Friday, April 30, 2010

Cassoulet for four

1 Tbs. water
1/2 onion, chopped
1 peeled & diced carrot
1/2 lb. navy beans, soaked overnight
2 c. mushroom broth made from simmering mushrooms in 2 c. water
1/2 cube vegetable boillion
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. rosemary
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/2 large potato, peeled and cubed

Heat the water in a small skillet. Add onion and carrots and saute til tender.

In a small slow cooker, combine beans, carrots and onion, mushroom broth, vegetable boullion and herbs. Pour in enough water if necessary, to cover the beans. Cook on low 6 hrs. Add potato and cook 1 hr. longer.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Good Week

I am doing good this week. I haven't had any slip-ups at all. I do find I have fallen into a bit of a rut with regards to what I am eating, but then that is probably good because it makes it easy to plan my meals, it makes it easy to get groceries and I am not wasting time and money on things I won't like.

I bake potatoes about 10 at a time and keep them in the fridge for future meals. I make big pots of soup and keep eating it until I am done. Sometimes I will have it over the potatoes, sometimes I will have it over rice and sometimes I will have it by itself. I like the baked potatoes by themselves, cut up and roasted again in the oven, or with creamed corn. My favorite snacks are plain rice cakes, smoothies or if I am really hungry, oatmeal with fruit and applesauce.

I am interested to see how I do tomorrow at my weigh-in considering the rough end I had to last week.

Chili/Cheeze/Potato Casserole

Bottom Layer:
15 ounces chili beans in zesty sauce
15 ounces canned kidney beans -- rinsed
15 ounces canned black beans -- rinsed
Or 3 cans vegetarian chili

Middle Layer-Golden Cheeze Sauce:
Blend together the following:
15 ounces canned white beans -- Great Northern
6 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup pimientos -- or roasted red pepper
1 lemon -- juice of
1 tablespoon soy sauce, low sodium -- Shoyu
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/2 tablespoon salt

Top Layer:
4 cups hashed brown potatoes -- 1 bag frozen; sprinkled with
chili powder

1. Layer the beans or chili on bottom of oven-proof casserole.

2. Blend the sauce ingredients together and pour over beans. Top with
potatoes & sprinkle with chili powder.

3. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees until potatoes brown and cheeze sauce is
bubbly (30-45 min.)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Beans ala Blender (refried)

Pre-soak 2 cups pinto beans overnight and then cook at med-low temp until soft (or could substitute appropriate amount no salt/no fat canned pintos).

Add while cooking:
1 1/2 cups chopped onoin and 3 cloves garlic, crushed--even better is you fry these first in a bit of water or veg broth
1/4 cup tomato paste

When beans are soft and above adds have sort of had time to get friendly put mixture in food processor or blender and add:
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp black pepper
2tsp ground cumin

Blend until smooth and grab a toasted tortilla!
Yields 5 cups

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Failure to plan is planning to fail

My diet is going well. I am sticking to it and feeling good. My favorite snack is fruit smoothies. Yummy! I am making soup for my lunch and supper today.

I am really trying to be strict about my fat intake and I can feel a difference. I will admit that two of the days I was out last week, I didn't do as well, but I was back at it as soon as I got home and I have been back at it ever since.

I made the decision that when I am planning on going out, I have to plan for my food and snacks better. I have low blood sugar, I can't wait until my sugar drops and then try to make a rational decision on what I am going to eat. So from now on, when I am going out, I am taking some snacks with me, I am planning ahead on where and when I am going to eat.

Failure to plan is after all planning to fail!

Black-Eyed Peas & Kale

2 cups dried black-eyed peas, sorted, rinsed, soaked overnight, drained
1 onion, chopped
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups water

Place black-eyed peas & onion in crockpot. Add tomatoes, water, salt and kale. Cook on high for 8 – 10 hours.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bean-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Serving Size : 6

1 head cabbage

--SAUCE--
12 ounces tomato sauce
6 ounces tomato paste
1 cup onion -- finely chopped
2 cloves garlic -- crushed
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper

--FILLING--
1 pound white beans, canned
1 cup onion -- finely chopped
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Carefully remove 12 large outside leaves from the cabbage. Place leaves in a large pot of boiling water and boil 5 minutes. Remove leaves from water, place in a colander, and run under cold water for a few minutes. Drain.

To prepare sauce: combine all sauces ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.

To prepare filling: place beans in a large bowl. Mash slightly with a fork or potato masher. Add remaining filling ingredients and mix well.

