Thursday, April 9, 2009

Not Much Happening

I guess you can surmise by the lack of posts that I haven't been trying any new recipes for a while. My husband and son preferred to stay in the rut and eat a lot of pasta meals and a lot of our old faithfuls. We even slipped away from strict McDougalling for a while as I tried another food plan at my doctor's suggestion to jump-start weight loss (Didn't work - I gained 10 pounds instead of losing any. I told him that I was eating low cal, low fat vegan and that 1600 calories would be too much for me, especially if I eat S.A.D. and add fats back in my diet!). My son even gained weight because the meals I made for him and my husband were a bit heavier than they were used to, and because of that he felt sluggish most days and cut back on his exercise.

But now we're back. The kid and I are exercising again and the whole family is (mostly) back on McDougall. The kid and my husband are still enjoying their non-McDougall night time snacks, a habit I could never break them out of, but at least all our meals are back to being McD-friendly.

One of the places I discovered while off McDougall eating is Clara Cannucciari and her Great Depression recipes videos on YouTube. Poorman's Meal is a favorite of this family, as long as I skip the olive oil and use vegan sausage, seitan or TVP instead of meat-based hot dogs. If my son isn't partaking of the meal I just use a can of beans. Peas and Pasta is fine as-is, again, ignoring the oil. After watching Clara I attempted to get our own elderly relative (age 90) to open up about who cooking and life was like during the Depression in her own family, but her mind keeps drifting and all I got out of her were some confused ramblings about a job her mother had back in the 1960's instead of her own life in the 1930's. Each week I prod her a bit more, hoping the clouds will lift and the gate to her mind will reopen for a bit.

I made 2 tubes of seitan using the recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen web site (minus the oil, of course) but roasting it according to the directions in Susan Voisin's pepperoni recipe, which was based on Joanne Stepaniak's recipe in the Vegan Vittles book. I really need to get myself a toaster oven before summer sets in so I can continue to make this and not heat the entire apartment up. My husband makes sandwiches of this for work every day, and I also chop some slice sup to add to salads, casseroles and soups. It's a staple I never do without and try keep a roll or 2, plain and flavored, in the freezer at all times.

I've also been trying out some baking recipes. My husband wanted something different so I found these Maple Oat Muffins from the Vegan Sweet Tooth blog. Let me tell you, "sweet" is definitely the word for these! Next time I'm omitting all the brown sugar and reducing the syrup to about a quarter cup instead of 3/4. I had a hard time even getting these out of my mini-muffin pans, and in the past nothing ever stuck, and I've done a lot of fat-free, whole grain baking in recent years. I think I'll be sticking to the Esselstyn Best Banana Bread from now on. I've made that in both muffin (regular, mini- AND Texas-sized) and loaf shapes and it's always a hit in this house.

Next week we're already committed to eating a few off-plan meals, thanks to the holiday and relatives, but after that we should be back to (near) total compliance to the McDougall program again..


  1. Hello! Thanks for posting on my blog.

    Haha, actually, I'm stoked for having a kitchen this summer, because there are a ton of vegan recipes I want to try.

    Budget and university constraints were the big reason for my bland week of food...but I was kind of curious to see how easy it was to be a vegan while on university campus and not fill up on empty calories.

    I knew it would be a challenge when I asked a vegan friend what she ate and she replied "Burritos, pasta, bagels--they are my protein staples."

    Ultimately, I do not think veganism is a lifestyle I would want to stick with, but I definitely want to explore the cuisine more.

    Hey, question, what would you say is healthier: tempeh or seitan? I'm curious about both.

    By the way, you have a great blog!

  2. I can't answer the seitan vs tempeh question because I've never eaten tempeh in my life. Not one store in this area sells it.

    But while both seem to be a good source of protein, there's really no need to go crazy looking for protein sources. Remember, all grains, even your oatmeal, and veggies have some protein, and many veg specialists, like Dr. McDougall, feel we all eat too much protein to begin with. He's against all those products that contain isolated soy proteins, and stresses we're to limit things like beans to no more than one cup a day.