Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Potato Peppers

* 6 large green bell peppers
* 4 cups frozen chopped hash brown potatoes
* 1/2 cup vegetable broth
* 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
* 1 cup chopped broccoli florets
* 2 tablespoons chopped pimiento
* 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
* 1/2 teaspoon minced, bottled ginger
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* fresh ground pepper


Cut peppers in half lengthwise and clean out the insides. Steam over boiling water for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Cook the potatoes in water to cover until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking water. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher, using a small amount of the cooking water to moisten them. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. SautÈ the onions in the vegetable broth for 3 minutes. Add broccoli, pimiento, curry powder, cumin, turmeric and ginger. Cook and stir for 3 more minutes. Stir vegetable mixture into mashed potatoes. Add lemon juice, soy sauce and a few twists of fresh ground pepper.

Stuff the peppers with the potato mixture. Place peppers in a non-sticking baking dish. Bake in 350-degree oven for 20 minutes. Serve with Red Curry Sauce.

Red Curry Sauce

Servings: Makes 4 cups Preparation Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes

* 1/2 cup water
* 1 onion, finely chopped
* 1 tablespoon bottled, minced ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon bottled, minced garlic
* 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
* 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
* 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
* 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander


Place the water in a saucepan. Add onions, garlic and ginger. Cook and stir for a few minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Cook for another 6-7 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Serve hot.

Monday, August 30, 2010

thoughts

I am getting so close to my first mini-goal (20 lbs lost) on my weight-loss plan that I find myself adding a few more things to get healthy. I am trying (ONCE AGAIN) to cut out caffeine and I am trying to cut back on my sodium intake. I have been using this wonderful site Calorie Counters to track my calories and my nutrition and one thing that I have found is that my sodium intake is really high and it doesn't even count the salt I add later that I didn't write in. I am thinking of buying sodium reduced products and finding others ways to reduce my salt intake.

One side-effect of my cutting back on caffeine is that I have had a headache the last few days. I am trying to switch to herbal teas. I found one mint tea that I really like. I have started filling my coffee perk up with hot water and leaving the water hot so that I can make a tea just as quickly as I used to make a coffee when I have a few moments to relax.

Baked Potato Skins

Serve with any oil-free dressing or salsa.

* Medium-size baking potatoes
* Seasonings of your choice, optional
* Oil-free dressing, optional


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Scrub the potatoes and prick them several times with a fork. Bake for 45 minutes to 50 minutes. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Gently scoop out the insides of the potatoes, leaving about 1/4 inch next to the skin. Reserve the insides for other uses.

Turn on the broiler. Season the potato skins with the seasonings of your choice or brush them with a small mount of oil-free dressing. Place them on a broiler pan and broil until lightly browned. Watch them carefully to make sure they don't burn.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fresh Salsa

Use as a topping for burritos or other Mexican-style food, or serve as a dip for Oven-Baked Tortilla Chips or raw vegetables.

* 2 cups finely chopped tomatoes
* 1 small onion, finely chopped
* 1/3 cup chopped canned green chilies
* 1/4 to 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
* Pinch or two cayenne (optional)


Combine all of the ingredients, except the cayenne, in a small bowl and mix well. Taste. Add cayenne if your taste buds permit.

Note: This will keep in the refrigerator for about 1 week

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Blanco Fiesta Sandwiches

* 1 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
* 1/4 cup chopped green onions
* 1/4 cup parsley
* 1/4 cup cilantro
* 1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* dash or two Tabasco sauce


Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Spread on bread, add lettuce and tomatoes, close up and eat.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Weekly weigh-in

I had a great week this week!!! I lost 7.2 lbs this week!!!! I am so glad. I like the way I am doing this now. Eating a healthy, low fat vegetarian diet but tracking my calories too, is working for me. I NEVER crave meat. I will occasionally crave a high fat food, but it is always a vegetarian food. Tim Horton's bagels, strawberry frozen yogurt, potato chips, that sort of thing. I am so glad that I am sticking with this.

I like too that I am changing my mindset. I am no longer telling myself that I am eating a vegetarian diet. I tell myself I am a vegetarian who is on a diet. No matter how my diet changes, I need to be aware that a vegetarian lifestyle just makes me feel better.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

French Leafy Buns

* 6 whole wheat buns
* 1 15 ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* 2 tablespoons water
* 1 tablespoon capers
* 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
* 1 teaspoon bottled fresh minced garlic
* 1 teaspoon bottled fresh minced ginger
* 4 cups chopped leafy greens, such as: spinach, chard, kale, etc.
* several twists fresh ground pepper


Place the beans, lemon juice, water and capers in a food processor and process until smooth.

