Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Getting into healthy cooking

I've been doing a lot of healthy cooking lately, but haven't taken a lot of pics.. here are the ones I took. (I really need to get a memory card for my camera, I can only take 8 pics at a time) I made some "Pepperonish" type seitan log based on the recipe from Vegan Vittles (I kept the proportions the same, but added quite a few more spices and increased them). I was very please with how it came out.

I used around 1/4 of one log in my veggie soup. I make a big pot of low calorie vegetable soup so round out my meals. That amount only added around 200 calories to the pot (which contains 16 cups). Here's the soup. Nothing special, but it is helping me to stay on my "diet". I used zukes, green peppers, onions, garlic, chiles, lime juice, cilantro and the seitan. Good stuff. I change it from week to week. Last week, it was an asian based soup.

This next dish was really, really good. I wanted Pad Thai, but wanted to make it lower calorie. (for the longest time, I've been making two meals, one for myself and one for my family. I am sick of that, so I have been working on some good, lower fat/calorie foods for all of us.).. I made a sauce, based on thai flavors out of tomato sauce, lime juice, ginger, garlic, lots of chili garlic paste, soy sauce and just a tiny bit of toasted sesame oil. I served it over whole wheat spaghetti and pan "fried" in my beloved cast iron 14 oz of firm, lite tofu, coated with bragg's. I sprinkled an entire bunch of cilantro and scallions over it just before serving. My family LOVED this. The next day, I used some leftover seitan from my last post with this and it was really ,really good. Yay for lowfat cooking! I am making things that taste just as good as they used to!

The food pics end there... but the cooking doesn't. When I was a kid, my mom used to make us bulgur (I can never figure out the right spelling for that! I've seen it spelled so many different ways) all the time. Our breakfasts were a steamy bowl of raw milk (gag), molasses, bulgur, brewers yeast, raisins and almonds. I loved it sans the raw milk. Now, with soymilk it is so good. I do not add the yeast and sub flax meal for the nuts, but it is so good and comforting. I often add a granny smith apple, nutmeg and cinnamon as well. Bulgur is actually lower in calories that brown rice. It was around 150 calories per cooked cup and a whopping 8 grams of fiber! I've been using it in place of rice in dinner dishes as well. It is so good and comforting. I love sesame tofu, zucchini and bulgur with lots of hot sauce, cilantro and scallions. Total comfort food for me.

Yesterday, I boiled up a pound of organic chickpeas ($ and from that pound of beans, I made 12 Chickepa/Oat burgers based on the recipe from Vegan Vittles. I made them smaller, so I got 12 out of the recipe and worked the calories out to 130 per burger. So good. I also made 4 CUPS of Hummus! I like to substitute fresh lime juice for the lemon. My 15 year old son ate over a cup after school both yesterday and today. I'm glad I have more chickpeas.

I also made a batch of Isa's Punk Rock Chickpea Gravy! This is a miracle, because my youngest son hated chickpeas, but loves this gravy. I do puree the chickpeas though, but that is so I can leave out the oil and flour in the sauce. I served half the batch over some eggless noodles with broccoli and cauliflower for my kids/husband and used around 1/2 cup for my own dinner.. I smothered 2 of my oat burger with peppers, mushrooms, onions and the gravy and roasted green beans for myself and baked a sweet potato. I love this gravy and I even have almost 2 cups leftover!!!

I feel like I'm really finding a balance here that enables me to enjoy my loved of cooking (and blogs!!) and stay on a program that allows me to lose weight. I have not lost any weight in a month, but.. I haven't been quite on plan either.. but I started getting really serious again this week.. so I'm sure I'll see a loss next week.

Finally, like a lot of the country, we are covered in ice.

There are some who feel like that conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is 'bring them on'."

- George W Bush

July 2, 2003

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Sesame Crusted Seitan

It has taken some time, but I am finally getting back into the cooking groove for myself and enjoying the low fat/calorie way of life. Or should I say lower fat/calorie way of life. It is about moderation. I firmly believe we need good fats in our diet and work each day to include them into my menu in small portions.

