Monday, February 23, 2009

Luscious Lemon Cake

So many people on the McDougall forums are talking about the Luscious Lemon Cake by Anne Esselstyn that I just have to make it myself today. If I can get my camera to work I'll take a photo of it before my husband devours it.

I need to do this. Ever since October I've been drifting too far away from the McDougall program, mostly because my husband would bring home all kinds of cakes, donuts and pastries from the bakery on his way home Fridays after work. I know he has a very stressful job, and in this economy everyone is on pins and needles, expecting to be laid off with no notice, but this stress eating has got to stop. If it can't be stopped, at least I can make it a bit healthier. He also had started requesting lots of meat-based dishes instead of the low-fat vegan ones we'd been eating, and I was only too happy to oblige.

But lately our health has been suffering. My sinuses have been so bad I can't breathe out my nose at all. My arthritis has been so painful it keeps me awake at night. My husband started complaining that the gouty arthritis in his feet was acting up again. And I won't even tell you how bad things have been on the scale lately. :(

Over the weekend I cleaned out freezer out of all non-McDougall foods, and in doing so discovered half an Esselstyn banana bread and a log of Susan V's Seitan Pepperoni. We ate all the banana bread, and that prompted the need to make more healthy munchies. Also, my husband realized that I'm not the only one getting all kinds of sinus trouble from the dairy we've been eating lately and is looking forward to returning to slabs of spicy seitan in his sandwiches again. I'll be making up another 2 batches to keep in the freezer today, too.

It's so good to be returning to McDougall eating! And now that my husband is getting back on track with me he'll stop sabotaging my efforts like he's been doing recently. In the three days we've been off dairy and fatty SAD foods again my sinuses are starting to clean and our arthritis pains have lessened. My husband feels so good he told me that he's going to join me in cheese-free pizzas from now on, and I felt so much better while doing this morning's exercises. I really hope I remember this when I start sliding off the plan again. If only I could find a good tasting seitan kielbasy recipe.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

DVD Review: Vegan Cooking for Animal Lovers

We finally did something this past weekend that we spoke of doing for a couple of years now but our budget couldn't handle - we joined Netflix. We already have over 100 DVDs in the queue, and when we chose our first three, I popped this one in: Vegan Cooking for Animal Lovers. I read about this DVD a while ago but could never find it for rental anywhere local, and at that time I could only find it for sale in one place on-line and I wasn't going to buy a recipe DVD from someone unknown to me. To this day I still can't find his recipe son-line any where.

Anyway, if you're new to vegan cooking and don't need to lose any weight, this is an okay DVD. Some of the recipes look great, like Tamil Tiger Rice and Mosh Pit-tatoes, but are way too rich for me. Everything he saut├ęs is drowned in Earth Balance margarine; he insists on full-fat coconut milk for the two recipes that require it; the salads that use Veganaise use a LOT of it. Dr. McDougall would have a spaz attack just watching this video!

Each dish made comes with an on-screen recipe directions, but as other reviewers have mentioned, a printable file with the recipes would have been better. He doesn't always follow the recipe, either. "3 cans" of coconut milk (no size given) in print turns into 3 cups of coconut milk when he says it when cooking, yet it looked like a heck of a lot more than 3 cups in the bowl. He has the weirdest way of peeling and cutting cucumbers, then he uses what he said to trim off because it was bitter, anyway.

"Awesome!" Get used to that word. I think he says it at least a hundred times, not only while cooking but also when visiting a HFS in Portland at the end of the video. Also, he drops a lot of F-bombs, but no more than my son and his friends do, all of them around this guy's age (early 20's).

If I had unlimited funds and didn't need to lose over 100 pounds, I would certainly purchase this video for my collection. If nothing else it would help the poor guy pay his rent after his room mate stole his half and he wouldn't have to eat the extra-spicy sloppy joes to keep his belly warm while living under the bridge after being served with the eviction notice. (He explains it all in the DVD)

And hey, he even gave a shout-out to the PPK! Come on, ya gotta love a guy who does this!

If you can afford it, buy it. If you can't afford it and belong to Netflix, rent it. My disk will be heading back later today so it'll be available again on Monday, if this is their only copy in NJ.