Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekend update and a book review

Sorry I missed posting on Sunday. It was a busy weekend here and is going to be a busy week.  I am going to try to post everyday this week though. Wish me luck.

Saturday dinner:

As expected we weren’t terribly hungry when dinner time came around so we had the end of the country miso soup from Friday. I was feeling lazy and didn’t take a picture but it looked exactly like yesterday. ;-)


It was another cold and dark morning when we left for the farmers’ market. Yes it really was that dark when we left. Only crazy people would leave for the farmers’ market before the sun comes up, LOL.

Rudy was about half set up when we got there so Dan jumped into the truck and I helped carry the containers to the table. We shared an article about the cancer and vitamin D with Rudy and chatted about that for a while. Thank you for sending the article Courtney, Rudy also said thank you very much! ;-)

We brought home a ridiculous haul of local organic produce from the market this morning, between Rudy and Pam we had: 5 bunches of kale, 1 bunch each regular and Chioggia (aka candy stripe) beets, 9 cucumbers, 2 celery roots (with the tops), ½ pound fresh ginger, 2 eggplant, 1 butternut squash, 2 bags tatsoi (an Asian lettuce in the cruciferous family), 1 big rutabaga, 1 quart of white potatoes, 1 quart of sweet potatoes, 2 big daikon radishes (with the greens), 6 yellow zucchini, and 1 quart of green beans. There was probably other stuff but that is what I remember.

My refrigerator is jammed full like normal. Since I always mention how full my refrigerator is I thought I would show you. This is how it looked Monday morning after I had made a little room in it from eating four meals. There is a second refrigerator in the basement for the overflow but this gives you a good idea of how much produce we eat in a week. I was not kidding when I said it looks like a couple of rabbits live here. ;-)

I got these adorable little decorative gourds from Rudy. How cute are they? And they are organic which means when the cats lick them, which they will, I won’t need to panic. :-p For those of you that are wondering yes the gourds are in a Murano glass bowl. Any one will tell you my house has Italy sprinkled throughout every room. ;-)


Since we had green smoothies yesterday Dan wanted oatmeal this morning. He had his favorite fruit and nut oats with mixed frozen berries (raspberries, wild blueberries, and Marion berries), ground flaxseeds, cinnamon, ginger, walnuts and bit of stevia. Dan has a sweet tooth so I have to add just a bit of sweetness to his oats. *rolls eyes* I am still working on him with this but I won’t give up.

For my breakfast I had my new favorite addiction … savory oatmeal. This time I used: ½ cup oats, 1 cup water, 1 ½ cups broccoli, 3 Roma tomatoes diced, 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, freshly ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed, 2 tablespoons salsa, ½ tablespoon raw sunflower seeds and a sprinkle of dehydrated leeks. I could eat this stuff breakfast, lunch and dinner. Thank you again Courtney for sharing this. I LOVE IT! ;-)


I opted to take the easy route today for lunch. I made a huge pot of caponata for lunch today and to have in the refrigerator to top salads. If you haven’t tried cold caponata on salad I highly recommend it. I think I like it almost as much as salsa and hummus which was my prior favorite salad topping. It is more work than hummus but I love it so that is fine with me.

The second dish I made included a quick basil, walnut and lemon pesto. This as simple as it sounds, fresh basil, a handful of walnuts, the zest and juice of one lemon blended in the food processer. Add water until you like the consistency and season (pepper, fresh garlic and salt if you must) as desired. I tossed lightly steamed green beans and fresh cucumber cut like green beans in the pesto and refrigerated. The flavor of these is best at room temp but cold works too.

The last dish I made for lunch was a saffron brown rice pilaf with dried fruit, fresh cilantro and sliced almonds. Cook the rice like normal but add a good pinch of saffron threads. When the rice is finished fluff with a fork, add diced dried fruit of your choice, fresh minced cilantro and sliced almonds. I like this best room temp but hot, or cold also work.

The best part of this meal is that it was quick, no fuss and I have leftovers for Dan’s lunch bag tomorrow. I do love my planned leftovers. ;-)


Dan got hungry about 6:30 this evening and thought a bowl of the split pea soup from yesterday would make a great snack.

