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.

Vegan Mozzarella:

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.

Signing out:

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.


  1. Those roasted veggies look good. I want some! :)

  2. Angel,

    Thanks, the roasted veggies turned out much better than I expected. Both Dan and I enjoyed them. There will be many variations of these to come.

    hope you have a great weekend,

  3. Love the dijon on the veggies! Great idea! I need to roast more veggies.

    I agree with you suggestions and follow most of them. I have grains, nuts and seeds stored in mason jars and always ready for quick use. I cook big on the weekends so when Monday comes around I have at least two types of cooked beans, 2 or 3 grains, all of my raw veggies have been washed and are ready for a salad or a saute. I'm not great about having one salad a day though. That's interesting. Lately I've been craving soup for lunch (easy to pack for lunch) and I just mix up a veggie, protein and grain from my bulk cooking and add veggie stock. Will rethink adding salads back!

  4. Hi Alicia! Those veggies are calling to me,lol. And your collard wraps, too. I have some still growing in my garden, I think I know what's for lunch today.
    I am bookmarking this post, it is a great one to share with people considering a diet switch or at least improvement. You did a wonderful job of showing how it really isn't that hard to make changes.

    I can relate to how hard the people around you can make it though, since I am the only one here who eats that way. Today is a family get together, and they all have terrible eating habits- lots of processed junk. I will be eating before I go since all that will be there for me is iceburg salad (gag). ;)

    Hope you and your sweetie have a great weekend!

  5. JL,

    I used to roast veggies every weekend after my trip to the farmers' market, but in the past I used EVOO. The mustard worked exactly the same but added a lot more flavor.

    Great point about cooking a lot on weekends, I did that too when I worked.

    I try to have salad every day to increase my consumption of green leafies (for the nutrition) but I don't always get one in although that is the goal. ;-)

    It is definitely soup weather now. I have been craving it more often recently too. :-)

    enjoy your weekend,

  6. Janet,

    Hi there, nice to see you back. :-) I hope things are getting back to normal at your place.

    I really love my collard wraps, though Dan doesn't enjoy them as much as I do. There is something very appealing to me about handheld food.

    Thanks for letting me know my description of what we do sounds possible. All my friends seem to think it is too much work to avoid processed food and I don't think it is. It was tough until I figured it out, but now it is a breeze. I hope I can inspire a few people to eat less processed food. I think that made the biggest difference in our health.

    I understand the family issues, those can be worse than friends. It seems like family are more vocal in their disagreement of how we live. ;-) Good luck at your get together! Great plan to eat before you go.

    I hope you have a great weekend too,

  7. I don't know why, but I don't think to use mustard very often for sauces, dressings, marinades. And it can be hard to eat healthy when most around you don't - you've read my rants of course ;-)

  8. Heather,

    I knew you would relate to my comment about it being hard to be healthy in an unhealthy world. I think the worst part is that people treat you as though you are nuts while they are eating processed food full of chemicals, sugar and saturated fat. *rolls eyes*

    I have been a lover of mustard for as long as I can remember and will sneak it in anywhere. That is probably why it shows up so often on my blog. ;-)

    hope you have a wonderful weekend,

  9. This post resonated on many levels for me. The healthy eating...I rarely even eat vegan when I go out to dinner (at least at the fancier restaurants). Then I feel lousy afterward, LOL. And also about how once I got into the routine of eating well, I don't even have to think about it! It makes it easiest for me to have a menu so I know exactly what to make that night. It might sound complicated to the outsider, but I know how I operate best and menus really make me feel less overwhelmed about cooking. I think when people are ready they try, and I just hope it doesn't take a serious health problem for your friend to get the willingness to try. I think that's what it took for my husband (high cholesterol and stomach problems). But it takes what it takes sometimes : ) And the benefits are enormous! Sorry for the long comment...this post really hit home as you can see : )

  10. Stephanie,

    I am so happy to hear you liked this post. Thank you for letting me know.

    I used to do the same thing when we went out and you are right it isn't worth how you feel later. Now I have no desire to do it. Being stubborn it took me a while to embrace that moderation was not my friend.

    Good point about menus working for some people. I have tried them but I end up feeling too resisted so that doesn't work for me. But it works for you that is great. :-)

    I hope my friend makes some big changes before there is a crisis too. As you can see I worry about that too. Sometimes it takes a crisis to get change, fingers crossed it won't come to that.

    I was telling Dan this morning about how your hubby was making changes. We both hope that continues to go well. I agree with you that the benefits of eating this way are huge.


  11. Eating for nourishment and not indulgence...that's a great goal for all of us. I'm still working on it! Last night we went out to dinner and I ordered 4 side dishes--asparagus, broccoli, spinach and potatoes au gratin. I thought I'd "indulge" a little but it's been so long since I've had such a rich dish (and the potatoes had a super-thick sauce), that I didn't enjoy it as much as expected. Now if I can only take that to the next level...and not feel the need to indulge in any other food.

