, about six cups
1 cup navy beans
1 cup butter beans
Optional: 1 cup cooked pasta plus pesto (I used leftover PESTO PASTA)
Seasonings to taste--Italian herbs, salt and pepper, bouillon cubes

Simmer the stock, water, onion, pepper, and garlic together until flavors begin to release, then add the rest of the ingredients and simmer ten minutes to a half hour to meld flavors.

Verdict--Excellent. I had chicken on the side for my lunch mate to enjoy in her soup. The key is having good stock and seasonings. I think a veggie stock would work well, too, if it had plenty of body. Garlic is crucial.


Breakfast--Tuscan melon, halved red grapes, small local apple, flax seed meal

Lunch--SPINACH WHITE BEAN SOUP (two bowls full!)

Snack--Large pear, one ounce or so raw almonds and roasted mixed nuts

Supper--Small can V-8, 1/2 cup baked butternut squash with sprinkles of nutmeg and cinnamon, one cup cooked frozen peas mixed with a small can of sliced mushrooms, a few sliced grape tomatoes, slivers of sage from the garden, and a dash of dry sherry. (I should have left out the tomatoes--they were pretty but the flavor wasn't right with the rest of the mellowness.)


Down three pounds this week, for a total of six pounds in two weeks!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Pasta


1 large ripe pear, cut up
1/3 cup canned pineapple chunks with a bit of their juice
1 frozen banana
handful of fresh spinach
1-2 tablespoons flax seed meal
ice and water to preference

Whirl it all up in the blender and enjoy! I had about half for my breakfast.

Verdict--Very Good. It was almost too sweet--I could have stood more spinach, perhaps


2 cups cooked whole-wheat penne
scant 1 tablespoon pesto (homemade, skimpy on oil)
1/2 cup marinated mushrooms (herbs, garlic, no oil)
drizzle of red wine

Toss hot pasta with pesto, add sliced mushrooms and wine, and heat. Half of this was my serving for Sunday Dinner.

Verdict--Good. It was satisfying, but I found myself feeling I'd have preferred less penne and more of something else veggie--zucchini, perhaps. I had more a sense of hunger later in the day, perhaps because of the "refined" carbs.



Sunday Dinner--Carrots with MOOSEWOOD HUMMUS for a dip; PESTO PASTA; broccoli with lemon

Snack--Local Paula Red apple; 1/4 cup mixture roasted edamame, peanuts, dried apricot, raisins

Supper--At a reception a few grapes and a bit of pineapple with some cashews; at home leftover CAULIFLOWER CURRY and green beans

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Easy Saturday


Breakfast--Toasted Arnold's Sandwich Thin (link in previous post) with peanut butter, flax seed meal, and banana

Lunch--1/2 cup kidney beans; 3/4 cup mixture of leftover CROCK POT CHILI, rice, and corn; 1 mini chicken taco (Costco, 50 calories) for a condiment with salsa and a bit of diced pepper and onions

Snack--Pink grapefruit

Supper--Salad of romaine and spinach with radishes and canned beets, topped with about two ounces of tuna salad (small amount of light mayo) and some of the RAITA SALAD for a dressing; canned baked beans with added dried onion and dijon mustard; red grapes

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Craving Curry

My plate was so pretty at supper I asked hubby Glenn to take a photo of it:


Use the link to see the recipe (cauliflower, tomatoes, red onion, coriander from our garden, cumin, hot green pepper, cilantro from a frozen paste made earlier this summer from our garden). I made it with just one tablespoon of oil and with part of an anaheim pepper instead of a jalapeno, and most of a small can of diced tomatoes and their juice. For the rest of the family I served rice and pork chops with this.

Verdict--Very Good. I prefer sweet curries, but this has a nice, clean flavor. Hubby thinks it could use more hot pepper.


1 cucumber, partially peeled and sliced fairly thin
1/4 cup plain lowfat yogurt
1 teaspoon honey
several fresh mint leaves, snipped
dash of salt

Verdict--Very Good. I wanted something cool to go with that cauliflower!


I have the original of The New Moosewood Cookbook (Mollie Katzen's Classic Cooking), and the above link explains the procedure and ingredients for Mollie Katzen's recipe. I omitted the scallions, yogurt, and cumin, and I scanted on the tahini, but I doubled up on the garlic. I haven't had tahini in the house for a long time, so we got used to olive-oil hummus, which is good but different from this.