To assemble: preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9 x 13-inch baking pan or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Divide filling evenly and place each portion near the base of a cabbage leaf. Roll leaves up tightly, folding in the sides as you roll. Place rolls stem side down in prepared pan. Spoon sauce evenly over rolls. Cover Tightly and bake 1 hour.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Beans Florentine

Yield: 1 servings

1 Onion; chopped
1 Celery; chopped
1 Carrot; chopped
1 tsp Minced fresh garlic
1/2 c Water
3 can White beans; (15 oz)
1 c Vegetable broth
1 tbsp Soy sauce
1 tsp Dried basil
1 tsp Dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper-to taste
2 c Chopped fresh spinach

Place the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic in a large pot with the water. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the beans broth, soy sauce, basil, oregano, and pepper. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for 3 minutes longer. Serve over grains, potatoes, toast, or English muffins.

Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 28 minutes

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Weekend Update

The weekend is upon us and I am holding strong. I had a nice breakfast this morning with lots of roasted veggies. My mother in law saw all the veggies and was amazed that I could eat a big plate of food like that and still be losing weight. I told her that this diet isn't about deprivation, it is about eating healthy whole foods. I can eat until I am satisfied and still lose weight. I am loving how satisfied I am on this diet. I forget that I am dieting sometimes.

Chili

Ingredients:

1/2 medium onion, diced

1/4 medium green bell pepper, diced

1 medium carrot, peeled & diced

1 celery stalk, diced

6 mushrooms diced

1 cup water

1 16 oz can kidney beans, drained (or 1.5 cups cooked from dry)

1 16 oz can garbanzo beans, drained (or 1.5 cups cooked from dry)

1 – 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup frozen corn

1/4 cup cooked bulgur

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon Marukan Seasoned Rice Vinegar (or your favorite vinegar)

1 teaspoon Molasses

Directions: Sauté onion in small amount of water until translucent. Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes. 4 Servings.

Friday, April 23, 2010

CHICKPEAS AND SWEET POTATOES

This vibrantly colored dish is delicious and easy to prepare. It can be servee with couscous or rice and a dark green vegetable for a well-balanced and satisfying meal.

2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon safflower oil
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/4 teaspoon salt

Steam the sweet potatoes for 20 minutes until just tender.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, and onion, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened. Add 1/2 cup water, the sweet potatoes, chickpeas, tomatoes, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until mixture thickens to a stewlike consistency. Serves 6


My comments: These cooking instructions can overcook the sweet potatoes. You can just skip the steaming step and cook them in the tomato mixture instead.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Back to normal

After three days of steady running around, I am exhausted and glad that tomorrow I get to go back to my quiet little life in my cabin in the woods. It is really hard to stay strict on your diet when you are out eating at restaurants, but I did my best.

Back to normal days tomorrow, oatmeal with fruit for breakfast, soup or salads or baked potato with creamed corn, or something similar for lunch, fruits for snacks and whatever I happen to feel like for supper and a fruit smoothie for a snack at some point during the day. I am satisfied and full all day long!

Easy Lentil Burgers

1 cup cooked & mashed lentils
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 c (approx) cereal grain--the amount depends on how runny the lentils are.
Optional: onion & mushrooms chopped very fine or whirred in the blender.

Blend together the lentils and rice. Add enough of the cereal grain so that the mixture is very stiff. Form into patties and bake at 350 F. for 20 minutes on each side.

They will be just lightly browned with a slight crunchiness on the outside. If you like, you can put these under the broiler for another 2 minutes for more browning.

You can serve these on a bun with all the fixings (pile on lots of veggies!) or alone with just about any kind of sauce you like--mustard, bbq sauce, salsa, etc.

Idea: Make tiny patties (sort of like falafel) and use these as dippers!

The lentil glop freezes well so you can make this ahead to keep on hand. If you freeze the burger mixture itself, you might have to add more cereal grain after it thaws.

The cooked patties will taste good reheated--make the day before and heat under the broiler to serve.

I like the plainness of these and I never put seasonings in the recipe. Most of the yumminess in eating them is the juicy vegetables and tasty condiments you slather them with! Yum!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bean Medley

1 1/2 cups ketchup
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, choped
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup italian dressing
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/8 tsp pepper
1 can kidney beans (16oz), rinsed and drained
1 can (16 oz) black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 can (16 oz) great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn (16oz) drained
1 can (16oz) lima beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (16oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

In 5qt slow cooker combine the first 12 ingredients, stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours or until onion and peppers are tender. Discard bay leaves and enjoy

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bean Surprise

Servings: 2
Preparation Time: 10 minutes (need cooked rice)
Cooking Time: 5 minutes

* 2 cups cooked brown rice
* 1 15-ounce can black or white beans, drained and rinsed
* 1 cup shredded lettuce
* 1 cup chopped tomato
* 1 cup chopped green or red bell pepper
* 1 cup chopped green onion
* 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
* 3/4 cup salsa

Place rice, beans and half of the lettuce, tomato, bell pepper and onions in a microwave-safe bowl. Mix well, cover and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir well and microwave for 2 more minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Serve at once.

