Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Vegan Mofo 23.1: Chanterelle and Celery Salad and Braised Artichokes and Potatoes

I am still in shock that I enjoyed the gym so much Monday morning. I loved being around other people my age that were exercising. I found the entire experience to be very energizing. Dan is now worried I am going to turn into a gym rat. On the bright side at least he will know where to find me. On the down side it could result is less cooking. ;-) I think that is the part he is worried about, LOL. However if I start planning meals and using my slow cooker and pressure cooker more often it should be fine. It isn’t like I would start serving us processed food. That is simply not an option for me.

After Dan went to work I had to run to the grocery store because we were down to our last 3 frozen bananas. Seriously that is a crisis at our house. Thankfully Giant (one of our local grocery stores) almost always has bananas at every stage of ripeness. Good thing that was the case today too. I was able to find 5 very ripe bananas that were ready to go straight into the freezer. Since we can use 5 bananas in a day (2 for Dan’s smoothie, 1 for my smoothie, and 2 for his strawberry banana soft serve) we need plenty of bananas on hand.

Lunch today was nothing special. I had a baked sweet potato (with wet hots), the lemon and mustard roasted veggies, plus roasted rutabaga, beet and onion. I also had two unpictured Brazil nuts to have with it for my healthy fat and daily dose of selenium.

Dinner was as easy as lunch. I mixed chopped roasted Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, rutabaga, and beet with cooked brown rice. I heated these together in the microwave and then stirred in chopped spinach and topped it with brown rice. This dish was very heavy on the veggies and light on the rice. If you prefer more rice to veggies I would suggest you add a little fresh lemon juice for additional flavor.

Backlogged recipes:

Late last week I made two recipes that we enjoyed. Somehow they didn’t make the blog. I suppose I was busy doing something, but who knows what it was now. Here are those recipes:

Chanterelle and Celery Salad with Truffle and Soy
Serves 2


2/3 pound of fresh chanterelle mushrooms (you could substitute other fresh mushrooms)
½ teaspoon liquid aminos (or low sodium soy sauce)
1 lemon, juiced
½ teaspoon cornstarch
4 stalks celery, sliced thinly on the diagonal
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
¼ cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 tablespoons walnuts that you have chopped
¼ teaspoon truffle oil (or substitute truffle salt and then omit the liquid aminos)


Combine the mushrooms, liquid aminos, and lemon juice in a heavy bottomed pan with a lid. I used enameled cast iron. Cook covered for a few minutes until the mushrooms release their liquid. Remove the strained mushrooms leaving the cooking liquid in the pan. Store the mushrooms in the refrigerator to cool completely.

Dissolve the cornstarch in a little water and add to the pan and cook to tighten the sauce. Refrigerate the sauce until needed.

To serve combine the celery, parsley, tomatoes, cold cooked mushrooms, and the cooled sauce and toss to combine. Pile the salad onto a plate and top with the chopped walnuts and a tiny amount of truffle oil for aroma.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories 87.49
Calories From Fat (55%) - 48.46

Total Fat - 5.76g
Saturated Fat - 0.59g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 158.84mg
Potassium - 423.4mg
Total Carbohydrates - 8.67g
Fiber - 2.63g
Sugar - 2.62g
Protein - 2.46g


Since I don’t typically use either liquid aminos or oil I bet this recipe was unexpected. This was actually an experiment for Thanksgiving. While Dan and I liked it I think the celery and parsley leaves added more flavor than the remainder of my family would find enjoyable. If I had fresh truffle slices those would have been perfect in this salad in place of the truffle oil. Overall I enjoyed this dish a lot but it does have a big flavor punch.

The next recipe is a simple Italian dish that is mostly traditional. Of course I eliminated the typical olive oil but that was the only major change. Here is what I did:

Braised Artichokes Braised with Potatoes and Peas (carciofi con piselli e patate)
Serves 4


1 red onion
4 cloves garlic
1 pound small red new potatoes (I cooked them whole to maximize the nutrition)
2 ounces dry white wine (like pinot grigio) or veg stock
4 ounces water
20 ounces frozen artichoke quarters or halves
½ lemon, zested and juiced
2 cups peas
¼ cup parsley, minced


Combine the onion, garlic, potatoes, wine or veg stock, water and artichokes in a heavy pan with a lid. Cook covered until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a paring knife. Now add the remaining ingredients, except the parsley, and cook until the peas are hot. Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley and serve.