I enjoy Gomasio. I make mine with bulk organic sesame seeds, nori and celtic sea salt. I toast all of the the above and use it as is. I don't grind it. You can grind it, but I like the flavor bursts of the sesame seeds. I use this for good fat and flavor on and in foods.

I made some Seitan for the week and used part of it for lunch today. I dipped it in my homemade, low fat "goddess" dressing and then coated that with a cornflake crumb/gomasio mixture. I let it sit for a bit, then baked it for around 25 minutes at 400. I cut part of it into chunks, for me and used a "breast" of seitan for my husband.

For Mark's lunch, I made a quick salad of baby spinach, red cabbage, red peppers, carrots, gomasio, caramelized onions and the seitan "breast". I topped his salad with a mixture of mayo, siracha, garlic and lime juice.

My salad was a bit more modest; served on a salad plate. I used Siracha and Lime Juice as my dressing and only used about half of the "breast" of seitan, which I cut into chunks and baked with the cornmeal/gomasio mixture. I also added 1/4 of an avocado to the salad after I started eating it because it seemed very dry. It was delicious.

I had some seitan leftover, so I made a quick low calorie/fat sweet and sour sauce to store it in. I will use this for a meal later on in the week... or a snack for one of my kids.

For dinner tonight, (I made this after lunch, hence the plastic storage container) I made a quick sauce out of leftover seitan cooking liquid, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sherry, garlic chili sauce, lime juice, toasted sesame oil, cornstarch and water... I boiled a 14 oz of firm tofu in it for around 20 minutes, then took the tofu out and baked it. I cooked 1 lb of broccoli , 1 onion, 2 cups red cabbage and 2 carrots in the leftover sauce.. then added the baked tofu to it. I served it over Jasmine rice for my kids. I didn't eat any rice. It was soooooo good. My kids begged me to make it again. I admit, I was impressed too. It tasted so decadent, but it wasn't. I only used around 2 tsp of oil for the whole dish. It's kind of funny, because I hadn't planned on making it a "diet" dish, but I am so used to cooking that way that it was second nature to me.
I adore my cast iron skillet.

Mommy! I'm being so good. Are you going to feed me yummy tofu? Please?????

Peace out

"There are some who feel like that conditions are such that they can attack us there. My answer is 'bring them on'."

- George W Bush

July 2, 2003

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy New Year!

First of all, thank you everyone for your input on my last post. I guess I'm not alone with the watching my weight thing... although I do think my metabolism might be slower than it used to be since the surgical removal of my ovaries years ago.. (this is when I began to gain weight, surgical menopause.. but I have also been at a good weight since then.. so I know it's possible, I just have to work harder than I used to.. )

Blogger has been acting up a lot ... I've been trying to leave comments and it's not letting me.. we'll see if I can post this.

On New Years, I love to eat Black Eyed Peas and Greens for good luck. Being on weight watchers, I am constantly coming up with new recipes... we had a great spread... I took collard greens and steamed them.. and made an awesome, Greek inspired bulgur pilaf with tons of veggies and black eyed peas. I stuffed the pilaf into the greens and we ate some of them with a low calorie yogurt (silken tofu/lemon mixture)/tahini lemon sauce and orange slices.

For dinner, I made two pestos.. one for the kids and M, again, going with the black eyed peas and greens theme.. their pesto was made from sunflower seeds, spinach, black eyed peas, olive oil, lemon juice and salt/pepper.. I made around a quart and they had some for dinner and I froze the rest.

I made myself some lovely fat free arugula/black eyed pea pesto. It was wonderful on some whole wheat pasta, topped with 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil and 2 tbsp " parmesan" cheese. Look at how much brighter this pesto is without the fat!!

the inside of the collard green/black eyed pea roll up

I decided to take a majority of the roll ups and make them into freezer meals... I topped them with homemade marinara and cashew parmesan (cashews, nutritional yeast, onion/garlic powder) and baked them... I had some for dinner last night, topped with fresh basil.. delicious.

The lovely golf course is closed for the season! It is magical. Now that they are closed, J and I are walking on the actual course.. (on the paved trail) and it opens up even more than I imagined.. It is sooooo awesome! I will definitely take some pics.. there is a tree that is so womanlike... I can't do it justice with words, so I won't try..