Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It Ain't Over 'til the Fat Lady . . .

. . . smothers potatoes in a cheezy sauce!

My husband brought the flu home from work, and walking to the library in Saturday's snow didn't help matters any. I had to listen to both him and our son coughing, sneezing and sniffling all day and all night since Sunday. I had my flu shot, which is probably why I'm not joining in the mucus chorus. As lousy as he felt, because he doesn't have too many days off left for the year and he'll need them to finish closing up his aunt's house and the sale of it, he went into work. He said it was the people in work that gave it to HIM so he may as well just go.

Tonight for dinner I already planned on making this, one of his favorite meals. Actually, anything covered in cheese sauce is his favorite, be it potatoes, pasta, rice or pizza!

Officially, it's called Cheezy Taters, and it's not even a real recipe, just stuff tossed together in a bowl and covered with the Cheezy Sauce from Veganomicon. To McDougallize the sauce I saute the garlic in water and use 2 cups of broth made with Bryanna's broth powder (minus the salt and soy milk powder).

The dish itself is a casserole made from a bag of hash brown potatoes (the diced kind), a bag of frozen spinach, and a box of sliced mushrooms (I prefer Baby Bellas but plain white ones will do just fine). I'll probably toss some onions and lots of garlic in it tonight, too. Add a bit of liquid, like a cup or so of water or broth. If you're opening a quart box of broth for the sauce you may as well use some of the rest of the box here.

Mix it up in a big bowl, then plop it all in a big casserole dish (9" x 13" or similar), cover with parchment paper then foil if you don't have a glass lid like I do for my Corningware in that size, and bake for an hour or so at 350ºF. If you like the taters a bit crispy you can uncover it for about 15 minutes more until it browns to your liking.

Timing isn't exact in this dish - I've had it in the oven as long as 2 1/2 hours and as short as 30 minutes, but it was still a bit cool. The quickest way is to pop it into the microwave for 20 - 30 minutes if yours is big and powerful enough for the job. If want to do it slower, you can even stick it in a CrockPot on Low before heading out to work and come home 6 to 10 hours later to a hot meal.

While the casserole is cooking, make your Cheezy Sauce, and when the taters are done, pour the sauce over them and mix well.

There you go - a nice, easy and filling meal of comfort food for the ailing people in the family.

To add a bit more comfort to this comfort food dinner I'll also heat up my last box of Trader Joe's Organic Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper soup. Between the soup and that cheezy casserole hubby will be asleep before Jeopardy!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Another Veganomicon Recipe

Halloween. Ever since childhood this was one of my favorite holidays. I got to be someone else for the day and not my usual fat boring self. I could be a princess with curly golden hair and a sparkly dress with a waist, or I could be a lumberjack and wear my dad's flannel shirt and my corderoy after-school play pants (This was the 1950's, when girls had to wear dresses to school), or just be something mythical and out of this world. And the rewards at the end of the day were great - a giant bag full of the best junkfood around, mostly chocolates. Imagine how disappointed I was as an adult when my own son expressed a dislike of the holiday, a couple of years choosing to wear a t-shirt that said "This IS my Halloween costume!" instead of dressing up! And at the end of those days he gave me all his candy except for a few chosen pieces, because unlike his mom, he really doesn't like chocolate all that much and preferred the Smartees and candy corn. I frequently ask him to this day if he's sure he's my kid. As a reward for giving me all his candy, we had our own ritual of going candy shopping on November First, with him given a ten dollar bill and allowed to choose any candy he wanted, up to that amount. He chose wisely and that candy always lasted him until well into the new year. Tomorrow we'll continue that tradition even though he's in his late 20's.

Back in my S.A.D. days I would always make a beef stew for Halloween dinner, calling it Witch's Stew. When I started eating vegetarian I would make the same meal, just omitting the meat chunks. When I started McDougalling, things had to change, since the gravy I used wasn't exactly McDougall-friendly, and those that were didn't stand up to the length of time the stew would be simmering away in the slow-cooker. Imagine how happy I was when Vegenomicon came out, and included in it was this fantastic recipe for a great Halloween dish - Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Caramelized Onions and Sage Crumb Topping.

This is a nice, easy dish to put together, very flavorful, and can be easily McDougallized by using whole wheat pasta, cooking up the onions in a non-stick pan, using tofu ricotta instad of the cashew one, and omitting the topping and just shaking the spices from it mixed with some breadcrumbs on top of the pasta before baking. Not only is the margarine from the topping not McDougall-legal but my husband has this weird reaction to walnuts - every time he eats them he gets a gout-like pain in his big toe. Lab work says it's not gout, but the podiatrist said the pain sure sounds like it is.

I will probably also drop some of the canned pumpkin and a bit of spice into this morning's oatmeal. If I have the time and energy this afternoon I may even bake up a batch of pumpkin muffins from Mary McDougall's recipe, again omitting the walnuts.

I was hoping one of the stores around here would be selling Silk Pumpkin Spice nog, but once again it didn't arrive before Halloween. Last year none had the pumpkin OR the regular nog until after Christmas. Too late for the holiday season but just fine on a cold winter's afternoon.

I guess that concludes VeganMoFo 2011. I wish to thank all the people on the PPK Forums for making this another fruitful and enjoyable time. I haven't had the time to go visiting other blogs, but I do have the link to the blogroll right on this page so I can go back in the future to see what goodies I missed.

Let me leave you all with the best song I've ever heard:

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Penultimate VeganMoFo Post

I'm trying to think of a way to end this month with a bang, but am having a hard time finding a topic.

