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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Long day but worth it!

I did a freezer cooking day today.  I'm not at all new to freezer cooking but I am new to plant based freezer cooking.  Today I made broccoli and potato soup, roasted tomato soup (both from here), from engine 2 diet book I made sweet potato lasagna, Matt's enchiladas, veggie burgers, meat loaf and meat balls.  From fix it and forget it I put together a winter bean and squash stew. I also made 2 balls of pizza dough, 4 french sticks (I ate the end of one mopping out the marinara bowl) a double batch of Soprano's marinara sauce (minus the oil and I actually think it' better than ever), and I made an entire loaf of peanut butter and fruit spread sandwiches (for those days I just can't be bothered to make lunches).

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I was busy all day yesterday and the fridge and pantry needed cleaning out, therefore I wasn't at all motivated to open either of them.  That resulted in it being 4pm and no dinner plans.
I found this recipe Lentil spaghetti online an decided that would be dinner.  I did have to use tomato sauce instead of paste and onion powder in place of the onion but aside from those small changes I made it as is.  (I omitted the sauteing altogether and threw the garlic and onion powder in the broth).

It was fabulous.  It was hearty, flavorful, cheap, filling, a pantry meal and the man had seconds. WINNER!

It made plenty and I froze at least half of the sauce for another day.

Friday, November 2, 2012

One month in and going strong

So we did it.  One month of a plant based diet.  I say we did it....Andrew did it without cheating at all, I couldn't help myself at the company picnic and ate the Texas bbq (and then had an upset stomach ALL day and regretted it) and I also ate some chicken last week but didn't really enjoy it honestly.  The first 2 weeks are definitely the hardest for this way of eating.  I craved cheese (which I used to eat at least twice a day if not more) and butter and milk in my tea.  After 2 weeks the cravings went away and I got past the caffeine cravings too and now I don't even drink tea....shock horror I know.  I have the occasional cup of Donut house coffee with coconut dairy free creamer but can't manage more than one, it's just too sweet and thick...if that's the word.
I still haven't booked my doctor's appointment for the physical, must do that this week.  I know the man has lost over 15lbs and I've lost 5lbs (without meaning too).  Mine has gone from that baby pouch in my stomach and my thighs - I know this because my bras still fit right but a pair of my jeans that were too tight now fit awesome.  I didn't need to lose weight however so I'm upping the amount I eat because I could probably do with that 5lbs back on.  I eat a ton by the way but with this way of eating the body processes the food very well and quickly and well there is nothing to hang around after the body has been fueled.

Things I've learned this month:

Plant based eating isn't about replacing meat and fat it's about trying new flavors and tasting real food.

I love collard greens and kale and now regularly eat them sauteed with lemon juice in a baked potato (yes that sounds gross and weird to me still but it's so good).

I can run and I enjoy it.

I don't need sinus medication or an inhaler I just needed to stop putting animal products into my body.

Milk if you think about it is disgusting, if you won't drink it from the source you should just not drink it, cow milk is for baby cows, human milk is for baby humans, it's quite simple when you think about it.

Things cooked in oil/butter/grease taste like grease once you've stopped using it and they hide the real taste of the food.

I still love food.

If it's important you'll find a way, if it isn't you'll find an excuse.  My life is important.

Mexican restaurants are good for eating vegan.

If you order dominoes pizza online they will make it cheese free and load up the veggies.

Real food is colorful and full of texture.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Plant based diet = a new adventure in cooking

After a tiring year of watching people close to us being very sick from cancer (they were told by their oncologists they are what they eat) and watching others taking heart medication, and then the man of my life getting some pretty alarming (to me) cholesterol and blood pressure results I decided I'd had enough.  I wasn't going to let anyone watch me die from any disease I can prevent.  I watched Forks over Knives three nights in a row, then I bought the book, plus Happy Herbivores everyday book and the Engine 2 diet book.  Then I convinced the man to join me in my quest (it didn't take a lot of convincing) and I started a new adventure.  Fast forward 24 days of being fat free vegans and I have cooked a lot of vegetables and changed the way we eat completely.