  12. Laura,

    Eating for nourishment was always the long term goal for me, but one I never really thought I would achieve willingly. I was absolutely shocked when I realized it had happened. Will miracles never cease? LOL

    Great idea to order multiple sides instead of an entree. The potatoes au gratin would have probably too much for my GI system to handle beyond a bite or two.

    I think what happened with me is that my body is so accustomed to whole plant-based food that it has no desire for the other stuff. Plus I feel so good eating this way I don't want to ruin it. I hope that makes some sense.

    Enjoy your weekend,

  13. Those roasted vegetables look perfect, I love the colors. I enjoy a lot of treats, but I over the past half a year or so I have been trying to eat for nourishment and it really feels great. After a slice of tasty vegan pizza, even when I enjoy it, I feel like I didn't enough nutrition. "Healthy" is more than being lo-cal.

    We are having wonderful weather, I hope your good weather holds out for a great weekend!

  14. Jessica,

    I used to enjoy treats too but somehow that urge just disappeared. If I knew why (for certain) I would share but my current ideas are only conjecture. I like the taste of vegan pizza but I agree with you it doesn't seem healthy enough now. However one or two slices with a big salad isn't going to hurt anyone.

    Our weather is gorgeous today. Glad to hear yours is too. Let's hear it for a nice weekend. Woo hoo!


  15. MUST make your hummus this week! I think I have all the ingredients!

  16. You are lucky that you have Dan to go along with you in your health eating...I think it would be much more difficult if he were not open to making these changes with you.

    I am sorry you were not thrilled with the way the mozzarella turned out.


  17. Aimee,

    We eat a lot of hummus here and I tend to top it with pine nuts which is why the base is fat free. I hope you like it too. It is definitely not traditional.


  18. Courtney,

    You are right it would be much harder if Dan weren't on board. He used to fight me on healthy eating but a crisis does have a way of changing even the most stubborn among us. ;-)

    I loved the flavor of the mozzarella, I think it would be great on top a pizza or casserole. However, I also want to make something that can be sliced. I need to talk to you and make sure I didn't do anything wrong, which is entirely possible. ;-)

    talk to you later,

  19. Hi, Ali. I haven't commented much lately, but read all of your fantastic posts. I love the veggies - will have to try that soon. My next step is to get a dehydrator - but being on a limited budget need to find one that is inexpensive, but will work well. Any suggestions?

    On a kitty note, one of my beloveds Buddy was in the hospital this week for a complete blockage. He was near death but is home now and on the mend ($1200 later - yikes!)

    Yesterday morning, he bit my finger as I was trying to pill pop him and by this morning, my finger and hand were so swollen and infected that my doctor took me in right away. I have a severe bacteria infection - I guess cats (all cats) have a bacteria in their mouths (Pasteurella or something like that). If not significantly better by tomorrow, I am to go immediately to the hospital. Yikes.

    But one of the reasons I am telling you my previous (prior to E2L) life, while getting my prescriptions at the store, I would have felt sorry for myself and picked up chips, processed foods, etc to make me "feel better." Today, as I was waiting, I walked around and picked up lettuce, tomatoes, fruit, etc. to make me "feel better". It is still amazing to me that with this way of eating, I no longer struggle with I still struggle with exercise, but that is another story and a complete work in progress...soon.

    Anyway, I still have more than 80-100 pounds to lose but 55 pounds gone in a matter of months is a good start.

    Your blog really helps me and encourages me to keep going and to make yummy - yet nutritious - new "feel better" foods.

    Hope you are doing well!


  20. Lolly,

    I hope you enjoy the mustard roasted veggies as much as we did. They have a ton of flavor, which I appreciate since I am a flavor junky.

    Ouch, I am sorry to hear about Buddy and your finger. =(

    I read your comment to Dan and we are both thrilled to hear about your progress and that we playing a small part. You made my day telling me you got salad ingredients to make yourself feel better. Go you!

    Take care of Buddy and your finger.

    big hugs to you,

  21. What a great epiphany you had! I definitely agree about the social aspect of eating as being the most difficult. For me it is just making sure the food is vegan, nevermind clean/healthy vegan! It is the world we live in, so it is no wonder you often default to whole wheat pizza when dining out.

    In other news, way excited about your roasted veggie method!

  22. Sarah,

    I don't even know when the desire to indulge disappeared. It vanished uneventfully. When I figured it out I was thrilled though. LOL

    Eating vegan when you are out gets easier the longer you do it. Now I find that simple even when Ian isn't cooking. Making it healthy and vegan is a completely different problem. One trick you may want to try is too look at the side dishes on menus, they are frequently vegan or easily made vegan and order a few of those as a meal.

    I hope you like the roasted veggies as much as I did. They have a big punch of flavor.

    talk to you later,


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