Thursday, December 2, 2010

Getting Caught Up at Home and a Book Review


I try to spend time with Dan when he isn't working and that means I was extremely behind on everything at home. I spent most of the day trying to get caught up but still remaining behind schedule which makes me nervous. I am not the type that likes to be behind. ;-) Thankfully I did make a dent in the my to-do list but I have a ton more to do today.

As usual we went to the gym early in the morning before Dan had to leave for work. The weather yesterday was frightful. It started out very warm (64) at 6 am but rainy and windy. While we were at the gym the power went out. All I can say is the gym is dark at 6:40 during a rain storm when the power goes out. Fortunately we were on the track when this happened and not on a machine or in the pool. We did a few more laps and headed out since it was close to time to leave anyway.  The emergency lights really weren't enough though they did keep us from running into things.

When we got home from the gym we heard that there were wind, severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings. There was a strong cold front moving through bringing this unpleasant weather just in front of it. Not two hours later the temperature had dropped to 44.  Brrrr.

Breakfast was a big bowl of oatmeal with wild blueberries, walnuts, ground flaxseeds, cinnamon and ginger. We have been switching between green smoothies and the wild blueberry oats in the morning for variety.

I have completely forgotten what I had for lunch, and I didn’t photograph it to remind myself. Darn it is rough getting old, LOL.   Clearly it was something I grabbed quickly from the refrigerator.

Dan had a bit of headache yesterday and ended up coming home about two hours earlier than usual (at 5:45). Needless to say I hadn’t even started dinner yet. Thankfully I had some eggplant “meatballs” in the freezer which I reheated in simple southern Italian sauce with thinly sliced carrot. I served this over baked sweet potatoes. I had intended to put this recipe on the blog until I realized this morning that I never put the eggplant meatballs on the blog. I thought for sure they were on here but I can’t find them so they must not be. Looks like I need to get my hands on some eggplant so I can make another batch for the freezer and share the recipe with you.  Sorry about that. 

Tomatoes and Prostate Cancer:

While the notion of eating more tomatoes reduces men’s probability of prostate cancer isn’t new but this $400,000 grant from NIH is. The bottom line is that the NIH wants to know what in tomatoes is the effective ingredient against prostate cancer.

Personally all this said to me is don’t forget to get more tomatoes into your man. I think this article about the grant was a good reminder to do just that. ;-)  Good thing we Italian Americans like our red sauce.  Don't forget that lycopene is fat soluble and needs to be eaten with a little fat to be absorbed. I add a few sliced almonds to our dish last night for healthy fat.

Book Review: Cucina Ebraica by Joyce Goldstein

This is the book I was reading during the morning at jury duty on Tuesday. It isn’t vegan but it is a fabulous cookbook. The book is part history lesson and part recipe book. I enjoyed reading about the history of Judaism in Italy. I picked up this book because the Jewish Ghetto has some of the best food in Rome. I was anxious to see the recipes in this book.

I read each recipe and can’t wait to make most of them. By the time I had finished the book it was on my Amazon list and you know I am trying not to buy too many books now. From looking at the chapter titles you can tell I will be veganizing a lot of recipes but that is so simple I don’t mind. What I like about books like this is that the recipes are the same old thing over and over again. How many recipes for hummus, baba ganoush or enchiladas do any of us really need?

The book is subdivided as follows:

• Introduction regarding Judaism in Italy and Kosher laws
• Antipasti (appetizers)
• Minestre (soups)
• Pasta e Riso (pasta and rice)
• Verdure (vegetables)
• Pesce (fish)
• Pollame (poultry)
• Carne (meat)
• Salsa (sauces)
• Dolci (desserts)

Some of the recipes that I will be veganizing and making healthy include:


• chopped liver with egg Italian style  (I like a challenge)
• double crusted vegetable pie
• ricotta pizza with potato crust


• pasta squares in broth with spinach
• broth with broccoli rabe and rice
• cream of artichoke soup
• Venetian white bean soup with pasta and beef sausage

Pasta and Rice:

• pumpkin filled ravioli with mostarda, raisins, sage and hazelnuts
• whole wheat bigoli (think fat spaghetti) with anchovies and garlic
• deep dish pasta pie with mushrooms and peas


• braised carrots with pine nuts and raisins
• spinach pudding
• spinach croquettes
• stuffed lettuce
• baked stuffed onions

I stopped listing recipes because the list was getting out of control. But I hope this gives you an idea of what is in the book. If you love Italian food like I do, and are comfortable veganizing recipes I highly recommend this book. I was very surprised to learn that many of my favorite Italian dishes have their roots in Jewish cooking.  If you aren't comfortable veganizing recipes you can always wait for me to do it and post them here.

Television:  "Celebrity Life Coach":

Did any of you see that crazy show “Celebrity Life Coach” on Bio at 10pm last night that followed a life coach trying to help actress Sean Young get over her “stuff”? I should have been in bed since we are getting up at 5:30 for the gym these days. However the show was so interesting I could not turn it off. I hope they rerun it because I missed part of it. Not that many of us have the same problems but the life coach had an interesting way of looking at things that I found refreshing. When Sean would complain about someone else her favorite phrase seemed to be “maybe it’s you”.  The part of the show I saw was refreshing and worth watching, IMO.  :-)

Happy Thoughts:

I love Thursday because it means Friday is almost here. As you all know weekends are my favorite time. Here are my happy thoughts today.