HINT: Make with other kinds of beans

Monday, April 19, 2010

Early Weekly weigh-in

I sneaked in a weigh-in early this week. I have just been feeling so good, I had to know how I did. I have lost 5.2 lbs since Friday!!!! Yay! That is so motivating! I am going into town tomorrow for a full day of good family time and I will do my best to eat well.

My favorite snack lately is baked potato with creamed corn. No fat, no meat, all flavor!

BEAN ENCHILADA CASSEROLE

Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8-10

Sauce:
3- 8 ounce cans tomato sauce
4½ cups water
6 tablespoons cornstarch
3 ½ to 4 ½ tablespoons chili powder
1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
¾ teaspoon garlic powder

Place all ingredients for the sauce in a saucepan. Start with the lesser amount of chili powder unless you like really spicy foods. Mix well with a whisk until well combined. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened, about 7 minutes. Taste and add more chili powder if desired. Set aside.

12-14 flour tortillas
4-5 cups mashed pinto beans
½- 1 cup chopped green onions
½-1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1-2 tablespoons chopped ripe olives
1-2 tablespoons chopped green chilies (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To assemble casserole:

Place 1-2 cups of the sauce in the bottom of a large non-stick oblong baking dish. Take 1 tortilla at a time and spread some beans down the center of the tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas, placing them snugly next to each other. Reserve about 1½ cups of the remaining sauce, then pour the rest of the sauce over the rolled up tortillas, spreading it out evenly. Sprinkle the green onions, corn kernels, olives and chilies over the sauce. Cover with parchment paper, then cover with aluminum foil, crimping the edges over the baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for about 5 minutes before cutting. Serve with the extra sauce or salsa, if desired.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bean and Rice Burritos

Yield: 10 servings

1 can Pinto beans, 16 oz waterpak
1 c Brown rice; cooked
1/2 c Onions; frozen, chopped
1/2 c Gr. peppers; frozen, chopped
1/2 c Corn; frozen
Chili powder; dash
Cumin; dash
Garlic powder; dash
3/4 c Water
Salsa, oil-free, low sodium
10 Tortillas, whole wheat

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS
Lettuce, chopped
1 bunch Scallions; chopped
1 Tomato; chopped

Saute the frozen onions and green peppers in a few tablespoons of water in a skillet. Drain and rinse the beans and place in a skillet and mash with a potato masher. Add the cooked rice, corn, spices and water. Heat 5 to 10 minutes until most of water is absorbed, stirring occasionally.

Heat the tortillas quickly (just to soften) in a preheated skillet, a toaster oven, or a microwave. Place a line of bean mixture down the middle of each tortilla, add a teaspoon of salsa and any of the other toppings as desired. Fold up 1/2 inch on each side, tuck in the top edge and roll into a burrito. Serve immediately, topped with additional salsa if desired.

The leftover bean mixture can be kept in the refrigerator and reheated in the microwave prior to assembly.

The bean mixture can be adapted by changing the kind of beans (try kidney beans) or omitting the corn, or adding your favorite ingredient.

motivation and feeling great

I am feeling really motivated right now. I am confident that whatever happens I will stick to this. I made the decision that whatever happens with my weight, this diet works for my health and I think that decision took the pressure off. I am not going to lose weight right away but that's okay. I am feeling healthy, my stomach is feeling so much better. No more bad reactions to meat, no more bad reactions to fat, no more low blood sugar episodes, I eat when I am hungry and I end each meal feeling energetic and satisfied. Period. No starvation, no stress. And I feel great.

I saw Dr. Ornish on Dr. Oz the other day and it really was enough to remind me of what I needed to focus on. I am back, I am focused, I am doing this right!

(I do have a confession, before I started back on this diet, I had gained back 9.4 lbs. I know that weight is a result of poor eating, Easter eating, visitors came and eating with them and everything else. But I am done making excuses. Life is going to happen and if I am going to do this, I have to eat this way no matter what life brings my way. So here's to motivation and feeling great!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Good Day

I am feeling good today. Strong. I am watching Biggest loser these days and I do find their journey inspiring. I watch as these people who have so much going for them struggle to lose weight, some of them losing only three pounds. Then I think of me, a stay at home mom of three children, one of whom is an autistic child I homeschool and two of whom are under two years old and I also have to contend with health issues. I have a lot on my plate. The fact that I can manage to lose weight with all of that is something to be proud of. I just have to put my effort into it.

Yesterday for supper, I made a quick meal with Basmati rice, 1 can of mixed beans, 1 can of diced tomatoes, 1 cup of corn, 1 onion, chili powder, and cumin. It was delish! Today for lunch, I had leftovers over 2 baked potatoes and some lettuce on the side. It was totally yummy! For supper, I am making the worlds simplest pea soup, just split peas and veggie broth. It is quick and yummy. I may have some over a baked potato as well, since I baked some extras.