Verdict--Excellent. I really enjoyed this as a dip for baby-cut carrots. Very satisfying and rich.


Breakfast--Leftover steel-cut oats with apples, microwaved with a handful of frozen blueberries and a sprinkling of walnuts

Lunch--Leftover STUFFED GARDEN VEGGIES (I was thrilled to find these in the back of the fridge--one pepper and one zucchini boat, with the tomato sauce garnish!); giant pear

Snack--Small orange

Supper--CAULIFLOWER CURRY, RAITA SALAD, HUMMUS with carrots to dip in it, steamed green beans from our garden, small serving of sweet white wine

Supper turned into a feast tonight!

Green Smoothie Redux

Thanks to Natalie for the tip about using pineapple in a green smoothie!


1 frozen banana
1 large tangerine
8 or so canned pineapple chunks, with some of their juice
2 cups (one large handful) fresh spinach
1-2 tablespoons flax seed meal
water as needed to blend

Combine in blender and whirl. Makes two large glasses (I had both)

Verdict--Very good. I liked this combination.


2 oz can anchovies in oil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup minced onion
Balsamic vinegar to taste (I used about 2-3 tablespoons, I think)

Mash anchovies into a saucepan over low heat, then add other ingredients and simmer until onions are softened.

I spread a little onto one half of an Arnold's Sandwich Thin and baked it in the oven until crisp, to add a lot of pizzazz to my salad (below).

Verdict--Good. I have never before cooked with anchovies that I can remember, so this was an adventurous move. I think a little of this on cooked zucchini would be good.



Lunch--Leftover filling from STUFFED GARDEN VEGGIES tossed with 1-1/2 cups homegrown broccoli and a small zucchini, steamed; portion of a pear, red grapes

Snack--About a dozen raw almonds

Supper--Salad of mostly spinach with some romaine, topped with 1/2 cup navy beans (rinsed) tossed with onion, bell peppers, and tomato in lite raspberry vinaigrette dressing and garnished with bits of the ANCHOVY SPREAD toasted on an Arnold Sandwich Thin half; Tuscan melon

Confession: I didn't particularly enjoy my supper tonight. There are other issues getting me down at the moment, but another combo of greens and beans and vinegar just wasn't exciting to me. I think I'll thumb through the recipes in Eat for Health and see what I can come up with to inspire me. I already have a cauliflower curry planned . . .

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Busy Day and a Big Salad

Today I had a lot of errands to run, so I stuck a small orange and some mixed nuts in my purse, and boy am I glad I did that! As it was I barely felt hungry until I was also feeling woozy, and I'd stood in a Starbucks cafe in a Barnes & Noble and despaired of anything I could eat there. So I'm thankful for that orange and the nuts.


Breakfast--Leftover steel-cut oats cooked with apple

Lunch (about 2 pm)--Small orange and about an ounce of mixed nuts

Pre-Supper (about 5 pm)--A scant cup of CROCK POT CHILI with the meat picked out

Supper--Large salad of romaine and spinach, with bell pepper, onion, chunks of canned beets (I just like them! :-) ), marinated mushrooms (no oil), and about 60 calories' worth of a creamy cucumber dressing, with a sprinkling of dry-roasted edamame on top. For dessert, a large pear.

I think I need to be more careful to get enough to eat through the day, because I was quite dizzy (though not especially hungry) when I had that "emergency chili" as soon as I got home from the errands. After supper and a couple of hours later I think I feel fine.

I had fun at Costco picking out some interesting things to try in the days to come, including Tuscan melon, the marinated mushrooms, and quinoa, and old favorites like the giant bag of fresh spinach, tiny frozen blueberries, and dried apricots. I'm amazed that I still have little craving for the treats, and I even bought fewer of those than I might have otherwise--candy on sale, muffins from the bakery, a giant pepperoni pizza (never have liked pepperoni too much).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Adapting at the Restaurant

Today Glenn and I went to a local restaurant, the Elephant and Castle, for lunch. There was absolutely nothing I could order as-is from the printed menu to conform to nutritarian principles, so I asked if I could get the Thai Chicken Salad at a reduced cost for leaving off the chicken. No go, but I could get all the toppings on the side, so I went ahead and ordered it. Here's the description:

Thai Chicken Salad 8.99 [I think it was 7.99 today!]
Grilled chicken with Thai peanut sauce, crisp greens, roasted red
peppers, red onions, water chestnuts, cashews, chow mein noodles
and cilantro garnish. Tossed in our homemade red wine vinaigrette.
It arrived with the chicken breast on top, so I just set it aside and brought it home later with most of the chow mein noodles (I ate a half dozen of those :-) ). They were out of Thai peanut sauce, and the vinaigrette came in a cup and could not have been made with red wine, but it was good anyway. I began by spooning off most of the oil from the cup of vinaigrette, then dressed the salad with that and a lime wedge, and I enjoyed it thoroughly!


