Monday, November 29, 2010

Copyright Law/Ethics and Recipes?

I have been posting cookbook recipes to this blog when I have found them, or their near-equivalents, already posted online.  But today when I was looking up a couple I started to have a qualm about it.  I'd appreciate your thoughts about what to do in such a case.

For example, you can Google the names of the two recipes I made today from the Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites: Flavorful Recipes for Healthful Meals book I bought several weeks ago, and you'll find the exact recipes (one even seems to be a pdf from another version of this book!).

For now I'll just name the recipes, mention the main and interesting ingredients, and give a review. That should encourage you to buy the book, and then I'm doing the publishers a favor, right?

First up is SOUTHEAST ASIAN COCONUT ZUCCHINI, which is a sauteed mixture of cubed zucchini, garlic, turmeric, a hot pepper, and coconut milk, with accents of fresh basil, mint, and lime juice.  It was very pretty and very good (if spicy) over brown rice for my supper. And it used up one of our many remaining zucchini from the summer.

Then I tried JAPANESE SESAME SPINACH, but with Swiss chard, a very simple dish of the steamed green dressed with a paste of toasted and ground sesame seed, sugar, and soy sauce. Excellent.

Third in my veggie trio was my own concoction and something to get in part of my bean allowance for the day:


6-8 ounces quartered mushrooms (I used baby Bella)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 12-oz bag frozen peas
2 "ice cubes" of frozen stock

Dry saute the quartered mushrooms and garlic, then add the frozen peas and the stock and simmer until the peas are done. Or overcook and have the family say that slightly-charred peas aren't so bad after all!

Verdict: Very Good.  What a simple, filling staple

Supper tonight was hearty servings of all these items with a half cup of brown basmati rice. Very nice.

Just for the sake of recording it, I'll provide the rest of my food for today:

Breakfast--half cup of oatmeal cooked with pear, a banana, and 1/2 oz. toasted almond slivers

Lunch--can of Amy's organic minestrone soup (180 calories, 6 g. fiber, 6 g. protein) fortified with extra water, 1 cup of home-cooked pinto beans and about three ounces of fresh spinach, with a little garlic powder, dehydrated onion, and marjoram.  I intended to eat all of this but stopped at about 3/4. Also had an orange.

Snack--big Jonagold apple

And that makes a nutritarian day:
At least 1 cup beans
At least 1 lb. cooked veggies (had more like 1.5 pounds)
At least 1 lb. fresh veggies (skimpy on that today! But I had giant six-cup spring mix salads every day for most of the last week.)
At least 4 fruits (I've had about 3.5 today, so if I quit being full before bedtime I'll have a bit more)
No more than 1 cup grain/starch (was a little over today, which can make up for the calories but not the nutrition of that bit of extra fruit)
No more than 1 oz. nuts

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thai Curry With Bok Choy

Participants in Dr. Fuhrman's "Six-Week Holiday Challenge" receive daily recipes via email, and today's is for Thai Vegetable Curry. As I glanced over the ingredients I realized I had most of what the recipe calls for, but I'm never willing to just let things alone, so I created my own version.

Dr. F's recipe calls for basically boiling all the veggies in carrot juice for a while, then stirring in peanut butter, coconut milk, and so forth.  That just didn't inspire me, and I don't have any carrot juice nor any firm tofu (which the family wouldn't want anyway), so I made this variation:


1 T. peanut oil
1 cup diced carrots
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. grated fresh ginger
2 T. each, chopped fresh: mint, Thai basil, and cilantro
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 large eggplant, cubed
2-3 cups green beans, in pieces
3 cups sliced mushrooms
1 head bok choy, chopped
1-1/2 t. red curry powder (for a spicier dish, or yellow for milder)
2 T. natural peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut milk (didn't have the light called for in the original recipe)
1/3 cup peanuts
2 T. chopped dried mango

Heat oil in a wok or very large skillet and stir fry carrot and onion. When those begin to go tender, add peppers and green beans, then mushrooms, then bok choy, allowing five minutes or so between additions.  Cook until crisp-tender, adding garlic, ginger, chopped herbs, and curry powder between stirrings. Then add peanut butter, coconut milk, peanuts, and mango, plus up to a half cup or so of water if needed, covering pan to simmer a bit and combine flavors.  Serve alone or over brown basmati rice.  Serves 8 (or 4 very hungry nutritarians).