It has been a good day, no fat, no meat, and all whole foods.

Barley and Beans

1 cup pinto beans -- or pink beans
1 cup barley
8 cups water
1 large onion -- chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms -- chopped
2 cups spinach -- chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce, low sodium -- Tamari
1/4 teaspoon rosemary

1. Place beans and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil for 1 minute, remove from heat, cover, and let rest 1 hour (or soak overnight and eliminate 1 hour resting time). Then bring to a boil, cover, and simmer over low heat about 1 hour. Add barley, onions and mushrooms. Continue to cook another 45 minutes. Add spinach and remaining ingredients 15 minutes before serving. Stir to mix well. Cook another 15 minutes and serve hot.

2. Test beans for tenderness before adding spinach. You may want to cook the beans and barley a bit longer. This dish can also be made in a slow-cooker. Add beans, 6 cups of water, barley, onions, and mushrooms. Cook on High 6-8 hours or Low 10 - 12 hours. Add spinach and remaining ingredients 30 minutes before serving. Cook on High after adding spinach.

Per Serving: 239 Calories; 1g Fat (4.7% calories from fat); 12g Protein; 47g Carbohydrate; 13g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 126mg Sodium. Exchanges: 3 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 0 Fat.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Weekly weigh-in

Well my weight is up this week, but I am sticking more closely to my diet now than I have been and I feel great so I know that the weight loss will follow. I really am concentrating on the health benefits of my diet. My mother had several major heart attacks by the time she was my age and I want to avoid that. And if I am eating a whole foods, low fat, vegetarian diet, I know I will lose weight. My body is just a bit stingy about letting it go at first.

Barbecued Beans and Rice

1 1/4 cups water
1 small onion -- chopped
1 red bell pepper -- chopped
15 ounces cooked black beans -- (15.5 ounce) drained and rinsed
15 ounces cooked garbanzo beans -- (15.5 ounce) drained and rinsed
15 ounces cooked kidney beans -- (15.5 ounce) drained and rinsed
15 ounces cooked red kidney beans -- (15.5 ounce)drained and rinsed
15 ounces stewed tomatoes, canned -- (14.5 ounce)
1/2 cup barbecue sauce -- oil free
2 cups cooked brown rice

Place 1/4 cup of the water, the onion, and bell pepper in a large saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients, except the rice. Cook for 10 minutes.

Stir in the rice and heat through.


Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 512 Calories; 4g Fat (6.7% calories from fat); 28g Protein; 94g Carbohydrate; 20g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 343mg Sodium. Exchanges: 5 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

Serving Ideas : Recipe Hint: This freezes well. Use Cajun, Mexican, or Italian stewed tomatoes for a change in flavor.

NOTES : Cooking times are for cooked rice

Thursday, April 15, 2010

BBQ Beans

Yield: 6 servings

1 lg Onion, chopped
1 lg Pepper, chopped
Garlic clove, crushed
1 1/2 tsp Dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp Chili powder
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Tumeric
1 c Tomato sauce
1 1/2 tbsp Molasses
1/2 tsp Apple cider vinegar
1 dash Tabasco sauce
4 c Beans, cooked

Saute onion, pepper and garlic in 1/4 c water for 5 minutes. Add mustard, chili, cumin, tumeric and stir well to mix. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Cook over low heat until heated through, about 15 minutes.

HELPFUL HINT: This is great on a bun like sloppy-joe mix, with ketchup and mustard. Good take-along for picnics. Use either hot or cold. Also good over whole grains or as a sandwich spread.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

PUMPKIN AND BLACK BEAN SOUP

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4-6

1 medium onion, chopped
¼ cup water
3 cups vegetable broth
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 pinches cayenne pepper (optional)
dash salt

Place the onion and water in a soup pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until tender. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Notes: You can omit the tomatoes, cut the cumin in half, add some corn or hominy, and perhaps some potatoes. You could vary this endlessly. I think chili powder with a dash of cinnamon would also work well instead of the curry powder. Very easy and very good.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Baked Lentils

1 3/4 cups lentils, not cooked
2 1/4 cups water
2 onions, chopped
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 cup celery, sliced (optional)
1 green pepper, chopped (optional)
pepper, to taste [again I use Melange]
1/8 tsp. marjoram
1/8 tsp. sage
1/8 tsp. thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. chopped parsley
[opt: up to 1 tsp salt depending on salt allowed note sub in more herbs if not using to taste]
You could also add smoked peppers

Preheat oven to 375° F. Pam a baking dish [with cover] at least 9 by 13 and combine lentils, water, spices, onions, garlic, and tomatoes. Then cover tightly and bake for 30 minutes.

