While I started the morning at the gym it wasn’t a productive workout sort of morning. My knee collapsed on me the prior evening so I was concerned about pushing myself at the gym. Within 15 minutes of arriving I knew I had to take it easy and opted to the walk to the indoor track for a while Dan used the cardio machines. It wasn’t much longer before I knew I needed to stop exercising for the day before my knee gave out again. I decided it was best to find a comfortable chair and wait for Dan.
When we got home we had another bowl of steaming oatmeal. It was ridiculously cold here making oatmeal the obvious choice. We had one of our usual versions. This one contained: wild blueberries, cinnamon, powdered ginger, ground flaxseeds and chopped walnuts.
For lunch Dan and I each had the of the soup from Sunday and a green salad.
Since we had eaten the end of the soup with lunch I decided to make another pot of soup. I knew I was going to use the end of the chickpeas that I cooked on Sunday but wasn’t really sure what soup to make. I have been thinking of the Sicilian zuppa di pesce I used to make recently. This soup gets most of its flavor from the seasonings which to me meant it would be fine without the fish. I could have used cubes of tofu in place of chickpeas I only picked the beans because I had them in the refrigerator. Here is what I did:
Chickpea Soup in the style of Zuppa di Pesce
28 ounces canned diced tomatoes, no salt
4 cups water
1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 stalks celery, finely diced (or ½ fresh fennel bulb, finely diced)
2 carrots, finely diced
1 tablespoon hot crushed peppers (wet hots), or to taste (you can substitute hot crushed pepper flakes and a splash of red wine vinegar)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon oregano, dried
2 pinches saffron threads
2 bay leaves
1 cup dry white wine (I used the Masi Pinot Grigio)
1 piece kombu (approximately 1 inch by 4 inches) cut into very small short strips – used to add a background of “fishiness”
6 olives, thinly sliced (I kept this to a minimum so I didn’t add too much sodium)
3 ½ cup cooked chickpeas, no salt (or 2 – 15 ounce cans)
1 cup parsley, finely minced
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Combine everything except the chickpeas and parsley and cook until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have combined. Add the chickpeas and cook to heat them through. The parsley is added at the very end when you are ready to serve.
Note: This soup has a thin base. If you prefer a thicker soup I would suggest adding a couple of tablespoons cornstarch which you whisked into a slurry with an equal amount of cold water and cook until the soup bubbles. Then add the parsley and serve.
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 277.9
Calories From Fat (10%) - 28.8
Total Fat - 3.43g
Saturated Fat - 0.4g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 124.45mg
Potassium - 1129.67mg
Total Carbohydrates - 46.87g
Fiber - 11.94g
Sugar - 13.95g
Protein - 11.97g
This is a classic Italian soup that is traditionally made with swordfish and shellfish. I substituted chickpeas for the fish and added kombu to help mimic the fishiness. It is reminiscent of the traditional soup but different. I think cubes of tofu may be closer to the traditional soup but this one is also good just not as much like the original as I had intended. It would also be good if you decided to add some diced potato or cooked pasta though those are not traditional.
The morning started with Dan going to the gym and me staying home. My knee was still acting up and since I had a dentist appt this morning I didn’t have time to go to the gym and still get ready to leave the house with Dan. Our dentist is across the street from Dan’s office so I road to work with him.
We both had another steaming bowl of oatmeal before heading downtown.
If any of you are local and are looking for a new dentist we love ours. This practice was recommended by our friend Troy and we are glad we gave them a try. We see Dr. Nicholas Garcia downtown at 36 S. Charles. They are very friendly and literally practically painless. They also have a short call list for people with flexible schedules that allowed us to call in and get an appointment the next day. You have to love that. ;-)
I am not generally fond of going to the dentist but I don’t mind going to see these nice folks. One of the hygienists (Regan) is the brother of the dentist and he is always very gentle when cleaning my teeth. If all dental appointments were this painless more people would go regularly.
Forks Over Knives:
Wednesday night was the big event, the advanced screening of the movie. There were four of us that went together (Troy and Sheila joined us). Sheila has a grad degree from the Hopkins School of Public Health so I can’t wait to talk to her about her reaction to the movie. With a little luck we will have time to chat about the movie later today. While I love to talk to Dan about health it is also great to hear what other people think.
Since I have read “The China Study”, “Prevent and Reserve Heart Disease” and completed the Cornell Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition there wasn’t anything new in this documentary for me. However I did think it was well done and will be buying a copy to lend to my omni friends. You know who you are, LOL.
The documentary essentially follows Dr. T. Colin Campbell (The China Study) and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn (Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease) as they grow on farms and the take different paths (a PhD in nutrition and Medical Doctor) to come to the same conclusion that the most healthful diet is a whole food plant-based diet without processed food (oil, sugar, etc.). This is not a movie that discusses the ethics of a vegan diet the entire purpose was to highlight the healthfulness of a whole food plant-based diet. I continue to mention the whole food aspect because the focus is NOT on a processed food vegan diet.
There are other doctors in this movie specially Dr. Matt Lederman, Dr. John McDougall and Dr. Doug Lisle. All three of these men were also in the Cornell program. These doctors (and a few others) play a supporting role to Dr’s Campbell and Esselstyn.
The movie also follows on a few people that adopt a whole food plant-based diet and highlights the results they achieve in a short period of time. One gentleman had remarkable changes in his lab work (blood) in only 13 weeks. Since Dan and I saw the same thing I now assume that most people will respond that quickly.
Overall it was a good evening and I am very happy we went to see it. When I asked Dan what he learned from the movie he said “nothing really, I have been hanging around you a long time”. Men! We both think this is a must see for anyone that is interested in health and what they can do to live a more healthy life.
While doing a little internet search to confirm the spelling of Dr. Lederman’s name I discovered he and his physician wife have written a book, “Keep It Simple, Keep it Whole: Your Guide to Optimum Health”. I will be adding this to my next Amazon order. Once I have had a chance to read it I will let you know what I think.
Tuesday and Wednesday were good days for us, in spite of my knee. I have many things to be happy about today:
• I was able to get back to the gym this morning. While my calorie burn wasn’t what I wanted it was okay. I used the elliptical more than morning and my knee was fine on that. I did hop on the treadmill for a while but had to back off the incline to 5 degrees which didn’t make me happy. Thankfully I know how far I can push my knee and I actually listened to it today and took it easy.
• We enjoyed the movie last night. It was good to see so many people interested in health. I am looking forward to talking to Sheila about the movie soon. I am very curious to hear what she thought about it. My fingers are crossed that she will have some time today.
• While we were at the movie I picked up a copy of the current magazine of the Hopkins School of Public Health. I can’t wait to read that later today.
• The Baltimore Chapter of Earthsave passed out a guide to vegan and/or vegan friendly restaurants in the local area before the movie. I am looking forward to checking some of them out. We grabbed two copies so we can put one in each car. If any of you are local here is the link to the on-line list.
It is time for me to get a few things done around here. We are out of soup again so I that is on my agenda this morning. I also need to roast more veggies to be included with our salads and make my grocery list of the weekend. Also I need to get my strength training in and do more cardio since I didn’t have a good calorie burn this morning at the gym. Darned knee. ;-)
I hope all of you are having a great day and staying warm. It is ridiculously cold here and has been since the weekend. Apparently we had a cold front come through. It should be not 25 degrees in the morning when we leave for the gym. I am ready for spring and we haven’t had our first “real snowfall” yet. Talk to you all again soon.