Friday, October 31, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 31 - Out With A Wimper

Nothing new to see here.

It's Friday, so pizza again. Tomorrow is leftovers. Sunday is burgers.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 30 - Change of Plans

Sorry, nothing new or exciting food-wise today. My young adult son woke up with a medical possible problem that required doctor intervention ASAP, and now the doctor ordered some tests to be done ASAP, so right now we're killing time between the lab and radiology. When we finally get home later this evening I'll toss on a pot of spaghetti.

It's nothing life-threatening, and the doctor feels it's nothing to worry about at all, just a sprain of some sort from the recent rash of exercises he'd been doing, but ordered tests to cover his butt and all that. But hey, a medical test is a medical test, even if they don't find anything wrong. It's good to have a mom around for moral support, no matter how old you are.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 29 Broccoli-Barley Toss

Another oldie but goodies and McDougall MWLP compatible. This time it's Broccoli-Barley Toss and it comes from The New McDougall Cookbook. Although the recipe says it makes 8 servings, don't believe it, unless your idea of a "serving" is about a half cup. Remember, all those vegetables cook way down in volume! I make this for just my husband and myself and most times we finish it off in one sitting, but if we have soup and salad first, like Dr. McDougall says to eat every dinner, then we'll have leftovers for a lunch or 2.

In our case, we will have soup - yesterday I made a creamy cauliflower soup and we ate only half of it yesterday. I also made a loaf of bread and we have about a third of that leftover, too.

I have a lot of leftovers piling up again. We'll be out all day Saturday and finish them off when we get in.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 28 - Pushing Daisies and Julie Hasson

Pushing Daisies is a great television show that's being ignored by the masses. It doesn't deserve to be. Last year when it debuted I caught a few minutes of one episode but my family insisted on changing the channel for something else, and I never looked for it again. There was always something else on at the same time that I thought was a better show, but for the life of me I can't think of it now.

This summer our Blockbuster got the DVD's of season 1 in and I was desperate for something to watch and grabbed the first one. I was hooked before the first episode, a.k.a. the Pie-lette, was over.

I won't go into detail about the show — these web sites do a much better job of it:
The official Pushing Daisies site on, including episodes to watch on-line
Internet Movie Database Pushing Daisies page
Pushing Daisies WikiPedia entry
"How Do I Love Thee" essay from a TWoP Daisies lover
Television Without Pity detailed episode recaps

Right now it's in danger of being canceled, so Wednesday night, instead of watching Obama's paid-for speech, turn on your local ABC station and watch. You'll be glad you did.

Now, you're probably wondering what all this has to do with Julie Hasson? Well, the simple premise of the show is the love between the piemaker and the dead girl (Read the info I posted and it'll make sense), and Julie's newest book is about pies! (It's okay — you can groan.)

I can't make pie crust to save my life so I won't be buying that particular book, but I do frequent Julie's (and her guests') videos on Everyday Dish Television, bought the Everyday Dish DVD, made a number of her recipes multiple times, especially those Italian sausages, own a few of her other cookbooks, and love reading her posts over on the PPK forums and her own blog. She's always ready to share a recipe and a laugh. The vege-verse (vegetarian universe) is a much better place for having Julie in it. After Isa and Terry, she's probably my next favorite vegan cookbook author.

So, that leads me to today's dinner. I'll make up a new batch of those sausages, pop yet another loaf of Italian bread in the ABM to bake in the oven, and when my husband gets home toss a pound of whole wheat spaghetti into boiling water. We'll have our salads while that's cooking, then after I drain the pasta and mix it with a jar of McDougall-safe spaghetti sauce, cut the bread and dig in to a simple but filling Italian meal.

And if the rain lets up, maybe I'll drive over to the bakery and grab a pie for dessert.

Monday, October 27, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 27 - Italian Garbanzo Stew

We seem to enjoy the older recipes of Mary McDougall better than a lot of the newer ones. The Italian Garbanzo Stew that we're having tonight comes from the McDougall Plan for Maximum Weight Loss book MWLP book and has such simple ingredients and is so quick and easy to make. Some days I just toss everything into the Crockpot in the morning and be done with it.

My changes? I use frozen spinach instead of fresh because I hate those thick stems and I'm too lazy to sit there cutting them off of each and every leaf. I use no salt added diced tomatoes where she wrote "chopped" only because I'm very salt sensitive. I use usually canned beans that I rinsed well but sometimes use fresh cooked dried ones. My family can't tell the difference and no one has ever needed to add any salt at the table. If you don't have a problem with salt just use regular tomatoes and canned beans and enjoy!

Knowing my husband, he'll be expecting a loaf of bread to go with this, so the ABM will get another work-out today.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 26 - Uncle Buck

Back on the old McDougall forum there used to be a regular poster known as Uncle Buck. Buck was one of the early Star McDougallers and a great cheerleader to those of us on the boards, especially for the many of us who, although we were getting healthier, just weren't losing weight as Dr. McDougall had promised. Over the years he wrote a few essays, and for a while there was a link to them on the board but over the years the links were dropped, but since Uncle Buck had given me (and anyone else who wanted to) permission to share these essays anywhere we felt they would do good and help fellow McDougallers, I not only have them in the Files section of the 2 McDougall Yahoogroups, McDougall 12 Day Chat and McDougall Weight Loss Programs Chat, but I'll share them here on this blog, too. For some reason he never made it over to the "new" official McDougall forums when Dr. McDougall moved off VegSource a few years back. He has a summary of them in his Star McDougall write-up in the link above, but here they are, as originally written.

Thanks, Uncle Buck, wherever you are!

Success Tips For Newcomers - Part 1

Dear Friends:

I've been on the McDougall program for nine years, and I thought it might be a good idea to put together some information for you newcomers. Whether you are starting the program or maybe just considering it, I hope this information will be of help to you.

First and foremost, the thoughts that I will be sharing with you here are not intended to take the place of the basic information contained in Dr. McDougall's books on this program. I will assume that you have already read at least one of the books and that you are already familiar with the basics of the program. My intent is merely to share some success tips based on my own experience with the program in order to help insure your success.

Secondly, if you have any questions with regard to the basics of the program after reading the book(s), you can post them on the discussion board where any of us "old timers" will be happy to answer them, or you can contact Dr. McDougall directly via email. He has proven to be extremely conscientious about responding to questions and comments.

Okay, without further delay, let's get started…

(1) This program is a lifestyle! As you may have already discovered after visiting the discussion board, there are many reasons why people choose to go on this program. Some want to rid themselves of chronic health problems, and some want to feel better. However, if the posts on the discussion board are representative of the McDougall group at large, the desire to lose weight is by far the most common reason.

The McDougall program is a very effective program for weight loss. However, let me say this very emphatically: IT IS NOT A DIET! IT IS A LIFESTYLE that we can and should embrace for the rest of our lives. The folks I know who have lost weight and kept it off are those who have made this program their way of life (myself included).

