Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Breakfast Cake, Strawberry Rhubarb

I heart Fat Free Vegan's Banana Cake. This morning, I made it with strawberries and rhubarb, and sliced almonds on top. I pre-cooked the rhubarb a little as I didn't want stiff pieces after only 25 minutes of baking. Go make some! I think I'll try sour cherry, blueberry, and peach as those crops come into season this summer. About 200 calories (without almonds) for 1/6 of recipe, which is a very large pie-shaped slice. Mmmmmm......

Sweet Freedom Giveaway!

Ricki at Diet, Desserts and Dogs has finished her amazing dessert book, Sweet Freedom!
Head on over and leave your comments for a chance at a free copy!
Her specialty, besides vegan, is using whole sweenteners (agave, brown rice, etc.) and whole grains. I made her Butter Tarts (Canadian specialty) for Easter and we yummed them up.
Go now!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Nacho Bowl

It has taken a long time to find a cheese sub I like enough to use for nachos. This make more of a nacho dip to eat with chips, but it fills the void.
  • Make the Mac and Broccoli Sauce and add 2-3 pickled jalepeños. Blend.
  • Heat sauce in a small pan- remember it has raw tofu, so it should be cooked before consuming.
  • Heat up some refried beans (many are now fat free and vegan), and add adobo sauce or chipotle powder. I like them hot, so I add adobo and maybe blend in a whole chipotle from the can if I'm really craving it. Also, you could make the Adobo Sauce from Vcon, and add to your nacho bowl. Very good!
  • Serve together in a bowl, with whatever toppings you like. 
  • I had red peppers, tomatoes, salsa verde and some Tapatío hot sauce. I would have had fresh cilantro, but I'm in danger of killing the plant if I don't let it grow some more. 
  • Find some Baked Blue Corn chips. I've seen Garden of Eatin' and Traders Joes, and they are AMAZING. They don't taste like mushy baked chips and they're about 120 calories for 19 chips. 19! That's great!
There's a margarita I really like from a local Mexican place, and I always eat too much when we go there. So we save it for special things. But sometimes I really want that sweet-tart with my spicy food. Tonight I did, and I tried a substitute.
  • Find some fancy grapefruit soda, add 8-9 oz to a glass, mix in half a shot of tequila, and add a lime or orange slice. 
  • Bingo! All the flavor, smaller serving and way, way cheaper. It would make a good party drink too. Around 150-170 calories per glass. Add ice and you'll stretch it farther. 
Note the Quick n' Dirty label- I'll put that on my posts that take very little thought and have a lot of pantry staples. No chips? Try rice, quinoa, or polenta. 

Tomorrow night it's Quinoa, Zukes and Chickpeas with leftover Mac/Nacho Sauce. I've got a rehearsal so it's eat and run.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Mac and Broccoli

I combined the Vegan Dad Cheezy Mac and My Veggie Kitchen Nacho Cheeze recipes to create a lower-cal, tangy Mac and Cheese. I loved the creaminess of VeganDad's and the low-cal (and ease) of VeggieKitchen's. It's been cool here, and I wanted comfort food.

I eat about 2 servings of broccoli to every cup of cooked pasta, and that satisfies my craving without busting my calorie budget for the day. I omit the oil recommended in both recipes.

Serves 4, around 130 calories each.
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1/8 cup sunflower seeds (about 2 Tbs)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbs pimentos
  • 2 tbs cornstarch
  • 1 tbs dijon mustard
  • 2 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 oz tofu, silken lite (nasoya)
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • pinch tumeric
  • Blend nuts and water until smooth, then add the rest. Adjust dijon and onion/garlic as like.
  • Cook pasta, add broccoli to pot halfway through. Cook until both are just done.
  • Add back to pan with a little spray canola. Add sauce, cover, and heat until thickened.

My Health Manifesto

I wanted to write one post about how I've changed my health, my relationship with food, and my current diet guidelines. It could act as an introduction or reference for you, and will help me by making me write all my good ideas down. And I'll keep track of my weight

In March 2009, I was 175 pounds, 5'4", and 26 years of age.
May 2009, I'm now 161 pounds.

