How many of you are taking part in Vegan Mofo in November? I participated last year but I don’t know that I can post every day this year so I was considering bailing out this year. However if many of you are doing it too I may give it a go again this year. I want to hear your thoughts on this.
The sun finally peaked out for the first time in days. It was great to see blue sky peaking from behind the clouds for a while today. I am definitely a girl that needs her sunlight. Do you have any tricks for surviving long bouts of gray weather?
As you know by now I try to eat greens every day either in my smoothies or in salad, and sometimes both. I was craving salad so that is what I made myself for lunch. This one contained a head of romaine, 3 Roma tomatoes, ½ shaved cucumber, 1 shaved carrot, a tablespoon’ish of dried cranberries and a sprinkle of slivered almonds. I used my current favorite dressing of Dijon, red wine vinegar and stevia. There is just something about eating a big salad that feels right.
Like usual I got hungry mid afternoon and had a snack. I feel as though if I get a little something to eat when I am hungry I end up eating less dinner which is always a good thing. Since most of us are doing nothing more than lounging on the sofa after dinner I feel like dinner should be a small meal. There is no science behind that I know of, it is just what I try to do and it seems to work.
My afternoon snack today was about a cup of frozen grapes and a few walnut halves.
I was in the mood to cook but had no idea what I wanted to make. Doesn’t that always seem to happen? Since it is apple season I decided that a dish that included them would be a good call. Here is what I made:
Sweet and Savory Red Cabbage, Apple and Onion over Quinoa
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water to cook quinoa
1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced (allow to stand 10 minutes before cooking)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced (allow to stand 10 minutes before cooking)
2 apples, cored and cut into bite sized chunks
2 vegan sausages, but into bite sized pieces (I used seitan sausage with quatre epices)
¼ cup water
½ cup apple cider
1 tablespoon apricot preserves
¼ teaspoon powdered ginger
6 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced
black pepper to taste
Begin by starting the quinoa since it takes a few minutes more than the topping
Cook the onion, garlic, apples and sausage in water, apple cider, apricot preserves and ginger in a covered pan. Cook until the onions are beginning to get tender about 5 minutes. Give the ingredients and stir and place the cabbage on top and recover the pan. The cabbage will be cooked in less than 5 minutes. Remember to cook cabbage as quickly as possible to retain the most nutrition.
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 429.69
Calories From Fat (9%) - 38.27
Total Fat - 4.3g
Saturated Fat - 0.48g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 81.55mg
Potassium - 1266.26mg
Total Carbohydrates - 73.36g
Fiber - 13.9g
Sugar - 9.36g
Protein - 29.46g
This was a nice autumn dish more sweet than I anticipated but still good. I think it would have been enhanced by a touch or Dijon in the sauce or few nuts on top for crunch and I would make one or both of those changes the next time.
Twitter and Foursquare:
Those of you who have been reading for a while know that I have been resisting Twitter for some reason. I can say that I finally understand the appeal. It is not intuitive, or at least it wasn’t for this technology dinosaur but it can be a lot of fun. You can follow me @VeganEpicurean.
While on Twitter I also found a few local suggestions from someone on Foursquare. Since Twitter worked out so well I also signed up for Foursquare about a week ago. If you want to follow me on Foursquare I am Vegan Epicurean there too. In only a few days I have already gotten some great tips from Foursquare you may want to check it out.
This morning was much nicer than it has been. It was windy overnight but by morning that had died down and temps were in the mid 50’s. By 9am we were up to 62 and it was beginning to feel like a nice fall morning.
Dan opted to have a green smoothie this morning for breakfast since it was a bit warmer today. His smoothie contained: 2 frozen bananas, 4 kale leaves/stems, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 handful walnuts, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger and water to process.
I asked him if he was learning to tolerate the green smoothies yet and he said, “They have always been good, but they aren’t strawberry banana soft serve.” I have to say this was a better reaction than I had expected. I am not sure why but I didn’t think he liked it I guess that was because of the fussing that I mistook for actual dislike. *rolls eyes* I will never understand men or guy humor.