(2) Rid yourself of the diet mentality! Have you ever been on a diet that gave you permanent results? I haven't, and believe me, I tried them all. A diet, by its very nature dooms us to failure. Diets involve counting calories, portion limits, frequent weigh-ins and overall feelings of deprivation. When we go on a diet, our mentality is that we can deprive ourselves for a while (long enough to get the weight off) and then go back to eating our familiar treats. Well to begin with, I've never known anyone who could even stay on a diet long enough to get the weight off. I never could. One day, it dawned on me that if I was ever going to be able to lose weight and keep it off permanently, I would have to resort to something other than dieting since diets absolutely do not work.

One of the best definitions of insanity that I've ever heard is "doing something the same way you've always done it and expecting a different result." Well, I was tired of living in such an insane manner. I finally decided to permanently get out of the diet loop. I think you know what the diet loop is; we've all been there. We start a diet with the best intentions only to crash and burn in a few weeks. Then we put back on all the weight that we took off plus a couple of extra pounds. A couple of weeks later, we are frustrated again because our clothes are tight, so we make a firm resolution to go back on a strict diet and absolutely stay on it until the weight comes off. Then, two weeks later we crash and burn again. By now you can probably see the endless cycle that keeps repeating itself in our lives. And it's a cycle that leads to certain failure. So, one of the first steps in realizing success on this program is merely to stop doing what we know has never worked in the past. We must stop dieting.

(3) Eat when you're hungry! Now, this certainly flies in the face of the dieting
mentality. Whoever thought that it would be possible to eat whenever we want and all that we want and still lose weight? Well, it's true; you can! As long as you are eating approved program foods, you can eat whenever you are hungry, and you can eat until you are full. There is no need to measure portions or count calories, because it simply is not necessary. The foods selected by Dr. McDougall are the foods which support health. If you find yourself still thinking that you must limit your food intake, then you haven't completely shaken the diet mentality. Please trust me. I lost 80+ pounds and kept it off without ever once measuring a portion or counting calories. If we wish to free ourselves from the diet mentality, then we must return to listening to our bodies and trusting them to tell us when to eat and when we are full.

(4) Stay off the scales! A scale is not an accurate measure of progress on this
program, and if you weigh yourself frequently, you are only setting yourself up
for a lot of unneeded stress and aggravation. Now, some of you will want to
fight me on this, but here is my very best recommendation to you for success
on this program: Weigh yourself one time. Write that number (your weight)
on a slip of paper and file it away in a drawer somewhere. Then, GET RID OF
YOUR SCALE! Believe me, you don't need it, and it isn't going to bring any
peace into your life. Either give it away, or get someone to keep it for you. If
you have it available nearby, you'll be tempted to go in and stand on it much
too frequently. You'll know the program is working when your clothes start to
become loose, and believe me, they will!

(5) Don't put yourself on a timeline! There's something about trying to lose
weight that makes people crazy. For some reason, we feel like the weight has to come off overnight. I don't know if that's just part of the diet mentality, or maybe it's because we have become accustomed to instant gratification. In any case, all a timeline will do is put you under a lot of unneeded stress. If you really want to be happy and at peace with this program and the rest of your life, consider divorcing yourself from the timeline aspect. If you are following the program, the weight will come off. I promise! And it will come off at a rate which is right for your body. How long will it take for the average individual? It will simply take as long as it takes. Please believe me, I'm not trying to be flippant. What I'm trying to get you to see is that it doesn't matter how long it takes. If you've made the decision to change your lifestyle, you can be certain that the results will come. So, don't put yourself under the added pressure of so many months or so many pounds per week. Let your body worry about that because it will take care of it for you. You need not give it another thought.

(6) Fill your pantry with approved foods! Write out a shopping list and visit
your local grocery store. Purchase approved brands listed in the book, or select other brands which may be acceptable. If you elect to purchase other brands, you must read the label to insure that the product does not contain any ingredients that you are trying to avoid. Stock your pantry with plenty of approved foods and snacks. If you still have your old favorites from the Standard American Diet lurking in your pantry, my best advice is to get rid of them. Either throw them away or give them away. The little bit of money that it costs you to do this is a good investment in your future. If you have family members at home who have not embraced your new lifestyle, simply put their favorites in a special cabinet so that you will not have to be tempted every time you open the pantry. Adhering to this program by yourself while the rest of your family continues to partake of SAD foods can be a challenge, but I am here to tell you that it can be done. It simply involves a decision on your part.

(7) Prepare all of your meals at home! If you have already started this program, you know how difficult it can be to find McDougall friendly foods in restaurants. So, when you're first starting this new lifestyle, I recommend preparing all of your meals at home. If you work outside the home, prepare your lunch at home and take it with you. Trust me; it's the best way to go. Nearly all of the recipes in the McDougall cookbooks can be put into a container and taken to work. When you get hungry at work, you'll have a good meal ready for you. All you'll need to do is reheat it.

This is one of the critical areas when you are first beginning this lifestyle. When you are trying to make a successful transition from SAD to the McDougall program, it's very easy to find an excuse to revert back to your old way of eating. One of the particularly dangerous pitfalls is failure to plan your meals and not having acceptable foods available at meal time. If you work outside the home and you decide to go out to lunch at a local restaurant with your co-workers, the chances of finding a good meal consisting of approved foods every time you go out are slim to none. In talking with lots of folks on this program over the past couple of years, I would have to say that this is the greatest reason many people "crash and burn" and revert to their old way of eating. Maybe you can go out with them occasionally if you find a restaurant which serves some McDougall friendly food, but for now, please don't chance it. During the first month or two, while you are changing your eating habits, don't expose yourself to a situation which might cause you to fail. A little bit of planning and preparing your meals at home might just be the very factor which insures your success.

(8) Changing your lifestyle involves more than just changing what you eat! If you have a weight problem like I did, chances are you are somewhat sedentary. You can dramatically improve your results on this program by getting some exercise each and every day. It doesn't have to be painful or strenuous. You just need to get out and MOVE. A 30-minute brisk walk is fine for most folks. I'll be honest with you; when I first started walking I didn't care much for it because the old habit of coming home and sitting on the couch was still calling me. However, after I'd done it for approximately 30 days, I actually started looking forward to it every day. It definitely improved my metabolism and it always assisted me in clearing my mind after a stressful day.

(9) Put your thoughts to work for you! Okay this next one may sound a little bit far fetched, but I promise you it is the absolute truth. We become what we think about. What you are today is merely a reflection of the images of yourself that you have maintained in the past. Part of our human nature seems to be focusing on what we don't want instead of focusing on what we do want. However, if you can train yourself to focus on what you want, you will be much more successful at reaching your goals (in every area of life).

Let me put this in practical terms for you. Do you think thoughts about yourself being as you are now (overweight)? If you do, here is a process which will help insure your success in losing the excess weight. Start thinking of yourself, not as you are, but as how you wish to be. Start thinking of yourself at your goal weight.
See yourself in vivid detail. What kind of clothes would you be wearing if you were at your goal weight? You must see yourself in vivid detail as having already accomplished your goal. Now, as you can imagine, this can be a little difficult if you've never tried it. However, it definitely becomes easier with practice. Start forming that new mental image of yourself several times per day, especially before going to sleep each night. Some of you might think this is a lot of hocus pocus, but you need only put it to the test. Don't take my word for it. Just try it and watch the miracles start to happen. There is true power found in this practice if you will practice it.