Nutritional Information (assumes you used the wine not veg stock):

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 245.99
Calories From Fat (2%) - 5.55

Total Fat - 0.68g
Saturated Fat - 0.08g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 227.21mg
Potassium - 1278.35mg
Total Carbohydrates - 50.82g
Fiber - 13.26g
Sugar - 4.28g
Protein - 11.69g


I love this dish because it is easy and fast yet it tastes great. This is one of those dishes I could eat for days. If you like potatoes, artichokes and lemon this might be the dish for you. Dan liked this a little better than the salad (above) and he isn’t the biggest fan of artichokes. Imagine he doesn’t understand why I am always confused about what to cook. Nothing like having consistency, LOL.


It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Every year Cross Keys does a nice winter display with adorable lighted deer throughout the complex. They are just starting to put them out and are testing the lights. I thought you might enjoy this picture I snapped last night.

Vegan Meetup:

Dan and I have decided we are going to the Baltimore dinner on December 15th. I will fill you guys in on how this works out.  I have no idea what to expect.  This is not something either of us would typically do. We will see how if coming out of our comfort zone is a good thing, or not.  ;-)

Happy Thoughts:

Tuesday morning has been good so far. Here are my happy thoughts this morning:

• Somehow I was able to fall asleep and stay asleep last night. It seems to be easier to shift our sleeping schedule than I expected. That has been a very pleasant surprise.

• We were up and at the gym bright (well not so bright) and early this morning. The picture above is the gym when we arrived this morning. It feels so wrong to be working out this early in the morning, LOL. We both got a good hour of cardio in this morning.

• The pool at the gym was much less crowded this morning. Yesterday it was packed. I am making notes so I can see when will be the best time to use it. I heard a rumor that Michael Phelps works out here. I am keeping my eyes peeled for that so I can let you know and maybe get a picture.

• We have been enjoying our unseasonably warm weather the last few days.

• Today I am going to prep some recipes for Thanksgiving to make Thursday less hectic. I am looking forward to spending some time in the kitchen today.

Signing out:

It is time for me to get my strength training out of the way and get cooking.  I also need to get caught up responding to email. For those of you waiting for responses I apologize. Email is on my list to tackle today.

I hope all of you have a great day. Talk to you again soon.


  1. Glad you loved the gym! I love my gym. I go every night after work and still manage to cook dinner. I just prep everything the night before (chop veggies, cook sauces or anything that can be made in advance).

  2. The artichoke dish is seriously calling my name. It looks fantastic. So glad you enjoyed going to the gym so much. That's great! Sometimes a change of scenery and pace is a good motivator.

  3. wow that gym is HUGE!!! is it open 24 hours? it looks super early....lol. i miss going to the gym! it is fun to be around people that have the same interests. im so glad you are doing that vegan meet-up! you will have fun!! and they will benefit from knowing you. lots of vegans dont know where to go from vegan. you know what i mean? but you can show them ways to push themselves. cant wait to hear (read)all about that!!

  4. Bianca,

    I have been working out at home for too long apparently. It was great to go back to the gym and I am enjoying it so far. I am impressed that you go after work. By that time of the day I am slowing down.

    I am so envious that you know the night before what you are going to make the next evening. Lack of planning is one of my biggest problems. I only decide when I am cooking when I walk into the kitchen to cook. That is something I really need to change. Thanks for sharing what works for you. Hopefully I can start to plan so I can try it. ;-)


  5. Heather,

    I think you nailed it, the change of scenery must be the secret. I am sure you understand what happens when you work out alone. It can be nice to change things up. I love finding new ways to torture myself, LOL.

