Friday, May 9, 2008

ACK! Has it really been that long?

Okay, it has been a long while. I guess I haven't had too much time lately...but I do have about 3 new recipes to post...I will try to get on it tomorrow! Sorry :(

Friday, April 11, 2008

Cold Pasta Primavera

I found a great recipe for the hot summer days that are coming up...I am definitely going to try this, sans the feta for me, of course. I will add the feta for my son and mom.

Reprinted from Andrew Weil's site.

Cold Vegetable Pasta Primavera

Description Cold pasta dishes are often overlooked, perhaps because we are used to seeing them looking tired in a deli counter. When the noodles are made fresh and tossed with seasoned, grilled vegetables and homemade sauce, it makes all the difference.


1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄8 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper

1 zucchini, cut lengthwise into slices 1⁄2-inch thick
2 summer squash, cut lengthwise into slices 1⁄2-inch thick
4 Japanese eggplants, cut lengthwise into slices 1⁄2-inch thick
1 onion, cut into 1⁄2-inch slices
1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, cut lengthwise into 3⁄4 - inch slices

1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons finely minced shallots or white onions
Juice from 1 lemon (about 1⁄4 cup)
1⁄4 cup balsamic or red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups peeled, seeded, and diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
20 fresh basil leaves, shredded

1 pound fusilli
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sliced green or black olives
1⁄4 cup capers
1 cup cubed feta cheese

Mix all the seasoning ingredients together in a large bowl, then put in the sliced vegetables and toss until all the vegetables are completely coated. Spread out the vegetables on the grill and cook over medium-low heat for 1 1⁄2 minutes on each side.

Make the sauce: Mix the garlic, minced shallots, lemon juice, vinegar, and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil together in a bowl. Place the tomatoes in a blender or food processor to purée, then add them to the bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

Bring a large pot of water and 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt to a boil and cook the pasta until it is done. Drain through a colander. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the grated lemon zest, pepper, the remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and the grilled vegetables and toss again.
Remove the sauce from the refrigerator just before you are ready to serve, and mix in the shredded basil leaves until they are evenly distributed throughout the sauce.

Pour the sauce over the pasta and grilled vegetables, add the olives and capers, and toss until all the strands of pasta and the vegetables are evenly coated. Top with sprinkles of feta cheese and serve.

My 30 days is up!

Ok, with the couple of "slips", always with the detrimental results I have posted here, my 30 days are up....

I have lost 13 pounds (with no extra exercise except yoga one night), my skin is clear, as are my eyes...I feel absolutely wonderful!

On day 32, I decided to try meat again. I had some pork with my family...and it made me nauseated. Yes, truly physically ill. Bloated. Indigestion. Diarrhea. Yes, I sound like a PeptoBismal commercial.

I guess veg*nism is going to be with me for a long time to come...And now I start Day 1 again....*sigh*

Diet for a Dead Planet

This is the latest book I am reading...the first 2 chapters have done nothing but piss me off. I may never eat again!

Of course, the first chapter is about factory farming...sick enough within itself. The second is about the politics of farming and how the large agricultural businesses run the market.

That's as far as I have gotten so far. But now I am a fat, ANGRY vegan. I will tell more about this book when I finish it!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Vegan Enchilada Casserole

I need to buy a digital camera. My dinner tonight was soooooo pretty and tasted so good. You will just have to imagine it, I guess, until I get a digital camera and cook it again.

This recipe made a 9x12 pan full

Vegan Enchilada Casserole

1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can corn (drained)
1 sm. can sliced olives (drained)
1 onion (chopped)
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cayenne (to taste)
1 Tbsp chili powder
3 7oz cans of salsa verde (tomatillo based green sauce)
12 corn tortillas (or so)
Grated Cheddar cheese (if desired)
Olive Oil

Put enough olive oil in your skillet to cover the bottom and warm over medium heat. Once it's warm, add the onion, garlic, oregano, cayenne, and chili powder, and saute until the onion is soft.

Throw in the beans, corn, olives and one can of the salsa verde. Heat until warmed, stirring regularly. Remove from heat.

Spray a 9 x 12 pan with non-stick cooking spray, and pour a bit of salsa verde in the bottom. Then put a layer of the bean mixture, and a little more salsa verde. Top with more tortillas. Keep layering in this manner until you are done.

Cover with foil and bake for 20-30 mins at 375 degrees. Cut into squares and serve. I put some cheese on my son's serving, right on his plate, and tossed it in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

This will freeze in individual serving dishes, and you can reheat it in the microwave. Instant homemade TV dinners!