Place the vinegar in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic and ginger and cook over low heat for one minute. Add the greens and stir for another two to three minutes until softened.

Season with pepper.

Split buns in half. Spread the bean mixture evenly over the top and bottom of the buns. Place the greens mixture in between, close up and eat

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Low-Fat Corn Bread

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour (I would like to try a whole wheat flour in this or at least 1/2 and 1/2)
1 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar (or sweetener)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites (or vegan replacement)
1 cup skim milk (or vegan replacement)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1. In a bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine egg whites, milk and applesauce. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Pour into a 9-in. square baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Peach or Nectarine Delight

Filling:

* 4 cups sliced fresh peaches or nectarines
* 1/3 cup apricot jam
* 2 teaspoons lemon juice
* 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
* 3 tablespoons unbleached flour


Topping:

* 1 tablespoon maple syrup
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/4 cup quick cooking oats
* 1 tablespoon oat bran


Place the sliced peaches or nectarines in a 9-inch pie plate. Stir the jam, lemon juice and nutmeg together. Spoon over the peaches. Sprinkle with flour, toss gently. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make dry topping by combining maple syrup and vanilla. Pour over the oats and oat bran. Mix well. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Crumble topping mixture over the peach filling and return pie to oven to bake for 15 minutes longer. May be served warm or cold.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fruit Roll-Ups

* 1 pint strawberries, chopped
* 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained (reserve juice)
* 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
* 1/2 cup raisins
* 1 15-ounce can pears
* 1 cup applesauce
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon honey
* 8 fat-free flour tortillas


Mix strawberries, pineapple, raspberries and raisins in a bowl. Set aside. Pour pears and their juice into a blender. Add pineapple juice. Process briefly and pour into a saucepan. Add applesauce, cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey and heat over low heat until warmed through. Do not boil.

Place 1/2 cup of the fruit mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up, pour a little of the sauce over each tortilla and serve.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Frozen Banana Cream Smoothies

* 1 cup frozen banana chunks
* 1/4 cup frozen fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, mango, papaya, melon, etc.)
* 1 cup fruit juice (orange, pineapple, apple, etc.)


Place all ingredients in a blender jar and process until smooth for a "better than ice cream" frozen smoothie.

HINT: To freeze bananas, peel, slice into chunks, freeze on a baking sheet, then store in a covered container in the freezer.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Blueberry Special

Crust:

* 1 1/2 cups Grape Nuts cereal
* 3/4 cup frozen unsweetened apple juice concentrate, thawed
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Filling:

* 1 8-ounce can unsweetened crushed pineapple, undrained
* 1 cup frozen unsweetened apple juice concentrate, thawed
* 1/4 cup quick cooking tapioca
* 5 cups fresh or frozen blueberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cereal in a Ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin. Combine apple juice concentrate and vanilla. Mix cereal and apple juice mixture together. Press into bottom and sides of a 10-inch pie pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool.

Meanwhile, place pineapple, apple juice and tapioca in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add blueberries. Cook an additional 3 minutes. Pour into crust. Cool and serve.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Weekly weigh-in

I am only down one pound from last week, but it was a great pound!! That pound puts me at 10 lbs lost!!! I am so excited.

I celebrated by making myself an old favorite macaroni and cheese with veggie dogs. It was over my calories and fat I wanted, but I figured it was a treat. There was a snag though. I didn't like it and it made me sick. It reminded me why I am eating this way. I am doing this for more than just weight loss. I am eating this way because when I don't eat healthy, I feel yucky. I feel nauseous and I have no energy. When I am eating healthy, I just feel good, I have energy, my mood is better. It is just better in general.

So yay for 10 lbs gone and for the reminder that a healthy vegetarian diet is the way for me to go.

I also remembered why I mainly eat foods that are naturally vegetarian instead of eating substitutes. The vegetarian lifestyle has so many wonderful foods to enjoy for what they are. I don't want to eat foods that try to be something they are not and that can never quite measure up. I never feel like I am missing out. I never look at my plate filled with lots of yummy veggies and whole grains and wish I was eating some greasy burger and fries instead. I LIKE veggies. They make me happy and I am a good enough cook to make them taste fabulous in hundreds of different ways. I am going to enjoy my vegetarian diet for what it is and not fill it with lots of fake foods.

