Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Vegan Mofo 10.1: Another Busy One

Monday recap:

Monday was one of our more busy days this year. We were up at 6am, out the door by 7am and weren’t home until 8:30 in the evening. Much of the day was spent waiting for appointments which meant it was a mostly sedentary day for us. I was surprised last night when I realized I hadn’t even reached 10,000 steps yesterday. I guess this is how people with sedentary jobs get into trouble in terms of overall activity. *shakes head* I have been making up for that sedentary day every chance I get.

Since we weren’t home yesterday dinner was became what could I pull together quickly. Thankfully we had a little of the leftover tomato sauce with green beans and cauliflower. If you haven’t tried topping a sweet potato with leftover chili or sauce I hope you will. It makes a quick and healthy meal when you need food fast and don’t want to wait.

Many of you seemed surprised by how healthy we eat even when we are busy which prompted me to want to talk about the topic. I recognize that we probably eat healthier when we are out than many of you do now. The reason I know this is that we didn’t always eat this healthy either.

However, it is easier to eat healthy when you are out than you may realize. We ask lots of questions about what is in restaurant food. It helps that I have always cooked (even when we were omni) which means I know specifically what to ask about. If you didn’t do much cooking as a omni you can buy a comprehensive cookbook and read it. Alternately you can look up omni recipes online for your favorite restaurant meals. This will help you to know what to ask about. The other option is to stick with things like salad, dressing on the side. Another good idea is to order vegetable sides making certain there is no cheese, butter or meat based broths used in the dish. In our case we also ask about the amount of oil but that is just us. It also helps to have a “local place” where you go. Once you are regulars at a restaurant you would be amazed by the accommodations people will make. You may want to try that route too; it has worked very well for us at multiple establishments although you know we have a clear favorite place now. ;-)

To get fast meals on the table I home I have a few options. If you don’t have any leftovers a baked/microwaved sweet potato makes a great item to stop with other things. I have used cooked beans and salsa before which is quite tasty. A sweet potato seems to be a good holder for many toppings. If you have a Vitamix you can always make a 5 minute soup which is one of my favorites. Green smoothies make a healthy but unconventional dinner. I grabbed a bowl of cut up fruit from Costco, added fresh blackberries and almonds to make our salad. You can do the same thing at your local grocery store. In a pinch I have also been known to take canned soup and add other frozen veggies to it to decrease the overall sodium and increase the veggies. This is my idea of last resort since canned soup is so ridiculously high in sodium.


Breakfast this morning was back to oatmeal at our house. Dan has his favorite which includes frozen berries (today it was wild blueberries), cinnamon, powdered ginger, ground flaxseed and walnuts. I would prefer him to eat more savory food for breakfast but the blueberries are also healthy so I try to relax. Someone once referred to berries as the broccoli of the fruit world and wild blueberries the equivalent of broccoli sprouts. I thought that was such a simple idea but very accurate so I wanted to share it.

For my breakfast I had savory oatmeal. This bowl contained: ½ cup oats, 1 cup water, 3 cups finely chopped cauliflower, sprinkle cumin, 1 finely minced garlic clove, ¼ cup diced cherry tomato, ½ finely diced spicy greens (mizuna, arugula, and tatsoi), 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed and a few raw sunflower seeds. I was very happy to have time to eat my favorite cool weather breakfast of savory oats this morning. It is funny to me that I love savory oatmeal so much since I was skeptical of the concept initially. ;-)

Lunch was nothing special I had a big bowl of mixed fruit, like last night. I used the prior picture because I was being lazy today. This was the end of the fruit bowl from Costco. Somehow Dan and I ate 4 pounds of fruit in two sittings or 1 pound with each meal. We go through a lot of produce at our house.

I got bad news regarding a young friend of a friend dying from complications of cancer Tuesday morning. It is difficult not to react to it even though I didn’t know the person. Once you are in the “cancer club” when anyone succumbs you are touched by it. I wanted to take the opportunity to remind everyone that life is short. Please don’t take the people you love for granted. I try to make certain that Dan and the fur babies know how much I love them every day. None of us know how much time we have left so we should make every day count.

Since I don’t want to leave on a down note I would like to share a few good things at our place from the last few days:

• Nicco (aka Binky) had no serious problems from his dental procedure and the feline clan is back to normal
• Dan and I were able to spend Saturday, Sunday and Monday together which is very rare as you all probably know by now
• Most of my winter clothes are too big meaning time for new stuff ;-)
• It is getting easier to find green and white tea when we are out
• I have a few Christmas present ideas for the two hard to buy for people on my list
• We are very fortunate to have wonderful friends that are always there when we need them (Thank you guys!)
• Dan has decided to take Wednesday off to spend with me (woo hoo)

Dinner last night was quick “unfried rice”. I call it unfired because it uses the same method as fried rice but without the oil. For this version I used the Kuhn Rikon julienne mandoline that we bought for salad and prepped carrot and parsnip. I used cold brown basmati rice I made earlier in the day since cold rice seems to work better. I thinly sliced fresh shitake mushroom caps, green beans and spicy greens (mizuna, tatsoi and arugula). The sauce was a combination of vegetarian oyster sauce, sriracha, grated garlic and grated ginger. Shell some frozen edamame to add to the dish. Cook the carrots, parsnips, mushrooms, and green beans together with the sauce until they just begin to wilt. Add the sauce ingredients, rice, and edamame and cook until the rice is hot. To finish the dish stir in the fresh greens so they are evenly distributed and then top with cashews to serve.

Signing Out:

I hope all of you are having an equally good week and Wednesday. Talk to you again soon.


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  2. I didn't realize Dan was taking today off to spend with you! What a treat :-) Do you guys have any special plans?

    Have fun!

  3. Sorry to hear about your friend, Ali. I can only imagine how all of that must feel. Your savory oatmeal looks wonderful. I think I will cook some groats in the slow cooker to have for tomorrow and try for a savory version:)

  4. Hi Ali. I love the bulleted list you included about all the good stuff. YAY that you and Dan are getting to spend lots of quality time together. :) And more YAY for getting to buy new clothes!!!


  5. Hugs Alicia. I love all of your positives. I know you're enjoying your day with Dan!

  6. HEY ALICIA!! uhg i have been sick for a couple days and COULD NOT LOOK AT FOOD!! lol i finally started to feel better yesterday. that fruit bowl is so beautiful! im with you on how important it is to find a local stand-by to eat at. i def have those!!! eating healthy on the run, hmm its a little bit more difficult but totally doable. its not a (good) excuse to just give up.

    im sorry about the friend of a friend. i wasnt even going to write that because i dont know what else to say. sorry.

  7. Oh Alicia, you are so busy this month! I saw on twitter that you have another of your babies in for teeth cleaning today. Will be thinking of you today, hope everything goes smoothly and no stress for you!

    I am glad that you and Dan have been able to spend so much time together this week at least. Hang in there!


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