I wasn’t initially hungry until I smelled his soup. I decided I would have a little of the okara “cheeze” experiment I am working on, some caponata and cucumber slices. I also grabbed a handful of walnuts and a banana that I didn’t photograph.


It will come as no surprise that Dan decided he “needed” strawberry banana soft serve tonight for dessert. Like normal I had a few spoons of the frozen dessert but Dan had the vast majority of it. In case you hadn’t noticed it is his single favorite thing I make. I have tried to show him how to do it but he claims it wouldn’t taste the same if he made it. Translation, he really doesn’t want to know how to do it himself.


Dan was very sweet this morning and let me sleep in because I was tossing and turning all night. This was mostly due to rambunctious felines knocking things over and chasing each other across the bed while we were trying to sleep. While it was very nice that he let me sleep in but it started my day on a rushed note. This meant no fresh juice in Dan’s lunch this morning. I was not awake enough to be using a sharp knife without harming myself. ;-)

Since I had my intentional leftovers in the refrigerator packing his lunch wasn’t a problem and came together very quickly. For breakfast he decided that he wanted to have a green smoothie of: 4 kale leaves/stems, 2 frozen bananas, 1 handful walnuts (love those omega 3 fatty acids they contain in addition to the richness they add), 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds (more omega 3 fatty acids), ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger (both spices added for flavor and antioxidants). Since this was for Dan I added a pinch of stevia. I love that I can make a healthy breakfast in a just a few minutes. What would I do without my Vitamix? I hope I don’t have to find out.

My breakfast was a bit unorthodox which by now is no surprise I am sure. I opted for two collard wraps with the okara cheeze experiment from late last week and caponata from yesterday. Collard wraps are one of my favorite things. I like knowing I am eating raw cruciferous veggies since they are most nutritious raw of lightly cooked and of course I like having a sandwich without bread. I also like to make this same wrap using hummus or almond feta.

Book Review: The Kind Diet by Alicia Siverstone

This book is written for someone that isn’t a vegan but is considering the idea. The book points out the nutritional and environmental problems associated with consuming meat and dairy. Additionally it addresses some of the common questions new vegans have like, where will I get my protein, calcium, etc.

I like that the author discusses eating local organic food. The fact that she emphasizes the concept of reduce, reuse and recycle is also very positive. This is something I believe in as well though I don’t discuss it on the blog.

There is some questionable nutritional advice in the book. The idea that you should use herbs and spice sparingly is one example, but there are many others. Herbs and spices are a rich source of antioxidants which is why I use them liberally. Not to mention that bland food isn’t exactly appealing, IMO.  Additionally those of you that are vegan may be put off by her comment of having bites of friend's sushi with fish when she is out which really surprised me.

The author separates the book between flirting with veganism and being a superhero. I would describe this as degrees of healthiness which includes different levels of commercial food consumption (including those with soy protein isolates) which you all know by now I don’t eat for health reasons.

The book is categorized as follows:

Part I: Kind versus Nasty

1. What’s So Kind about Dieting?
2. Nasty Food #1: Meat
3. Nasty Food #2: Dairy
4. More Nasty Stuff: White Sugar and Processed Foods
5. Kind Foods
6. Nutritional FAQs

Part II: Living the Kind Life

7. Flirting
8. Going Vegan
9. Becoming a Superhero
10. The Kind Kitchen
11. Kind Away from Home
12. Getting Fit, Inside and Out
13. We Are All Activists

Part III: The Recipes

14. Vegan Recipes
15. Superhero Recipes

This is a book I expected to like and that I wanted to like.  That being said I am glad that I got this from the library. The recipes are okay, they aren’t as healthy as mine. Overall I suggest you check this one out from the library before buying.

Signing out:

That is going to be it for me this morning. I have a busy week in front of me and today is no exception. I hope to be back later today with another post but time may get away from me. I am off to be productive. Talk to again as soon as I can.