Breakfast--Steel-cut oats cooked with homegrown honeycrisp apples, with raisins and walnuts

Lunch--ELEPHANT AND CASTLE THAI CHICKEN SALAD with variations as above

Rest of Lunch--1/2 cup CROCK POT CHILI mixed with half a can of red kidney beans, topped with chopped peppers and onions; pink grapefruit

Supper--Two small zucchini chopped and simmered in a couple of tablespoons of white wine, then a handful of fresh spinach added to wilt, then about a third of a cup of Ragu, then about a half to 3/4 cup of leftover filling from GARDEN STUFFED VEGETABLES, all heated together a bit. This was almost too much to eat.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Progress Report, a Green Smoothie, and a Recipe from the Book

I have to admit I was dubious reading about green drinks and "delicious green smoothies" and such, but I decided to give it a try today with a combination that sounded good, with light citrus that seemed to work with spinach.


1/4 honeydew melon
3 oz. or 1/3 of the bag or a big handful or about 4 cups raw spinach
1 tangerine
1 small orange
1 kiwi
water and ice cubes for consistency

Combine ingredients and blend to desired consistency.

Verdict--Pretty Good. This was a good first try, and I'm actually encouraged to try again later. The fruit flavors aren't as intense as I'd like normally, but it's refreshing. I like it even better as I get near the end of the glass. About half of this makes a huge glassful.

GARDEN STUFFED VEGETABLES from Eat For Health: Lose Weight, Keep It Off, Look Younger, Live Longer (2 book set), by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

I adapted this recipe from the book, which calls for a mixture of veggies, quinoa, lentils, raisins, and walnuts stuffed into bell peppers, zucchini, and portabello mushrooms and topped with tomato sauce before baking. I substituted barley for the quinoa and used real mozzarella (about 3 oz) to hold the filling together instead of the cheese substitute in the recipe. I served this to the family on rice. Close to what the recipe suggests, I had mine over romaine with lite balsamic vinaigrette.

Verdict--Excellent! We all enjoyed this, and I'm glad there's some filling left over to do something with later.

By the way, I am contemplating joining the member center at, and the fee includes the above e-book "free," though I purchased it for about $25 several months ago. If anyone reading this is interested in getting that e-book at a nice discount, please email me at so we can discuss it. The customer service people said I am welcome to assign the link for the book to any computer I like.


Breakfast--two egg whites scrambled with salsa on one half an Arnold Sandwich Thin (100 calories, 6 grams fiber for both halves), the other half with a spread of homemade strawberry jam

Lunch--1/2 cup Progresso lentil soup; 1/2 cup leftover PESTO SKILLET; GREEN MELON SMOOTHIE


Down three pounds from last week :-)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Chili, Pesto Skillet

Today I made crock pot chili for lunch for after church. As with most crock pot (slow cooker) recipes, it's very flexible, including in the timing, but I'm just reporting what I did.


1 lb lean stew beef in chunks
2 large cans diced tomatoes (with their juice)
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium-hot anaheim peppers
3 ribs celery
1/4 cup McCormick chili seasoning
1 teaspoon cumin
2 cans kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
salt to taste

Start beef and tomatoes with juice on high in the crock pot. After two hours, add chopped veggies and spices, and after a half hour more, turn pot down to low. After three hours, turn to high again and add beans, drained or undrained, as desired.

My family ate this over rice, as we like to do, and I had it over shredded romaine and spring mix salad, with chopped bell peppers and onion and tomato as a garnish. I picked out the beef chunks and left them for others. :-)

Verdict--Very Good. Ours, with the liquid from the pintos but not from the other beans, was a bit on the watery side, but it will probably be fabulous as leftovers.


1 zucchini, sliced into finger-size pieces
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 lb bag frozen Italian vegetables (my mix has broccoli, cauliflower, Italian beans, lima beans, and carrots)
1 tablespoon homemade pesto (heavy on basil, light on oil)

In a heavy iron skillet, heat olive oil and then add zucchini, garlic, and onion and saute until browned on the edges, then add bag of frozen vegetables and stir frequently over medium heat until tender. Stir in pesto.