~ ~ ~

I just edited out a very long and scathing post about weight loss, the official McDougall forums, and people with the same attitude I find on every weight loss forum, message board and mailing list, hell, "successful" weight losers I've met in real life (While they're still in their honeymoon phase, before they started to regain). If you've tried and failed at weight loss in the past or just know people who did manage to lose, you know what I'm talking about. That simple little phrase - "If *I* can do it, so can YOU!" I feel like drop kicking their asses from  here to eternity!

NO! Just because YOU did does NOT mean that I can. Do YOU have a 58 year history of weight cycling? Do YOU have hypothyroid disease and other auto-immune disorders? Do YOU have degenerative disc disease, arthritis and neuritis throughout your body? Do YOU have nutritional deficiencies and a heart condition caused by 5 decades of restrictive eating? Do YOU have the genes that I have? Well then don't tell me that if YOU did it I can too!

Let me just remind people about the McDougall groups on YahooGroups. There's the one geared towards weight loss, and another group for everyday people following the program for various reasons, usually for health or animal rights, but the group had voted to exclude all weight loss talk. When the Groups were active a few years ago, we had a very nice time there, sharing recipes, shopping or cooking tips, hints on how to sneak healthy food into a family's meal. In recent months, thanks to YahooGroups general idiocy and the rise of other social media sites, things have been slow. We can use some fresh blood, so why not come on over and visit? The Files sections of both groups have hundreds of recipes gathered from various cookbooks and web sites, as well as favorites posted by members.

~ ~ ~

So where am I going with this rambling post? I have no idea.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Where to PUT It All!!

This is my pantry closet. We call it "Irving."

Irving - October 2011

I forget when or even why we started to name our closets - I guess I read it in a children's book somewhere and someone else was naming their closets to distinguish one from another and we started doing it in this family back when our son was young (He's now almost 30 so you see we've been weird a long, long time.)

This closet is located in the "third bedroom," as it was described by the owner, when in actuality you can't even fit a twin sized bed in it. An army cot, maybe, but that's it. So it became my craft/sewing storage and computer room, and the closet became our food pantry, because we have so few cabinets in the kitchen. We can fit our dishes and storage containers and that's about it. Our pots and some things like the casserole dishes and ovenware are stored in the not-connected dishwasher. The previous owners disconnected it from the water supply about 20 years ago when they discovered the drainage in this apartment sucked and every time the dishwasher was used it flooded the kitchen. Instead of taking it out and putting another cabinet in there he left it so when the house was sold to the current owner he could say the apartments had dishwashers. The same deceit occurred when it came to "heat included" with the rent - this tiny room isn't connected to the radiator system but has an electric baseboard radiator installed that is on OUR electric account, not the one for the house in general that the owner pays for. We had it on the first month we moved in and our bill was over $300 for a balmy April. Our bill dropped almost $200 the next month when the heater was turned off completely and it's been off since. I'll wear a sweatshirt when it gets cold out here!

Back to the pantry closet.

In the photo you get the full frontal view, so to speak. The closet extends another foot or so in each direction, too, making it hard to get things in and out of those spaces, so I keep rarely replenished things there, like extra storage containers, plastic shoeboxes of supplies, like tape and tiny notebooks and greeting cards.

But the main areas - ugh!

One thing we McDougallers have plenty of are canned goods. We use lots of beans, and most of us seem to prefer the easy way out and use canned. We use lots of tomato products, again usually canned, although since Jeff's Fast Food video I've been using a lot of boxed Pomi tomatoes. I keep canned fruit on hand because fresh produce around here is lousy and it's easy enough to find water-packed fruit in cans and no-sugar added applesauce. Other things in my pantry include bottles sauces and dressings, boxes of non-dairy milk, containers of old-fashioned oatmeal (Plus the boxes of instant that my husband prefers). And I have to share this closet with some boxes of craft supplies, too.

It's a pain, trying to make sure the new stuff goes to the back, older stuff used first. It takes a long time to put groceries away each week because I have to unload a pile of cans to put the new things on the bottom and rotate the stock.

I've had enough!

I'm now researching those rotating can systems that I've read about in articles by survivalists and Latter Day Saints groups.  I envy people who have systems like this:

or this:

or even this:

But I think the best thing I can do right now is just get some can rotation systems. THIS SITE has a whole blog about it as well as a PDF file of plans you can use to make your own out of cardboard. Here it is in action:

This guy makes one using his own pattern, one that doesn't require glue and duct tape:

But I'm lazy, and not very adept with an Exacto blade and have the scars to prove it, so I'll probably wind up with a store-bought system. I like these, by CanOrganizer. But it's a one-size-fits-all kind of thing when it comes to the size of cans. Here's a guy with a whole closet-full of them:

It looks nicer than before, but I noticed some of the organizers on the lower shelf there were popping open on top.

I would love to have one of THESE but don't have the money or room for even the smaller ones.

What I will probably wind up with are a few of these Cansolidators. 2 of the Pantry Plus size will fit on that top shelf 

and one of the regular Pantry size on the middle shelf, putting the larger and non-canned items around it. This guy shows how they're put together and how much food one of the small 40-can units holds:

The price of these units will be worth it if it straightens up that mess. It might even save me money, as I won't be finding 5 (or more!) years outdated cans hiding in the corners any more. When I did some rearranging this past summer I found cans in there I moved with me when we moved into this place. I know that because they were dated 1999 and from the grocery store we used to go to when we lived in Florida! We've been back in Jersey since April 2000!