Yoga - Can A Fat Chick Get in those Poses?

The answer is Yes! Well maybe. If I have to. Ow that hurts! Not so far...move the belly out of the way. And when I was in Parsvakonasana, I did NOT look anything like this!

Last night, I decided I needed to add some exercise to my program. I think that everyone should exercise, but I am just too damn lazy. Like all good fat people, I have a collection of exercise equipment that I never use. Okay, time to exercise. I thought about my $800 recumbent bike that sits right behind my, too boring. I thought about my collection of 1980's aerobic tapes (anyone remember Dancin' to the Oldies??)...nah, too dated and boring. Ahhhh.....I know....OM Yoga in a Box. This is one of the best yoga programs I have ever tried. I have the Beginner version and the Intermediate. It's been 4 years since I did it (and about 50 pounds), so I guess I better do the beginner.

After dusting off the box, I opened it and started. Ok, I wish someone had of been there to video it, I am sure I would win America's Funniest Home Videos! I got my cushion, my yoga belt and my CD player (where is that thing?). I got my legs crossed (kind of), did my OM chanting, and got started. So far, so good.

There were quite a few rough spots....Vrksasana (tree pose) was very funny, I kept falling over..but the best was Sarvangasana (shoulder stand). I got up on my shoulders, got my feet up over my head, and gravity kicked in. Boobs, fat rolls and all bunched down around my neck, and I started laughing. Do you know how hard it is to stay in this position when you weigh 200+ pounds??

I have to say this...I need to keep doing it. And I will. And I am proud to say, I executed Savasana (corpse pose) perfectly!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Lactose Intolerance, or not? Who cares?

Last night, I was bad...really bad. I decided to have some Oreos (yes, they are vegan). They were good, but I missed my milk with them. Really missed it. So what's a girl to do? Be good and resist my urges? Probably should have.

I have read that lactose intolerance sets in quickly with people who are vegan. I have been told that it does by other vegans. I never really liked milk that much anyways...except with Oreos. Ok, and with cereal (though I love my soy milk with that).

Struggling with my guilt feelings (not AR feelings, but that I was going to break my vegan diet), I poured myself about 6 ounces of milk. I dunked my cookies and then drank the milk...within 10 minutes, my nose was completely stuffed up! I took an antihistamine and went to bed.

About two hours later I woke up with the worst stomach ache I have ever had...except gall stones. It was up there with child birth! After reading several chapters in my book (guess where I was when I did that!), I was finally able to get back to sleep...until this morning. I was gassy, and vomiting and having a few other gastrointestinal complaints that I am too lady like to mention (that's really scary, for those who know me!)

I ended up calling in sick to work, and I stayed at home all day nursing a sick stomach. That will be the last time I drink milk, for sure.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A really cool site

I found the coolest site...ok, I know that there are a million calorie counter type sites out there, but this one is awesome. It tells you Calories, Fat, Cholesterol, Sodium Carbs Sugars Fiber your recommended amounts for each. Almost every food I have typed in has been there, plus you can add your own if you choose. Give it a try: The Daily Plate

Walnut and Fresh Herb Quinoa

My son had a doctor appointment on Friday, and we had to wait an hour to see her. It wasn't too bad, since they had Accent Health television....And I found this recipe. In order to veganize it, I am using vegetable stock to cook the quinoa in, and omitting the cheese in the pesto. I suppose you could use soy parmesan, or maybe someone could suggest something else....

The original recipe is here: Walnut and Fresh Herb Quinoa

My version:

Walnut and Fresh Herb Quinoa Salad with Sautéed Vegetables
Yield: 8 (1½ cup) entrée servings or 16 (¾ cup) side dish servings

Quinoa Ingredients

2 cups quinoa
4 cups vegetable stock
½ teaspoon salt

Walnut Pesto Ingredients

2 cups fresh Italian parsley leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ cup toasted chopped walnuts
salt and pepper to taste

Sautéed Vegetables Ingredients

¼ cup olive oil
4 cups assorted vegetables, chopped (red peppers, green peppers, green onions, broccoli, mushrooms, etc.)
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a fine mesh sieve under cold water to remove any powdery coating (saponin), which can give a bitter taste. Put quinoa, liquid, and salt in pot. Bring to a boil, cover with a tight lid, and turn heat down to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes until grains are translucent and germ has spiraled out from each grain. Remove from heat and allow to sit five minutes with lid on. Fluff gently with a fork. Note: Quinoa expands about four times its original size during the cooking process, so 2 cups raw equals about 8 cups cooked.

