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Posts Tagged ‘vegetables’

First, I’ve had many delicious vegan meals these past six months, but haven’t taken many pictures. These first two pics were taken in Philadelphia, when I treated myself in between meetings and discussion groups at the American Library Association’s MidWinter meeting in January. The first picture is taken in a small Indian Restaurant offering a scrumptious buffet.
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This second photo shows my delicious warm hoagie with roasted squash, eggplant, greens, onions, and etc. Topped with crispy fried onions and a balsamic glaze. And yep! Tater tots. Now who doesn’t love a freshly fried tater tot?? I was really dragging this day and carried it back to the apartment a bunch of us were sharing and sat there all by myself. It was quiet and the meal fantastic!
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Of course, there were also some tasty meals at home, too. One morning there was Engine 2 cereal topped with my own slices of banana, freshly toasted almonds, raisins, and topped with almond milk. Lots of protein to start my day
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Then here is one of my staples – one of my favorite comfort foods. Creamed potatoes (veggie broth, almond milk, with just a little Earth Balance Buttery Spread). Topped with lightly sautéed vegetables of choice – this time zucchini, onion, mushrooms, and green peas.
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And one of my new favorites – selection of veggies sautéed in a little olive or veggie oil, salt, pepper, and lots of garlic! I also add a little Earth Balance for a touch of butter flavor. This time there are carrots, green pepper, onion, and fresh from the garden zucchini and yellow squash.
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Just trying to stay healthy and tastily well fed!

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My my how I love to eat super tasty and healthy meals. Preferably with friends, but if I cannot be with friends, I can still eat the food!

This first meal I made a few days ago, kale cooked with a little water, apple cider vinegar, and raw sugar. Love me some kale! Green peas with mushrooms and potatoes, flavored with a little Earth Balance vegan “butter” at the end. A bit of salt and pepper sprinkled on both dishes. And my favorite jam on a piece of toast. Just because I love jam!


Then there was the tostada, crunchy shell on the bottom, covered with lentils and wild rice flavored just the way I like with hot pepper flakes, chili powder, and cumin. Raw onions, lettuce and tomato. Next day I prepared again but added some avocado. Either way – scrumptious!


Then last week I went to DC and finally trekked up to Amsterdam Falafel Shop in Adam’s Morgan


There I devoured the absolutely most delicious falafel I’ve ever eaten! After being handed the freshly fried falafel balls in a warm puffy pocket of bread, I moved to the toppings bar and loaded with hummus and crunchy pickled veggies. The pink on top are slices of pickled turnips.

You can tell from this picture that it was a beautiful very sunny day!

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One night a week I work the reference desk until 10pm. Which means I always take supper with me to work. This particular night I made a beet and orange salad, which also included broken pecans, thin onion slices, green bell pepper, mixed salad greens, sunflower seeds, and a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar – which was particular tasty mingled with the juice from the orange. Really, there are beets in here!
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The following dish I sorta made up myself. Using a crockpot, I cooked some of my favorite vegetables (which means there is lots of corn 🙂 ) in vegetable broth. I also added pieces of Upton’s sietan and dried thyme and rosemary. I chose those two seasonings because they are often used when cooking poultry, and I wanted my brain to think “chicken”! (Sage could also work, but sage is not one of my favs.) After cooking for several hours, I scooped out a serving and placed it in a pot on the stove, turned the burner up pretty high to get it to boil and added a simple thickener of flour and water. I wanted hash.

It worked. So scrumptious! Treated myself to freshly baked vegan bread (from the store) and sopped up what I couldn’t spoon up!
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Oh my goodness! I had no idea it has been SO long since I last posted here. Probably because I am working toward the “whole food vegan” thing, and I always talk about the food I enjoy. What if I do not succeed? It’s rather embarrassing to talk for several months about the progress I make, then I fall off the wagon and end up with a mouth full of hotdog and chili!

Anyway, after watching Forks over Knives (see January 16, 2012 posting), I’ve been focusing on vegan and whole foods eating. When I stray to an animal product, such as milk or cheese, I do not berate myself for long. Even though I believe I’d be better off with NO such food, I will not give up on the success I have made because I have 1/2 Cup of Half & Half and 2 Cups of skim milk in a week. And sometimes on Tuesday nights when I work and plan a small supper, 1 oz. of cheese is usually involved.

That confession made, I will focus on making sure there are NO other animal products, and eventually I may eliminate the foods mentioned in the previous paragraph.

But right now, I’ll share a few pictures and tell you about my new attempts at Indian food.

