Still here

Hi there!  I am still at it in full-force.  Made an awesome carrot squash soup yesterday for lunch.  Beet balls with mashed potatoes and mushroom “gravy” for supper.  Husband and I are still 90% vegan, diary, sugar and wheat free.  I have eaten fish a few times in the last 2 weeks, and am taking a fish oil supplement for my eye health.  I am also walking hard about an hour a day 4-5 times a week.  I bought new smaller pants less than an week ago, and they are already too loose on me!  I am only losing ounces on the scale though, so I must be gaining muscle from all the walking.  I have 2 sick babies at home and am busy getting my other website up and running.  I’ll let you know once I do my first post over there!

No-Fu Loaf

I have a backlog of recipes that I haven’t yet posted.  My brain is beginning to strategize the new cooking website I plan on launching, so I am visiting my family’s site less often.  I am still making yummy new mostly vegan suppers, but also remaking some of the old ones.  I must say it is handy having my recipes all in one place.

Here is a delicious lentil loaf I made a few days ago.  Years ago, I bought my first vegan cookbooks by Dreena Burton.  Her recipes are excellent and very family friendly. This recipe that I got from FatFreeVegan‘s blog is from Dreena’s new book.  The loaf was so good, that I may have to buy her book.  My 2 and 4 year olds LOVED it!

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Don’t call it pizza!

The other night, I bought a package of gluten-free pizza mix.  After assembling the ingredients, I smeared the frosting-consistancy dough across a sheet pan and topped it with homemade sauce and veggies.  The results????  Blech!  The dough tasted like a giant soggy  noodle.  It made sense after reading the first ingredients were white rice flour and potato starch…gross…and unhealthy.  We scrapped off the topping to eat and threw out the crust.  The topping tasted great, better than great.  That gave me an idea, which after some internet research, apparently many vegans and celiac-disease sufferers already know about.  Make my own rice crust to lie under my baked toppings.

Success!   But, don’t call it pizza.  You might like this meal just as well, but it ain’t pizza and never will be.  The yum factor comes from sautéing each veggie separately until until al dente.  You could also toss the veggies in a bit of oil and bake them. I’ve made this twice – once with silken tofu and once with firm.  Both were delicious, but different.  The silken was smooth and melt in your mouth like goat-cheese, the firm closer to mozzarella.  Also, I pre cooked the rice crust a bit so the finished product would yield crispy edges without overcooking the veggies.

Not Luigi's pizza.

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DAY 26 – Mexican Style Stuffed Peppers

You’re in for a treat with this recipe.  I EVEN measured the quantities, so hopefully it will work for you if you’re the kind of cook who doesn’t like to deviate from the recipe.  I am eating the leftovers as I write this, and I must say it tastes even better today.  This recipe makes tons of filling, so you’ll have them for leftovers too…bonus!  Please buy hot sauce.  It is SO good for you (ask Dr. Oz) and tastes great with these peppers.  I have a whole door-shelf for hot sauces in my fridge.  Most of them are made by a guy here in Ottawa, but your grocery store should at least have Valentina sauce in the Mexican section.  Check label for gluten.

Mexican Style Stuffed Peppers

Rice Filling

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TGIF, Wayne Dyer, and Positivity

Friday and the weekend is here!  I look back on weekend one and remember the dread I felt.  No wine!  No pizza!  No sugar!  Whatever will I do with myself to survive this boring weekend?!  Those anxieties are completely gone.  I was listening to my friend Wayne Dyer chatting through the speakers of my car today.  I like that guy a lot.  He reminds me of my dad, only bald.  Anyway, I was struck by something he said about turing your focus towards the positive.  An example he used was something like – don’t focus on not wanting to be addicted or fat or lazy, but rather change your focus to wanting to be healthy and vibrant and energetic.  The negative aspects will then sort themselves out without you worrying about them.  This is exactly what has happened to me.  The focus of this cleanse was for health and spiritual growth, and what “magically” happened without my stressing about it was losing weight, not being a slave to my drug of choice -alcohol, and being more patient with my family and myself.   I think it was in the documentary, Hungry for Change, that someone said to change your focus from “Oh poor me, I’m not allowed to eat wheat/sugar/meat/whatever,” to “I can eat all those thing, but I don’t choose to.”  That simple shift to the positive focus frees you.  I now understand that phrase “Give it over to god.”