Verdict: Excellent. I don't know about the boiled carrot-juice original, but mine is wonderful! :-)  I had 1/4 of the recipe over a half cup of the recommended rice.  I think fresh bok choy is definitely superior to canned bamboo shoots and lots of watercress (though the watercress is nutritionally superior to bok choy, no doubt).  It's more fat than I'm used to having in a dish, but I cut back from the recommended amount of nuts while using full-fat coconut milk and that tablespoon of oil. I could have cut the oil back to 2 teaspoons easily, but I think it was a good first try. I estimate that my version is 150 calories per 1/8 of the recipe while the original is 200 calories for the same amount.  So my 1/4 of the recipe was 300 calories, plus the rice.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Personal Pumpkin Tart

Oh boy, was I happy with this experiment I tried yesterday!  It all started here, with Lilibeth. She linked to a recipe for a crust made with just almonds and oats. I noted the proportions and then lit out on my own, and with a filling of my own, too.

Part of what makes a traditional pumpkin pie so creamy and nice is the evaporated milk in most recipes. I learned years ago that if I simmered my own fresh milk, even letting it scald a bit, reducing it by half or more, I had a better product. So that explains the bit of milk in this recipe.


1/4 cup oats chopped very fine with 2 T. raw almonds
1/2 t. tahini (can’t find my almond butter or I’d have used that)
1/8 t. each nutmeg and powdered ginger
Combine these ingredients with just enough water to make the mixture stick together to press into a large custard dish, then bake at 425 until toasty brown. Meanwhile, prepare filling:
1/4 c. low-fat milk (soy might work)
1/2 cup fresh baked pumpkin, mashed or pureed (canned would be okay)
2 dates, snipped very fine
1/4 t. cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
In a small saucepan simmer milk until reduced by half--scalding it is fine. Stir in pumpkin, dates, and spices and cook gently, stirring as needed, until thickened. Spoon into crust and bake at 350 until further firmed up and slightly browned on top.
Verdict: Excellent and Amazing, and it uses only half a day’s nuts and grain (ala drfuhrman), then the additional calories of the milk (25) and the two dates.
For Thanksgiving at my sister's tomorrow (about a dozen people) I'm taking the following:
Baba Ganouj (or Dr. Fuhrman's Eggplant Hummus--same thing) with carrot and cucumber and blanched fine green beans and peppers as dippers
Ambrosia--just Valencia and Cara-Cara oranges with coconut, though I'm going to throw in some pomegranate arils I splurged on at Costco the other day
Winter Squash Soup I made the other day (see previous post)
Lower-Fat Yogurt Pound Cake (Joy of Cooking) with a tipsy elderberry sauce I made up.  No, this is not really healthy, but I was assigned a dessert. :-)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Warm and Creamy Winter Squash Soup and a Method for Broth

Another two down of our butternut squash inventory, but I'm adjusting the recipe to one squash, for normal people. :-)  The warmth in this comes from the fresh ginger and a little chile.


1 medium onion, diced
1 tsp olive oil
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 small chile pepper, minced
1 pint high-quality broth (see below)
1 sprig rosemary (optional--I just floated a stem sprig in the pot at the last minute)

Heat oil in a large saucepan and add onion, stirring occasionally to brown evenly while you're preparing the squash.   Use a potato peeler to take off the outer skin, then cube the squash with a heavy knife, removing seeds. Add squash cubes to onions and continue browning with occasional stirring while you prep and add the other ingredients.  Add water as needed to cover squash cubes. Simmer all for about thirty minutes, until squash is soft, then puree in batches and serve.