I have my husband convinced we need to do SOMETHING with poor old Irving. He does like the look of the Cansolidators but isn't too keen on the money. Maybe I'll have my son make up one of those customized cardboard ones to show him how it'll look. As I unpack all the aunt's stuff we moved over to this house we'll have plenty of empty cardboard boxes with no further purpose in their lives.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

SNAP Meal - Mexican Fiesta

It's almost a year since Jeff Novick released his Fast Food DVD and I wrote a post about it. For a while I was making at least one of his SNAP meals each week. Then we started to get sick of them, because each one made SO much we would be eating it for days on end. We're the type of people who get bored with our food very fast, but unlike what Dr. McDougall hypothosizes (Get bored, eat less), we tend to swing in the opposite direction and seek out other, more flavorful, usually higher calorie, foods. The times I would go off the McDougall program were usually after a long stretch of being 100% compliant.

So I stopped making so many SNAP meals. Now, when I do make one, it's much more enjoyable and we don't mind the leftovers so much. Some of these leftovers even go great mixed in with pasta. Like this Mexican Fiesta one.

The official recipe, as posted on Jeff's Facebook Photos section:

Mexican Fiesta

2 28 oz Can Whole Tomatoes (no salt added)
2 lbs Frozen Mixed Peppers and Onions (Birds Eye)
.5 lb Frozen Corn
1 can Eden Foods Pinto Beans
1 Can Eden Foods Black Beans
Spices (I used garlic, cumin, chili powder and cayenne)

Put all in a pot, bring to boil, simmer 10 minutes.

Serve over Cooked Long Grain Brown Rice

Top with fresh Cilantro

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
This is one meal I pretty much stick to the recommended brands, at least when it comes to the peppers. Name brand veggies cost almost twice as much as store-brand in many cases, and it's certainly true for this pepper/onion mix, but I tried making it with a bag of sliced peppers and a bag of diced onions and it somehow didn't seem right, like there was too much of a pepper taste. I tried a few cups of fresh sliced peppers and onions, and got a different texture. Still, if finances are tight or the store doesn't have the Bird's Eye, store brand it is and I just add a bit more onions or spices.

For the beans I use either store brand or Goya, depending on what's in my pantry that I picked up on sale. I just rinse them well and dump them in.

I always have corn in the freezer, but I'm preparing for another winter like last, and plan on having a good supply of canned veggies on my newly acquired shelving unit, and if I make this in February, with 5 feet of snow outside my apartment, I'll use canned corn and like it.

For the spices, I had found a recipe for a fajita mix that tastes a lot like the Old El Paso one I like.

Here's the recipe as I copied it:

Fajita Seasoning Mix
Linda Larsen
Make your own fajita seasoning mix using this easy recipe. If you are simply going to rub the mixture on steak, chicken, pork, or seafood before grilling it, omit the cornstarch.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes


    3 Tbsp. cornstarch
    2 Tbsp. chili powder
    1 Tbsp. salt
    1 Tbsp. paprika
    1 Tbsp. sugar
    2-1/2 tsp. crushed chicken bouillon cube
    1-1/2 tsp. onion powder
    1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
    1/2 tsp. cumin

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Pour into small glass or plastic container, seal tightly and store in a cool, dry place. Makes the equivalent of 3 packets of commercial or purchased Fajita Seasoning Mix

~ ~ ~ ~
I made up a whole jar-full of this stuff and leave out the salt and it still tastes fine. Just before I'm ready to serve I'll add a tablespoon and taste, and keep adding and tasting until it comes out just right.

To go along with this meal I might make the cornbread I mentioned yesterday, Jan Tz's sweet corn bread. Unless I break down and make the cornbread my husband wants me to make, a very UN-McDougall one - the cornbread recipe by Isa and posted on-line at the PPK web site.   This has got to be the MOST delicious cornbread in the world. It's not too sweet, not too heavy or gritty (Unless you use a larger grit cornmeal, that is) and it makes so much I usually divide it in half and serve half at one meal (and still have leftovers for snacks) and freeze the other on a piece of cardboard covered in plastic wrap. I tried McDougalling this recipe by using substitutes for the oil, like Wonderslim, Lighter Bake, or applesauce, but it changes the taste and texture too much. Perhaps if I let my husband have the rest of yesterday's sally cake I can afford to eat a small piece of this cornbread and not feel too guilty. Besides, it also goes with tomorrow's meal so I'll only have to bake once.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jan Tz - McDougall Hero

Dr. McDougall calls them Star McDougallers, but to me, Jan Tz is more of an everyday hero than a star. Stars burn bright and eventually fade, but Jan keeps on shining, even when her light dimmed a bit a few years ago and she regained some of her lost weight.

It was Jan's posts on the old McDougall forums on VegSource that showed me eating healthy doesn't have to involve complex recipes with 20 ingredients and take hours to cook. Her 3-ingredient recipes were lifesavers at a time things were super hectic in this household, caring for a m-i-l with Alzheimer's & leukemia, homeschooling a kid through high school years, moving 1200 miles from home, then back again less than a year later, and now, caring for a different relative with Alzheimer's (m-i-l's sister).

Her quickbreads are legendary for saving many a party in McDougallers' households.

Jan would disappear from the forums from time to time, but then she would come back with a vengeance. One year she gave up posting to Internet forums for Lent, but another year she took that sacred time to recommit herself to the McDougall program.

Like many of us, Jan has had her ups and downs when it comes to weight loss, but she also knows that the best, healthiest way to regain her health and lose those pounds again is with the McDougall program. It's her persistence (and her recipes) that keep people like ME doing the same.

Some of my favorite Jan Tz meals follow. I usually copy/paste the messages from the forums to my AZZ Cardfile program so I retain all the notes and directions the original author wrote. That's the case with all of these. The McDougall forum on VegSource no longer exists so the links in these recipes probably won't work.

Our all-time favorite quick dinner:

From: Jan Tz 
Subject: Three Ingredient Recipe: Pioneer Baked Beans
Date: October 14, 2003 at 3:57 pm PST


Peeled and cored apple, cut into big chunks
Onion, sliced thinly and separated into rings
Vegetarian Baked Beans

Combine all ingredients in whatever quantities you need, put into a baking dish, and bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350F.