Apple Torte

* 3 tablespoons tapioca
* 1 cup pineapple juice
* 8 cups apples, peeled and sliced
* 2 tablespoons honey
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/3 cup rolled oats
* 1/3 cup quick oats
* 1/3 cup unbleached flour
* 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
* 2 tablespoons apple juice
* 1/4 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Soften tapioca in pineapple juice in a measuring cup for 5 minutes. Combine with apples, honey and cinnamon in the baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes. Combine oats, flour, honey, apple juice and vanilla. Stir apple mixture and cover with crumbled oat mixture. Bake for 18-20 minutes until topping is golden.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tex-Mex Breakfast

* 2 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
* 1 cup cooked brown rice
* º cup chopped green onions
* 1/3 cup frozen corn kernels
* 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
* 4-6 whole wheat tortillas


Cook the potatoes in a dry non-stick skillet stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Add rice, green onions, salsa and corn and cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Place spinach in a separate pan with a few sprinkles of water. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Set aside. Add to cooked potato-rice mixture and mix well. Spoon a line down the center of each tortilla, roll up and enjoy.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sweet Couscous

* 1/3 cup water
* 1/4 cup orange juice
* 1/2 cup couscous
* 1/4 cup raisins
* 1/2 tablespoons honey
* 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Let rest for 3 minutes. Top with sliced bananas, if desired.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Instant Dream Waker

* 1 cup quick oats
* 1/2 cup apple sauce
* 2 tablespoons raisins or chopped dates
* dash cinnamon or mace
* 1 1/2 cups boiling water
* 1/2 cup sliced bananas, blueberries, sliced strawberries, etc.

Combine oatmeal, applesauce, raisins or dates and cinnamon or mace in a medium bowl. Add boiling water and fruit, stir, let rest for 5 minutes, then eat.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Country French Toast

* 8 slices bread
* 1/4 cup raw cashews
* 1 cup water
* 1 tablespoon maple syrup
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/16 teaspoon turmeric


Blend cashews with 1/4 cup of water first. Then add remaining ingredients except the bread and process until very smooth.

Transfer to a large bowl. Dip slices of bread into the mixture to coat both sides well. Cook on a dry non-stick griddle until brown on both sides. Serve with maple syrup, applesauce or fruit.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Weekly weigh-in

I am down 2.4 lbs this week. I am certain that by next week I will be down a total of 10 lbs since restarting this journey a few weeks ago following my move. I am really enjoying being vegetarian again. I just feel so good and healthy and I just like it so much. I am starting to notice the difference a little. it is amazing how so little can make so much change in your clothes and your face. I am also feeling better about myself, wanting to dress better, wear make-up more often, get my hair done, do something for myself instead of giving everything I have to my family all the time.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Breakfast Tortillas

* 2 cups firmly packed spinach, washed and chopped
* 2 cups cooked brown rice
* 1 cup frozen corn kernels
* 1/2 cup salsa
* 6 to 8 whole wheat or corn tortillas


Place the spinach in a saucepan with only the water you washed it in still clinging to the leaves. (If you washed the spinach the night before, place the spinach in the saucepan and sprinkle a little water over leaves.) Cook, stirring, until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from the saucepan and drain well.

Place the brown rice, corn, and salsa in the saucepan. Cook, stirring, until heated through. Stir in the spinach. Spoon a line of this mixture down the center of each tortilla and roll.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Breakfast Warmers

* 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
* 3/4 cup chopped apple
* 1/4 cup apple juice
* 2 tablespoons maple syrup
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


Place all ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mexican Bean Burritos

* 2 cups dried pinto beans
* 8 cups water
* 1/2 to 1 cup bean cooking liquid
* 2 chopped tomatoes
* 1 chopped bunch green onions
* 2 cups shredded lettuce
* 1 cup shredded soy cheese (optional)
* Assorted Mexican salsas
* 10-12 whole wheat flour or corn tortillas


Place the beans in a large pot with the water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat slightly so they don't boil over, and cook until tender, 3 to 4 hours. (This step can also be done in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 8-10 hours.) Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.

Mash the beans with a hand masher or portable electric beater. Add some bean cooking liquid after mashing and mix until the beans are a soft, moist consistency.

Place all the ingredients in bowls, except the tortillas. Let each person make their own burrito by layering on the ingredients of their choice. For instance, take a tortilla, spread a line of beans down the center of the tortilla, then add some tomatoes, onions and lettuce. Spoon a little of your favorite salsa over all of this, roll up the tortilla and, either place on a plate and eat it using a fork or pick it up and eat it using your fingers.

