Friday, May 31, 2013

Vegan Mango Lassi Smoothie ..sugar free and made with beans!

I really love using whole beans in smoothies.  I know it may sound weird, but give it a try!  Not only are beans inexpensive, but they are oh, so good for you!  Much better than processed protein powder.  I used whole, cooked white soybeans, but you can also use any other well cooked white bean.  The calories and fat content will be a little lower if you use white beans instead of soy.  I also used my Soy Kefir , but you can use vegan or regular yogurt in place of the kefir.  You an also add up to 4 cups of baby spinach or lettuce to turn this into a green smoothie!

This makes around 6 cups. I like to drink a quart of it for breakfast and save the rest for a snack.

1 cup soy kefir or yogurt
3 cups water
1 frozen banana
3/4 cup cooked soybeans or other white bean
1/4 tsp stevia powder
pinch cardamom
1/2 tsp rosewater
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp psyllium husk
1 cup frozen or fresh mango

Blend everything together VERY well and enjoy!

Calories: 585
Fat: 14 grams
Carbs: 87 grams
Protein: 36 grams
Fiber: 20 grams

This is such a healthy and delicious breakfast/snack!  Here are links to some more smoothies:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

High Protein and Fiber Classic "Potato" Salad (vegan, gluten and soy free)

This spin on Classic Potato Salad is packed full of protein, fiber and vitamins! Replacing half of the potatoes with cauliflower lessens the calories. The White Bean ‘Mayo’ is a wonderful alternative to egg based mayonnaise, making this tasty treat a great addition to your picnic. 

Just a tip: Don’t tell anyone that this is a healthy salad! The taste will speak for itself and you can win people over with that alone!  Please use organic potatoes if you can and don’t peel them! Most of the nutrition will be lost if you do!

The New Classic Potato Salad
Serves 8
  • 1 pound waxy potatoes, diced (Red or Yukon Gold are my favorite)
  • 1 pound or 1 small head cauliflower (you can use frozen florets if desired)
  • 1/2 cup minced red bell pepper (around ½ of a medium)
  • ½ cup celery, minced
  • 3 tablespoons minced red onion or shallot
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

White Bean Mayo
  • 1 large clove garlic, pressed
  • 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed or 1 ½ cups cooked cannellini beans
  • 5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ cup best quality extra virgin olive oil

  • 1.       Scrub potatoes, dice into 1 inch pieces
  • 2.       Prep cauliflower into 1 inch pieces
  • 3.       In a 4 quart pan, add 8 cups water and a good pinch of salt, place potatoes in the cold water and bring to a rolling boil for 2 minutes. Add Cauliflower and boil for 2 more minutes.
  • 4.       Drain potatoes and cauliflower in a colander
  • 5.       To make the mayo, place all of the ingredients except  olive oil in a food processor
  • 6.       Process for 2 – 3 minutes or until very smooth; slowly drizzle in the olive oil
  • 7.       Toss the potato/cauliflower mixture with the red peppers, celery, red onion and dressing.
  • 8.       Chill for 2 hours then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary; sprinkle with fresh dill and paprika before serving.

Calories: 206
Fat:  11 grams:  saturated 1, polyunsaturated 3, Monounsaturated 7
Carbohydrates:  25 grams
Fiber:  5 grams
Protein:  5 grams
Sodium:  500 mg

This is an old recipe I originally developed for Northeast Flavor Magazine!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New and Improved Lower Calorie Vegan Mayo and two sauces

I love Vegenaise!  I could eat globs of it on burgers,

.. and of course, the old stand-by, Potato Salad

I LOVE my original Lower Fat Vegenaise recipe, but wanted to do see if I could make it easier, with less ingredients and lower in fat and calories.  I'm happy to say, I succeeded!  You don't need to use lecithin in this recipe, but it does use whole white, cooked soybeans.  I haven't tested this recipe with regular white beans, but I imagine it would work well too, just add less water.  The Southwestern Chipotle Sauce and Wasabi Ginger Sauce use the same recipes, but with this as the mayo base.

This makes 2 quarts of sauce.  I made both the sauce variations and have a bunch of leftover regular 'mayo'. It will keep around 2 weeks in the fridge, providing you NEVER double dip. That means not only double dipping with a spoon in your mouth, but also using the same spoon for other foods as you would use to dish this up.

Very Low Fat/Calorie Vegan Mayo Base Sauce

  • 4 cups very well cooked white soybeans
  • 3 tbsp kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 9 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup safflower oil or other neutral oil

  1. In a food processor, place the salt and garlic in and pulse until it forms a paste.  
  2. Add the beans, dijon, sugar,water and vinegar and process until totally smooth, scraping down the side as necessary
  3. Very slowly, drizzle in the oil until the mixture just comes together
  4. Chill for at least 4 hours before using

Yield:  around 2 quarts
20 calories per Tablespoon, around 1 gram of fat

Since this has a fair amount of mustard, the base 'mayo' is more like a dijonaise, but I'm a fan of that. You could reduce the mustard, but then I would add more oil.

Click here and scroll down for the Southwestern Chipotle and Wasabi Ginger Sauce Recipes.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Simple Sesame Green Beans

I just made The Boyfriend dinner and included these simple green beans as a side dish.  They are really delicious and easy to make and have only 4 ingredients (excluding salt/pepper).