I remember reading about "Apples 'n' Onions" in one of the "Little House on the Prairie" books some years back. Baked beans were popular then, too. They seem to go well together.


A Holiday staple:

From: Jan Tz 
Subject: Three Ingredient Recipe: Cranberry-Sauced Chickpeas
Date: October 15, 2003 at 4:12 pm PST


2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can whole-berry cranberry sauce
dash of powdered cloves

Preheat oven to 300 F. Put the chickpeas in a casserole dish. Put the cranberry sauce on top. Sprinkle lightly with cloves. Bake uncovered for about 30 min.


A favorite cold-weather meal:

From: Jan Tz 
Subject: New 3-Ingredient Recipe for You
Date: December 28, 2002 at 3:28 pm PST

This is a variation of the Barley-Mushroom Bake that many of you requested. It has only 3 ingredients (not counting water and pan spray), and is very meaty and satisfying.


3/4 cup quick barley
1 (8 oz.) box fresh mushrooms, whole, cleaned
1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secrets, any fat-free flavor (check the boxes)

Put all the ingredients in a casserole dish. Stir in 2 cups boiling water. Stir to mix. Cover and bake at 325 F. for 45 min. Uncover and bake another 15 min. Stir lightly before serving.


My go-to cornbread recipe, savory:

From: Jan Tz 
Subject: Re: Cornbread.........
Date: February 16, 2005 at 11:34 am PST

In Reply to: Cornbread......... posted by Sunny on February 16, 2005 at 7:52 am:

I think they posted mine. Here it is...

1 cup flour (many people here use whole wheat pastry flour)
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 and 1/4 cups water
1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease/spray an 8"x8" cake pan. Mix the dry ingredients together. Mix the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. When the oven reaches temp., stir the wet into the dry. Mix quickly and don't overmix. Pour into prepared pan. Bake about 30 minutes -- toothpick test for doneness. Let stand in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a rack.

My go-to cornbread recipe, sweet:

From: Jan Tz 
Subject: Sweet Cornbread
Date: August 16, 2003 at 5:28 am PST

In Reply to: JanTz.....Could you please give me ....... posted by Bambi on August 16, 2003 at 4:40 am:

I think what I posted was my version of Chi Chi's Sweet Corn Cake mix. Here is the recipe:

1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 Tbs. baking powder
1 small can chopped green chiles
1/4 cup water
1 can (15 oz) cream-style corn

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Grease or spray a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
Mix the dry ingredients together first, then stir in the rest. Mix quickly and do not overmix. Pour into the loaf pan. Bake uncovered for 40-45 min. or until liquid has been absorbed.

One of my favorite quickbreads:

From: Jan Tz 
Subject: Gingerbread
Date: March 17, 2001 at 8:36 pm PST


Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or spray an 8" x 8" cake pan.

Combine the liquid ingredients:
1 and 1/4 cups hot soymilk, ricemilk, or water
1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. white vinegar
1/4 cup molasses

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon

When the oven reaches temp, pour the liquid into the dry ingredients. Mix quickly and do not over-mix. Pour into prepared pan. Bake about 25 min.--toothpick test for doneness. Remove from oven and let stand in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and wrap in a clean dry kitchen towel until completely cooled. May dust with powdered sugar or eat with applesauce.


And the quickbread I'm making tonight, using canned apples (NOT apple pie filling)

From: Jan Tz 
Subject: Recipe: "SallyBread": A New Quick Bread
Date: April 14, 2001 at 6:16 am PST

Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bread? Is it a pie? No...it's...

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray or grease a 9" x 13" baking pan.

Combine the liquid ingredients together:
1 and 1/4 cups HOT soymilk, ricemilk, or water
1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. white vinegar.

Combine the dry ingredients together:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda

When the oven reaches temp, stir the liquid ingredients into the dry. Mix quickly, and do not over-mix. Pour into prepared pan and spread it around evenly to cover bottom of pan.

Now pour the contents of:
1 (21 ounce) can of fruit pie filling

on top of the batter in the pan. Spread it around to mostly cover. Bake about 20 to 25 minutes -- toothpick test for doneness. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan. Serve warm or cover and refrigerate.

I used blueberry pie filling for my test batch, but you can use any fruit filling you like. Happy Easter, everyone!


And tonight's dinner:

ACK! I lost the original post! It was another of her simple 3-ingredient recipes but it's not in my Cardfile or anywhere on this computer! I've been making it so long I don't even look at the recipe any more so it's probably still on the old, non-working, computer.

It's another super simple recipe she called Spudz-Onion Casserole. Take a few potatoes and slice them thin. Take a big onion or 2 and also slice it thin. Take a casserole dish and alternate layers - onions, taters, onions, taters, etc. - until you run out of both. This is one meal I make that I'm so glad I spent the money to buy a fancy mandoline for slicing. You can sprinkle each layer of spuds with any spice combo you want, or just plain old salt and pepper. 

If you want to healthy this up a bit you can add some greens, to keep Jeff Novick happy. I have a bag of spinach in the freezer and will use some of that.

Cover and bake, the usual 350ºF for 30 - 45 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. If you want the top layer crunchy, uncover for the last 15 minutes or so.

Jan, if you're reading this, I want to thank you for saving my butt so many times over these years. I hope you continue to post on the McDougall forums for many years to come.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sloppy Joe Day

We're waiting for a phone call from the lawyer. The inspection on the aunt's house was Friday and the real estate agent said things"went well," whatever that means when dealing with a hundred year old house that badly needs upgrading. Supposedly both lawyers got the inspection results within an hour of the inspection, as did the buyer, and "papers" are ready to be signed agreeing on a final price. I'll make a run to the laundromat early this morning, and the rest of the week's activities depends on when this impending phone call comes through.

