Friday, October 8, 2010
Mustard Glazed Roasted Veggies ... So Good
This is a tease for the roasted veggies I improvised tonight. These use no oil and are bursting with flavor. I love it when an experiment exceeds my expectations.
What a glorious morning we had here in the Mid-Atlantic today. It was a bit warmer than it has been with temps in the mid to upper 50’s early today. We quickly shot up to 70 by 11 am. I don’t think we could be having a more perfect day weather wise.
My day starting making fresh veggie and fruit juice (see yesterday) but today the liter of juice actually made it to Dan’s lunch bag. ;-)
For breakfast I had 2 cups of the fresh juice and a few walnuts halves to assist my body in processing the fat soluble vitamins. I like the taste of the fresh juice. Hopefully I can continue to make the juice in the mornings. It is a lot of work to make fresh juice and takes 30 minutes or more, but I think the nutritional profile makes it worth the trouble on most days anyway. ;-)
Dan decided he would have a green smoothie this morning for breakfast. What? Shocked right? I know I was. ;-) I made his smoothie with: 4 kale leaves/stems roughly chopped, 2 frozen bananas, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger, 1 tablespoon flaxseeds, a handful of walnuts and water to process.
Once Dan was off to work it was time to exercise. I don’t normally talk much about exercise since this is primarily a food blog but exercise has become an important part of my life. There is something about weight lifting that makes me feel strong and capable that I enjoy. Exercise also seems to help me feel more alive. Getting your blood pumping can be a good “high” and it becomes addictive.
Thoughts on food:
Dan and I were talking about food this morning and I had an epiphany. Sometime over the last year I have come to view food as a way to nourish myself and not a way to indulge. I don’t know exactly when that happened but it did and it makes staying healthy SO much easier. In the past I would decide what to cook based primarily on flavor but now I am very content to have green smoothies, a huge salad or bowl of bean soup. Of course you will still see things like the sweet potato torta from a few days ago but I wanted you to know what was going through my head now. I feel like this was a huge step for me so I wanted to share what was happening.
Thinking about my prior diet I can say health used to take a back seat to flavor but no longer. The longer I eat a whole food plant-based diet the less I have any desire to eat things like cake, pie, cookies or pasta. Even pizza doesn’t appeal to me the way it used to. I think that I feel so good eating this way that the idea of putting unhealthy or less healthy things into my body just feels wrong.
The biggest obstacle I had to achieving an uber healthy diet was my friends and family. Only having Dan on board with the dietary changes make it tough to eat healthy when we were with others. Thankfully we have Ian and he can accommodate us and our friends but even then we still frequently default to whole wheat pizza too often. :- / It is tough to be healthy in an unhealthy world but it isn’t impossible.
I have a very good friend (who I know would prefer to remain nameless) that I have been nudging in the vegan direction for some time. I spend a great bit of time trying to think of how to get my friend to try eating like we do for a month and see how that changes things. So far I have had no luck. I think my friend believes it is too time consuming to eat like we do. Since I don’t agree I wanted to outline how I make it happen.
Breakfast is typically a green smoothie, fresh veggie and fruit juice, or oatmeal. The smoothie and oatmeal are both very quick to make and eat. The smoothie can go into a travel mug to drink on the way to work and it is tasty way to consume veggies in the morning. Woo hoo! I know I am not right. LOL
Lunch is almost always intentional leftovers from the prior night or a huge salad. The leftovers are quicker, but a salad doesn’t really take that long to make.
Dinner is where I spend a little time cooking. If you make a big batch of soup, hummus, or whole grain early in the week you can get a head start on dinner. I love to quickly cook a few veggies and place them on top of a grain for dinner. Add a bowl of soup and a small salad and you have a quick and nutritious meal on the table.
Some of my favorite tips for getting a healthy meal on the table are to keep any of the following on hand to mix and match to make a meal:
• roasted veggies (you can used these on top of grain or salad) …see dinner tonight
• hummus (great with veggies dippers or on salad)
• beans (these can be combined with grains and veggies or used on a salad)
• whole grains (make 3 or 4 days worth to used in veggie and grain salads, or as base for cooked veggies)
• marinated veggies (these are great in collard wraps, or on salads)
• nut cheese (this one can get out of hand and is calorie dense but can be great in a collard wrap or on a salad)
• keeping a variety of nuts in the freezer to adding to dishes or making nut based sauces
• trying to eat at least one big salad a day (preferably more)
• keeping falafel, bean burgers or seitan in the freezer helps to get a quick meal on the table too
I hope some of that helped one or two of you. I struggled regarding what to eat and how to make it quickly when we first changed our diet. The first 6 months I did a lot more cooking than I do now and it made it hard to stick with this lifestyle. Since I have started to plan for intentional leftovers life has been much easier in terms of cooking.
Today for lunch I decided to make myself a couple of collard wraps. I filled them with fat free hummus, the vegan mozzarella and partially dehydrated tomatoes and they were delicious.
The flavor on this was great, the texture was not quite right for using on a sandwich, though I think it would be great on top a pizza or baked dish. I want to play around with the recipe a little bit before I post it. I think I can get the texture right soon, which may have to happen this weekend because I loved the flavor so I want to share this but my OCD thinks it needs to be perfect, LOL.
For a snack this afternoon I had the end of the red cabbage and apple dish with seitan. This time I ate it cold like slaw (no quinoa) and I think I may prefer it cold.
When Dan came home tonight (earlier than usual) I had not started anything for dinner. Having an afternoon snack a little over two hours earlier meant I wasn’t very hungry. We both opted for a salad tonight for dinner. I haven’t made roasted veggies in a while and thought I would try something new.
This is more of a method than a recipe so I will describe what I did. I combined 3 tablespoons of both Dijon and red wine vinegar and whisked until it was creamy. Next I added a little stevia, to taste. I cut up four carrots, 2 purple Peruvian potatoes and grabbed a handful of green beans. I tossed the veggies in the marinade and placed them on a silpat covered baking sheet and roasted them at 400 degrees until they were the texture we prefer. Some veggies cooke faster than others. This technique will work with most veggies.
Here are the veggies before they were roasted. The final salad was pictured at the top of the post.
This worked surprisingly well. I loved the flavor it added to the veggies. All I had to do was put the veggies on top of shredded romaine and top with chopped walnuts and we had dinner. This was so quick and easy it will be showing up on my dinner table again soon. I can’t wait to make variations of this.
That is going to be it for me tonight. I hope everyone is having a great start to their weekend. Talk to you all again soon.