(10) Don't be afraid to swim against the tide! When you make that wonderful decision to embrace this lifestyle, you must also brace yourself for the onslaught of friends and family members which is sure to occur. Be assured, they mean well. It's just that they can't understand why anyone would not want to eat plenty of meat, eggs, oil, and dairy products. Some folks just can't stand to see someone not eating the same foods that they eat. Perhaps they are concerned because of some misguided notions about which foods support health, or maybe it's just that misery loves company. In any case, you'll have to develop a thick skin to insulate you from these well-meaning comments. Now you and I have never met, so let me tell you something about myself. I'm a very tolerant person, and I always try to be kind to everyone I meet under all circumstances. And, I try very hard to be kind and gracious when I'm on the receiving end of comments from the meat eaters. But let me also tell you this. I am not going to let ANYBODY deter me from maintaining a healthy lifestyle FOR ANY REASON. I don't care who they are.
If they have a problem with the way I eat, then they had better GET A LIFE! I've been to the mountain, and I've seen the light, and now there is nothing that could deter me from living and eating this way. This is the attitude that I suggest you adopt if you wish to be successful on this program in the long haul. Listen graciously to people's comments, and be kind to them. But let their comments go in one ear and out the other.

Okay, I hope these ten success tips will be of value to you. Also, I want you to know that I want each and every one of you to succeed. If I can help you in any way, please let me know. In any case, please drop me a line occasionally just to let me know how you're doing.

My very best regards to you all!

Uncle Buck

Success Tips: Part 2

Hi, Everybody!

After I sent out the first round of "Success Tips" a couple of weeks ago, it occurred to me that I had several other "secrets" which have benefited me greatly over the past nine years. So, I decided to mail out Part 2 to anyone who requested it.

Ultimately, your success with this program will be determined by your level of desire. In very plain terms, you have to WANT to do well. If you do not have a keen desire, then no amount of success tips or helpful hints will help.

Before we begin Part 2, I want to ask you to take a few minutes to consider your reasons for utilizing this program. Are your reasons enough to fill you with an overpowering desire to succeed? What are your "wants" (reasons such as excellent health, more energy, better appearance, etc.)? If your "wants" don't motivate you enough, then what are your "don't wants"? What will be the consequences if you do not change your lifestyle (reasons such as poor health, low energy, low self-esteem, etc.)? The bottom line is that your "wants" must be great enough to help you avoid your "don't wants." If, after thinking this through, you are still undecided about your level of desire and determination, then you need to go back and review your list of "wants" and "don't wants" again before proceeding. I have found that when most folks think clearly about this, they are able to find all of the motivation that they need.

So once again, the list that I have put together is merely to help you once you have already done some soul searching and are ready to embrace this program as a lifestyle. Embracing the program as a lifestyle will improve the quality of your life immeasurably. I encourage you to take that small step of faith and help your life take a turn for the better.

Okay, without further delay, here is Part 2 of the success tips:

(1) Consider dropping refined sugar from your lifestyle. Sugar seems to affect everyone differently. Some seem to be able to consume any amount with no problem while a small amount may send others into a tailspin. To some folks, sugar is very much like cocaine or some other addictive drug. Any amount leads to an unquenchable desire for MORE. Even the smallest amount can trigger a sugar binge for the unfortunate souls in this group. If you'd like to read a thorough discussion of sugar and its impact on body chemistry, I recommend a book entitled "The Sugar Blues." In the case of my own life, my struggles with sticking to this program became so much easier when I walked away from sugar.

(2) The grocery store is a mine field! It is imperative to eat a good meal before you go shopping. If you're anything like me, going into the grocery store on an empty stomach may present temptations which are far beyond your ability to resist. Also, it's no secret these days that grocery stores utilize effective marketing and merchandising methods just like most other businesses. Many prepackaged foods (especially snack foods) are positioned at key locations in the store to encourage you to make an impulse purchase of that item. If you are hungry while you are shopping, those donuts or Snicker bars may JUMP into your shopping cart. Eat before you go shopping. One final note, it's also a good idea to make a list of exactly what you plan to purchase before going to the grocery store. Something that has worked out well for me is sticking with basic staple items and avoiding prepackaged foods whenever possible. Yes, meals do take a few minutes longer to prepare without all the prepackaged foods, but I've found the small investment in time to be well worth the effort.

(3) Learn where to find the food items you want. One of the things that we have to realize when we embrace this program is that the rest of the world is still consuming the Standard American Diet (SAD). With that in mind, it's only reasonable to expect that grocery stores are going to cater to the SAD crowd. While basic staple items such as fruits and vegetables are readily available at most grocery stores, there are other healthful items which will make your new meal plan a lot more palatable. Unfortunately, most of these other items are not to be found in your neighborhood grocery store. I've found some grocery stores to be very gracious about special ordering anything, but sometimes that's more hassle than it's worth. The bottom line is that you will have to find out where to purchase the items you want, whether it be from a grocery store, a health food store, or directly from the manufacturer. As you may have heard me say before, if there is one key to which I attribute my success on this program, it is maintaining a lot of variety in my weekly meal plan. You must learn to prepare foods which taste good to you, and you must locate the sources of the ingredients that you need. Investing a little time in searching for these sources may very well be the deciding factor in keeping yourself on the program.

(4) Consider teaming up with someone else who is on the program. In reviewing the posts on the discussion board over the past couple of years, I've noticed that several folks have teamed up with someone else who has similar goals. This is sort of a buddy system, and there are many benefits to be found in it. This other person can be your sounding board and sometimes even a source of strength when you need it. Also, I would be willing to bet that there are many "old timers" who have been on the program for several years and would be happy to be your success coach. My feeling is that none of us should ever try to reinvent the wheel when there is someone out there who has already done what we are trying to do. Lots of people have already been through what you are going through, so by all means, draw on their experience.

(5) Keep your mind off of what you don't want! One thing I've learned in my years on the planet is that in order to be successful at anything, you have to keep your mind focused on what you want. Yet, for some reason, human nature seems to compel us to focus on what we don't want. This topic is really interesting to me and I could probably write several pages here, but I won't. Instead, I'll just give you a couple of examples. For example, if you have a weakness for candy and you know that eating candy is not in your best interest, then by all means stay out of the candy aisle at the store. Marketing people will keep it in your face enough as it is (through TV commercials and magazine ads), so don't pour gasoline on the fire by strolling down the candy aisle at Wal-Mart. Okay, here's another example. I love Coca-cola. I always have and I probably always will. Nevertheless, I have learned that drinking cokes is not in my best interest. Even though I hardly ever drink them anymore, they are constantly calling me. I've also discovered that the mind controls the body (in my case the reverse of that used to be true). If the mind controls the body and we want to control our body, then we must gain control of our mind. If we allow our mind to dwell on something that we know is not in our best interest, the mind may give in to the body and we wind up having the coke or the candy bar. Okay, here's a secret to help you gain control of your mind when you find yourself struggling to overcome some undesirable urge. "When thoughts do not neutralize an undesirable emotion (urge), action will" (W. Clement Stone). When you find yourself about to give in to an urge and your mind is about to lose the battle, simply take yourself out of that situation by taking action. Take any action! Any action will work! When I find myself just about to give in to an urge for a coke, I immediately stop whatever I'm doing and I go hit some golf balls or take a ride on the bike (can you say "Harley"?). If I'm at work and can't do either one of those, I take out my notebook and I start writing. That's the secret; just do something (anything) to take your mind off of what you don't want.