Verdict: Excellent.  Smooth and satisfying, with sweet body and a kick from the pepper. I didn't even notice the lack of salt (though my broth may have had some) I had two small bowls of this to start off my lunch, being willing to use up a significant portion of my starch allowance on it today.  The only disappointment about this squash is that it doesn't have any fiber!  But I get plenty of fiber elsewhere. :-)

I think I'm taking this to my sister's for Thanksgiving, with some fresh rosemary to decorate the top of custard-size bowls of soup.  

Inspiration for this recipe comes from my friend Renee and from The Joy of Cooking.


This is a method I am initiating this week, and I thought I'd record what I'm doing.  Beginning several days ago I started freezing a gallon zip-loc bag with vegetable trimmings (onion skins with some adhering onion, garlic peel, the rind of a lemon, several brussels sprouts bottoms, some bell and pimiento pepper stems, butternut squash peel and fiber and a few seeds, the butt of a bunch of celery, etc.), and today with a full bag I dumped the contents into a pot with some water and boiled it for about an hour, then drained it and had a beautiful brown broth which tastes a bit weak only because it doesn't have any salt.  I am freezing it in ice cube trays to then keep in a bag so I can pop a few cubes into a dish as I'm cooking later.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Holiday Challenge and Apple-Carrot Salad is having a Six-Week Holiday Challenge to help people maintain and even increase their health during the holidays. You can join for free and get six weeks' membership in the Member Center and a Vook (video-enhanced e-book) of Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss.  There's a new version of this book coming out in January, I believe.

In joining the challenge you're pledging to eat every day a big salad, a plate of steamed greens (though I'm sure having them in soup or otherwise is fine, too), three fruits, and a cup of beans, and to avoid white flour and sugar (as well as sugar substitutes).  With that much fruit every day, you should find your sweet tooth diminished, actually.  Dr. Fuhrman is a kind and reasonable man, and he believes you CAN have a little splurge on the holiDAY, but most of us take that way too far and make it a holiMONTH or similar.

If you decide to join the challenge, look for my thread there and join me for daily accountability! I've been doing this with focus for a bit under a month and have lost over ten pounds already.

Below is a recipe I submitted to the Member Center Recipe Guide, and it was accepted today. I have others on this blog--please search by the tag.

1 large apple, in chunks
1/2 cup matchstick or shredded carrot
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 ounce chopped nuts, toasted if desired (optional)
1/3 cup plain lowfat yogurt or non dairy substitute
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
a few drops vanilla

Combine apple, veggies, and nuts in a bowl. In a separate dish combine yogurt with spices and vanilla, then toss with the apple mixture. Verdict: Excellent! The day's flax seed meal works nicely with this as well.  I think the cinnamon and vanilla help cut the need for any other sweetening, but if it's too tart for you, try adding in some clementine or pear.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Two Wobblies and a Winner

The other day I tried a couple of recipes from my new Moosewood Lowfat Favorites book, and I'm sorry to say they're not that great, though I will make use of the leftovers of one when I'm hungry and need to fill up with "beans and greens," and the other was definitely better the next day.  I tend to find that with some of these nutritarian recipes--I don't enjoy them a lot the first day, but the leftovers are fine.  Maybe it's overexposure to all the ingredients while preparing the food, maybe it's a need for the flavors to meld . . .

Black-Eyed Peas 'N' Greens <--The discussion on the page where this recipe is linked pretty much explain the problem--dry and kind of bland.  Scallions on top and the malt vinegar I tried help somewhat.  But I think the real thing to do with the leftovers is to make this:  Black-Eyed Peas and Greens Soup.  In a nutshell, add water, tomatoes, and oregano and see where to go from there.

Baked Sweet Potato Salad  except that I used butternut squash, which has half the calories and none of the fiber of sweet potatoes--so pick your poison/magic. :-)  This is a beautiful salad and definitely better the next day, and the book suggests either the dressing on this link or a curried mango yogurt dressing, which would be sweeter but I'm not sure better.  It was just not too inspiring. The Cilantro Lime Yogurt Dressing is very promising for other purposes, too--I look forward to using it later.