Stir in carrots and celery and bake, covered, for another 40 minutes then tir in optional green pepper and parsley. I usually let bake for a few minutes more but you don't have to.

serves 4

Monday, April 12, 2010

Baked Beans

1 lb Dry Navy Beans, sorted, rinsed, soaked overnight, drained
1 onion, chopped
1 cup tomato Sauce
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup molasses
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons salt

Simmer beans in unsalted water for 1 hour. Drain. Mix all ingredients & bake in covered casserole dish @ 300 for 4 hours.

Notes: This came out thick, dry, slightly overdone and a little burnt on top. I loved it. It tasted like the baked beans I remember eating when I was a kid. We used to make sandwiches out of homemade baked beans like these. Trust me, you can’t buy baked beans like this in a can. I served this with hominy and baked yams topped with a smidge of cranberry chutney. Yum.

How to sort beans: I take about 1 cup at a time and pour them onto a plate. Using my fingers I quickly move the beans from one side of the plate to the other side of the plate, a few at a time, looking for small stones, dirt clots, discolored beans and picking those out. I repeat until I’ve sorted all the beans and then they’re ready to rinse and soak overnight. It only takes me about 2 minutes to sort a pound of beans.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

BAJAN BEANS

1 onion, chopped,
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 sweet yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 Serrano Chile pepper, minced
3 cups fat free veggie broth
1 14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 cup brown rice
1 can small white beans, drained (12-16 oz?)
1 can black beans, drained
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup cilantro, chopped, loosely packed.

Saute the onion, garlic, two bell peppers and Serrano Chile pepper in 1/2
cup of the veggie broth for about 10 minutes. Add the remaining veggie broth,
tomatoes, squash and rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat & cover, simmer 1 hour. Stir in the beans, corn, and cilantro and heat through, about 5 minutes.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Perfect 10

I read the new health/wellness book that was just released called The Perfect 10 Diet, by Dr. Michael Aziz. The Perfect 10 Diet balances 10 key hormones that are key to weight loss and improved health (and often reversal of disease). The latest research shows that HORMONES ARE THE KEY TO WEIGHT LOSS.

I really liked this book because I know that hormones play a big roll in my weight loss. I love the emphasis that this book placed on whole foods and I love how much I learned about my hormones and the part they play in not only my weight but also so many other areas of my life and physical well-being.

CBS’ The Doctors devoted an entire segment to the book, talking about hormones and weight loss, what to eat and what not to eat and Dr. Aziz also appeared on the program. Dr. Travis Stork opens the segment with;
“Two out of every three Americans are either overweight or obese and the latest research suggests hormones are part of the problem. In fact there’s a new book - called The Perfect 10 Diet - based on some of that research. There are 10 key hormones according to this book when it comes to weight loss, hormones like cortisol, which is one of those that responds to stress. You’ve got thyroid hormones, you’ve got your sex hormones, and of course we all know about insulin, which is such a major player. Insulin is what goes awry when you have diabetes. What happens when you sit down to take a meal? You’ve got to think about what’s going on inside your body.”
I really enjoyed this book. It is a great resource that I am glad to have added to my library and I do plan on referring back to it again and again

Awesome Bean Recipe

4 cups dried beans -- pink or combination
1 cup tomato paste
9 cups water
1 medium chopped green bell pepper
2 medium onions -- chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dill
1/4 teaspoon celery powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt -- to taste

Wash beans well, drain, add all ingredients, place in crock pot for 18-24 hours. this will require no watching if on low. Flavor is wonderful with slow cooking! ENJOY :o}

Per Serving: 391 Calories; 2g Fat (3.5% calories from fat); 25g Protein; 73g Carbohydrate; 28g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 682mg Sodium. Exchanges: 4 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 Vegetable; 0 Fat.

NOTES : 4 c. pink beans (I use pinto mostly, but have subsituted a variety of dried beans.... YUMMY)

(May take as long as 32 hours to cook in crockpot, depending on how soft you like your beans.)

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Veggie, Rice and Chickpea Love Affair

PAN 1
1 each yellow pepper, orange and red pepper
1 broccoli (crown only) cut into small florets
1 teaspoon basil
2 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons water

PAN 2
2 cups chickpeas
3 cups brown rice (cooked)
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
1cup water
3 -4 tablespoons lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste


Directions:

PAN 1
Chop all veggies into small pieces, add to pan.
In a measuring cup, add basil, maple syrup, and water. Mix then add to veggies.
Cook covered on medium low heat until veggies reach your desired tenderness.

PAN 2
Put chickpeas and rice in pan.
In a measuring cup, add garlic, water, lemon juice, oregano, pepper and salt. Mix then add to rice/bean mix.
Bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer until the majority of liquid is gone.

Add the bean/rice mixture to veggies.