Walnut Pesto
In a food processor, combine the parsley, garlic, and olive oil. Process until puréed. Add the nuts and cheese and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Sautéed Vegetables
Heat medium size sauté pan and add in olive oil. When hot, sauté desired vegetables until slightly cooked but still crunchy. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

To Finish
Toss quinoa with pesto and vegetables. Garnish with toasted walnuts and chopped parsley. Serve.

Note: Not only is quinoa packed full of flavor and nutrients, it contains all nine essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles making it a complete protein.

Recipe by AccentHealth Chef Donna Brousseau.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Quizno's VS Subway

Since I have undertaken my vegan journey, I have had millions of errands to I have grabbed a sandwich at both places. Here is my product review of both Veggie sandwiches they have:

Subway: The veggie delight I ordered was very good. I had sweet onion sauce and guacamole and a whole slew of veggies that I chose: tomatoes, lettuce, onion, pepperoncini, cucumbers, bell peppers, salt, pepper and I can't remember what else. The wheat bread was good, though it wasn't whole wheat. It tasted very fresh and I was satisfied for quite a while (even with my omni family munching on sandwiches with all the cold cuts). I would recommend this sandwich to anyone!

Quiznos: You should take my Quizno's review with a grain of salt. Even as an omni, I preferred Subway. The wheat bread was very heavy, but had good flavor. When I ordered the Veggie sub, she listed off a whole bunch of ingredients, and I just said "Yes"...I did remember to tell her to hold the cheese. It had a lot of mushrooms, but that was about all I could taste, except the guacamole, which is excellent there...

But the winner in my comparison was Subway.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Top Chef goes Veg!

I love the show Top Chef. It is fast paced, and I find it interesting. Anyways, tonight's quickchallenge (they have 30 minutes to cook something), featured 2 veg tacos:

Todays Winner (Vegetarian Taco with Jicama Tortilla) by Richard Blais


Vegetarian Tacos with Roasted Squash by Ryan Scott.... I am going to make this one sans the cheese of course.

The pictures look awesome! Yum yum, I think tomorrow will be taco night! Off to the farmers market in the morning! (The one in Henderson is tomorrow...I am going to go check it out).

Monday, March 24, 2008

My New Look

I keep telling everyone I am a web designer...they probably thought I was lying! So tonight, I spent a few hours, using a "retro" style template I had created a long time ago, and put together this template.

When I have more time, I might make one that actually pertains to the veg*n thing, but for right now, at least this is original!

Let me know what you think!

Veggie Burgers

Picture courtesy of stock.xchng This pictures comment was "Believe it ot not this is actually a vegetarian burger." Looks great!

I decided I missed burgers, but also know that this is one of the easiest things to replace in the vegan diet. Veggie burgers are almost mainstream now, so it's no big deal. We have them on the menu at work, and I always liked them there, but no where else (maybe it was the meat transfer from the grill...) Anyways, I bought 2 kinds, to see if I liked any of them. Get out the lettuce, tomato, pickles, mustard and ketchup, cuz here I come!

Boca Burgers: Vegan Yuck, Yuck, Yuck. One bite and it went in the trash. Well, after I made my family taste it...You know, the old, "OHHHH this is awful, here taste it!" concept. We all agreed...yuck. The ones that are left will probably die a slow painful death in the bottom of the chest freezer.

The next one I tried was the Garden Burger Veggie Medley. Ok, less soy, more veggies...It was yummy. And being the weirdo I am, I put it on Ezekial 4:9 Sprouted English Muffins...they are excellent! I just saw on their website that they have burger buns too, I will have to try them.

So, the winner of this trial was Garden Burger Veggie Medley!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Okay, this is funny!

I find this highly hilarious. I love Anthony Bourdain...I think he is funny...Just a prelude.

In his book Kitchen Confidential, he made a statement that upset the veg*n community:

"Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn. To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, and an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food. The body, these waterheads imagine, is a temple that should not be polluted by animal protein. It's healthier, they insist, though every vegetarian waiter I've worked with is brought down by any rumor of a cold. Oh, I'll accommodate them, I'll rummage around for something to feed them, for a 'vegetarian plate', if called on to do so. Fourteen dollars for a few slices of grilled eggplant and zucchini suits my food cost fine." From Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain, p. 70.