But here's a real winner, thanks to my friend Marci:

McDougall's Curried Swiss Chard Soup
This quick soup of leek (or onion), broth, tomatoes, white beans, fresh ginger and curry powder (I used McCormick's red), and fresh Swiss chard (I used red) is really wonderful. Half the recipe is a BIG bowlful for a nutritarian lunch, including two cups of chard and 3/4 cup beans. EXCELLENT.

Dr. McDougall has a lot of the same approach as Dr. Fuhrman, except McDougall emphasizes using grains central to the diet and eliminating nuts and not allowing any animal products, if I've got that straight (and am not mixed up with Esselstyn) . So stricter in some ways, easier in some ways, but with a lot of overlap, so the recipes work well both ways.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Marinated Mushroom Dressing

I have many favorite recipes from Traditions: A Taste of the Good Life, a 1983 cookbook by the Junior League of Little Rock, Arkansas--received as a wedding gift in 1986. I once saw this cookbook reviewed as a classic in perhaps a San Francisco newspaper. I agree.  The carrot cake is fought over by two of the May birthday people in my family.

One favorite recipe in that book is for a fairly simple mushroom salad, in which a mustard vinaigrette ("garden dressing") is poured over a salad of mixed greens and sliced mushrooms.  Really simple.  But I discovered years ago that marinating the mushrooms in the dressing first made it really luscious.  Today I made a variation on that recipe to make it more nutritarian-friendly:

Marinated Mushroom Dressing

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup good vinegar (I used a homemade tarragon-red-wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon olive oil (the original recipe calls for 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons minced red or green bell pepper (I used fresh red pimiento pepper, which is "meaty")
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons good dijon-type mustard
2 teaspoons dried herb (I used marjoram) or 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. cayenne

Combine all ingredients and let marinate in a shakeable container for at least an hour, then serve over mixed greens. Even better the next day.

Verdict:  Very Good. I started with less honey and just felt I had to increase it to cut the harshness of the vinegar. Anyone have suggestions on how to do that more successfully?  I had half of this on a very large salad of red leaf lettuce, spinach, and romaine, with some red cabbage shreds and yellow bell pepper, plus diced beets (that helped sweeten it up a bit) and a cup of rinsed canned navy beans.

My New Cookbook

Yesterday I had a lovely outing in a community about 25 miles away for supper and book-browsing with a group of lady friends. You see, we live in and on the outskirts of small towns and have to do without Target, Starbucks, interesting and healthy restaurants, and even Super WalMart!  So a trip to the exurb of Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania is quite a tame little adventure for us. And of course the company makes the outing--seven in an assortment of married, single, and widowed, with children ranging from toddlers to one about forty. Thanks, ladies!

We gathered at Aladdin's Eatery and had a wide range of things from hummus and falafel through soup and salads and lamb entrees to some take-home desserts (for those who were too stuffed to eat cake there).  I had V-9 soup, a clear-broth veggie soup in which we identified peas, celery, onion, pepper, yellow squash, tomato, parsley, and I've forgotten what else. I also got the almond salad--a bed of romaine, mostly, with mushrooms and cucumbers and some slivered toasted almonds, with a dressing of buttermilk, sour cream, almond paste, and sauteed almonds I just had to try. I had about half my dressing and brought the rest home to enjoy on something another day. It was very interesting, and creamy was good, but only in small doses for a nutritarian, don't you know!  I had a pita, two, which I wrapped up and brought home for a family member (whoever gets to it first). And since hubby was home alone for the evening, I brought him a little pastry I thought they called a baba, which is a sticky-sweet hard shell of phyllo-like dough around a filling of Turkish pistachios. I had a tiny fragment of this to taste, and it was very nice.