It was delicious. Because of its lighter flavor, it's a nice change from more heavily spiced dishes. I think it would be great in the summer.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Substitutions

Here are some ideas for foods that you substitute for higher calorie versions:

Fat Free cottage cheese - a great high protein snack for me
Soy Milk or Skim Milk - instead of 2% or whole
2% cheese or Fat Free cheese (depends on if we want it to melt or not)- instead of full fat cheese
Whole grain breads - instead of white bread
Veggie burgers - instead of hamburgers
Egg beaters - instead of whole eggs
Unsweetened shredded wheat - instead of frosted mini wheats
Light Sour Cream -instead of full fat
2% milk instead
Laughing Cow cheese wedges or light whipped cream cheese - instead of full fat
1 pt 45 cal bread - instead of regular white
Boca Burgers - instead of hamburgers
Portion Controlled snacks - instead of big bags of chips / cookies / etc.
Turkey Burger or Beefalo - instead of beef
97% fat free hot dogs - instead of full fat
Light Mayo with olive oil - instead of regular full fat
Light soups instead of regular canned soup
Lower cal cereals - instead of anything over 100 - 150 calories per cup
Plain quick cooking oats - instead of pre-sweetened oatmeal
Chili and a Side Salad - instead of the Big Bacon Classic at Wendy's
Brown rice - instead of potatoes
water with meals - instead of calorie ridden drinks
ground turkey or chicken - instead of ground beef
cube steaks -instead of cubes made from lean pork rather than beef.
Land-o-Lakes Lite (half butter w/canola oil) instead of butter, can also switch
more salmon and boneless, skinless chicken breast filets and Less beef

Kima

2 medium onions -- chopped
2 cloves garlic -- minced
2 cups vegetarian crumbles -- burger type
2 stalks celery -- diced
4 medium potatoes -- diced small
4 medium carrots -- diced small
2 cups frozen peas -- baby type
2 tablespoons curry powder
3 tablespoons soy sauce, low sodium -- OR mushroom sauce
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper -- to taste
4 fresh tomatoes -- to 6, chopped, OR
8-12 canned tomatoes -- chopped, OR
1/3 cup tomato paste mixed with 1/2 cup water

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Put a pot of brown basmati rice on to cook.

2. Use a large (12 - 14") skillet or casserole that can be used both in the oven and on top of the stove, if you have one. Otherwise, you will have to transfer the mixture from a large skillet to a large oven-proof casserole before baking.

3. Lightly oil the bottom of the skillet with your fingertips. Over high heat, stir-fry the onions and garlic, adding a splash of water if necessary to prevent sticking. When the onions start to get soft, add the remaining ingredients, stirring well. Turn the heat up and bring the mixture to a boil, then remove from the heat. Cover the skillet (use foil or a round pizza pan if you have no lid for your skillet), or scrape the mixture into an oven-proof casserole, cover, and bake for 30 minutes. The mixture should be fairly dry.

Per Serving: 283 Calories; 5g Fat (14.1% calories from fat); 21g Protein; 42g Carbohydrate; 10g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 1053mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fat.

Author's note:
This is an easy family meal - all you need with it is rice. Unpeeled carrots and potatoes, along with high-fiber peas, make this a flavor-and-fiber-rich, low fat meal. With steamed brown basmati rice, chutney, and a salad, it's even better! This makes a lot, but the leftovers are great!

Make Friends With Your Scale

For years, many experts recommended tossing your scale. Good advice when you consider the emotional whiplash that weighing yourself can cause. As the number goes down, your confidence goes up, but a gain of even a pound can easily ruin your day.

It's time to end the love-hate relationship with your scale. A review of a dozen studies tracking over 16,000 dieters provides indisputable evidence that the bathroom scale is one of the most effective tools for losing weight and preventing pounds from creeping on. A whopping 75% of members of the National Weight Control Registry—men and women who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off—weigh themselves at least once a week.

Here are five surprising facts that will help you make peace with your scale—and use it to your weight loss advantage.

Surprise No. 1: The more you weigh yourself, the more you lose

Out of sight, out of mind simply doesn't work. In one study, daily weighers dropped twice as many pounds as weekly weighers—12 pounds versus 6, possibly because it was a regular reminder to stay on track. Meanwhile, dieters who avoided the scale altogether gained 4 pounds. And despite the common belief that focusing on weight makes women feel bad about themselves, scientists have found that tracking your weight can actually improve your mood by giving you a sense of control.

TIP: Weigh yourself daily (more than that isn't really meaningful).

Surprise No. 2: A cheaper model is better

You can spend hundreds on a high-tech scale that also estimates your body fat percentage and more through a series of mathematical algorithms, but you're just getting another number to worry about that's possibly less accurate than your weight. "I avoid scales that measure body fat, because there are so many inaccuracies based on fluctuations in how much water you drink," says exercise physiologist Kara Mohr, PhD, who's done extensive scientific research on weight loss.

