We woke up to the most beautiful fall morning. The air was crisp, and there was a gentle breeze and not a cloud to be seen. I love a cloudless blue sky day. There is just something about waking up to the perfect weather to put me in a great mood.
Since it was Saturday (our only day to sleep in) we didn’t get up until 8 which is what happens when you are completely involved in a conversation at midnight. It seems like my husband and I could talk for hours. Whoever said men don’t have much to say should see us in action. ;-)
We started the morning with a nice mug of hot green tea with a little ascorbate C powder to keep the EGCG bioavailable longer. While we sipped tea I preheated the oven and started beets roasting for a salad with my parents at mid-day. I thought today would be a good day to make my version of Ian’s beet carpaccio. I am going to add a few things and take others away. Hopefully I don’t change the entire feel of the dish because we both enjoyed the original but I want to make a version that is my own.
Last night I was doing little research on a product I have not had before. Any guesses what this is? The only hint I will give you is that it is sold for human consumption and it is vegan.
INGREDIENTS: Soy protein concentrate, dehydrated onion, soy sauce granules (soy sauce [water, wheat, soybeans, salt], maltodextrin, salt), yellow cornmeal, spices, dehydrated garlic, tomato powder, masa harina (ground corn treated with lime), sea salt, less than 2% of brown rice syrup solids, non-GMO expeller pressed canola oil, onion powder, maltodextrin, caramel color, salt, yeast extract, natural flavors, torula yeast, modified food starch, vinegar solids, celery powder, jalapeno powder, hydolized soy protein, lactic acid, silicon dioxide (anticaking). Contains wheat, soy.
Would I eat this? Not if I knew what I was eating. I wanted to highlight the ingredient list because when I read it to my husband last night (the less health concerned half of this family) even he said it sounded like a science project. This is why it is so important to read labels. Just because something is vegan doesn’t mean it is fit for human (or animal) consumption.
When I first became vegan I foolish thought that vegan food was healthier than omni food. That is so far from true it is sad. It is just as easy to be an unhealthy vegan in America as it is an unhealthy omnivore.
So what is wrong with this product? The first problem is the main ingredient is soy protein concentrate. First we know it isn’t organic which means it is undoubtedly “Roundup ready technology soy”. Nothing like knowing which pesticide is in your food. *rolls eyes* Additionally it is processed soy protein which elevates IGF-1 and you don't want that. The third ingredient listed is sodium. It contains two forms of sugar, brown rice syrup and maltodextrin. I am always suspicious of products that use more than one type of sugar.
I am not naming the product because I don’t want to hear from any corporate lawyers and I don’t think the specific product is important. The reason I listed the ingredients was to show you what is actually in a product that claims to be “natural”. This product doesn’t sound overly natural to me.
This is why the vast majority (probably over 95%) of what we eat is whole food in the form of produce, whole unprocessed grains, beans, nuts or seeds. When you eat a diet like that you don’t need to read the fine print on a box or bag.
I hope looking at the ingredient list of the “natural” vegan product above resonates with some of you. Just because a food is vegan doesn’t mean it is good for you. As you can guess this is a serious hot button issue for me. A vegan diet can be the healthiest diet on the planet, or it can be garbage and only you can decide what happens at your house.
Dan was busy logged into to work from home because there is a computer upgrade is going on. Our phone rang early (it was the office) and a 20 minute task turned in to multiple hours. How my husband gets stuck with miscellaneous computer tasks since he isn’t IT is beyond me. It isn’t like he has all the free time in the world. *rolls eyes*
Dan had planned to run to the plumbing supply house this morning for an unusual part he needed for our old (okay over 100 year old) house. Of course it closed at noon so by the time he was finished with work he needed a smoothie to go and had to run out the door.
For breakfast I made Dan a green smoothie of: 4 kale leaves/stems roughly chopped, 2 frozen bananas, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger, 1 handful of walnuts, water to process and a little stevia. I poured this into a mason jar and he ran out the door to the plumbing supply house. Thankfully he made to the store on time and all the plumbing is now functioning as intended. It is so nice to have a handy husband.
For my breakfast I had something similar but with a twist. Friday on Twitter Ricki (Diet, Dessert and Dogs) mentioned adding cranberries to smoothies and that sounded interesting to me. I always find banana smoothies to be a little too sweet so I wanted to try it. My smoothie this morning contained: 4 kales leaves/stems roughly chopped, 1 frozen banana, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger, 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds and water to process. Once this was completely smooth I added two small handfuls (somewhere between ¼ and ½ cup) and processed until they were just broken up because I didn’t want the smoothie to be the color of mud. ;-) I really liked the tartness they added to the smoothie.