Anyway, when we got to Barnes and Noble, supposedly for coffee, though I skipped it after three mugs of herbal mint tea at Aladdin's, I headed back to the healthy/vegetarian cookbooks section and browsed through a few. I'm not into fake meat things like seitan and too much tofu, so some things didn't appeal at all because of heavy use of these ingredients. Others use a lot of syrups and other sweet things--nope, didn't want that, either. Nor too much of grains. I was not really wowed by the famous Veganomicon, but then I spied a winner: Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites.

I have loved the original Moosewood Cookbook since I think my sister gave it to me a decade or two ago, and, as a friend says, there's nothing bad in it--everything is delicious.

So I browsed through the Low-Fat Favorites book and saw some potential winners, though I was surprised at a fish section.  For Sunday dinner I'm going to make Fish Tagine with Chermoulla (this link is exactly the same recipe except  for the swordfish or halibut in the Internet recipe), white fish baked on top of a bed of carrots and onions, with a sauce of blended cilantro, garlic, ginger, cumin, lemon juice, chile, and tomato, then served on couscous, which I just happened to buy the other day.

Since we have a lot of peppers around, still, I think I'm going to try soon Middle Eastern Tofu-Stuffed Peppers, which include carrot, tomato, tofu, soy sauce, dill, lemon, couscous, and currants. Maybe I'll even skip the tofu. A Mexican stuffed pepper recipe uses corn and black beans. How about Garlicky Black-Eyed Peas 'N' Greens? To use some nice cauliflower in the fridge I might try Lentil Sambar, which includes some exotic spices like coriander (just harvested from our garden) and fenugreek (never used it--might look for a substitute).

I'm looking forward to this!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Asian Cabbage and Sweet and Simple Squash

Today I made a couple of experiments that turned out very nicely, and they're now part of the Member Center Recipe Guide. :-)

Asian Cabbage

1/2 oz sesame seeds
1 cup baby carrots
1 small head of napa cabbage, cut crosswise into shreds
1/2 small onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 cup sugar snap peas
a few drops of soy sauce, to taste

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet on a medium burner until browned, then set aside.  In the same skillet add some water to mostly cover the carrots and cover, simmering until they're nearly tender. Then add the cabbage, onion, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, uncovered, until cabbage is tender and water has mostly cooked off. Add sugar snap peas and cover again until those are tender. To serve, toss hot vegetables with sesame seeds and sprinkle on a few drops of soy sauce.

Verdict: Excellent.  I confess I added 1/8 of a package of ramen noodles to the sesame seeds to toast, because I wanted the crunchiness, and I even reserved the seasoning packet in case I needed it.  But in the end I hardly noticed the noodles and won't make it that way again.  And I left the seasoning package untouched--it was really lovely just like it was.

Sweet and Simple Squash

2 cups butternut squash, cubed
1/2 cup raw cranberries
a few big chunks of fresh pineapple (about 3/4 cup?)

Simmer squash cubes in 1/2 inch of water in a small covered saucepan. When almost tender add  the cranberries and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until they pop, adding water if needed. Then break the pineapple chunks into smaller pieces over the pot, simmering until the pineapple is warm and melded into the squash.  Enjoy!

Verdict: Excellent. I just had a little bowl of this (half the "recipe") and loved every bite. Good thing I like this, as we have about thirty remaining butternut squashes and a dozen pumpkins harvested from our garden!

Kitchen Work

When you're eating nutritarian, you have a lot of food prep to do, unless you're into an ascetic minimalist approach (apple and banana for breakfast, can of beans poured over bagged salad for lunch, boiled zucchini and a baked acorn squash for supper).  I'm really loving my Vita-Mix, but I'm beginning to lament my knives.

I have a pretty knife block with red-handled knives I got on clearance at Wal-Mart, and I have a single high-carbon knife that I use for "strong" things, as it has a heavy long blade. I have another ancient cleaver-type high-carbon knife that we inherited with our first home, built in 1958. But I don't sharpen these. And then I like those little colored-handle paring knives that come in a set of three for $1 - $3 and break easily, though they are sharp while they last. My favorite cutting tool lately is my julienne peeler from Pampered Chef--it's perfect for making zucchini "spaghetti" that can be tossed in a pot (sometimes with just a few noodles) to create a satisfying nutritarian base for a veggie sauce.