    If you want the original recipe for the artichoke dish let me know. I will email the changes to you.

    enjoy your Tuesda night,

  6. Michelle,

    I think the website said the gym is 116,000 square feet but that didn't really tell me anything. But you are right it is big. There are three basketball courts, the pool, hot tub, sauna, weight room, 6 squash courts, a rock climbing wall, two aerobic rooms and locker rooms, cafe, meeting room, etc. You get the idea. It really is big. Sadly it isn't open 24 hours but it does open at 6am and close at 11:30 which works for us

    I am a little nervous about the vegan meet-up but I don't know exactly why. I suppose I am not good with strangers in an intimate setting. We will see how it goes. I will let everyone know.

    I hope all is well with you,

  7. Ooooh, I love the artichoke recipe (and the Italian translation:-) Do you know whereabouts in Italy you dream of retiring? Also, good goin' on the gym. Still snowing up a storm here today. I'll take some pictures tomorrow if it's still a "pretty" snow.

  8. The potato, artichoke, and peas dish looks so interesting. I would not have guessed that is traditional.

    Today was the first cold day we've had in a while - it was again near 70 over the weekend. So in that sense it isn't feeling like Christmas yet, but I'm enjoying seeing some lights and decorations out, too.

  9. So glad to hear that the new hours you're keeping are helping you sleep more restfully. This past week I've been experimenting with ridiculously early nights and it really has been helping me get a restorative eight hours.

  10. Aimee,

    I love all of Italy so selecting one place will be tough. We talk about this all the time. We love Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast, currently they are the top contenders for retirement.

    The gym opens late today so we didn't go this morning but we will go later today. Given the DOMS in my thighs yesterday I know I got in some good cardio, LOL. Nothing like overdoing it.

    Can't wait to see your snow pictures. I love looking at snow, particularly from inside a warm house. ;-)


  11. Wanted to share this web site I thought you might enjoy: http://www.jai-lifestyle.com/

    Have a terrific holiday!

  12. Jessica,

    I can't take credit for that dish it is traditional. Italian food in Italy is much different from what we get in the US. It varies greatly by region. I love Italian food (I wonder why) from all the different regions. I will try to add more of the lesser known dishes periodically.

    Our temps were in the mid 60's until yesterday but a cold front came through last night. I think the cool weather is probably here to stay now. I love Christmas decorations, LOL. I am so pumped to get started decorating on Friday. We have always started decorating right after Thanksgiving was over. That way I can maximize the amount of time I get to enjoy my work. ;-)

    I hope you have a good Wednesday, and they let you leave work early today,

  13. Heather,

    I have been going to bed very early the last few days. I didn't think I could fall asleep that early but it has been fine. It has probably also helped that I have been really pushing myself on the cardio in the morning. ;-) When I get into bed at night I am tired.


  14. omgoshimvegan,

    Thanks! Both of these recipes were easy and farily quick. I have been busy this month which tends to result in quick food for me.


  15. Neca,

    Thanks so much, I will check out the link this morning.

    I hope you have a great holiday too,

  16. I used to go to a gym and loved it. I stopped a few years ago, because and now it's hard to get back into the habit of working out again. We are working on that though. I found a lower end blowflex on Amazon that I think we are going to buy. I've always wanted a bowflex...I think that will be the motivation that I need! :o)

  17. I made the artichoke/potato dish last night and it was delicious (and I'm not big on artichokes). I would have never thought of a dish like that--thanks!

    I normally get up at 5:30, have breakfast and get to the gym or yoga studio about 8:30-9:00. Seems like if I wait too long, I never get there. I'm very tired by 9:30-10 pm.

  18. Laura,

    I am so glad you liked it thanks for letting me know. I hope the hubby enjoyed it too.

    I agree with you now I am getting up at 5:30 I am exhausted by 9pm too. Funny it wasn't that long ago I was still wide awake at midnight. It must be easier to change your sleep schedule than I thought.

    I need to get back to decorating. Dan is doing it alone as I type this. ;-)

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving,

  19. Michelle,

    Sorry I missed responding to your comment earlier. I have been scattered this week.

    If you have a friend with a Bowflex I would recommending trying it out first. My gym rat BIL wanted one for ages then when he got it he couldn't wait to find someone to buy it from him. Sorry to be a downer but I thought you should know. I haven't tried one personally. The physical therapists at the rehab hospital where I used to work liked the Total Gym a lot. I find I can get a good workout at home with heavy adjustable dumbbells and BOSU ball.

    hope you had a great holiday,


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