Guess who actually made fresh veggie and fruit juice again this morning? Yes it was me. However the funny thing was that I forget to put it in Dan’s lunch. Can I be any less functional in the morning? LOL, I am SO not a morning person. I store his juice in the freezer after I make it and until he is ready to leave for work and completely forgot to pack it this morning. *sigh*
I even made a huge batch of juice so that Dan could have it in his lunch and I could have a couple of cups for my breakfast. For some reason I have really come to enjoy the taste of the fresh juice. I like the acidity from the lemon, the zip from the fresh ginger and the sweetness from the apple, carrot and beet.
The picture above is the prepped veggies and fruit on an 11 by 17 inch pan before being run through the juicer. This amount becomes approximately 7 ½ cups of juice. Today’s juice contained: 1 head romaine, 6 leaves kale, 5 apples, 2 lemons, 2 inches fresh ginger, 8 carrots, and one huge beet.
I try to include juice in our diet to provided additional nutrition. Fresh juice is not a substitute for whole fruits and veggies but in addition to them. It is important to also eat your veggies and fruit whole to ensure you are getting enough fiber. Since we almost always exceed 40 grams of fiber per day that isn’t an issue for us but the average American gets 12 of less grams of fiber and for those people juice may not be the best solution.
Soup for the week:
After breakfast I decided it was time to make an enormous pot of soup for Dan and I to eat for a few days. I love making soup because it gets better as it sits in the refrigerator. Today I decided to do something different and I broke out the crock pot. Here is the soup I made today:
Indian-spiced Red Lentil, Barley and Shitake Soup
2 red onions
10 cloves garlic
2 inches fresh ginger
3 carrots, finely diced
3 stalks celery, finely diced
½ pound shitake mushrooms, but into bite sized pieces (I used shitake but any variety will work including dried)
1 cup red lentils
1 cup hulled barley
1 tablespoon turmeric
½ tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
½ tablespoon paprika
¼ teaspoon ajowan seeds (or substitute thyme)
1 dash asafetida (not too much as this has a funky smell)
1 dash cardamom powder
1 dash cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste (add generously since the piperine has a synergistic effect with the turmeric)
¼ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
¼ teaspoon saffron threads
water to cover everything by 2 inches
Place everything in your crock pot (I used a 6.5 quart model) and set on low. Cook for at least 8 hours. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your taste. Something happens when you cook in a crock pot that seems to mute the seasonings which typically has been tweaking then at the end of cooking.
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 229.93
Calories From Fat (7%) - 15.33
Total Fat - 1.83g
Saturated Fat- 0.27g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 53.61mg
Potassium - 507.38mg
Total Carbohydrates - 45.07g
Fiber - 10.02g
Sugar - 2.88g
Protein - 10.71g
This is a lightly spiced soup that is very healthy. The lentils and barley provided fiber to help keep cholesterol down and your GI system working properly. The mushrooms and turmeric have antiproliferative properties. In addition to being healthy it is a tasty soup. Both Dan and I enjoyed this, and it is a good thing because we have plenty of leftovers.
Dinner tonight was soup for both of us followed up with strawberry banana soft serve for Dan. Just another typical day at our house. ;-)
It will be no surprise that lunch was leftovers from dinner from the night. I find that making intentional leftovers works very well for me in terms of total time spent cooking. As much as I enjoy cooking I just don’t have time to spend hours in it each day. Since we eat a whole food plant-based diet if we didn’t have leftovers for lunch I would spend a lot more time in the kitchen.
Today I spent more time drying Roma tomatoes and leeks for the pantry. I feel a bit like a squirrel putting away nuts for the winter. ;-)
Today I made my version of a mozzarella recipe that my friend Courtney gave me. It is still cooling so I can’t share it yet since I haven't tasted it. However you can expect that tomorrow.
That is going to be it for me today. It was a busy day here getting prepped for the seasonal change. I must say I am going to miss my sandals and I am not looking forward to wearing a coat. However I do like the change of seasons so I am trying to focus on that aspect of things.
Talk to you all again tomorrow after I get finished with my Friday errands. I have high hopes for the mozzarella in the refrigerator now, and this version doesn’t require agar. ;-)