HINT: Make rice for the next two days' meals.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Garden Stuffed Pitas

* 1/3 cup vegetable broth
* 3/4 cup chopped green onions
* 2 15-ounce cans white beans, drained and rinsed
* 2 10-ounce cans Rotel diced tomatoes and chilies
* 1 cup frozen corn kernels
* 1/3 cup tomato paste
* 1 teaspoon chili powder
* dash Tabasco sauce
* 6-8 pita breads
* 2 cups shredded lettuce
* 4 chopped green onions
* 1 chopped tomato
* 1/2 cup chopped cucumbers


Cook the onions in the broth for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans, tomatoes, corn, tomato paste and chili powder. Cook, uncovered over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with Tabasco sauce. Serve in pita bread, topped with green onions, lettuce, chopped cucumbers and tomatoes.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bean Surprise

Servings: 2

* 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

Saturday, August 7, 2010

fun find

I had a great day yesterday. I found out that I can get a thin-crust, cheeseless, veggie pizza from a local pizza place. So when we came upon a little extra money and Prince Charming and the kids wanted to order greasy, calorie laden chicken for supper, I refrained. Instead, I ordered a thin-crust, cheeseless, veggie pizza. I fully expected to see a weight gain this morning, but I was wonderfully surprised to see that the scales were kind to me this morning and instead of seeing a gain, I saw a little loss.

I am so glad that I am finding ways of making my way of eating workable in my life.

Eggplant yummy

tomatoes
eggplant
beans

Chop tomatoes and place in a large mixing bowl
Steam eggplant slices (circles for instance) then add to the bowl of tomatoes.
Add beans (which ever variety is desired)

Mix all together and a add a squeeze of lemon.

The steamed eggplant should soak up the juices from the tomatoes.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Slowcooker Stew

2 large bags(32 oz each) frozen whole greenbeans
3 cans 15oz each diced tomatoes including juice
1 bag frozen whole pearl onions
5 lbs small red potatoes cut in half
2 cups veggie broth

Put everything in a crockpot and simmer on low all day.
You can add herbs and garlic if you like, but it is tasty as is...it tastes really good after it has cooled overnight in the fridge.

Weekly weigh-in

I lost 3.4 lbs this week! I am being more strict on my diet this time and it is showing. Watching the weight come off is great motivation to keep at this, to know this is working.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

CHICKPEA-SWEET POTATO STEW

1 (23 oz) can sweet potatoes, drained (fresh cooked sweet potato works here)
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained
1 (16 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juice

Combine these ingredients. Heat. Season as you like with salt and pepper. You can also add in some unmeasured dashes of garlic powder, red pepper, cumin, and cinnamon.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mandarin Sauce

1 envelope Liption's Onion Soup Mix
1 (8 oz) can pineapple chunks, with juice
1 (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, with liquid

Put it all in a saucepan. Cook and stir for 10 min. over medium heat. Use this to top cooked rice.

Optional: if you want this to be a thicker sauce, sprinkle 1 Tbs. flour over the hot sauce, continue cooking and stirring until sauce is thickened and bubbly.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fast Fiesta Soup

2 cans (10 ounces each) diced tomatoes and green chilies

1 can (15-1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

Shredded soy cheddar cheese and tofu sour cream, optional


DIRECTIONS
In a saucepan, combine tomatoes, corn and beans; heat through. Garnish serving with cheese and sour cream if desired. Yield: 4 servings.

Monday, August 2, 2010

yummy meals

Had a good day. For lunch I mixed up a concoction of tomato, cucumber, black beans, a little leftover long grain rice, and a little Jalapeno peppers. It was really good over a bed of lettuce and in a vegan whole grain wrap too.

For supper, I cooked some potato, poured creamed corn and vegetable broth and some seasoning over it and it was pretty yummy too. I tasted a little like a corn chowder.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Black Beans and Rice

This is my supper tonight. Along with a bowl of soup or a salad as an appetizer, it should be a nice filling delicious supper.

1/3 cup vegetable broth or water
1 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 chili pepper, seeded and chopped, or 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup diced tomatoes or salsa
2 1/2 cups cold water
1 cup long-grain rice
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups cooked or canned black beans, rinsed and drained if canned

Cook the onions, garlic, and pepper in the vegetable broth or water until tender, 5-8 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes or salsa, cold water, rice, and salt. Bring to a boil. Stir in the beans.

Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. [With brown rice this took 35 minutes for me... Might want to add a bit less water next time...] Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes before serving.

**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.