Simple Sesame Green Beans

  • 1 lb green beans, trimmed 
  • 1 tbsp hot toasted sesame oil (or regular toasted sesame oil if you don't like heat)
  • 1 large onion, cut into half moons
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (we used bamboo smoked black sesame seeds which we found at our local Asian market)
  • Salt/Pepper to taste


  1. In a 12 inch cast iron skillet, boil around 2 inches of water and salt liberally
  2. Place green beans in the water for 20 seconds, drain and rinse with cold water
  3. Heat the oil in the skillet until smoking hot, add the onions, pinch of salt and pepper and saute until they are golden
  4. Add the green beans and cook for 2 minutes; top with sesame seeds and season to taste with salt and pepper

Another Health Challenge & Counting Calories: Cabbage Soup

Cabbage Soup

So, I am, unfortunately dealing with yet another health issue.  My foot.  I'm not sure yet what the treatment will entail, but there's a fairly good chance I'm going to have to have surgery.  I am currently needing to stay off of it which impacts my life in many negative ways.  My job for one.  My boss is understanding, but not THIS understanding and who can blame him?  If I can't do my job, I can't do my job.  I'm waiting on an appointment with an Orthopedic Surgeon and will know more then. 

Second, if I'm not active, it is VERY difficult for me to lose weight, which means that starting TODAY, I am counting calories and going to be very strict about what I'm eating.  I have come too far to gain the weight back and losing weight is important when it comes to my foot anyway.  The less I weight, the less strain is on my foot.  I'm sure the years of being morbidly obese  and working on my feet did not help my situation. 

That being said, Cabbage Soup is my friend when it comes to calories.  I like to make a big batch and eat a bowl before meals or as a snack.  I "cheat" a little and use the store brand of Onion Soup Mix.  I'm a bit of a fan in certain recipes like my 3 Ingredient Veggie Burgers! 

As I said in the burger recipe post, there is no need to shame me, warn me or tell me how you would never use this product.  That's fine.  We all have our own comfort levels when it comes to food and I choose to use this product now and then.  If you don't, feel free to use this recipe as a substitute for the soup mix.  Negative comments about my food choices will only lead me to care less and less about sharing recipes with you on this blog and I am VERY serious about that!  

I digress.  Back to the Cabbage Soup Recipe.  Get your largest soup pot for this since it makes a lot! This recipes is adapted from the famous Cabbage Soup Diet recipe.  
  • Cooking Spray
  • 2 large onions
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp (or less if you don't like heat) crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp fennel powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 big carrots
  • 2 big stalks celery
  • 2 big zucchinis
  • 1 medium to large head cabbage, chopped
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 28 oz cans diced tomatoes and their liquid
  • 2 28 oz cans full of water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 envelope Onion Soup Mix (check the ingredients to make sure there's no animal products)
  • 1 cup fresh basil, torn 
  • Lots of black pepper
  • Salt or Tony's Creole Seasoning to taste
  1. Saute the onion, garlic and spices over medium heat (add a pinch of salt to get the juices flowing)
  2. Add the carrots, celery, zukes and cabbage along with the vinegar
  3. Saute for 3 more minutes
  4. Add the tomatoes, water, bay and onion soup mix
  5. Cover and bring to a strong simmer for 20 minutes 
  6. Turn off heat, add basil, pepper and salt/Tony's to taste
You can use any non-starchy veggies you have on hand and mix up the spices.  

1 cup of the soup has around 30 calories.  I like to eat two cups at a time.  

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Thanks and lots of food I'm cooking at work!

I wish I had more food from home to post here, but I don't.  I've been busy cooking up a storm at work.. but before I talk about that, I want to thank you all for the lovely support for my last several  posts.  

Since then, I have banished the scale, which has been amazing.  I am trying to just LIVE my life the way I know how to do it when I'm active and working.  That worked very well for me in the past...  I have decided not to weigh myself for a while.. I don't have a date in mind for the next weigh in.. BUT... I am trying on clothes and having accountability that way.  I can say with assurance that I am a tiny bit smaller that I was when I wrote the last post.  It feels very freeing to not be a slave to the scale... and don't get me wrong.. the scale worked very WELL for me for a long time... but the health issues I've had have created a new thing to deal with...  

I'm just so happy that I am starting to really feel like my old self again..  healthy and strong....   and working cooking awesome vegetarian and vegan food!...
....but when I cook all day for work, I have no desire to cook at home. I literally hate the way my food smells and tastes.  All I want to do is eat peanut butter and jelly rice cakes with almond milk.....  it's a challenge for sure because I want to be healthy.  

Here's a peak at some of the food I create at work...  pics are taken with my phone in REALLY bad lighting...! 

Gluten Free, Vegan Eggplant 'Parm'

Roasted Mushroom, Red Pepper, Basil and Goat Cheese Risotto

Sugar Snap Peas with Portobello, Red Pepper and Smoked Almonds

Spicy Noodles (vegan, gluten free) 

Stratta with Caramelized Onions, Kale and Provolone

BBQ Tempeh, Brown Rice, Kale, Sweet Potatoes

This is just a sample of what I've been cooking.... and while I LOVE creating amazing food for work, I just am sick of it at home...  and am not sure what to do change that...  I do cook in big batches still and freeze portions which helps...  but I'd love to know what YOU do if you are in a rut or especially, if you cook all day for work!