We had my parents over for lunch and I served the lentil and barley soup from the other day and both of my parents liked it. The fact that they liked the soup was a minor miracle considering their typical unhealthy omni diet.
To accompany the soup I made my version of Ian’s beet carpaccio. Since I wasn’t certain if he cooked the beets or not I roasted mine just to be safe. Looking at color difference I am fairly certain Ian’s were raw. Next time I will change that. This is going to be a method rather than a recipe.
You can either roast the beets or slice them thinly raw (use a mandoline). Lay the very sliced beets on the base of a plate by slightly overlapping so the entire plate is covered. To dress the beets I combined the juice of ½ half and orange with a fat tablespoon of pomegranate molasses and whisked until it was smooth. Next I thinly sliced a fennel bulb (also on the mandoline) and added that and baby arugula to the dressing and tossed to coat. I placed this salad on top of the beets. Now zest the orange and set that aside. Peel the orange and cut it into bit sized pieces. I stopped supreming oranges after reading of the health benefits of the orange membrane in the oncologist’s office. Finish the salad with the orange pieces, sliced almonds, a few slivers of olive and the orange zest. I also sprinkled a little sumac on top the salad but that is optional.
Everyone enjoyed this salad and unlike usual I didn’t add any olive oil to my parent’s servings and they still liked it. I guess that means this is an omni approved dish. ;-)
Our snack today was a simple appetizer plate of cucumber slices, carrot sticks, fat free hummus and a few walnuts. This is the picture of my plate Dan had more walnuts since he seems to need extra calories to keep weight on.
What a shock this will be, we had a big salad for dinner. This one contained: shredded romaine, thinly sliced cucumber, thinly sliced carrot, avocado, fat free hummus, salsa, walnut parmesan and dehydrated leeks. We both loved this salad though I don’t really know what made this salad so special, but it was a good flavor and texture combination.
Brrrr, it was cold this morning. It was another one of those days where I thought I dressed warmly enough but no go. Jeans, one of Dan’s heavy cotton oxford shirts and flats without socks was not warm enough this morning. I found myself holding the empty canvas bags in front of me to keep me warm. Since it was 51 degrees when we got home it was no surprise this outfit was not enough to keep my warm. Fall is here without a doubt.
We left for the farmers’ market at 6:17 this morning and were there long before the official start time of 7 am. When we arrived Rudy (Cat’s Paw Organic) hadn’t unloaded the truck yet. He was delayed by road construction this morning. Dan jumped into the truck and we had things unloaded in well under 5 minutes.
From Rudy this morning we picked up acorn squash, cucumbers, kale, red bell peppers, beets and cauliflower. I was so happy to see the cauliflower, I love that stuff. ;-)
Next we went over to Calvert Farm to see Pam and Paul and get our Fall CSA goodies. There we picked up: carrots, shitakes, more kale, eggplants, the most gorgeous green celery with beautiful dark leaves, and green onions.
Then we needed to pick up another 25 pound box of tomatoes to dehydrate. Hard to imagine I am still doing that isn’t it? I have 8 quarts (started as 100 pounds) of them so far but that won’t last all winter. We talked to the farmer and they will have boxes of Romas until the first frost which I hope is still a few weeks away. *fingers crossed*
About a month ago my vegan dietitian buddy Courtney mentioned savory oatmeal. Since it was hot and I was having smoothies most mornings I didn’t get around to trying it until this morning. Savory oatmeal is absolute genius! Thank you so much for sharing that Courtney, I LOVE IT! I tried to talk Dan into the savory oatmeal this morning but he wanted his usual wild blueberry and walnut oatmeal. Can you tell Dan is not the most culinary adventurous half of this marriage? LOL
My oatmeal this morning contained: ½ cup oats, 1 cup water, about a cup chopped broccoli (I used frozen that I defrosted), nutritional yeast to taste, and 1 clove garlic finely minced. I cooked this until the oats were soft. Next I stirred in 1 tablespoons of ground flaxseed and topped the dish with salsa and walnut parmesan. This was so good there were no words to describe it. I absolutely loved it! I hope some of you give this a try.
I need to get moving and figure how what I am making for the 3pm meal with my parents. I will be back soon to let you know what I came up with.