TIP: Buy a basic digital scale that displays weight to the nearest ½ or 2/10 pound to minimize fluctuations.

Surprise No. 3: Weight can fluctuate 5 pounds in 24 hours

The biggest culprit is water (and water in the food you eat). The calories in a liter of soda would add about 1/10 pound if you didn't burn them off, but step on the scale immediately after drinking it and you'll be up more than 2 pounds; go to the bathroom and you'll likely drop 1 to 1½ pounds. You even lose water weight—about 2 pounds a day—just by breathing and sweating. Day-to-day fluctuations can be the result of a high sodium meal or your level of hydration, while your menstrual cycle can cause changes all month long.

"It's important to keep the bigger picture in mind," says Mohr. No one meal or single splurge will move the scale's needle in a lasting way unless it becomes a habit. However, a difference of 100 calories at every meal could add up to more than 30 pounds in a year—in either direction.

Eat and still lose weight with these 22 lower-calorie snacks.

TIP: Weigh yourself at the same time each day, first thing in the morning after using the bathroom and getting undressed, to avoid factors like water weight and clothing. Track your results, and focus on the pattern over time. The number may go up and down from one day to the next, but the overall direction month to month should be down if you're trying to lose weight. If you see an upward trend, it's time to take action.

Surprise No. 4: You can lose inches without weighing less

In a recent study from the University of California at Berkeley, women in their mid-50s followed a 12-week cycling routine while eating a diet designed to maintain their weight. The result: One 56-year-old lost just 1 pound but dropped two sizes, thanks to a 7% decrease in body fat. She replaced about 4 pounds of fat with 4 pounds of muscle—pound for pound, muscle is firmer and denser, and it takes up about one-third the space of fat. But don't assume your scale is stuck due to new muscle. It takes about a month of strength-training to add a single pound of muscle, on average, according to Wayne Westcott, PhD, author of Get Stronger, Feel Younger.

TIP: Track other markers such as the size of your waist and thighs (using a tape measure), how your clothes fit, or how much energy you have—and celebrate those successes.

Surprise No. 5: Where you put your scale matters

In most cases, your bathroom floor will work just fine, but if the floor is textured or the grout creates an uneven surface, the readout might be off. Bath mats or carpet of any thickness can absorb some of your weight, throwing off the scale's sensors and decreasing your weight by 20 pounds or more, explains Keith Erickson, company spokesperson for Tanita scales. Some higher-end scales come with carpet feet to accommodate the inconsistencies, but our tester still found a several-pound discrepancy.

TIP: Weigh yourself in the same spot every day.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Descriptions of my plan

I am doing a McDougall/Ornish diet. I have described them both on here:

I have decided I am going to relax. I am going to stop worrying about how fast I lose. If I eat well, I will lose. I am just going to aim for feeling good, getting active and eating well and the rest will follow. I need to stop waffling, stick with a plan that feels good and get at the heart of the thing and just do it. So here I am . . . Doing it!

Great Quotes

1) My advice is to go into something and stay with it until you like it. You can't like it until you obtain expertise in that work. And once you are an expert, it's a pleasure.
Milton Garland

2) You've got to say, I think that if I keep working at this and want it badly enough I can have it. It's called perseverance.
Lee Iacocca

3)Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

4) There are three types of people in the world. 1. Those who see a problem. 2. Those who are the problem. 3. and those who solve the problem. The first two are a dime dozen. What you have to ascertain is this, which one are you.
Paul Stanley

5) To live by another's opinion of you is to make the absurd assumption that only in someone else's mind are you real.
Anonymous

6)Inside some of us is a thin person struggling to get out, but they can usually be sedated with a few pieces of chocolate cake."
Anonymous

7) The world of achievement has always belonged to the optimist.
Harold Wilkins

Pumpkin Pudding

  • 4 C. nonfat or 1% milk
  • 2 Packages vanilla sugar free instant pudding
  • 1 29 oz. can of pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 packages of Splenda or Equal
  • Fat Free or Lite Cool Whip
  1. Mix pumpkin with pie spice and Splenda.
  2. Mix pudding according to directions on package. Mix with Pumpkin mixture. Measure and spoon into cups.
  3. Chill
Serve with a spoonful of Cool Whip

Caramelized Pecan Garnish
  • 20 pecan halves, toasted
  • 1 tsp. of sugar
Heat non-stick pan and caramelize sugar. Add toasted pecans and mix well with sugar. Let cool in pan until cold to the touch. Chop well. Reserve in jar. Spring over Cool Whip. Makes 10-12 servings.

Note: I only have success with the pecan garnish about half of the time. But when they come out they are great.