Verdict--Good. The carrots in this mix, as well as the fresh zucchini, really appeal to me today. About half of it is a good supper serving and about 200 calories.


Breakfast--Banana spread with peanut butter and sprinkled with flax seed meal

Sunday Dinner--CROCK POT CHILI over shredded romaine and spring mix salad, with chopped bell peppers, onion, and tomato as garnishes (I added a couple of teaspoons of a yogurt-sour cream topping just because); honeydew melon.

Snack at a Party--small handful salted almonds, apple I brought along to eat in the car before church (I passed up nice bakery cake, tortilla chips, and a kind of open-faced banket!)

Supper--PESTO SKILLET, pink grapefruit, one bite of potato-crusted cod the rest were eating

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Leftovers and an Outing--Navratan Korma!

Breakfast--Orange; leftover oatmeal with peaches, cinnamon, and nutmeg

Lunch--Apple, leftover asparagus vinaigrette with tomatoes, leftover FRENCH BEAN AND POTATO SALAD, small handful mixed nuts with a few raisins

Supper--Flavor of India restaurant--I may order the Navratan Korma, which is billed as a mixture of nine vegetables and fruits cooked in a cashew sauce. This recipe video has seven vegetables, I think, and milk, along with paneer (cheese cubes), but it's inspiring!

Update: I did order the Navratan Korma, which seemed to have the same sauce as my neighbor's Chicken Korma, and we agreed it must have had some dairy, but probably just 2% milk, not cream. I couldn't detect any paneer, and my version had cauliflower, peas, green pepper, carrots, onion, pear, apple, and . . . hmmm . . . maybe peppers? I had it over smallish servings of basmati rice, I had a small portion of the on-the-table crispy lentil tortilla kind of thing with two sauces--one plummy and one green-minty, and later at Starbucks I had half-and-half in my coffee and 100 calories of dark-chocolate grahams. It was a splurge, yes, but a moderate one, and much enjoyed! :-)

French Beans and Stir Fry

(Inspired by the recipe in the The Joy of Cooking)

3 cups cooked green beans
1/2 large baked or boiled potato
2 tablespoons red-wine tarragon vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 tablespoon dried parsley
4 small green olives, chopped (original recipe calls for capers)
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 teaspoons olive oil

Combine dressing ingredients and toss with beans and potato, heating a little to meld flavors well. Half of this is a full lunch with some fruit.

Verdict--Good. I want to tweak this in the future, but I really liked coming across the little bits of olive--capers would be nice, too. It could use more red onion.


1 tablespoon peanut oil (or other)
1/2 small cabbage, sliced into large shreds
1/2 cup broccoli slaw
1/2 cup matchstick or coarse-shredded carrots
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 green pepper, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 small knob grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
sprinkle of soy sauce

Heat peanut oil in a wok or large frying pan, then add vegetables in the order listed so they're all crisp-tender at the same time, adding the onions, garlic, and ginger near the end and stirring frequently as it all cooks. Then clear a space in the bottom of the pan and add the sesame oil and sesame seeds, stirring until the seeds begin to brown a bit and release their aroma. Stir all together again and add soy sauce.

Verdict--Very Good. I have leftovers to try by themselves, but my third of the recipe was good with the family's more conventional type of stir fry on top (and they all ate portions of mine, too). Of course the vegetables can be varied according to what's around the fridge, but these worked well together. I think the initial oil can be cut in half, maybe.


Breakfast--banana with peanut butter and flax seed meal

Lunch--FRENCH POTATO AND GREEN BEAN SALAD, red and green grapes

Snack--1/2 can Progresso Lentil Soup

Supper--GINGER-SESAME STIR FRY, garnished with the family's Aldi Teriyaki Stir Fry with steak strips and extra veggies

Snack--honeydew melon chunks with a bit of leftover strawberry smoothie for a sauce (The family had ice cream, sherbet, and cookies, and I was completely satisfied with what I had!)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Today's Menu

Breakfast--1/2 cup leftover oatmeal with peaches, STRAWBERRY BANANA SMOOTHIE

Lunch--Salad of mesclun and romaine topped with pinto beans heated with salsa and garnished with chopped onion; orange

Snack--a bit of leftover smoothie, half a can of Progresso Extra-Fiber Chicken Tuscany soup (didn't eat the chicken in it)

Supper--Blanched asparagus tossed with quartered grape tomatoes and lite balsamic vinaigrette with extra vinegar (homemade tarragon vinegar); 1/2 baked potato topped with steamed homegrown broccoli (blooming with yellow flowers!) and seasoned with garlic powder, S&P

Snack--Locally-grown apple with raw almonds

Five Days In

Five days in to the nutritarian way of eating and I feel great. I am so nourished by the good things that I don't really want the bad things, and I'm talking about GOOD pizza (Vocelli's, for those who know), ice cream, sherbet, and M&Ms around last night! I'm enjoying all the flavors and choosing which of the many stockpiled produce items I'll have for each meal.