  1. I had a good chuckle of that dark photo from Saturday morning, LOL! How fun to see inside your fridge too. Mine is always busting full of food, too. When my friends come by they have nowhere to put their beer and are always giving me a hard time about it :)

    I went vegetable picking at a farm this weekend. I pulled some daikon radishes before I realized what they were. I noticed you got some this weekend too, just curious how you like to prepare them?

    Thanks for the book review, from what I've read I haven't really had an interest in this book and you have confirmed that! :)

  2. Sarah,

    I was leaving you a comment when you were leaving this one, too funny!

    Each Sunday when we leave for the market I think we must be nuts. Glad you saw the humor in it too. LOL

    Sadly that is my frig with room for air circulation. It was worse Sunday morning if you can imagine. Thanks for letting me know I am not the only one with no room in the frig. ;-)

    I like to use daikon grated in salads, sliced and added to miso soup, julienned in stir fry. Some people also make them into pickles but I haven't done that yet but it should work like any other pickle. The greens are edible to. You use the greens the same way you would use kale or mustard greens.

    The book was a major disappointment for me. I really wanted to like it but just couldn't.

    hope you are having a good Monday,

  3. Oh boy, I used to work at a farmer's market and it was that dark when I was waking up...I'm glad I'm not doing that now that it's even darker and chillier in the mornings. Kudos to you for getting up like that. Looks like you got a good haul.

  4. foodfeud,

    I am not a morning person in general which makes us leaving that early even funnier. But it is worth it for fresh local organic produce. I am not looking forward to our market closing for the season soon.

    thanks for stopping by,

  5. That was a fall morning if I ever saw one! Your weekend meals look yummy!

  6. JL,

    I tease Dan every Sunday when we leave for the farmers' market that sane folks would still be in bed. LOL

    Thanks for the food compliment. It was one of my easy weekends but it still tasted good and that is what is most important.

    hope you had a good weekend,

  7. "Only crazy people would leave for the farmers’ market before the sun comes up" well, I guess that means I am crazy too as I head out for the market in the dark as well. Actually, I *walk* to the farmers market in the dark, so does that make me even crazier, lol?!?!?

    I am glad to hear you found the article interesting and that you are enjoying the savory oatmeal :-)


  8. Courtney,

    I wear my crazy badge proudly, LOL. But I think you might have topped me by walking to the market in the dark. ;-) Good for you!

    I did enjoy the article, thank you. It is fascinating to me that there is so much we still need to study and learn.

    Dan thinks I may need a savory oatmeal intervention soon that is much I like the concept, LOL.

    talk to you later,

  9. Oh I really need to get some of those basket to help organize my out of control veggie drawers. Can't believe I haven't thought of that one - duh.

  10. Heather,

    I am glad you noticed the baskets since I never thought to mention them. It does help to keep the produce from rolling out on the floor so often. ;-)

    hope you are having a good Monday,

  11. that was a great review. i WOULD be put of a little by the fact that she sometimes eats fish. i really shouldnt be so rigid thinking. also, the thing about the spices? i have read that some people believe tht nothing should be a shock to the senses, like to spicy or to sweet. maybe thats what she means? hm i really have no idea.

    "......which means when the cats lick them, which they will,...."

    HAHAHAHAHAA really? cats are so funny. they really get on (and in) everything.

    thanks for the fridge shot,it was fun to see. i love a full fridge:)

  12. Michelle,

    Whatever she meant by the spice comment it doesn't make sense from a nutritional standpoint. Spices are such a wonderful source of antioxidants it is ridiculous to tell people to minimize the use of them. *sigh* There were other things in the book I don't agree with but I wanted to mention only one item.

    Binky has already rolled the little white gourd to the floor three times today. I agree that cats are into everything. *shakes head*

    My frig is always out of control. The scary thing is there is a second one in the basement with produce I coudn't get in this one. LOL

    talk to you later,

  13. I can't roll out of the bed to go to the farmers market when it's that dark out. :o) have a very full frig! Looks like some good stuff in there though.
    The Kind Diet is the book that got me to go all the way vegan. My husband saw Alicia on Oprah and told me about it. He bought the book for me for my birtday wich was right after we ended our 21 day fast. After the fast, I became vegetarian, but after I read that book...I went all the way vegan. :o)

  14. I keep meaning to try collard wraps. Yours look really good.

    Sometimes when I read about your farmers' market purchases, I do wonder where they all go, so it's fun to see inside your fridge. I bet the bins you have make it easy to find things - what a great idea to get some extra drawers like that.