My usual experience is that I suffer through dull or wrongly-shaped knives for most of my chopping and paring.

I think I need a knife makeover.  With a busy household of careless people, I dare not buy several great knives and toss all the mediocre ones. The good ones will be misplaced, misused . . . I just don't trust those folks.  But after seeing this blog and watching the embedded Jamie Oliver video, . . . I think I need a real chef's knife. At least to start with, and a good sharpener--is that sword-thing he used sufficient? My dad used to have a sword ritual with one of those before cutting roast beef or turkey, but it was only occasional and, I think, superstitious rather than effectual. But it's an indelible and pleasant memory. :-)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Improving Canned Soup

Today I wanted a quick lunch and thought I'd just pop open a can of Progresso split pea soup. The can has two servings, each totaling something like 160 calories, 2 grams of fat, 4 grams of fiber--fine so far--but almost 700 grams of sodium!  I've gotten used to very little salt added to things, and when I tasted this soup I decided it was just too much for me.  So here's what I did to improve it, in the form of a recipe:

Super Split Pea Soup

1/2 cup shredded or matchstick carrots
1 small white potato, shredded
tablespoon dehydrated onion flakes
2 large kale leaves, snipped into shreds
water to cover veggies
1 can Progresso Green Split Pea Soup With Bacon

In a medium saucepan, combine veggies and water to cover and simmer for about ten minutes, until soft or tender-crisp (my choice). Then add the can of soup and heat to desired temperature.  Makes two large bowls (one sufficient for my lunch).

Verdict: Very Good.  This is a great improvement over the soup by itself.  And I'm not tempted to eat the whole can. And I have a nice lunch waiting for me in the fridge on another day. Instead of having a bowl of soup with almost 1400 mg sodium, I have a bigger bowl of much more interesting and healthy soup with less than 700 mg sodium. Yes, it's more than I want, but it's better than what I was going to do, and much better than a lot of other things I could have had for lunch. Win win all around. 

I use mostly fresh items, but there are times when the canned and frozen are a blessing. Now I'll be restocking my shelves with low-sodium versions of canned goods!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nutritarianism Explained

Thanks to Darryl McCullough, a math professor at University of Oklahoma and a nutritarian, I would like to present a big one-page summary of nutritarian principles:

How to Eat

Darryl does a good job explaining the basics for those who want to understand the science of the nutrition. In my own "best practice,"* I have a few differences:

  • occasional alcohol and the equivalent of one mug of caffeinated coffee per day
  • use of 1% cow's milk or yogurt instead of soy or nut milks and soft tofu in small amounts in recipes
  • use of "regular" vitamins (Costco Kirkland brand multi-vitamin/mineral) with a 2:1 calcium/magnesium supplement (Kirkland) for heart palpitations and a single D3 (Kirkland again) bead each day
  • occasional tiny amounts of regular sugar (in amounts like a spice) and salt, though I'm getting away from any additional salt in my recipes
  • with just a couple of animal product servings per week, I plan to make use of the grass-fed beef we're buying from friends soon, but for no more than one serving per week, carefully planned

I just don't see a need to be so ultimately purist. For example, this week I had some grapefruit in a smoothie and someone suggested that it's been associated with higher estrogen levels and strongly associated with breast cancer in post-menopausal women. I'm not there yet :-), but I passed on the article/study to hubby, who is a biophysicist who has studied some of these toxicology/metabolism issues. I take his counsel on things like this. Handy to have around!

