Sunday, October 24, 2010

Garbanzo Cheeze, Marinated Kale Salad and Indian Spiced Soup

Thank you all for your kind words, they meant a lot to me. I am very lucky to have many thoughtful readers. If I haven’t said this recently you guys are the best. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and making me smile. Today started better than the last few days. I think it was getting moving early and shopping for local organic produce that helped my mood. There really is nothing like have two refrigerators packed with local produce to put a big smile on my face.

This morning started like every other Sunday with an early morning trip to the farmers’ market. Yes it was pitch black when we left the house. Leaving the house in the dark always feels wrong but turns out well in the end. As usual we headed for Rudy (Cat’s Paw Organic) first just in case he needed help unpacking the truck, and he did. Rudy was in the truck when we arrived so Dan and I carried the baskets and boxes to the table for Rudy to move around later. Once the truck was unloaded (which only took a few minutes) we had time to chat about my favorite subject …. nutrition. Since Rudy has a master’s degree in biochemistry he is great to talk to about this stuff. The topics we discussed today: the U and J curves and vitamin D, the impact sugar has on the immune system, the danger of the notion of “everything in moderation”, eliminating saturated fat to the extent possible, and epigenetics. As you can imagine I was in nutrition/health heaven. It is nice to have people to talk to about this stuff.

Next we headed over to our CSA (Calvert Farm) to pick up our weekly share. Pam and Paul weren’t around this morning; I hope they were somewhere relaxing. However the other guys were very talkative this morning. I always enjoy chatting to people and sharing experiences. One of the guys is having elderly parent struggles which I can relate to. We shared stories for a few minutes and it was nice to know neither of us was alone in that particular dilemma.

Our haul from the market today seemed bigger than usual and included: 6 cucumbers, 3 bell peppers, 1 head cauliflower, 2 heads broccoli, 1 butternut squash, 3 beets, 2 bags baby spinach, 1 head cabbage, 1 bunch radishes, 1 pound shitakes, ½ pound fresh ginger, 2 bunches kale, 2 leeks, 1 bunch cilantro, 1 bunch dill, 1 bunch broccoli rabe, 4 small yellow zucchini, 5 small eggplant, 5 pounds sweet potatoes, 1 big bag of apples for juice (probably 25). I suspect I missed some things but you get the idea. Both my refrigerators are packed top to bottom and front to back. I will be concentrating on eating produce today to make space since air flow in the refrigerator is a good thing. I am always in heaven when my house is packed with food particularly when it is fresh produce. Weird right? ;-)

Breakfast this morning was designed to make room in the refrigerators. Gee, I wonder why, LOL. We had a pot of green tea (using the new cast iron pot I bought for home) and a big salad. This salad included: tatsoi (a dark green leafy in the cruciferous family), shaved beets, shaved carrots, shaved cucumber, dried blueberries, sliced almonds and a dressing made of Dijon, red wine vinegar and stevia. Yes there was a lot of chewing but we covered all the colors of the rainbow with a little fat (from the nuts) to help with the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins. This is my favorite type of healthy breakfast. Dan doesn’t love salad for breakfast as much but he understands that they are good for him and therefore he doesn’t fuss … well not much anyway. ;-)

After breakfast I started a batch of dehydrated leeks because we are running low. This time I made them plain (no liquid aminos and no balsamic). Since they always get used on salad or on top of dishes I don’t know that they need added flavor. I will let you know how they turn out once they are finished which probably won’t be until tomorrow.

Dan left earlier for work today than yesterday since he has projects to ship out on both Monday and Tuesday. I wish he had more free time since I feel certain stress is not good for anyone’s health. However at least I know he eats well, gets plenty of rest and love. I am going to work on that relaxing issue just as soon as the last package goes out on Tuesday.

Last night I felt a sore throat coming on which is very rare for me. I think my mood caused a dip in my immune system, but that is only a guess. I always try to get ahead of a sore throat or cold when they happen. I gargled with salt water with a few drops of tea tree oil. When I woke up this morning my sore throat was gone. If I had still had the sore throat this morning I would have added the “raw garlic cure” which is what we call it at my house. When I don’t feel well I finely mince a raw garlic clove and let it stand for 10 minutes so the allicin can develop. Then I swallow the garlic with water (no chewing) and I do this with every meal. I have read many articles about garlic being used by the Russians as an antibiotic during World War II and it seems to help. I tried chewing the garlic the first time, wow that makes it much more potent than I can take. Don’t try this without food as it can upset the stomach. But other than those two issues the garlic “cure” has worked very well for both me and Dan.

Exercise Endorphins:

The plan today was to use cardio to get my endorphins pumping. Since this has worked in the past I decided to try it today. No surprise I felt a nice nigh once I finished exercising. This is going to be my new plan when I need to boost my mood.

Post exercise snack:

When I finished exercising I had a banana, 2 Brazil nuts (for selenium) and a few hazelnuts.