(6) There is absolutely nothing wrong with setting goals. Setting goals is great and they may help you in your quest for success on this program. However, if you put yourself under a timeline, you may very well be setting yourself up for frustration and failure. Setting an approximate weight goal or clothing size is great. Just don't put yourself under the unneeded pressure to do it in a certain amount of time. It will simply take as long as it takes. Seeing yourself as having already accomplished your goal will be very helpful. I discussed this in Part 1, and it really does work.

(7) Choose a reward for success on the program. Granted, excellent health and or weight loss are substantial rewards. However, it's okay to treat yourself to something special, whether it's a new outfit or a special trip to somewhere you've wanted to visit. Having a reward waiting for you when you achieve your goal might be just the little extra push you need. It's also helpful to get pictures of what it is that you want and keep them where you can see them throughout the day. This in itself isn't going to keep you on the program, but it can certainly help. In my case, it was a new suit of clothes. When I was 85 pounds heavier, I always looked somewhat sloppy in my clothes despite my efforts to present a good appearance. So, my reward when I reached my goal was a new suit that was tailored to fit me. That was a long time ago, but that suit is still very special to me because it represents the accomplishment of an important goal in my life. I think clothes were the ideal choice as my reward because losing the weight opened up a whole new world in the area of my appearance. But, by all means, pick a reward that is right for you. Only you know what will motivate you.

(8) Failure to plan means planning to fail. One of the main reasons that many well-meaning people fail on this program is their failure to plan their meals so that they will have approved foods and snacks available at all times. Every Saturday, I plan out my meals for the following week because that seems to work best for me. This also insures that I can go to the grocery store and pick up whatever I need for the entire week. Please don't allow yourself to be caught without anything healthy to eat in the house after a long, tiring day at work. That's the time when most any of us are prone to caving in and rushing out to McDonalds for a SAD meal.

(9) The longer you stay on this program, the easier it gets. On the one hand, that sounds very simple, but on the other hand it probably sounds quite difficult. What I really mean is that the longer you stick to the program and avoid those old favorite SAD foods, the easier it gets to avoid them in the future. As you've probably heard me say many times, our food preferences are based entirely on habit. So, consequently, the longer we abstain from those old favorites, the easier it will be to abstain from them in the future. Our abstinence weakens the old habits and helps us replace them with new, healthy habits. This is something that you will have to prove to yourself, and the only way is simply to do it and watch what happens.

(10) Your life does not begin after you realize your goals. It is now! Don't wait a single day to start living your life. Life is now! You can easily incorporate the McDougall lifestyle into the other areas of your life. Realize that you have charted a course for a very healthy and happy future, and start living. Don't wait another day! PLEASE LISTEN TO BUCK: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL YOU LOSE THAT 50 POUNDS TO BE HAPPY AND START LIVING. My friends, life is now. Go for it!

If I can help you in any way, I'm here. Feel free to call on me any time. Nothing would make me happier than to see each and every one of you succeed and achieve your goals.

My very best to you all!


Friday, October 24, 2008

VeganMoFo Last Weekend of the Month

If it's Friday that means pizza for dinner today, spaghetti or other shape pasta with Julie's sausages on Saturday and some form of veggie burger on Sunday. We're nothing if not predictable. It's going to rain tomorrow (speaking of predictable!) so I'll probably toss some kind of soup on for lunch for the next three days.

One of these days I'll find the time to look over all the other VeganMoFo blogs and catch up on the great recipes I'm sure you're all posting there. Hopefully they can be easily McDougallized.

What Was Lost Is Found

I don't know if I was blind, had a corrupt cookie, or someone who works for Dr. McDougall edited the site after my post to the forums yesterday, but ALL the Star McDougaller posts are now back, over 50 of them, including the one I wanted to link to yesterday, Jan Tz. Thanks, serenity, for finding it for me.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 23 - Spanish Rice

Well, the kid thinks he flubbed his interview yesterday. He felt like George Costanza on Seinfeld, knowing he gave the wrong answer to questions, getting vague responses to questions asked by the interviewer (Who happened to be the co-owner of the company), and walked away not really knowing if he was being offered a job or not and was told to call back in 2 weeks when the partner is back from China. He said it would be too good to be true if he did get the job - it's work he enjoys in an area very easy to get to by light rail train. He sent her a follow-up email thanking her for her time, so keep those fingers crossed.

Today's dinner will be Joan Mershon's Spanish Rice, one of our favorite Crockpot meals. I always make a double batch because we're big eaters, and besides, the leftovers make great lunches. As-is, it's really not that spicy, so if you like things hot, use a hotter version of the salsa and add more chili powder.

To accompany it, I'm debating between the cornbread and corn pudding,
both from Isa and Terry, or the cornbread by Jan Tz, which is more McDougall-acceptable and makes a smaller dish. Better yet, her Sweet Corn Cake, that uses creamed corn for the liquid. Yeah, that's it!

I miss Jan. She was one of the first Star McDougallers and she always had the best recipes over on the McDougall board when it was on VegSource. Luckily the McDougall recipe board is still there - it would be a shame to lose all those great recipes, like Jan's quickbread recipes file. Oh, how my family loves those little cakes! Many times I've topped one of those with an icing of soy cream-cheese thinned with a bit of rice or soy milk and presented as a birthday cake, never letting on that it's whole grain, fat-free or even vegan, and everyone loved them. Jan had posted a bit over on the new forums, but soon after she moved cross-country left the boards. I last saw her posting this spring, when she posted her return to McDougalling for Lent, but I don't remember any follow-up posts after Easter. I hope she sees this and comes on back. I know I'm not the only one who misses her and her loves for all things connected with spuds and Weird Al. Weird Al

Hmm, I tried to link to Jan's Star McDougaller page and see her bio has been pulled. I just wrote a message on the forums asking why. I know of another bio that was removed about a year ago, Barbra LaPointe. In that one Dr. McDougall mentioned the National Weight Control Registry in his comments are and how the McDougall program is much like what the participants in the NWCR : (This link no longer works)

The proof of this low-fat/exercise approach is demonstrated by the record of the National Weight Control Registry. This registry is simply a database of people successful at maintaining a weight loss of at least 30 lbs. (13.6 kg) for at least one year. The average registrant has lost about 60 pounds and kept it off for more than five years. To date, there are over 2,000 people, from all over the United States, enrolled in the National Weight Control Registry.