    I like your book review. I agree with your comments. I went quickly over the nutritional info (I would rather research for myself). I liked the recipes because they are simple and more like methods, from the few I've seen, but I can see why someone like you would prefer your own. I was also surprised when I went shopping for some ingredients (example, umi vinegar) and they were not in the Asian market here but is in the health food section of our major supermarket. That to me seems like weird cultural appropriation, but maybe I need to research those ingredients too.

  15. Michelle,

    I don't know how I roll out of the bed and leave for the farmers' market either. Every week it is a bit of a miracle. ;-)

    If the book got you to go vegan that is a very good thing! I would suggest you take the nutritional info it contains with a grain of salt.


  16. Hi there! So I sort of felt the same about The Kind Diet although I didn't read it cover to cover. I was a little let down by the recipes as I expected something else. But I like that she's famous and vegan (at home she is anyway, lol) which promotes vegan eating.

    Question about your fridge...doesn't your produce go bad being out in the open like that? I was thinking about getting boxes like that as well but with lids to prevent spoilage.

    Just wonderin'. Thanks for sharing with us the deep intimate recesses of your kitchen with us!

  17. Jessica,

    My poor refrigerators are always stuffed top to bottom and front to back. It is a bit ridiculous but we do eat it all in week, though I still don't know how. LOL

    The book was a disappointment to me. There were so many contraditions in it as well as bad nutritional information. In one place she says keep your sodium low, then says to use it liberally because tongues like salt and finally uses umeboshi plums and vinegar which are very high in sodium. Talk about confusing. *shakes head*

    Thanks for weighing in on the book. I was wondering what you thought since I knew you had it or at least had read it based on things you said on your blog.

    enjoy your Tuesday,

  18. Stephanie,

    Thanks for letting me know it wasn't just me that was disappointed in the book. Since it was a NYT best seller I expected most people to disagree with my review. I was more than a bit surprised that she eats fish sushi and fresh ravioli made with egg and calls herself a vegan. I guess that doesn't get criticized if you are famous. *rolls eyes*

    We eat our produce so quickly it doesn't have time to go bad. Everything you saw will be gone by Saturday. Plus I only leave the harder things out like beets, rutabagas, celery roots. etc. The bell pepper was out because it didn't fit elsewhere and was eaten that day. I hope that makes some sense.

    hope you have a good Tuesday,

  19. I'm so jealous that your farmers market is still up and running. I'm having withdrawals hardcore.

    I must try savory oatmeal. I wonder if I can talk my taller half into giving it a go one morning. I'm thinking nooch, salsa and corn sounds really good.

    I am so, so glad to find other people (you and some of the commenters) who didn't like The Kind Diet. I thought it was so incredibly disappointing for all the reasons you mentioned. Plus, she doesn't advocate eating potatoes and tomatoes because they belong to the nightshade family. No! I must have them. My boyfriend pointed out that a lot of her unscientific talk (spices in particular) is very common among macrobiotics. That just makes me sad. I wouldn't know how to eat without pepper, curry, cinnamon, etc.

  20. Brigid,

    Our farmers' market closes around Thanksgiving and I am having withdrawals just thinking about it. Sorry yours closed so early.

    I am addicted to savory oatmeal, LOL. Your combo sounds good too, I need to try adding corn. ;-) My taller half was skeptical but had to admit it was much better than he expected. He has a sweet tooth though so he still prefers the fruit versions.

    Regarding the book the avoid nightshades was a WTF moment for me too. Tomatoes are so high in lycopene why would I avoid them? *shakes head* Your boyfriend is right her comments are very much based on macrobiotics. But she should have researched the actual science before throwing those items out as though they are fact based. I was really shocked by how disappointed I was with the book. I could talk for hours about the problems I had with it. Glad you feel better knowing it wasn't just you. ;-)



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