Now comes the funnier part. Vegans came up with this idea: Hezbollah Tofu They are going to veganize his recipes, print them in a magazine format, sell it and give the proceeds to animal rights. Now that is funny! Especially this quote from the Hezbollah Tofu site:
Because, Anthony, you're kind of tragically wrong about us. But don't worry, we're not going to do something silly like picket the Travel Channel or go around bookstores drawing giant penises on your book covers with Sharpies. We have two key advantages over you in this game: we're easily mobilized, and we can cook.

While surfing the internet tonight, I came across this: Hire a Celebrity Chef. Yes, that's right. We can hire him. Make him do something like an all vegan 8 course meal....That would be punishment enough for him! :)

At one time, the Travel Channel was running a contest to travel with Bourdain for a period of time....I am not sure if it is still on, but if it is, every veg*n should send in an entry. That would be good too, you could travel with him and talk to him about veg*nism!

Another fabulous Book!

Yep, I found another awesome book by Michael Pollan. This one follows the history of 4 meals from the corn field (yes, the American diet is almost 80% corn, and this book explains it) all the way to the dinner table.

I will never eat beef again after this book. Yes, I know that factory farming is cruel and unhealthy. But being a good American ex-omnivore, there was always that thought of "Gee wouldn't that steak taste good about now"...Not any more. When he got to the part about E. coli bacteria, and how it could all be eradicated if we fed our beef grass instead of corn...and then explained about a bit of poop in every meal, I was totally grossed out. (Do they even say that anymore??) And about how our USDA chooses to irradiate the meat rather than try to rid it of the manure? Ugh. This book is a must read, even if you aren't all about animal rights.

The next meal was a "free-range" factory farmed (yes, I know, it's an oxymoron) chicken and some veggies that were organic. The meal was a bit better, but here is the kicker with the chickens: They are given a grass area to roam in, but the doors are never opened until they are 5 weeks old. They are slaughtered at 7 weeks old. By the time the doors open, they won't go basically they are the same.

I really can't wait to read the next 2 meals. Maybe by then I won't eat anything and will be a skinny bitch, as that one book promises!

Cooking Day

Well, today was cooking day. I try to cook on my days off, stuff I can freeze, so I don't have to cook during the week....yes, I know it's Thursday. I live in Vegas. This IS my weekend!

The barley/black bean salad would have been good, if I hadn't gone overboard with the cilantro. We all know I don't measure often, so I figured one bunch would be perfect. TOO MUCH! So, I put in another can of black beans, cooked off a bit more barley, made another helping of the dressing and tossed that in. Excellent!

The Smoky Refried Bean soup from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen was absolutely awesome! I used canned chipotle chilis (and their sauce, but just a couple of them) rather than the chili powder. My omni son said it was better than the canned Hormel's I have been buying for over $2 a can. This recipe will definitely be a staple in my family from now on!

The Vegetable Barley soup is excellent as usual...I have made this many times, and everyone enjoys it. Just replace the water and boullion with veggie stock and water. Good good good!

I am also making 15 bean soup. I didn't have a recipe, I just kinda tossed carrots, celery, onions and garlic in a pan, sweated them out, added some veggie stock, water and the beans (which I had soaked). I will go and spice it with something here in an hour or so when it's done.

Gonna be a soup kinda week :)

Vegetable Barley Soup

This makes the best soup. Instead of chicken bouillon and water, I replace that with vegetable stock. Vegetable barley soup

Refried bean soup

I found this recipe on Fat Free Vegan Kitchen and I can't wait to try it!


I love soup...yes, Love. Especially Amy's....but at $2.89 a can, it's just not in my budget to eat it every day. So tomorrow, I am doing another massive soup cook. Ask any of my friends, I make the BEST soups. Here is what I am making: 15 bean soup, vegetable barley soup, and smoky refried bean soup. I will post the recipes.

Black Bean and Barley Salad

This is what's for dinner tomorrow:

1 1/4 cup veggie broth
3/4 cup quick-cooking barley
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
2/3 cup chopped scallions (1 bunch, trimmed)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
Lime Wedges

1. Combine broth and barley in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the barley is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Transfer barley to a large bowl. Fluff with a fork and let cool.

2. Meanwhile, combine vinegar, orange juice, oil, cumin, oregano, garlic and salt & pepper in a jar with a tight fitting lid, or a small bowl. Shake or whisk to blend.

3. Add the beans, bell pepper, scallions and cilantro to the barley. Drizzle with the dressing and toss to coat well. Garnish with lime wedges.

The recipe says it will keep 1 day in the fridge, but I have frozen it before, and it works.

This recipe is from The Magic Foods cookbook, for diabetics. There are plenty of veggie recipes in here that I will be trying!