Twice I have been to a new Indian Restaurant in Annapolis, Basmati Indian Cuisine. On my first visit I tried their mutter paneer, a dish I discovered during my Chapel Hill days. And yes, there is cheese. But this meal took place several weeks ago when I was still eating a little more cheese. And it was truly some of the best mutter paneer ever! [I’ve since found a recipe for substituting small pieces of firm tofu for the paneer. Will try that soon.]

This past weekend I went back to this same restaurant and tried their biryani with vegetables. Oh my! My new favorite. Perfectly prepared basmati rice, bite-size pieces of white potato, carrots, and green peas. Add a side of naan and the best onion/tomato curry ever – and I smiled until I could eat no more. Extra treat? There was enough left over for three more meals; I’ve eaten two and froze the rest for one more treat.

Today I am going out to lunch, and since this restaurant is not very veggie friendly, I will stick to the salad bar. They have fresh veggies there and two oil/vinegar dressings. Supper at work will consist of Triscuits, 1 oz. cheddar, dill pickles, celery and peanut butter, and fresh fruit. Already prepared and easy to eat while I read a bit.

Here are a variety of pictures I want to share today:

My cat Kimba, enjoying a few moments on our balcony in the early morning.

An appetizer I shared with the hubby and our daughter in Charlotte, NC a few weeks ago. Delicious food at a Vietnamese restaurant, Phở Real. I ate the two veggie spring rolls – oh yum!

Tofu and veggies in a brown sauce with a hint of peanuts. Scrumptious!

Brent and Hannah each had chicken phở. If I remember correctly, they ate it all!

Soon after the Vietnamese meal while still trying to back away from fish, I prepared a lovely spinach salad. Topped with fresh fruit, candied pecans, and salmon I first marinated in a soy sauce/turbinado sugar/ginger mixture before “grilling” on top of the stove.

This morning’s breakfast? Ezekial bread, peanut butter, and fresh fruit. And yes, there is half & half in that cup of coffee! sigh……

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Yesterday morning I started with a rather protein-packed breakfast. And a carb-packed breakfast. And a fat-packed breakfast. OK OK!! It was a delicious-packed breakfast but not on the top 10 list of the most healthy. Yep! In the picture below you will see real country ham on that HUGE biscuit. Served with a little Virginia honey and a delicious fried egg. I cannot lie, it tasted SO fantabulous! I’m not really a pork fan, but lately I’ve craved ham biscuits. Go figure. And thanks to Cindy who hooked me up to some really good ham!

But then there was the Middle East Mosabahat al Khodar for later in the day. It was done by noon, but after that larger than normal breakfast, who could eat at noon? This dish calls for lots of veggies and two pounds of beef chunks, but I cut back on the meat and only used one-half pound. After searing the meat I added onions, tomatoes, winter squash, white potatoes, zucchini, and egg plant. There was garlic and extra onions (one of my favs!) Oh my was it delicious! And you can tell from my picture below I will have lots of it available to freeze for lunches!

There was also a small Lebanese salad with homemade yogurt and mint dressing, with a little olive oil drizzled over the top. And pita bread, of course, to sop up all the dressing and juices at the bottom of the bowl. Yes, my dinner in beautiful Lebanon this afternoon 🙂 was wonderful !

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Right now I am sitting in my back yard on the patio of sorts, wearing a comfy long-sleeve denim shirt and enjoying the cool morning. I prepared my coffee on a backpacking propane stove, trying to save energy. I’m not sure I’m saving money at this point, but my number one goal is to save energy. It would be nice to know if I have saved money, but since I run my air conditioner, it would be hard to tell! However, no matter how I made this coffee today, coffee outside on a cool morning makes the best time of day even better!

I have been feeling a little more stress than usual, so I’ve been trying to eat healthy. Only failing in this effort. Thursday we had a birthday celebration for one of the student workers in the library, and not only was there cake, but there were also brownies, candy, and corn chips with a very tasty dip made with cream cheese. Today I’m in the mood for some good vegetables!

I’ve been practicing eating with chop sticks. I eat slower that way and it has been fun to learn something else new. I bought Asian food for lunch a few days ago and sat down at my desk to eat with chop sticks. I found a short video online that gave instructions on using these utensils and I’ve been using them with just about everything! Even tossed salad. My brother taught me how to use them in 1980 when he took me out to try my first Japanese restaurant when I visited him in New York City (where he was living at the time). I never quite got the hang of it, and I have gotten tired of living in college towns where the students used them so proficiently and I have been just a-strugglin’! So now I’m becoming proficient myself!