*Note that "best practice" does not mean "what I do every day, without exception." It means what I do when I'm doing what I know I should be doing. :-)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lemon-Tahini Dressing

I saw a message board mention of a great salad dressing someone had had, and the idea just sounded great to me, too, so I made it. I looked at one or two online, and then I did this:

Lemon-Tahini Dressing

2 tablespoons tahini
grated rind of one lemon (or a lazy attempt at getting most of it)
juice of one lemon
minced garlic clove
shake of coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar (of course a date would do fine if you were blending it)
1/3 cup hot water

Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake, or blend in a blender (I'd hate to mess up the blender for such a small amount)

Verdict: Excellent!  I put about 1/3 of this recipe on a seriously-huge salad (2 quart serving bowl) of spring mix, sliced canned beets, green onion, matchstick carrots, defrosted green peas, and sliced almonds. Yum.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ongoing Review : "Aggressive Weight Loss Plan (non-vegetarian)" Part Two

Go here for Part One.

The one-week plan is stretching out to about ten days for me, and I will not get to all the recipes, since the groceries I have on hand don't match and/or the remaining recipes don't look too great.  So I need to make a menu and a grocery list and start over today or tomorrow, and in the meantime I'm having a lot of leftover this and that.  What's great about the nutritarian recipes is that I know I can grab this or that and be confident that it's "on plan" for the most part. If it has a starch in it I'll skip it today, since I had oatmeal for breakfast. If it has nuts I'll consider how that fits with the other nut/seed things I have had for the day.  And after about nine days I've lost about seven pounds, so that's a nice aggressive start! :-)

I read somewhere recently that the new books (Eat for Health) have better recipes than the old one (Eat to Live).  But for those who are serious, ETL has the quick start and the more science-oriented discussions.  I really look forward to working through the recipes site at in the Member Center and getting great new ideas from others.

I'm definitely enjoying the leftovers, though I'm often "tired" enough of a recipe by the time I serve it that it doesn't appeal too much the first time around.

So, without further ado, here are my impressions of several more recipes from the "Aggressive Weight Loss Plan (non-vegetarian)" :

  • Roasted Mixed Vegetables (photo here, and it does look a lot like mine) (very tasty mix of cruciferous veggies and carrots and asparagus, with garlic, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce roasted at 450 and finished at 350 to keep them from getting too dry -- and I added the asparagus late for just that reason. I even skipped the brown rice in the original recipe, because I was having butternut squash seasoned with pineapple tidbits and dates, plus a bit of plain potato with my Great Greens -- see below.)
  • Tasty Hummus (went VERY simple on this one -- the recipe in the plan calls for the addition of soy sauce and horseradish, but no thanks -- mine is garbanzos, tahini [less than you might think], lemon juice, and garlic, and it is fabulous -- I'm craving it)

Pretty Good
  • Great Greens (simple steamed mix of kale, chard, and spinach, dressed with garlic, wine vinegar or balsamic or similar, fresh dill, and basil)
  • Rolled Eggplant or "Roulade" (eggplant slices marinated in balsamic vinegar and water, then rolled around a filling of red and green bell pepper., onion, garlic, tomato sauce and tomatoes, and herbs that have been simmered together for a while, with more of the sauce on top -- the whole thing baked for a while)
  • Bean Enchiladas (I made this a layered casserole of corn tortillas with a simmered mixture of green pepper, onion, salsa verde [though the original called for regular salsa], black and white and pinto beans, frozen corn, cumin, and cilantro -- and I encouraged the family to melt cheese on top of theirs if they liked)
What I'm Not Making
  • Chard and Vegetable Medley (onion, garlic, yellow squash, chard, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar -- just too much like the other stuff I've been eating, and I'm out of greens) 
  • Cream of Asparagus Soup (steamed asparagus blended with soy milk [I'd use regular lowfat milk], soy sauce [or liquid aminos], raw cashews, cilantro for garnish, and -- really? -- four dates.  I may actually make this since I have the ingredients, but I'm not sure.)
  • Dijon Pistachio Dressing/Dip (may try it later but just haven't needed it -- pistachios, lemon juice, ground flax, mustard, soy sauce, garlic, and a date)
  • Lisa's Lovely Lentil Stew (just haven't gotten to it -- lentils, onion, basil, tomatoes, celery -- I'll probably be more adventurous)
  • Russian Fig Dressing/Dip (blecch! pasta sauce, almond butter, sunflower seeds, fig vinegar)