So, for the time being I will be posting photographs of our meals, which are all vegan and oil free.  I haven't made the switch 100% with the kiddos yet but they are enjoying all the evening meals we eat (I cook those the same for us all) but they are no longer drinking cow's milk (we switched to almond) and they no longer eat meat at home - they have't noticed which cracks me up.  I am very lucky in that they are willing to eat most things and are not picky for the most part.

My favorite cookbook right now is Engine 2 Diet book which I love to cook from.

Up first is Vegan Pizza with a homemade base.

Garden combo ragu for the sauce, squash, red onion, garlic, mushrooms, red pepper, banana pepper, collard greens, tomato, and grated golden beet root, fresh oregano and basil = one very healthy vegan pizza!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


So it seems as though I'm pretty crap at this blogging malarkey.  I will continue to take the pics though and up write when I get around to it!
Here's the latest batch of lunches.

This lunch has cucumber, ranch and some turkey hot dog slices, a clementine, turkey and cheese sandwich and apple sauce.

This lunch (DS7) has peanut butter on whole wheat, mango/kiwi/blueberry and strawberry salad, graham goldfish cookies, a granola thin and orange slices.

This lunch (DS5) has a mango/kiwi/blueberry/strawberry and blood orange fruit salad, peanut butter on whole wheat, carrots and a granola thin.

My lunch is the same (but bigger) fruit salad as above with a chicken/mayo and mixed lettuce on whole wheat sandwich with carrots and 1/2 cup pistachios.  I wished I had made a full sandwich instead of half but wasn't hungry afterwards, it was just good :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Gadgets and gizmos make me smile

I love kitchen stuff. I love cookbooks; I have a dresser FULL of them and can't part with them it's quite silly, I use probably 12 regularly and have them visible, the rest are stashed away behind the doors only to be taken out when I'm bored and need something to read. My husband finds the fact I read recipes quite strange. No comment. I also love anything miniature (hence my collection of Le Crueset (sp?), mini fruit shaped casserole dishes and appliances.  I have that many kitchen appliances that my oven element burned out 2 weeks ago and it was only when I went bake a ginormous pizza tonight that I remembered it doesn't work!
Today while perusing the Dollar Tree I came across toast stamps.  I had to have them, they're very easy to use.

When I fill the fridge snack box we all eat better, snack better and making lunches is so much quicker.  In this one we have melon, strawberries, raw cashews, carrots and kiwi.

DS7 has to take a snack for the afternoon and so I bought 2 shoe boxes, labelled them and filled them with snack foods that don't require refrigeration.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Working lunch

My love of food I think stems from the fact that in 30 something odd years of eating it there are still flavours I have never tasted. I still remember tasting things for the first time as a child; for example the first time I ever had beef bourguignon, chili and (believe it or not) tuna with vinegar and not mayo were all experienced at my friends house. I remember her not eating her dinner once and I wanted to take it off the side and eat it for her, how weird is that? The thought of her not eating this (what I thought) was a fantastic meal appalled me. The first chimichanga I ever ate was also with this girl's family in this dark restaurant which was very cool and exciting and I'm sure I loved the food too.
I still remember the name of the ice cream I used to order once a year at my sisters birthday dinner at an Italian restaurant, it was called the San Reamo (not sure of the spelling now) and I always had a prawn cocktail before it.
The opportunity to have a new experience from all over the world with a relatively small cost appeals to me and for me it would be very sad to have to eat the same thing week in week out....urgh. For some reason this lunch made my brain spew out that last couple of paragraphs....
On that note here is my lunch today:

This is a common 'study' lunch for me for when I have to eat alone, I hate to eat alone unless it's Cadbury's Whole Nut or Walkers Cheese and Onion then that's a whole other post about comfort food.  When I have to eat and listen and type at the same time I like to dip and snack without a lot of effort.
I have hummus with roasted red peppers and pine nuts, pita chips, 1/2 an apple sliced, broccoli (I've decided I like it raw and not at all cooked), carrots and grape tomatoes, cubes of cheese (cheddar/monterrey jack and colby), and the new PB&J trail mix from Costco which is oh so yummy; it has dried and sweetened strawberries, cranberries, mandarin oranges, peanuts and almonds.
Oh the chocolate is a strawberry filled Ghiradelli square.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Basic lunch box

There's nothing exciting about these lunches I'm afraid, just a basic lunch with some of the boys favorites included.

Here DS7 has cucumber slices and celery sticks with ranch dressing, a clementine, turkey on a whole wheat roll and strawberry yogurt.

DS5 has cucumber slices with mini carrots and ranch dressing, a clementine, turkey on a whole wheat roll and strawberry yogurt.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Catch up!

I've been really busy this week so this post will be mainly photos of lunches!

DS7 - Peanut butter sandwich, Greek yogurt, cucumber and tomato salad and brownie.

I love it when they come home like this.

DS7 - Hot dog, cucumber, mango and grapes, cheese sandwich, yogurt.
DS5 - Hot dog, cheese sandwich, carrots and cucumber, grapes.
My snack box: mango, peanuts, grapes and carrots.

DS5 - Carrots and ranch, tuna and tomato pasta, hard boiled egg and a breakfast cookie.
DS7 - Nut butter cookies, grapes, tuna/tomato/cilantro pasta salad, apricot and apple sauce.

DS7 - Cheese sandwich on homemade Oatmeal Sunflower bread, pirates booty, vanilla yogurt with blueberries/blackberries/strawberries and grape tomatoes.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The first lunches of the year

I took the boys grocery shopping with me today.  This is not something I like to do because I love to grocery shop and they don't.  However, I did have a plan.  Armed with breakfast cookies and the grocery circular I let them eat in the car on the way and tell me what they'd like for lunches from the ads.
We actually had fun when we arrived and I'm happy to say we left with a cart full of great food choices.

So here are the boys lunches for tomorrow, chosen by them.

DS5 has a cold sesame noodle salad from Sneaky Chef with added carrots, crushed strawberries topped with vanilla yogurt, cucumber/carrots/tomatoes with ranch to dip and a mango and grape salad.

DS7 has a cheddar cheese sandwich on 8 grain bread and the same as DS5 for everything else.

DH has an avocado salad sandwich, an apple, vanilla yogurt with crushed strawberries, carrots with ranch to dip, grapes and 2 breakfast cookies.

New Year

There's nothing like a new year to get one motivated and organized.  At least for a month or so anyway.  I'm sick to the back teeth of over eating and drinking and feel like I did more of both in the past 2 weeks than I did for the 6 months prior to that....URGH.
I have therefore spent the past couple of days perusing my new (and extensive collection of old) cookbooks and clearing out the pantry, fridge and freezer.  The result has been some fresh tasting, real food, healthy meals, and snacks including a spinach and goats cheese quiche, breakfast cookies, breakfast burritos, bread rolls, soup, and a fridge stocked with fruit and vegetables to start us off as we will go on.

The breakfast cookie recipe I make is from 30 Day Gourmet's Big book of freezer cooking and I love it.  It seems that every time I make these cookies I don't have the right ingredients and yet despite several substitutions they come out the oven perfect every time.  This time around I used banana baby food instead of apple sauce, and I ground up some apricots, prunes and raisins instead of using craisins.  I also added 1/2 cup ground walnuts instead of chocolate chips, raw sugar instead of brown, and they are delicious.  I make them a regular 2 inch cookie size and package them 2 per snack bag in the freezer.  I love them frozen because it keeps the crunch, they are very much a cake type cookie otherwise which always reminds of dropping your cookie in a cuppa....not a good thing...not that anyone else seems to care!  The photo only shows half the cookies, the rest were in the oven still.