Well, back to discussing food itself. I’ve been busy busy busy at work lately, coming home really tired and not been preparing the healthiest meals possible. The day of the cake I had already been feeling puny, so by 5:00pm I was really feeling bad. I knew I had to eat something, and all I wanted was a mini-bag of microwave popcorn and a small bowl of cereal. I believe that was the day I ate NO veges!

One night I prepared curried shrimp and cauliflower. I did not eat rice of any kind, just the cauliflower (and a few other veges) and shrimp. It was very good, and the hot pepper flakes I cooked with it made it spicy, which slowed down my eating even more. One night I had fresh green beans, a few small new potatoes, and pickled beets. The beets I prepare with Splenda, so there is no added sugar but added chemicals. Oh well. Ooooh yes! And I soaked pintos and had several meals consisting of pinto beans and homemade cornbread. With the pintos I used a spoon! One night I had three small servings of salads from the grocery store salad bar. One was a broccoli-based salad, one was mostly mayo and pasta, and the third was a three bean salad. I used chop sticks, and the only real challenge was the three bean salad. That’s when I knew that a bowl of pintos would send me back to the spoon.

I will check out the farmer’s market this morning. There has been no kale the last few times, but when I talked to the young men from K-State that sell it, they said they thought they should have some today. I’m going to check it out! I wonder if I will be able to buy fresh turnip greens out here this fall? I love turnip greens – especially with a hardboiled egg, vinegar, raw onions, and a slice of cornbread. Oh my goodness what a meal!!!

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Well, I seem to have broken through that weight of 150. Maybe. I think. It is Wednesday and I have not seen 150 since last Saturday. I don’t want to decrease my food intake anymore for fear of lowering my metabolism even further. [It’s already pretty sluggish.] Keeping up with the walking, adding a few extra rounds weekly on my weight machine, and taking stairs instead of elevators as much as possible should help. I’m trying to stay away from junk food and make sure that most of my carbs are whole-grains and fresh fruits. I won’t announce an “ah ha!” at this point, though. I’ll give me another 10 days or so to see if I can keep the scales down below 150.

Even as I struggle with the weight loss, my glucose readings are fabulous! Who knows, maybe if I get down to 130 I can stop another medicine!!! I doubt I will ever totally be without diabetes meds, since my father and his father both had the disease. But maybe do better? I surely hate taking medicines. As a younger woman I was always a little too boastful about being so healthy and never having a cold nor even a headache. Another time in my life I should have kept my mouth shut!

I’ve got homemade potato soup in the refrigerator that I will finish up in the next day or so, and last night I cooked pinto beans I had soaked all day long. Mmmmm I cannot wait to get to those! However, here in Kansas I cannot find the brand of chow chow (what a funny name!) I always liked on my beans. This Saturday at the farmer’s market I will see if there is any homemade for sale that I could try. In the meantime I’ll use a little Heinz ketchup and chopped onion. Oh my goodness I’m drooling already!

Breakfasts this week have consisted of either fresh fruit and cottage cheese or whole-grain cereal (topped with extra wheat bran and brown flax seeds) and fresh fruit. I buy the bran and flax seed in bulk at the co-op and ground the seeds in my coffee grinder every few weeks. And there have been salads topped with peanuts and Swiss cheese (oooh cheese!!), peanut butter, fresh squash, new potatoes, etc. etc. Oh my goodness did God bless us with a tasty variety of nutrients! And this time of year when local fresh produce is available? Man on man what a time to be alive!

I surely miss my mother-in-law’s garden, though. Now there is a woman who knows how to garden and cook! Her green beans, butter beans, and cabbage are the best! My grandmama who lived in Asheville, NC before she passed over had the grandest garden I knew of during her time. She and my mother-in-law could have been in quite a competition! However, their gardens were a little different, as the soils and temperatures were different. Mother-in-law in the piedmont of Virginia, and Grandmama in the mountains of North Carolina. My grandmother grew delicious okra, yellow tomatoes, squash, and a green bean that I have not seen since she died. I’m not sure of the correct name of the bean – she called them “shellies”.

Our closest neighbor in Virginia grows quite a garden, too. And he and is wife are always sharing with us. When I travel back there in a few weeks I’m sure he will share some of his tender Virginia corn with me. Can you tell I love food? I adore food! But why not appreciate God’s bounty? Why not celebrate a very basic part of life – nutrition? I personally think it is important to celebrate our every-day gifts. Let’s face it, there are many, many parts of this world that do not get to experience the variety and abundance of the food we have here in the United States. I don’t have to go out and buy new shoes or a new purse or new curtains to celebrate. My dinner at night is a celebration (yes hubby, I said dinner at night! – inside joke). As it should be.

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