1 medium zucchini, diced
2-3 oz. mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup homemade pasta sauce with lots of veggies built in (I don't remember how I made it, but it was healthy to begin with, perhaps a smidgen of olive oil) OR high-quality jarred sauce

Simmer the zucchini and mushrooms in a little water until tender but not mushy, drain. Stir in the pasta sauce and heat.

Verdict: Excellent! I really like the tender-chewy texture of the mushrooms, and if the original pasta sauce is well made, you've got a winner.


2 frozen bananas (I toss them in the freezer, peel and all, and then run under hot water to slide off the skins)
1 lb. frozen strawberries
1/4 honeydew melon
2 tablespoons flax seed meal

Drop all these items in the blender and add sufficient water to blend. I served six with this, though I took a larger serving than others. I added an additional 1/2 cup frozen elderberries I saved from jelly processing this summer. Elderberries have 10 grams of fiber per cup and a mild grape-y flavor in this form, when most of the juice has been squeezed out. They have to be cooked to counteract their toxicity, but I couldn't bear to throw them away. I've been enjoying adding them to smoothies!

Verdict: Very good. I hate to put "Excellent" on too many things!


Breakfast--Green pepper and onion sauteed in a little oil (made this for the rest of the family, too), scrambled with two egg whites and a smidgen of yolk, chives to season with S&P; 1/2 slice whole wheat toast with a smear of homemade strawberry preserves. Always assume my usual mostly-decaf coffee with a little milk unless I announce I've given it up!

Snack--Honeydew melon


Snack--Golden delicious apple with peanut butter

Supper--Salad of spring greens and pepper with 1/3 cup tuna salad (made last week with light mayo) for a "dressing"; the last of the bean soup in tomato base with a bit of pork; orange

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Getting Started

To get this blog started, I want to share what I made today. My menu for the day follows at the bottom.


2 cloves garlic, sliced
4 oz. mushrooms, quartered or sliced
1 can butter beans
3/4 cup cooked kale or other greens, chopped
1 tablespoon pesto*

Simmer the garlic and mushrooms in some of the liquid from the can of beans. When mushrooms are tender and garlic fragrant, stir in the pesto and distribute well, then add the butter beans and kale and simmer gently, being careful not to mash the beans, for just a few minutes to meld flavors.

Verdict? Excellent! The beans are satisfyingly starchy and "creamy," the mushrooms wonderfully tender, the kale nice and chewy, and the seasoning just right.

*My pesto is homemade--lots of basil, good quantity of pine nuts and garlic, moderate amount of oil, and a little parmesan.


1 cup blanched broccoli florets
1 cup matchstick-cut raw carrots
1/4 cup canned pineapple tidbits with a bit of their juice
1 tablespoon or so raisins
sprinkle of cinnamon
optional: touch of mayonnaise or yogurt for creaminess (I used about two teaspoons of low-fat mayo just because I thought it wouldn't be good without it.)

Combine ingredients and refrigerate for at least an hour to meld flavors.

Verdict: Very good. As I had hoped, the pineapple plumped up the raisins and this was satisfyingly sweet and crunchy, too. I think I could have left out the bit of mayo I added to satisfy my compulsive self. (I packed this for lunch away from home and didn't want to be disappointed with it!)


Breakfast: oatmeal cooked in water with frozen peaches from our garden and a sprinkle of cinnamon and of nutmeg, with a few toasted pecans on top, mostly-decaf coffee with the bit of milk I can't give up yet

Lunch: CARROT SALAD, a bean soup in tomato base with other veggies I made last week (it does have a bit of roasted pork in it), orange

Snack: golden delicious apple and a few mixed nuts

Dinner: ITALIAN CASSOULET, salad of mesclun from our garden with tomato and two tablespoons of guacamole, red and green grapes