After I get back from the laundromat I'll start making tonight's dinner and just reheat it when the time comes, whether it's for our regular 4:30pm dinner time or much later if we're at the lawyer's today.

One of our favorite pre-McDougall meals was Sloppy Joes. In the olden days I used ground beef, then turkey, and in later years switched to tvp. But now Dr. McDougall dislikes those processed isolated soy protein products so for the most time I use lentils, but once in a while I do use veggie crumbles (various brands). Today will be lentils, unless that phone call comes when I'm at the laundromat.

I also no longer use canned Manwich sauce, preferring to make a much healthier sloppy joe sauce from scratch. The first recipe I ever used was Isa's Snobby Joe's from the PPK web site, later included in her book Veganomicon. So great!

Another recipe I use a lot is from Robin Robertson's Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker called Sloppy Lentils. Again, a great recipe but it has to be planned for ahead of time because it takes 8 hours to cook.

Of course, for both those recipes, all sautéing is done with water, not oil, to make them McDougall-legal.

 This one was originally posted to Bryanna Clark Grogan's Veg Beginners board over on VegSource years ago but the link I saved no longer works. The recipe here is typed up exactly as I copied it at the time. She does list "cooked lentils" as an ingredient but later writes "red lentils" in the directions. I always use plain old brown lentils from Goya brand when I make these. I double the ingredients and use "Simply Heinz" Ketchup    (made with sugar, not corn syrup) instead of the organic she used.
* Exported from MasterCook *

                              Sloppy Lenny's

Recipe By     :thegirlwonder
Serving Size  : 4     Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    : Main Dishes                     MWLP
                   Sandwiches                Vegan

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1                cup  cooked lentils
  1                     onion -- diced
  1              clove  garlic
  1           teaspoon  yellow mustard
  1                cup  tomato sauce -- Trader Joe or other organic
     1/2           cup  ketchup -- Muir Glen organic ketchup

1. Saute onion and garlic in water.

2.  When translucent, add tomato sauce, ketchup and mustard. Heat thoroughly.

3. Add red lentils. Heat thoroughly.

4. Serve on whole grain hamburger buns, bread or brown rice. (You can throw some veggies like bell peppers and carrots in there if you want to pump up the vitamins.)

  "February 6, 2003 at 4:07 pm PST"
                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving: 120 Calories; trace Fat (3.4% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 25g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 744mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0

But the recipe I use most of all is this one from the McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook. So quick, tasty, and simple! I use frozen sliced peppers and just chop them up a bit smaller. Carrots are easy enough to grate up. The tomato sauce is a matter of opening 2 cans of the no-salt added variety, and I usually skip the soy sauce, too, to reduce the sodium content. And as I mentioned many times in the past, I skip the bay leaf. What I usually ADD to this recipe is a dollop of plain old Gulden's mustard to give it that Manwich-type zing.

Disorderly Lentils (aka Sloppy Lennies)

2 cups red lentils
4 cups water
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup grated carrot
2 cups tomato sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon basil

Combine all ingredients in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve over toast, fat-free crumpets, fat-free English muffins, or whole wheat rolls. Serves 6.

Today I plan on serving them over smashed Yukon Gold potatoes. Of course, if we do have to run tot he lawyer's this afternoon I may just nuke those taters and serve the sauce over that. If it's really late, Bob's Red Mill instant mashed potatoes will have to do.

The trip itself takes a few hours - first my husband will have to come home from work as soon as we get the call (90 minutes/2 trains), then we the drive to the lawyer (45 - 60 depending on traffic), time in the lawyer's office (minimum 30 minutes, probably more because he loves to talk), then the drive home in rush hour traffic (at least 60).

I'll be SO glad when that house is finally sold and no longer our responsibility! We are so happy being apartment dwellers!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Too Busy to Blog

I'm sorry I'm such a bad VeganMoFo-er this year. In less than a week we had to make 4 trips to the elderly aunt's house, 2 emergency car repairs, 3 trips to the real estate agent's, 2 trips to the nursing home, countless shopping trips, and 3 doctor appointments. Before the week is out there will be another doctor appointment, another trip to a hardware store, another nursing home visit, another trip to the aunt's house, plus our weekly grocery shopping. If all goes well the house will be sold soon - we have a buyer and the closing is scheduled for December Second. After that we can breathe a little easier, have a bit more time for ourselves.

Have leisurely dinners again.

Yesterday was a pot of soup and a loaf of bread. Sorry, but by the time we sat down to eat we were starving and I forgot to take pictures once again. I SAID I was a bad VeganMoFo-er.

My Cheezy Broccoli Soup is a variation on a number of veggie/nooch soup recipes I've gathered over the years from places like the Fat Free Vegan blog, PPK and McDougall forums, as well as numerous cookbooks. It's super simple to put together.

Sauté in a bit of water 1 or 2 chopped onions and some garlic, either minced, sliced or even whole, for about 5 minutes.

Pour in 6 cups of liquid - broth, water with no salt added bouillon or broth powder, or a combination of the 2. Turn the heat up to boiling.

In a jar or bowl with whisk, mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot in cold water and shake or whisk until lump-free. Slowly add to the boiling water, stirring to prevent lumps.

Add a cup of nutritional yeast and a bag of cut or chopped broccoli. Return to a boil, then lower to a simmer, cover, and let cook until the veggies are soft. Most recipes say 20 minutes, but I like the veggies near-dissolved so this soup sits for over an hour when I make it.