Kitchen experiment:

I mentioned in a prior post that I wanted to use garbanzo beans as a base for “cheeze”. I had been in such a funk I didn’t get around to that until this morning. This was a successful experiment in my opinion and I will be using garbanzo beans for other “cheezes” in the future. Here is what I did:

Garbanzo Bean Cheeze Experiment
Serves 4


1 ¾ cups cooked garbanzo beans (the equivalent of 1 – 15 ounce can)
1 – 2 cloves of garlic peeled, depending on how much you like garlic
½ lemon, zested and juiced
¼ teaspoon dill weed, dried
½ teaspoon dry mustard
nutritional yeast to taste (I used about 3 tablespoon since Dan isn’t a huge fan but more would be great too)
add as much bean cooking liquid (or water) as you need to make a smooth paste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste


This is more of a method than a recipe. I placed the garbanzo beans, lemon zest and juice and ¼ teaspoon of the dill and dry mustard in the food processor (a blender would work too) and processed. I added the maximum amount of nutritional yeast (1 tablespoon at a time) I thought Dan would find palatable. Then I added bean cooking liquid until I liked the texture. I added more mustard and the second garlic clove because I wanted to make certain it wasn’t bland. I think one garlic clove is more than enough for most people. Next I added freshly ground black pepper to taste. That is all there is to it. If you want something that has a more rich taste and texture you can add soaked raw cashews, tahini or reduced fat peanut butter. I thought it was fine without those but my palate has become accustomed to cooking and eating this way.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 149.36
Calories From Fat (13%) - 19.57

Total Fat - 1.92g
Saturated Fat-  0.19g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 6.42mg
Potassium - 229.3mg
Total Carbohydrates - 21g
Fiber - 5.61g
Sugar - 3.67g
Protein - 6.56g


Dan and I differ on our love of nutritional yeast. Had this been just for me there would have been much more nutritional yeast but since I wanted him to enjoy this I kept the level lower than I would like. I increased the flavor in this by adding the dry mustard (you could use Dijon) and two cloves of garlic. The dill added a nice background flavor. If you aren’t a fan or dill tarragon would also be great in here. Overall I was very happy with how this worked out.

What would I do with this? It would be great on a sandwich (collard wrap around here) like hummus, on a pizza to hold the toppings, on top of a salad, or with veggie dippers. I think this has many uses. It is a nice change from hummus and I am always looking for a new way to use garbanzos.


In keeping with my idea of eating fresh produce to reduce my refrigerator stash I had a salad for lunch. Today’s salad included baby spinach, ½ of an avocado, a few tablespoons of salsa and a dollop the garbanzo bean cheese. Given the post exercise snack this was more than enough to hold me until my next meal.

Being Productive:

I wanted to work on my to-do list today. Since Dan was at work being productive I wanted to do the same thing at home. For some reason there are always things that I can do at home. How is it that tasks always seem to pile up? My plan is that being productive will enhance my mood. Also I made good progress yesterday and I wanted to keep going before I lost the momentum.

It turned out that while I didn’t get as much accomplished as I had planned (nothing new) I still made a nice dent in my to-do list and that feels great. I love crossing things off my to-do list. ;-)

Mid afternoon lunch snack:

I had another salad at about 4:30. This one contained a head of romaine, ½ of avocado (the remaining half from earlier), more salsa and garbanzo bean cheese. One of the things I love about having salad is that they are filling. I also love the coldness and crunch.

Marinated Kale no oil or salt:

Today I decided to try an experiment to see what I thought of a kale salad with apple cider vinegar. If you look at most recipes for marinated kale they use a lot of oil and salt. I don’t use either one and my kale was still tender. In the past I have used lemon juice but thought apple cider would be nice since it is fall and I wanted to use apples in the salad.

I thinly shredded 1 bunch of kale (leaves and stems) and tossed that into a zip top bag with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. I squished it around in the bag and tossed it into the refrigerator to marinate. I left the kale marinate for an hour and it got nice and tender. I tossed it with shredded apple, shredded carrot, sliced almonds and dried blueberries and a little stevia. This salad actually exceeded my expectations. I am not a lover of raw kale in salad but this was really good. You will be seeing variations of this coming up in the future.

Indian spiced vegetable and red lentil soup:

In an attempt to reduce the amount of produce in the refrigerator I ended up making a quick pot of soup for us to eat for a couple of days. This soup was simple and contained the following: 1 red onion, 12 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, 4 cups of peeled diced tomatoes, approximately 6 cups water, 1 cup red lentils, 2 carrots finely diced, 2 stalks celery finely diced, 1 pound mushrooms (any mushrooms will work but I used shitake), ½ tablespoon turmeric, ½ tablespoon cumin, ½ tablespoon coriander, ½ tablespoon black mustard seed, freshly ground black pepper to taste, crushed red pepper flakes to taste, 4 cups cauliflower finely diced, 1 red bell pepper. This made a lot of soup, probably 6 big portions.  I had two small bowls with my kale salad tonight for dinner.

Signing out:

That is going to be it for me tonight. I hope everyone had a great weekend. My weekend ended much better than it started. With a little luck this coming week will be a good one and I will be back to posting every day.