On average, registrants report consuming about 1400 kcal/day (24 percent calories from fat) and expending about 400 kcal/day in physical exercise. Approximately 80% of the registrants eat less than 30% fat, and 35% eat less than 20% fat. The McDougall Program diet is about 7% fat when followed strictly. Although they may have lost their initial weight by a variety of methods, including liquid protein diets, on their own, or through an organized program, all are currently maintaining their weight losses by eating low-fat diets and engaging in regular physical activity. You can learn more here:

I wish I had saved the entire Star McDougaller biography. In fact, I should probably go to the Star McDougaller page now and start copying them all in case any more that I want to refer to in the future disappear.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 22 - Pea Soup

Specifically, the Double Pea Soup with Roasted Red Peppers from Veganomicon. Again, I like to run an immersion blender through the pot before adding the frozen peas. I'll make up a loaf of bread to go with it.

Sorry, but foods lately have been pretty basic and simple, like yesterday's veggies and rice and tomorrow's Spanish rice. Between feeling punky from the hypo spell the other day, wishing the doc would increase my thyroid dosage because I'm starting to fall asleep right after breakfast again, and the change in weather, I just don't feel like making anything more elaborate. Many people say hypoglycemia and hypothyroid go hand in glove, and I believe it. Add the shorter days and there's a recipe for depression if I ever saw one.

The one bright spot on the menu? My son, who has been unemployed since he graduated with his M.S. in Electrical Engineering this past May, has a job interview today. If everyone can send positive thoughts towards Jersey City's financial district (right across the water from downtown Manhattan) around 2pm we would greatly appreciate it. :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 20 - Hypoglycemia Woes, Kasha Pilaf & Rye Bread

I tried to behave. After Saturday's dietary indiscretions (We wound up with another pizza instead of the beans as planned), I figured I'd eat smaller portions of very healthy foods on Sunday to make up for it. I exercised as usual. Breakfast was a fat-free homemade bean burrito; lunch was a big green salad with some garbanzos and a fat-free dressing; dinner was another salad and baked beans. I had just started eating the dinner salad when the first hypo symptoms hit. By the time I finished the salad my hands were shaking and I felt drunk. Luckily we had some apple juice in the house so I poured myself a small glass to hold me while I ate the rest of dinner. Baked beans are great for people with hypoglycemia - loads of protein and fiber. I ate more than Dr. McDougall's 1-cup of beans a day recommendation, but then again, Dr. McDougall believes veggies, rice and potatoes are good for hypoglycemia. He also doesn't believe that potatoes cause abrupt rises in blood glucose levels, even though dozens of people have reported just that happening. Hypos and diabetics need similar food plans - low in sugar and refined carbs, high in protein and moderate in fats. Dr. McDougall's plan is high in complex carb starches and low in protein and fats, a hypoglycemic's nightmare. So we hypos on McDougall compromise and use a bit of oil in our cooking, more beans and other high protein foods.

Tonight for dinner I'll be making a vegetable soup with whatever bits and drips of veggies I have in the freezer, and something I haven't made in ages, Kasha Pilaf. That's kasha, the grain, not Kashi, the cereal. Kasha is also known as buckwheat groats and comes in a few different grinds - fine, medium and coarse. I like the coarse best - more to chew so it feels like more bulk. I'm modifying the recipe found on the box of Wolff's brand kasha, which basically has you add sautéed onion, mushrooms, and any other veggies you want to a batch of prepared kasha. I usually serve this with either onion or mushroom gravy, too. I'll probably pop this rye bread in the ABM to go with it, too. I substitute Earth Balance for the butter in this recipe.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Hearty Apple Rye Bread

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 12 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : ABM Whole Grains

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 tablespoon gluten, wheat -- if using whole wheat cycle
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 1/2 cups bread flour
3/4 cup rye flour -- medium
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
1/2 cup chopped apples -- "dried"
1 1/3 cups water

Add all ingredients except apples in the order shown in your machine's
user's manual.

Add apples at the fruit-and-nut beep or just before the final kneading (40
minutes in on my Oster machine - Sue)

sg 11/6/2002

"Bread Machine Favorites by Fleishman Yeast"
"1 1/2 pounds"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving: 180 Calories; 2g Fat (8.9% calories
from fat); 6g Protein; 35g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 3mg
Cholesterol; 191mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0
Fruit; 0 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

NOTES : The recipe says 1 1/2 lb loaf, but it was a lid-thumper in my
2-pound Oster machine

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Saturday, October 18, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 18 - Thank Goodness for Canned Goods

We just spent the day with the elderly relative who was the owner of the late Yorkie, Pumpkin, and we're drained and not in the mood to cook, so cans to the rescue. My secret recipe for baked beans:

1 giant can Bush's Vegetarian Baked Beans
1 can vegetarian chili beans
1 can diced tomatoes

Mix well, heating in microwave heating optional, eat from the casserole dish with tortilla chips. Only one bowl to wash and feeds the 2 of us until we're quite satisfied.

Friday, October 17, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 17 MWLP Pizza

Pizza is such a staple in this house that if I ever don't make it on a Friday my boys will rush me to the hospital! I'll be making my usual whole wheat pizza, as mentioned several times before in this blog, but for the MWLP McDougallers out there let me share a recipe taken from the old McDougall board on VegSource (now known as "fatfree") by a poster known only as "S B" who is still posting to this day on the new forums. The old post appears to have been purged from the archives so I'll copy/paste the message in its entirety.
From: S B (ISP number deleted to respect privacy)
Subject: Recipe: MWL or almost MWL pizza
Date: January 21, 2006 at 3:08 pm PST

This pizza is something I came up with by using some ideas from various people on this board and by adding a few ideas of my own (like the thin layer of dry oats on top of the mashed potato and rice crust to keep it from getting soggy). My brother thinks this pizza is fantastic!

However, I advise you to have some left over cooked plain whole grain brown rice and some left over plain mashed potatoes on hand -- and perhaps some leftover homemade veggie sausage, too. Otherwise, if you try to do it all from scratch on the same day, it will probably take more time to prepare this recipe than you might want to spend! Also, make sure the pasta sauce is NOT real thin and watery. I have used canned diced tomatoes with most of their juice drained out (and reserved for something else) with seasonings added to them in place of pasta sauce. They work okay if they are drained well enough. Sometimes, I leave too much juice in the tomatoes and the pizza ends up a little too soggy, though. A think and chunky pasta sauce it the best thing to use. (BTW, I originally wrote out this recipe for someone not very familar with all of the rules of McDing, so I apologize to you McDers for the explanations throughout the recipe.)


(For one 10 x 15 -inch nonstick baking sheet)



2 cups of PLAIN mashed potatoes (mashed in some of their cooking water, until NO lumps remain and until soft and creamy -- NOT real dry, but not real soupy either -- with NO butter, margarine, oil, milk, or seasonings added -- Instant potatoes probably would not work because they do not have as much “stick-um” power as fresh potatoes.)

2 1/4 cups (firmly packed) of PLAIN cooked whole grain brown rice (with NO butter, margarine, oil, milk, or seasonings added)

1/2 to 3/4 cup of plain DRY old fashioned oats (amount depends on how much moisture is in the rest of the crust ingredients and on how much moisture is in the tomato sauce -- The main function of the oats is to absorb excess moisture from the pizza to keep it from being too soggy.)