Baby is happily babbling in his crib and mommy is enjoying her stuffed pepper leftovers for a late lunch.  I’m excited about the weekend!  Looking forward to all the shenanigans that I’ll get up to with the kiddies!

Tofu Veggie Stuffed Chickpea Crepe

I invented a winner tonight.  I found a gluten-free recipe for crepes in a cookbook, and made up a quick filling using veggies and herbs already in my fridge.  Turned out great.  As usual, I am ball-parking the quantities, so adjust according to your taste.

Tofu Veggie Stuffed Chickpea Crepe 

Crepes

2 cups nut milk

1 cup chickpea flour (besan)

4 tablespoons arrowroot flour

pinch salt

1 teaspoon parsley, chopped finely

1/2 teaspoon chives, chopped finely

Whisk all ingredients together.  Heat to medium a non-stick pan.  Wait until it is hot, they spray oil the pan.  add about 1/4 cup of the batter and swirl so it completely coats the bottom of the pan.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, flip then cook the other side.  Put on a plate and into a warm oven.  Continue  until you’ve used all the batter, stalking the crepes on top of each other and keeping warm in oven until filling is finished.

adapted from Candle 79

Tofu Zucchini marinade

1 tablespoon oil

2 tablespoons braggs soy sauce

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped

1/2 block of tofu, shredded

1 zuchini, shredded

In a shallow dish (example – 8 by 8 cake pan), mix together first 5 ingredients.  With your hands, toss in tofu and zucchini, mixing well.  Set aside at least 20 minutes or until ready to use.

Filling

1 tablespoon olive oil

pinch red pepper flakes

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper

1/2 teaspoon rosemary

1 teaspoon thyme

1 large portobello mushroom plus 4 big button mushrooms, sliced thinly (I was using up what was in my fridge)

1/4 cup sherry

2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped

tofu/zucchini mixture

In a pan with a lid, heat oil and pepper flakes.  Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes before adding garlic, mushrooms, salt, pepper  and herbs.  With lid on cook down the mushrooms for about 5 – 10 minutes, adding water when dry.  Deglaze with sherry, add tomatoes and zucchini tofu mixture.  Cook another 3 to 5 minutes, just until heated through.  Either put a big scoop on one side of a crepe and fold over, or roll up.

Looking back on the 3 week cleanse

Well, we did it!  NO meat, dairy, wheat, sugar or coffee for three weeks.  Walking every day.  Several people have asked “what’s the first thing you ate after the 3 weeks were up?”  The answer is…my morning smoothie.  I feel so good and enjoy the food I’ve been making so much, that I have no desire to eat any of those “banned” foods.  Part of me also knows what a slippery slope it is to allow yourself to partake “occasionally” in the foods that aren’t good for you in the first place.  We had a big family email debate about omitting certain foods from your diet vs eating everything in moderation.  After going a failed “moderation” route following a previous cleanse, I now fall on the “omitting” side.

The first supper after the cleanse, husband bought himself a big steak to bbq and a nice bottle of red wine.  It didn’t phase me.  All that crossed my mind was, “I already know what both those things taste like so I’m not missing out on anything.”  I didn’t have that compulsive/starving person mentality of “got to eat it while there is still a chance.”  I think hubby was a bit underwhelmed as he ate his meal.  He was also in a bad mood the next day and spent a good part of the afternoon napping.  VERY different from the previous weekends where he was go-go-go.

I started putting flaxseed oil in my smoothies, and am taking a B12 and Vit D supplement.  My energy is back 100% (minus the sleepless baby nights).  I too will start to eat 2 to 3 eggs a week, probably raw in my smoothie, like Dr. Kim suggests.  I need to find someone nearby in the country who has eggs to sell.  I don’t want to buy grocery eggs anymore.  Even if they are organic and “free-range,” the birds are not having a good existence and probably never see the light of day.  Interesting how I never really thought about animal rights/processing until this journey.

Anyway, I’ll continue to take it one day at a time.  I do think it is important to be clear on what you are definitely going to omit so that when it appears in front of you you won’t be tempted.  Yesterday, I watched husband sharing the kids pizza, and cookies at the farmer’s market.  Just a bite here and there, but I know where that can lead – for me at least.  For me, for now, I will not eat wheat, processed sugar, or dairy.  I reserve the right to reevaluate down the road.

So, yes, I LOVED the 21 day cleanse.  I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who wants to take the time and effort to do it right.  You won’t regret it.