Now you have a choice: Serve it as-is, if the veggie are chopped small enough, or take an immersion blender to it and blend all or part of the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste at the table.

You can always dress this up by using other vegetables, like cauliflower, carrots, add frozen peas, use a combination of these or other veggies.

For the bread, I used my mini-Zoji bread machine and made their basic loaf using white whole wheat flour and Lighter Bake as the butter substitute. To dress this up a bit I added a half cup of Jalepeno-flavored Daiya cheese at the Add beep. The cheese isn't exactly McDougall-approved because of the fat, but the rest of the meal is fat-free and my husband doesn't need to lose any weight, so why not? He's the one who eats 99% of the bread, anyway.

Tonight is something even simpler - rice and veggies. I'll boil up 2 bags of Success Brand brown rice, nuke up 3 small bags (a pound each?) of frozen peas and carrots, and when done, mix together and serve. I sometimes fry up some marinated tofu, too, but not today. We each put our own condiments on at the table - my husband loves that Kobe brand hot Chinese mustard, our son uses plain soy sauce, and I use either a lower sodium ginger-garlic sauce, watered down soy sauce, or just some salad dressing. I'll see what I feel like when the time comes. With an eye doctor visit first thing tomorrow morning - the opthamologist, so it's a real in-you-face examination - there will be no onions or garlic, or even beans, tonight.

And because I won't be able to see clearly for hours after that exam, there probably will be no VeganMoFo post tomorrow, either. Dinner for the boys will be their favorite (non-vegan) frozen pizza and I'll toss on some hash browns for myself. Ho hum, but filling.

Saturday we'll be busy at the aunt's house getting last minute things ready for the buyer's home inspection and emptying out the rest of her and our stuff still there, like some tools and boxes of knickknacks. Dinner Saturday will be plain old pasta with jarred sauce and I'll nuke up the last of my Trader Joe's veggie meatballs.

With any luck, we'll be able to stay away from that house on Sunday and do our weekly grocery trip and do what WE want for the rest of the day. We may finally take that $12 toll trip to the land of Trader Joe's, or may even take advantage of the down time and just veg out in front of the tv. Either way, dinner will be our usual - non-veg burgers for the guys and more hash browns for me.

So far we have no plans for Monday. No house visits, no doctors, no shopping trips. Maybe I'll be able to make a nice, slightly more elaborate, meal then.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Letha and MWLP Foods

For one glorious year, a McDougaller named Letha Louise kept a blog of all the McDougall Maximum Weight Loss Plan foods she cooked. The beauty of this blog was in the photographs - she took pictures of every stop of the cooking process, from assembling the ingredients, the chopping, the cooking, and onward to the plating of the food, and sometimes beyond, showing all the containers of leftovers she has from the recipe. She even had her own message boards for a while.

Letha hasn't appeared on the McDougall forums for over a year now, and her last blog entry dates back to November 2009, but I spent a few hours there again this morning, snagging recipes I didn't in the past, skipping them previously because they didn't appeal to me at the time but my tastes have changed so now they do. It's worth a visit by anyone, whether they're doing MWLP, regular McDougall, vegan, or just plain like good eating.

Letha, we wish you would return not only to blogging but to the forums. We really miss you!

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Soupy Disappointment

Butterbean Corn Soup

Don't Look At Me - I'm Hideous!!

I had a rare kitchen disaster yesterday. With the price of things as high as they are, especially for the healthier version of some foods, I usually only make "tried and true" meals, making only minor variations. Those of you who have read this blog during previous VeganMoFo's may have noticed some of the same dishes carried over from year to year, sometimes week to week.

This soup is one of them.

I make this a lot, especially on days when I'm rushed. And why not? It's so fast to put together and many times it's ready in 5 minutes.

Here's the basic recipe, as I have it written in my AZZ Cardfile program:

Butter Bean and Corn Chowder

2 cans butter beans
2 cans creamed corn
2 cups water
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 clove garlic, pressed
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients. Simmer 30 minutes until carrots and celery are done to your liking.

Notes:  This is a slightly modified recipe posted by Pat on the McDougall board who got it from the www.fatfreevegan.com website who credits the Vegan Handbook for the recipe. It was very good poured over fork mashed fingerling potatoes. 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now, as I've written many times before, I'm lazy and use shortcuts. Instead of fresh celery and and carrots I used dried celery flakes and dehydrated diced carrots. This is nothing new - I do this about every other time I make the soup. I used Pacific no salt added broth instead of water, garlic powder instead of fresh garlic. I omitted the added salt, as I always do. I've done it this way more times than I can remember. And it always turned out delicious.

What did I do different this time that made it so unappetizing, at least to ME? I used no salt added corn and no salt added beans. In the past I used one or the other, never both ingredients. It usually takes fine. Yesterday, not so much.

My husband had no problem with it, mainly because he dumps salt on everything he eats, anyway, usually before he even tastes it. We're married 34 years next month and he's used to me cooking the low-sodium way. He sometimes dresses this soup up by pouring ketchup into the bowl.

But for me, it was inedible. I wound up eating toast for dinner last night.

Today, my boys are eating their pizza and I'm making up a batch of boring hash browns with onions. Tomorrow is pasta day, and the big whoop for our meal will be fried up onions, garlic and mushrooms that I add to the "sauce" - a box of Pomi diced tomatoes sprinkled with Italian herb blend.

This will be our first Saturday "off" in almost 6 months, and we plan to enjoy every minute of it. A Trader Joe's opened up less than 10 miles from here, just a block away from the Barnes and Noble store I desperately want to go to, down the road from a mall where I need some items, which is a few miles down the road from the nearest fabric store from where I have a list of items I need to get. (Excuse the grammar - I'm still half asleep).