Thoroughly mix the rice and mashed potatoes together to form a dough. Evenly space large spoonfuls or handfuls of this dough onto a NONSTICK pizza pan or baking sheet. Mash down the balls of dough and pat and spread it evenly over the surface of the pan to form a crust. Evenly sprinkle the dry old fashioned oats on top of the dough and gently mash them in a little (but only after the have been evenly spread). The crust will cook when the whole pizza bakes.



1 to 1 1/2 quarts of a chunky, NOT real watery, fat-free, and “containing NOTHING from an animal” pasta sauce

Approximately 1 cup of drained any kind of cooked beans (measured whole) mashed into small pieces (but not whipped until smooth)

1/2 to 1 cup (moderately packed) of chopped raw collard greens (optional)

1/2 to 1 cup (firmly packed) of shredded raw carrots (optional)

Any other finely chopped or shredded raw veggies that might be good in the pizza (optional)

Approximately 1/2 teaspoon each of Postum and carob powder OR approximately 1 teaspoon of decaffeinated and defatted cocoa powder (optional) (These add a “meaty” flavor)

NOTE: The main ingredients in the pizza sauce are a thick and chunky pasta sauce and mashed drained cooked beans.


Mix the pasta sauce with the mashed beans and any other ingredients you choose to use. The raw veggies will cook when the whole pizza bakes.



2 cups of drained any kind of cooked beans (measured whole) mashed into small pieces (can be whipped until smooth, if desired, but not necessary)

Small amount of the bean cooking liquid or water (to keep the mashed beans from being too dry to work with)

1 Tablespoon of prepared yellow mustard (optional)

Ground sage, rubbed sage, or minced fresh sage -- amount depending on taste (I use over 3 Tablespoons of ground sage, but that might be a bit too much for some people.)

Black pepper -- amount depending on taste

Onion powder -- amount depending on taste

Garlic powder -- amount depending on taste

Salt (iodized regular or potassium salt or some of both) -- type and amount depending on taste (optional)

Approximately 1/2 teaspoon each of Postum and carob powder OR approximately 1 teaspoon of decaffeinated and defatted cocoa powder (optional) (These add a “meaty” flavor)

1/2 to 1 cup (firmly packed) of shredded raw carrots (optional)

Any other finely diced or shredded raw veggies you think might be good in it (optional)

Minced raw onions -- amount depending on taste (optional)

Minced raw garlic -- amount depending on taste (optional)

2 cups (firmly packed) of cooked PLAIN whole grain brown rice (with NO butter, margarine, oil, milk, or seasonings added)

1/2 to 1 1/2 cups of plain DRY old fashioned oats (amount depends on how much moisture is in the rest of the veggie burger mixture)

NOTE: The main ingredients in the veggie sausage are the mashed drained beans, a tiny bit of liquid, cooked rice, and dry oats which are mixed with your choice of seasonings.

ALSO NOTE: Instead of sage, chili powder and/or other herbs and/or spices can be used.


Mash the beans in the small amount of liquid. Add the mustard and the dry seasonings and mix until everything is thoroughly blended. Then stir in the raw carrots, raw onions, raw garlic, and/or any other raw diced “veggies” (if you use any of them). Add the rice and stir until everything is evenly mixed. Then stir in the dry oats, a few at a time, until the mixture is firm enough to holds its shape. For veggie sausage patties, form the mixture into patties and bake on a NONSTICK cookie sheet at about 325 to 350 degrees until done (30 to 50 minutes depending on how thick and on how moist the patties are). After they have been removed from the oven, allow them to cool for at least 10 minutes before trying to remove them from the cookie sheet.



1 prepared unbaked pizza crust (from above)

1 recipe of prepared sauce (from above)

Italian seasoning dried herb mixture -- amount to taste

Raw onion rings -- amount to taste

Diced raw sweet peppers -- amount to taste (optional)

Any other toppings

1/4 to 1/2 recipe of cooked or uncooked veggie sausage (from above) -- crumbled into small chunks


1- Spread the prepared sauce over the prepared unbaked crust.

2- Evenly sprinkle the sauce with Italian seasoning dried herb mixture.

3- Evenly spread the onion rings, sweet peppers, other toppings, and sausage burger chunks on top of the herb mixture in whatever order you think is best.

4- Bake pizza in pre-heated 325 to 335 degree oven until done (about 50 to 70 minutes or longer -- depending on how much moisture is in the pizza).

After removing the pizza from the oven, allow it to sit 5 to 10 minutes before cutting it with the edge of a NON-METAL spatula (so as to not damage the nonstick pan). The crust might be somewhat soft and delicate (depending on how watery your pasta sauce is) while the pizza is very hot. But, after the pizza cools a little, the crust will become firmer. The crust should hold together okay as long as you make sure that you do NOT use a real thin and watery pasta sauce.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 16 - MWLP and Leftovers Again

Sorry about that, but that stew I made Monday made a LOT, thanks to me tossing some extra veggies in there.

I know there are some McDougallers following this blog, so instead of a recipe I'll post a page from the McDougall AZZ Cardfile I have. These are hints and tips on how to make life easier when following the Maximum Weight Loss version of his plan, bits and pieces I picked up over the years. I'm sorry, I don't have all the original authors of the posts and hints included, but I did save the url 's for many of them so you can just click and go to the original messages.

And I do highly recommend that AZZ Cardfile program to everyone who collects recipes.
I stick my recipes in here until I can get them into my MasterCook recipe program. I first downloaded the shareware version of it back around 1995, when Microsoft decided it wasn't going to include Cardfile with its Windows operating system anymore. Cardfile was a program I used daily on my old IBM PS/2 computer running Windows 3.1 back in the early 1990's and was so glad when the ladies from CreateACard Friends recommended it.

Now, on to the tips and hints file:

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:26 am
When I did MWL I had to have a plan or I wouldn't have stuck with it. Like clockwork, every weekend I did the following to keep DH, DS & myself going for the week:

* baked a dozen potatoes

* baked 4 - 6 sweet potatoes

* baked squash (usually several varieties as I love winter squash)

* cooked a large pot (or two) of some kind of MWL soup

* cooked a large pot of beans

* cooked a large pot of brown rice (I always cooked another pot about Wednesday)

* cooked a pot of congee and/or oatmeal combo for quick breakfasts during the week

* cleaned and chopped 'tons' of lettuce (kept it in plastic bags, ready to go. Did this again on Wednesday or Thursday as we ate a lot of salad)

* cleaned and chopped 'tons' of veggies to throw into a quick salad (kept these in water in plastic containers in refrigerator, changing water every other day or so)

* chopped up several carrots, onions, peppers, etc. to have ready for stir-fry at a moments notice (kept these in water in refrigerator, also)

Note:- I used time savers to help with prep work and cooking. I didn't (and still don't) always chop by hand, I use a SaladShooter® slicer/shredder by Presto® (actually 2 of them that I've had for about 20 years and still love). Also, I used (and still use) my pressure cooker and sometimes my crockpot for beans, rice, soup, oatmeal & congee. This way, I saved time on the weekend as well as throughout the week with only having to reheat or toss together quickly.
Have a great day!!
random MWLP hints
Fat free black refried beans with brown rice, shredded lettuce, and diced tomatoes all mixed together. Or, I omit the rice and have it with baked corn tortilla chips. This also works well with chili beans. This mixture is also wonderful rolled up in corn tortillas and baked in the oven.