• We had a good workout his morning at the gym and got the December schedule so we can plan our workouts this month. ;-)  This is a bit of of a story I will explain soon.

• Dan may be taking Friday off. You know what that means. Shopping! We are talking about hitting an outlet mall to see what bargains we can find.  

• I was texting with a friend this morning who was watching the Foodnetwork and commented on something they were seeing. I had to change the channel and see what she was talking about. Now I am thankful that we don’t eat that way. I had the network on for about 3 hours and didn’t see anything that I would even consider veganizing. *bleh* :-p

• The rain has finally stopped and we have blue skies. Even though it is cold outside I prefer the light filled blue skies to the warm rain and wind.

Signing out:

As always I need to run and get some things accomplished around here. My plan is to try to get caught up on my to-do list so that I can go shopping tomorrow with a reasonably "clean" conscious. Wish me luck; I am going to need it.

I hope you are having a happy and healthy Thursday. Talk to you again soon, most likely tomorrow morning before we head out to shop.


  1. I just hate days when the weather fluctuates so much. That's how it was here today only 32 to start then 62 to end. Glad the rain went away at least. Can't wait to see what recipes you make from the cookbook!

  2. Heather,

    I forgot to mention that the temp dropped by 20 degrees in about 15 minutes. The weather was definitely crazy yesterday. It is still cold here today and for the forseeable future if the weather people can be believed. I would prefer to have it start cold and end warm like at your place.

    The book is really good. I am looking forward to getting my copy. It is not your standard recipes which is what I love. ;-)


  3. I'm really looking forward to the eggplant 'meat'ball recipe- they look good and sound very handy for quick and easy meals.
    The cookbook looks like it has some great possibilities for yummy vegan dishes- I'm sure you're up to the challenge! The venetian white bean and pasta soup even made my tummy grumble in anticipation and the pasta pie with mushrooms and peas! mmmm... now you've just got to pick somewhere to start! xxx

  4. Almost.Skinny, (great name!)

    I have no idea how the eggplant meatballs aren't here since I have been making them a long time. Hopefully I can find some organic eggplant soon. I just checked my recipes here and I didn't actually measure the ingredients so I will need to make them again to be able to post the specifics. ;-)

    Deciding where to start with that book will be tough. I may let Dan pick since he eats most of what I cook. My hubby loves to eat. ;-)

    thanks for stopping by,

  5. I am sorry you are feeling so you know how I always feel. It is horrible! I hope that you got/get caught up today so that you can enjoy your time with Dan tomorrow!


  6. Courtney,

    Like you I hate being behind schedule so I understand. I did get more accomplished today but not as much as I wanted but I never do. :-/

    I will enjoy myself tomorrow though no matter what. There is nothing like time with my hubby to put a big smile on my face.


  7. The sweet potatoes and tomato sauce sounds really interesting. That's not something I would have expected together. I think I'm looking forward to the eggplant ball recipe, too. I just had an eggplant with pasta and had to eat most of it myself. Not that I'm complaining. And no rush, by the way, on the recipe - just letting you know I'm interested.

  8. Jessica,

    I have always used salsa on sweet potatoes which gave me the idea to serve them under marinara sauce. We try to eat more sweet potatoes since they have better nutrition than white potatoes.

    Dan isn't a huge fan of eggplant but he likes it in ball form. I am still surprised the recipe isn't on the blog but I couldn't find it to link to so it must not be there. I hope to find some eggplant this weekend. Thanks for letting me know you are interested, BTW.

    enjoy the rest of your evening,

  9. That was a cruel tease for eggplant meatballs. I'm excited for when you're able to put it on the blog.

    On another note, I've got a book I'd be interested in your review of. It's called The Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life and is a lifestyle guide to vegans.

    Which brings up an interesting question. I'm under the impression that you chose to become a vegan for health reasons. But do you also prescribe to the vegan "lifestyle"?

    Have a great night (and long weekend with Dan).

  10. Hi Ali,
    That cookbook looks like lots of fun. Thanks for sharing! Have a nice weekend,
    Aimee xo

  11. Shannon,

    I haven't read that book sorry. If our library has it I will pick it up. :-)

    I absolutely made the switch to veganism for health reasons you are right. That is why my vegan diet tends to be more whole food based than most. However I have also been an animal lover and concerned about the environment (we used to sail) much longer than I have been a vegan. Nothing I do harms animals, people or the environment. ;-) I assume that is what you mean by do I live a vegan lifestyle. I will say that if a vegan product contains a petroleum derivative I won't buy it because it isn't healthy. When I am purchasing things I don't only think about animals I also consider the health and environmental impacts.

    enjoy the rest of your evening,

  12. Aimee,

    The book is fascinating, IMO, and has recipes that are the same old thing if you know what I mean. Since I am always looking for things that are just a little different I really enjoyed this book. It is on its way from Amazon now along with The Artful Vegan. ;-)

    I hope you have a nice weekend too,


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