Anyway, because every one of our days off in recent history have revolved around the elderly aunt and this is the first weekend where she's safe and secure in the nursing home and we don't have to go to her house an hour away because the real estate agent is having an open house all weekend, we're finally free to do what WE need to do for ourselves. Besides not having the time to go to all those stores I mentioned above, we save a trip to that area until we have a full agenda because although it's less than 10 miles away, it's located in a borough of NYC that's now a $12 toll bridge away. We used to go frequently when the toll was under $5, not so much, maybe once every 6 months, when it was $8, but now that it's up to $12 (with plans to increase it to $14 or more in 2014), we make a day of it. I always packed a lunch to eat in the car between stores/malls, but with Trader Joe's now on the route, I just might leave it to chance that I can grab something to eat there. Then again, that will probably be our last stop (Gotta remember to toss the frozen food bag into the car later) so perhaps I better make up some taters to eat along the way.

What an exciting week, store-wise. First we get a Walmart within walking distance of our house opening Wednesday, years after the city kept rejecting the permit, and now Trader Joe's! If only that TJ's also opened up here instead of across the bridge, I'd be all set!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Dagwood Mini?

(If comic doesn't appear, go to Blondie and find October 13, 2011)

Gee, just substitute something like rice or potatoes and you've got the Mary's Mini version of the McDougall Diet!

Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones

A problem many of us older females have is osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and other bone related disabilities. Maybe if we had been vegan since childhood, or never had any injuries that involved the bones or joints, we wouldn't have this problem, but at least our diets and exercise habits NOW can help ease the pain and discomfort and possibly stop any further damage.

Dr. Fuhrman has a web page and even a video out concerning osteoporosis called Osteoporosis Protection for Life:

and osteoporosis is one of Dr. McDougall's Hot Topics, too.

  • Some important things to remember:
  • Avoid dairy.
  • Avoid high protein foods.
  • Get proper amounts of high impact exercise.
  • Make sure your Vitamin D level is within the normal range and supplement with extra time in the sun or vitamins as necessary.

And here is Dr. McDougall's advice:

"Bone loss is reversible by fixing the cause. Everyone, and especially people with osteoporosis and a lesser condition, osteopenia, should eat a low-acid starch-based diet (with some restriction on grains and legumes, which are slightly acidic) and exercise.  Focus on a diet plentiful in sweet potatoes, potatoes, winter squashes, with the addition of fruits and green and yellow vegetables."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What Irishman Doesn't Like Cabbage?

Today I'm making my version of Cabbage and Carrot Medley, originally from a Woman's World Magazine article on Irish cooking from March 21, 2006. The original recipe:

* Exported from MasterCook *

                        Cabbage and Carrot Medley

Recipe By     :
Serving Size  : 8     Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    : Casserole                       Holiday
                Low-Fat                         MWLP
                Vegan                           Vegetables

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  2             pounds  cabbage -- trimmed, cut into 2" slices
  4              large  carrots -- cut diagonally into 1/2" slices
  2                     leeks -- *see Note
     1/4           cup  packed brown sugar
  2        tablespoons  apple cider vinegar
  2        tablespoons  brown mustard -- spicy
     1/2      teaspoon  caraway seeds
     1/2      teaspoon  salt
     1/4      teaspoon  black pepper

Combine cabbage and carrots in a large pot, fill halfway with water, cover. Bring to a boil then reduce and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. drain and set aside - keep warm.

In the same pot, add 2 tablespoons of water and leeks. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender.

Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil; return the cabbage/carrot mixture to the pot and stir.

  "Brown sugar adds sweetness to our buttery vegetables"
  "Woman's World Magazine,  Luck o' the Irish Feast! article"
  "March 21, 2006 issue"
                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving: 88 Calories; 1g Fat (7.0% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 20g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 225mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 2 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 0 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

NOTES : Leeks: White and light green portions only; halved lengthwise and sliced.

The original recipe called for the leek to be sautéed in butter.

Salt may be omitted for low-salt diets.

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

Carrot Cabbage Medley

Now for my variations. I just pick a nice sized head of cabbage. Sometimes it's really big, others it's on the small side. I choose the amounts of carrots accordingly.

Again, because of my laziness, I use baby carrots. If it's a large cabbage, I buy the large size bag; smaller cabbage, small bag.

Leeks? We don' need no steeking leeks! Just grab a big old onion (Vidalias are nice) and cut it into wedges and drop it in.

And what's an Irish stew without potatoes? I always toss in some Yukon Golds. Lately our store has had mesh bags, about 1 1/2 pounds' worth, of tiny fingerling-sized spuds and I just wash those and toss them in, mostly whole but the larger ones get cut in half.

I always forget the apple cider viengar. Sometimes I go back and add it in near the end, otehr times I just leave it ut. Nobody has noticed the difference.

I use a small handful of caraway seeds, bought in bulk at the local HFS.

I usually add a bit more mustard, too. Nothing fancy, just good old Gulden's.

If I have a smaller cabbage, I usually make a loaf of bread to go with it. If I'm energetic I'll make an authentic Irish soda bread, but usually it's just a plain loaf of whole wheat or rye that I toss in the bread machine. Today I have a big head of cabbage and loads of carrots and potatoes, so no bread.

Again, I use the big heavy pot from my pressure cooker and let this simmer all afternoon. The house smells fantastic! Well, at least to me it does. I don't know what the other families in this building think, but if I have to smell their lamb and fish, they can put up with my monthly cabbage meal.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Veggie Stew A'la Sandie

Tomorrow I have a lot of running around to do for the aunt and won't be home from 7am until??, so today I made a big batch of Veggie Stew A'la Sandie. The original recipe called for it to be cooked in a slow cooker (Crockpot) but mine is buried right now behind bags and bags of stuff from the elderly aunt's house that we're clearing out in preparation of its sale. So instead I just dumped everything in my big pressure cooker pot with the glass lid and let it simmer on the stove for a few hours. At least my son was able to reach that beyond the piles of paper recyclables that are going out tomorrow.