Potato wedges baked with Montreal steak seasoning--this is a spice in a jar that contains pepper, salt, a bit of sugar, and onion powder. I then dip them in ketchup--yum! I'm currently stuck on these.

Ore Ida hash brown squares with ketchup. I eat this for breakfast nearly everyday!

Hummus made with chick peas, roasted red pepper, garlic, and lemon juice. I find that I don't miss the olive oil or tahini at all. Serve with all sorts of raw veggies or baked corn tortilla chips.

Baked gold potatoes. I think these are my favorite kind of potatoes--they're the only ones that don't make me miss butter!

Cabbage, potatoes, baby carrots, and sweet onions baked together in a roasting pan with a can of vegetable broth is also wonderful. I dump all of this together with salt and pepper and cover with tin foil. It takes about 40 minutes to cook, at 375.
from Heffies
I love the combo of sweet potatoes or yams with black beans piled on top and a fruity salsa (mango pineapple, or peach) on top of that with fresh steamed broccoli on the side with just a touch of sesame ginger fat free dressing drizzled over the broccoli - yummmmmm.

I also love baked potato with bbq sauce, corn, and a third vegie of any kind.

real foods corn thins with salsa makes a great snack
I just made a quadruple batch of International Stew from the Quick and easy book and a large batch of brown rice boil in bags. I combine one bag of rice and top off with the stew in a four cup glad container for lunch.
I also enjoy Vegetable Chilli from the MWL book, also over rice and the Fried rice recipe from MWL. Also a tossed salad.
I like beans, rice, and salsa rolled in lettuce leaves. It has this luscious texture, much better than it sounds. I also like corn, peas, and potatoes with seasoned salt.
Baked potatoes with BBQ, Cooked green beans
Baked potatoes with FF refried beans, salsa from my favorite mexican restautrant. with sauteed scallions and button mushrooms.
Brown Rice Cakes
Puffed Corn Cereal
Sliced potatoes baked on a 'silpat'>non stick pan liner with paprika, garlic, parsely & salt dipped in ketchup with steamed brocillee.
I love a big tater, with cauliflower/broccoli/carrots and a ton of marinara sauce over it.

Also in the book, MWL there is a recipe for Mixed mushrooms w/ wild rice that is really good. One of my favorites.
Spicy Yam Stew p 172
Millet Loaf p 163 (yummy with some kale cooked with shoyu or tamari)
Texas Crude p 176
Cauliflower Curry p 222
Szechuan Sauce p 342 (had with stir fried veggies and brown rice, added a little extra tamari and some agave nectar to sweeten)
Sweet Potato Puffs p 314 (keep these small!)
Sweet Squash Soup p 142
And here are Dr. McDougall's newsletter articles where he recommends MWLP:

December 2004: Lose a Half Pound a Day - Setpoint

January 2005: Pushing Your Setpoint to the Limits - The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss

July 2005: The Only Way to Lifelong Weight Loss

April 2004: People - Not Their Words - Tell “The Carbohydrate Story”

January 2004: High Carbohydrate Diet Causes Effortless Weight Loss

February 2005: All Popular Diets Are the Same - Failures

And the menus from one of the early MWLP Weekends at his facility in California.
Menus for McDougall Weekend
September 24-26, 2004

Friday Dinner:
Mixed Green Salad with Fat-Free Dressing (Dressings, New McDougall Cookbook)
Honey Vinegar, Creamy Garlic, Strawberry Vinaigrette
Baked Yams
Steamed Green Beans
Polenta with Meaty Mushroom Stroganoff (Quick & Easy, page 154)
Brownies with Cashews (Quick & Easy, page 272)
Fresh Fruit Cobbler (McDougall Newsletter, May ‘04)
Vanilla Soy Ice Cream
Saturday Breakfast:
Nutty French Toast (Quick & Easy, page 9)
East West Breakfast (McDougall Newsletter, May ‘04)
Sliced fresh fruit
Whole wheat bagels
Soy milk & rice milk
Low fat muffins
Low sugar cereals
Condiments: raisins, prunes, dried cranberries, raw cane sugar, honey, jams, jelly
Saturday Lunch:
Quick Black Bean Soup (McDougall Newsletter, April ‘04)
Cream of Mushroom Soup (Quick and Easy, Page. 71)
Garden Pizzas (Quick & Easy, page 189)
San Antonio Quinoa (Quick & Easy, page 29)
Thai Noodle Salad (McDougall Newsletter, May ‘04)
Potato Salad (Quick & Easy, page 20)
Whole Fruit in Basket: Apples, Pears, Bananas, Oranges, Plums, Peaches, etc.
Saturday Dinner:
Summer Vegetable Bisque (Quick & Easy, page 67)
Steamed Green Beans
Grilled, Sliced Portobello Mushrooms (Quick & Easy, page 206)
Mashed Potatoes (Quick & Easy, page 223)
Desserts topped with Vanilla Cream Topping (McDougall Newsletter, November ‘03)
Sunday Breakfast:
Veggie Benedict w/Extra Sauce (Quick & Easy, pages 9 & 234)
Sliced fresh fruit
Whole wheat bagels
Soy milk & rice milk
Low fat muffins
Low sugar cereals
Condiments: raisins, prunes, dried cranberries, raw cane sugar, honey, jams, jelly
Sunday Lunch:
Green Salad w/ Caesar Dressing and oil-free dressings
Asian Cous Cous Salad
Veggie Tofu Burgers (Quick & Easy, page 203) with condiments: sliced tomatoes, lettuce, onions, ketchup, mustard, sliced pickles, tofu mayonnaise
Whole Wheat Buns from Alvarado Street Bakery
Whole Fruit in Basket: Apples, Pears, Bananas, Oranges, Plums, Peaches, etc.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 15 - Birthday Post

I could have anything in the world to eat for my birthday dinner tonight, but instead of some greasy take-out or elaborate dish that takes hours to make I chose Chickpea Broccoli Casserole from Vegan with A Vengeance. Instead of bread crumbs I crumble up crackers, and it tastes so delicious! This was the first official vegan meal that my son ate, and even he loved it so much he asked for seconds.

I'm still undecided whether or not to make a soup, too. If I do, it'll be the Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, also from VWAV. I really should use up that squash before it goes bad.

The cake, I have no control over. My husband is going to "surprise" me with one from the local bakery on his way home from work, even though I told him not to. I'm pretty sure it'll contain eggs and possibly even dairy. I guess I won't be sleeping tonight, as even the smallest amount of dairy lately causes me to snore so badly I wake myself up. It's only once a year, and he does mean well, so I'll make the sacrifice and eat it. LOL For everyone else's birthdays I make the cake and make sure it's low fat, whole grain, and almost vegan — I usually use honey as the sweetener.

Monday, October 13, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 13 - Irish Stews

When I made up the dinner menus for the month I assumed we would be having typical October weather and nice hearty soups and stews would hit the spot. Instead, we're still having summer temps, at least through Wednesday. Oh, well. Nobody will complain about a heavy meal after a hard day at work or job hunting.