Makes 16 ½ cup servings

1 Serving = ½ point (Not including Garnish)

or

Makes 8 1-cup servings at 1 point each

3 Beans & A Dash Soup

Saute stalk of diced celery, few carrots, and an onion in a little veg. broth.

When tender, add:
1 can black beans
1 can kidney bean
1 can white or pinto beans
1 can corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1 diced large sweet potato
The rest of a 32 oz. low-sodium veggie broth
A good dash of "Mrs. Dash", dash or two of chili pdr, pinch of red pepper flakes, a bay leaf
1-2 cups of water

Simmer this for a while- the longer the better- after it cooks the first 30 mins. add a package of fresh baby spinach, stems removed

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

5 can soup

Mix together:
  1. 1 can of diced tomatoes,
  2. 1 can of mixed vegetables,
  3. 1 can of minestrone soup,
  4. 1 can of beans (any kind)
  5. 1 can of corn.
1 point per cup.

Indecisiveness Ended

My body made up my mind for me. I have been so sick since walking away from the vegetarian diet that I have decided that no matter how much it costs for me to have a different diet than my family, I am worth it. I deserve to feel good too. So, I am budgeting for my groceries. I am including vegetarian foods in my diet. I will be back on the Whole foods, low fat, plant based diet and back to feeling healthy again. I need this so much. No matter what happens to my weight. I need to stop being sick. Meat makes me sick. Fat makes me sick. So low fat vegetarian is what makes me feel healthy.

Monday, April 5, 2010

roasted cauliflower

  1. Break the cauliflower into small pieces
  2. toss with olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper and any other seasoning you want(cayenne or chili powder are good).
  3. Roast in 350 degree oven until brown.

Butternut squash soup

  1. Cut the squash into small cubes and boil with 2 cups of chicken broth.
  2. Saute 1 diced onion in a teaspoon of olive oil until browned.
  3. Once the squash is soft, run the squash and onions through a food processer until smooth.
  4. Season with chili powder, cayenne pepper and black pepper.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Okra

Ingredients:
  • 4 slice(s) bacon, reduced fat, diced into small pieces
  • 1 small onion(s), peeled and chopped
  • 2 clove(s) garlic clove(s), minced
  • 30 oz canned diced tomatoes, 2-15 ounce cans
  • 1 Tbsp Home Again Chicken base, any brand will do
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 cup(s) okra, cut into 1-in. pieces
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper, really just to taste

Cook bacon slightly. Saute onion and garlic with bacon until tender. Add tomatoes, chicken base, sugar and pepper. Stir well and let simmer about 20 minutes. Pepper to taste.
Wash the okra and remove the fuzz. Cut into 1 inch chunks and add to mixture. Simmer another 20 minutes.

Serves 4 at 2 points per serving.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

BERRY BAKE

  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp low-fat milk (1%)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp brandy (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh berries (try blueberries, blackberries and/or raspberries)
  • 1 Tbsp confectioner's sugar
Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 9-inch deep dish glass or ceramic pie plate with cooking spray. Put the milk, eggs, flour, sugar, brandy (if using), vanilla, salt and nutmeg in a blender. Process until smooth and frothy, about 1 minute. Spread the berries evenly over the bottom of the pie plate. Pour the batter over the berries and place the pie plate on a cookie shet. Bake 50 to 60 minutes
until the sides are puffed and golden, the center is just set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (except for berry juice). Transfer to a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Serve immediately or let cobbler cool to room temperature. Dust it with confectioners sugar just before serving.

8 servings, 2 POINTS each

Friday, April 2, 2010

PEACH ANGEL FOOD CAKE

  • Angel Food Cake Mix
  • 5-6 small ripe peaches (3 cups peeled and diced)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Splenda
Peel peaches and dice into a glass measuring bowl. Add water and Splenda. Microwave on High for 5 minutes. Cool thoroughly. Stir into the angel food cake mix until well mixed. Pour batter into a 13x9 inch pan. DO NOT SPRAY THE PAN WITH COOKING SPRAY - the cake won't rise. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Cool completely.

12 servings, 3 POINTS each

Thursday, April 1, 2010

WACKY CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tsp baking cocoa
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup water
Spray and 8x8 pan with cooking spray. Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Make 3 wells (depressions) in the top of the dry ingredients. Pour vinegar into one well, vanilla into the second, and applesauce into the third. Pour 1 cup of water over everything and mix together. Pour batter into the pan. Bake about 35 minutes until a toothpick tests clean.

12 servings, 2 POINTS each

**NOTE TO MY FRIENDS**
Come on in for a nice cup of coffee and a chat about my weight loss journey as well as all the healthy recipes I have found, including WW points and/or nutritional information if available. I am eating a vegetarian diet and concentrating on getting healthy and hopefully weight loss will follow. Thank to all my readers for their ongoing support.