  1. Ali--I'm SO happy to hear you are feeling better (inside)! I get in those funks sometimes, especially during October and November. My mantra is always "this too shall pass" and it always does. I have been meaning to send you this link (below) as a little comic relief during your funk (long but totally hilarious for sugar junkies on the wagon!). Also want to thank you for taking time to create a garbanzo dip. I love when I have everything for a recipe on hand : ) Here's that link:

  2. Hello :) I am your newest follower! I came across your blog from another wonderful veg blog. Loving yours too! I always love finding new veg blogs. Thank you for sharing your experiment! I will definitely be trying that out! And those salads look fabulous too :) Come and follow back if you are interested! Have a great week.

  3. you sound SO much better:)i know what you mean about nice comments, it seems i get one when i really need one also, i love that about this "community". you mentioned that you met another person going through the same struggles as you with their parents. im glad you got to feel not so alone. i only see through my mom what she goes through with my grandma. its tough.awesome that your sore throat went away!! i was sick about a week and a half ago, it was really bad for bout three dys then went away. i am convinced that taking it easy and eating CLEANLY is what got me through it so quick. ttysoon

  4. Loving the garbanzo bean cheeze. I'm on your side about nutritional yeast. Yum. Luckily, Jason has no issues with it. The kale salad looks great. We didn't pick up any kale the other day unfortunately.

  5. Glad you got over that sore throat so quickly. I had one last week, and it was the strangest illness I've ever had. What was strange was how mild it was, it was around for about 4 days but it was so mild it was most unnoticeable. I'm surrounded by lots of miserably sick people lately, so I can't help but think that I escaped total misery because of my diet.

    Love your garbanzo cheeze. I have heard of bean spreads on pizzas so I think this one would work particularly well. Will let you know how it goes!

  6. Ali-
    I was under the weather and feeling low last week as well! I'm back to it today, though and I'm sorry to hear you were feeling icky too. Thanks for sharing your garlic cure. I had a sore throat for a few days but it has passed. I like the idea of your garbanzo bean cheeze and that marinated kale salad looks perfect. Have a great day! -Aimee

  7. One thing that always helps me feel better is some stimulating conversation. Sometimes I get a little "stuck" at home doing the same-old. I'm glad you have some good conversation partners at the farmers market. Plus I know you enjoy your time with Dan; Alex and I spend all day together so sometimes we don't have a whole lot of catching up to do.

    Using garlic to fend off a cold sounds interesting - I might give it a try. I am usually pretty open to old wives tales and such because there is a hint of truth to them, even when modern medicine doesn't back it up.

    The garbanzo cheeze sounds interesting - I know I would like the texture of that, and I will give your seasonings a try.

  8. I made the garbanzo spread. Yummmm. Thanks again for that.

  9. Glad you are feeling better (well--not the throat--but you'll get rid of that asap!). And your garbanzo cheese sounds most excellent! :)

  10. I'm glad your feeling better.
    I need to try your garbanzo cheese...that sounds very good! I hope you continue to feel better...hang in there!

  11. Stephanie,

    Thanks, I have been keeping myself very busy until the funk passes. It seems to be helping. Thanks for the link. ;-)


  12. Marci,

    Thanks for link to your blog. I should have time to stop by tomorrow after the doc appts. I hope you enjoy the garbanzo cheese.


  13. Michelle,

    Sorry to hear your mom is having the same struggles with your grandmother. It is tough having elderly parents.

    Glad to hear your cold went away. I think eating well and getting plenty of rest helps a lot too.


  14. Heather,

    Dan really enjoyed the kale salad and actually asked for it today in his lunch. I liked the garbanzo cheeze but it would be better with more nutritional yeast. ;-)


  15. Sarah,

    I was lucky that the sore throat lasted less than 12 hours and most of those I was sleeping.

    I love to use hummus as the base on pizza so this should work fine. If you like nutritional yeast I would suggest you add more.


  16. Aimee,

    Glad to hear you are feeling better too. I think the cool and grey weather doesn't help.

    The kale salad worked out really well. I was shocked by how good it was.


  17. Jessica,

    Do you and Alex work together? Dan and I used to work together and we loved it. I hope you do too.

    I was skeptical of the garlic idea, as was Dan, but it seems to work. Dan was so convinced that he has started doing it too. When I do get a cold, which is rare, when I take the garlic three times a day my colds last half the time of those around me.

    I was surprised by the garbanzo cheeze. You can also use white beans in place of the garbanzos.


  18. Ricki,

    The sore throat lasted about half a day and then disappeared.

    I was pleased with the garbanzo bean cheese. It worked well on salad and on top of cucumber slices with a little salsa. I will be making more variations of that one from now on.


  19. Michelle,

    Thanks, I am trying to just ride it out. My plan at the moment is to distract myself as much as possible until it passes.


  20. Stehanie,

    Sorry I missed your comment earlier. I am very happy to hear you liked the bean cheeze. Thank you so much for letting me know. :-)



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