  • I count calories.
  • I use measuring bowls that I keep on the counter, from 2 cups to 1/8 cup. They are cuter than measuring cups, stay tidy, and help me measure all my portions.
  • I use the CalorieKing Diet Diary for Palm OS. I can total up my calorie total in about 2 minutes because of the 30,000 food database and my saved personal recipes. I think of it as a food budget, telling me how many calories I have left for the rest of the day.
  • To keep calorie counts lower (between 300-600 calories per meal)
    • I replace most of the starches with vegetables, and cook without oil or just spray oil.
    • Oils are kept to 1-2 tsp if needed, for frying spices or sauteing garlic.
    • I only eat 1/2 to 1 cup starches per meal. I tend to eat twice as many veggies as starch or protein, because fiber and protein keep you full.
  • Broiling and steaming are underused and amazing ways to cook fresh tasting food quickly.
    • Broiled teriyaki tofu and steamed broccoli is a go-to, 15 minute dinner.
  • Learn how to eyeball portions of calorie dense foods, it will help you when you go out.
Behavior, Mood, and Exercise:
  • I've been using Beck Diet Solution to help me break bad behaviors and use my brain and not my emotions to eat better. Dr. Judith Beck is a cognitive behavior researcher at Penn and wrote a book based on her results. If you've failed other diets because of negative thinking or loss of self control, I recommend this book.
  • I exercise, and on the days I do, I eat better and feel better about myself. I've always been a mood eater, so this has helped and will continue to help my eating.
  • I use Comcast Exercise TV On Demand. I get free exercise videos any time I want, about 300 in total, and they have made me love exercise.
  • I have never been an athelete. I like dancing, hiking, biking, and that's it.
  • My favorite type is Cardio Interval, or Cardio mixed with strength training. I get muscle tone, which helps raise my metabolism, and some aerobic training in 20-30 minutes.
  • I have re-thought running, which I always hated. As of May 2009, can run one, walk one block about 10 times without dying. I'm hoping to be able to run solid about 25 minutes before grad school because it is such an effiecient way to exercise.
That's it for now. I'll re-post as I add or change behaviors. Thanks!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins!

Fat Free Vegan's Susan V. makes great muffins- this morning it was her Banana-Date-Walnut muffin recipe. But tweaked.

  • No dates- not on hand, could use raisins instead,
  • No walnuts- hubs doesn't like, and they're fatty when I don't want that at breakfast
  • Use white whole wheat and regular whole wheat instead of regular flour. More fiber, more filling
  • Add 6 chocolate chips per muffin- put a little batter in the sprayed pan, then add chips, then cover to bury them. It's about 3 T. that you add to the recipe total, adding only 17 calories per muffin.
  • Don't heat the oven until you've mixed everything, and let the batter sit. I got that recommendation from Isa on Post Punk Kitchen- it lets the gluten strands form and you get a higher rise/lighter batter, which can be harder to obtain in vegan goods. She used it with pancakes, and now I'm doing it with all baked goods.
  • Spray the pan with oil so they don't stick!
Result- Muffins that taste like cupcakes, fill you up, and only clock in at 150 calories! Enjoy!

Friday, May 1, 2009

First Post, Dumplings with Bok Choy, Size 10

I am very excited about this blog, and I hope as I enter grad school this fall, I can keep this up as well as the healthful eating.

Speaking of, it was a Trader Joe's night. The hubs wasn't hungry, so I made quick meal for one.
  • Ingredients: TJ Frozen Veggie Dumplings, Mushrooms, grated ginger, red curry paste, seasame oil, bok choy, fresh sprouts. Favorite dipping sauce recommended- sriracha and TJ thai peanut for me
  • Dumplings, pan-fried with spray oil until crispy on bottom
  • Add in some sliced mushrooms, water, ginger and curry paste and water to steam for 5 minutes or so
  • Heat up a second pan with 1 tsp of sesame oil or so and throw in chopped bok choy and garlic
  • Stir fry the cabbage while dumplings steam, add pea sprouts (so good!) and heat 1 min. max
I eat them all together in a bowl with peanut sauce and sriracha for dipping. Trader Joe's again has a good peanut sauce, but I think I'm going to make a big batch and freeze some because nothing equals the real, coconut milk-based stuff. Find it on the Net. My version is basic.

Today I bought size 10 pants and skirt for the first time since junior year of high school (I think).
Having never lost any amount of weight before in my life, this was a major milestone. I celebrated by eating strawberries as I made dinner. I might have a couple pieces of chocolate before bed too!