My only problem is deciding which stew to make. Irish stews are simple and there isn't much of a difference between various recipes. This one, Irish Potato and Cabbage Stew, is pretty straight forward, whereas this one, Irish Peasant Stew, has a bit of a bite to it from the V-8 Juice. Knowing my husband, this is the one he'll prefer.

I'll make this — Joe’s Ridiculously Good Irish Brown Bread That Takes 5 Minutes To Make posted by Desdamona to the ElizaVegan blog — to go with it. ElizaVegan Irish Soda bread It's a new-to-me recipe, and I usually don't make soda bread to go with any soup or stew, but this one looks too easy to pass up. That's her photo of the bread on her blog - doesn't it look delicious? Mine never look that good, they're always so pale in color, pasty white like my own Irish skin.

Friday, October 10, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 10 - Tofu Scramble

tofu scramble
Breakfast instead of dinner today. I noticed a few VeganMoFo bloggers posted their own tofu scrambles so here's mine. The recipe can be found here, but it's not much of a recipe, to be honest.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 9 - Leftover Thursday

A problem that crops up frequently when making a recipe that makes 6 or more servings is that there are a heck of a lot of leftovers when only or 3 people are doing the eating. That means if those leftovers aren't eaten for lunch the next day or shoved into the freezer they accumulate and take up precious refrigerator space. So every other week or so we wind up with a leftover meal, and today is the day. We have tomato soup, Winter Stew, Italian bread and some sauce, even some tofu loaf. It's never a pretty meal, and sometimes the kid takes one look at the leftovers and puts a pot of (non-veg) mac and cheese on for himself instead, but the leftovers usually get finished off.

Sorry, nothing new and exciting to wrote about. And tomorrow starts the weekend routine. We have the same things every weekend - pizza on Friday, (usually) spaghetti with Julie's sausage recipe made into either sausages or meatballs, and Sunday burgers. My boys like monotony some times.

Damn. I was just over on the Everyday Dish web site to get the recipe to link to it and see the whole site has been reformatted. Sure, it looks more professional and all, but for people with slow computers like me it's harder to get around. And you have to search for the recipes! It's not intuitive to have to click on the "Watch video" button to get the recipe AND the video. I'd rather have them back on separate pages again.

I wish we could afford a new computer, one that we could connect wirelessly to the cable modem in the kid's room. This computer is 10 years old this November still running Windows 98 (and not SE - Second Edition, either) so the only way to connect it to that modem is with a 100+ foot long cable running form the kid's room around doorways, windows and ceilings, from one end of the apartment to the other. Then the kid wouldn't be able to close his bedroom door and I wouldn't be able to close the door to this room. We're not even allowed to hang pictures in this place so I'm sure the owner doesn't want us drilling holes for cables. The NJ lottery is our only hope.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 8 - Tofu Loaf

The loaf recipe I use the most Tofu Loaf comes from Mary McDougall and was originally posted in one of the McDougall newsletters. My notes don't say what issue and if it was the free on-line one or the former paid printed one, but it really doesn't matter. I'll bake up a bunch of potatoes and maybe roast a few other veggies to go with it, as long as the oven will already be on. Salad and soup will probably be on the menu, too.

I know loaf recipes are a dime a dozen, but I'm still searching for the one recipe that will make a really firm loaf, one that will stand up on its own after cooking and can be easily sliced without crumbling to pieces. Most loaves I make wind up better suited as spreads. Tasty, but gloppy.

If you love to experiment, try using the Magical Loaf Studio on the Vegan Lunch Box blog. You'll never make your loaves the same way twice. Bryanna Clark Grogan also frequently posts her loaf recipes on the Beginners board on VegSource. Well, that was a smaller version of it - the original loaf file has nearly 50 loaves, including ham flavored. I guess she no longer offers them because many have appeared in her monthly paid newsletter or in books, either her own cookbooks or as the contributor to books by others, like Dr. Barnard.

I don't make loaves that often any more since the kid graduated college and is home for dinner every night. He doesn't like my vegan loaves and much prefers the dead meat variety, but he said it's more of a texture thing than the vegginess of the food, that they taste okay, just the mouth-feel gags him. He always was a picky eater.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 7 - Pasta

I'm a product of the generation that remembers the "Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti Day" commercials. Within walking distance of our apartment house we had no less than 4 stores that sold homemade pasta, including one whose owner encouraged us kids to come over and help her mix and cut.. The store is long gone, but the woman, now over 100 years old, still does volunteer work with kids. It was through her that I learned pasta comes in shapes and flavors other than plain old elbows and spaghetti.

One of those shapes, fusilli, is what I'll be needing for today's dinner, Pasta Twists with Cauliflower and Spinach, from Vegan Express Vegan Express by Nava Atlas. Sometimes I use a three-color whole wheat radiatore from Hodgson Mills instead of fussili. That's the beauty of the shaped pasta - substitutions don't detract from the dish and can sometimes enhance it.

Now I have to decide what soup to make with it. I was re-watching the McDougall cooking videos yesterday - that's why I suddenly decided to make that oh, so delicious Black Bean Soup - so perhaps I'll choose another of Mary McDougall's soups to go with today's dinner.

By the way, those two videos - McDougall Made Easy and McDougall Made Irresistible - are one sale right now, both DVD's for $25. Grab 'em while you can!

Hmm, they all look a bit too heavy for what I want. Instead I found this one, another Nava Atlas recipe - Tomato Rice Soup with Snow Peas and Mushrooms. It'll need some substitutions, say regular peas instead of snow peas and I'll be slicing up the baby bella mushrooms I have in the fridge that I bought for another meal that I never made. And of course, I'll do my sautéing in water instead of oil. The recipe is from her book Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons. Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons And because it's being served with pasta I'll leave out the rice, too.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Vegan MoFo Days 5 & 6

Sunday is burger day around our house, and yesterday was no different. Unfortunately, I don't remember which burger recipe it was that the burgers in the freezer were made from, one of Bryanna's recipes she posted to VegSource years ago or the one from the PPK/VwaV cookbook. Damn, I just did a Search over there and can't find it! I know it used to be on-line because that's where I found out it needed more flour than the recipe originally stated!

Today there's a definite chill in the air - perfect weather for a hearty stew and a loaf of crusty bread. The recipe I'm using today is Easy Crock-pot Winter Stew and I'll run to the bakery for a loaf of crusty whole grain bread or go through my recipes for one to make in the ABM.

The recipe was originally posted to the Vegan Crockpot Cooking list on Yahoogroups back in 2004. Things have been a bit slow there lately, but the archives are jammed with gems like this, so why not come over and join and share your own favorite slow-cooker recipes.

edited to add:

Here's a photo of the stew in the Crockpot. Not too shabby a photo for not having a usable viewfinder on the camera.

Easy Crockpot Winter Stew

And I also decided to make this Black Bean Soup from the McDougall Made Easy DVD to go with it.

McDougall Made Easy DVD Black Bean Soup

All this, plus a salad, and it's a very filling dinner. We'll stick with our usual piece of fruit while watching The Big Bang Theory
tonight as our snack. Our son *is* Sheldon!