Did I mention we live in a 5-room apartment and the aunt's house is a sprawling 3-bedroom Colonial and has over 60 years' worth of accumulation to be sorted and gotten rid of? It's VERY crowded around here right now!

This will be enough for dinner for the three of us tonight and lunches for hubby and myself tomorrow. Luckily the house still has the microwave oven and refrigerator so bringing my own McDougall-legal meals to eat between appointments and closet cleaning is easy peasy, as long as I remember to pack the thermal bag in the morning, that is.

Vegetable Stew a'la Sandie

Of course, I did it the lazy way, as usual, and used a big bag of baby carrots instead of chopping whole ones. The tomatoes were plain and the no added-salt version. Instead of broth I used water no-sodium veg broth powder. I forgot to buy parsley so used a shake or 2 of dried. And I bought a box of whole mushrooms and quartered them instead of sliced. I like my mushrooms a bit chunkier in stews.

The photo is after the first hour of simmering and you can tell the potatoes are still fairly solid. By the time dinner rolls around they'll be all soft and mushy and pretty much dissolved, thickening the stew. I'll add salt and pepper at the table, as I try avoid the sodium while hubby pours it on (And has perfect blood pressure, the rat!).

Tomorrow there probably won't be a VeganMoFo post. Dinner is just going to be some Success brown rice mixed with a can of garbanzos and some kale and everyone will add their own toppings, like ff veg gravy or salsa. Sorry.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Poll: Who's your favorite blogger?

Poll: Who's your favorite blogger?

I was just made aware that Susan V's Fat Free Vegan blog is up for an award from Shape Magazine.

Go vote!

Dr. McDougall's ASW

A few times a year Dr. McDougall holds his Advanced Study Weekends, and lately he's been making videos of the lectures available to those who want them, but for a fee. I convinced my husband that this time he's having a few really great lecturers and it'll be worth the price, and he agreed to let me "buy" the series. It's actually a 6-month rental, because they're all streaming (When it works) and can't be downloaded to individual computers and only available for 6 months. A number of us have been having problems getting some to work, and with me running around like crazy with/for the elderly relative I STILL haven't seen most of them, even though they've been available since September 9th.

Anyway, today I finally got the video by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau to work and so far only got through the Brown Lentil Soup from the Color Me Vegan book. She talks about how important it is to avoid added oils, echoing Dr. McDougall's philosophy, and she does use broth/water to sauté veggies for the soup, but I know her cookbooks use oil in many recipes. When in Rome . . . The soup looks like a standard lentil soup, though - nothing special about it except he truffle salt she suggests adding at the end of cooking time or at the table.

Anyway, this ASW has the following lecturers:

Nathaniel Dominy,PhD - Associate Professor of Anthropology at Dartmouth College. Currently doing research on hunter-gatherer populations in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Uganda.
Robert Rosati, MD - Medical Director of the famous Rice Diet Program founded by Walter Kempner, MD.
Dennis Bourdette, MD - Chairman of the Department of Neurology and Director of the Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Center at OHSU where the Diet and MS Study is being conducted.
Robert Vogel, MD - Professor of Medicine and Director of Clinical Vascular Biology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Neal Barnard, MD - Founder and Director of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau - Celebrity Chef for this weekend. Author and Founder of Compassionate Cooks. Printable Recipes from this event » (pdf)
Plus Jeff Novick RD, Doug Lisle Ph.D. and John McDougall, MD

and so far I got to see the welcoming speech, the Rice Diet lecture by Dr. Rosati, and now this one. Maybe by the end of the 6 months I'll finally have the time and the videos will actually work and I'll be able to see all of them. The ones I have seen have been interesting.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Pearls Before Swine comic strip Oct 3, 2011

In celebration of the holiday I'm making a tofu omelette from Vegan Brunch for breakfast, some ceci beans tossed in a bowl of veggies and rice for lunch, Chickpea Broccoli Casserole from Vegan With A Vengeance for dinner, and Crispy Roasted Chickpeas with Moroccan Spices as a snack later tonight.

You do NOT want to be around this house tonight or tomorrow!

The old version of the PPK forums has a haiku thread that went on for years. There was one I loved so much I made a sampler out of it and have it hanging above the computer. I'm sorry I never saved the name of the PPKer who wrote it:

i have crazy gas
woe is he who smells my farts
the scent's demonic

Every time we have a repair-person in it gets a lot of laughs. Too bad it's the truth.

So, Happy Garbanzo Bean Day!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wow! That was Great!

The picture doesn't really do it justice, as I had already cut it and ate a few pieces before remembering to take a photo. My husband had already finished more than half his by this time, so using his plate was out.

So why the "Wow!"? This cheese sauce is delicious! Tofu, spinach, English muffin - okay foods but nothing spectacular. But that sauce!!

I've know about nooch sauces for ages. I buy my nooch in bulk via mail order for decades now. The few times I've made cheese sauces in the past it always involved elaborate mixing and heating (and perfect timing) techniques and I would always wind up with lumpy sauce. But this one was so quick and easy to toss together, that my husband asked if it could be a weekly thing. It doesn't matter if it's over a grain, potatoes or pasta - just make it!

And so I shall. But it'll make for a boring VeganMoFo post, so I may wait until November to incorporate it into our weekly menus.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Too Much Food!!

The aunt I wrote about previously is now back in the nursing home and in stable condition. In the few hours I was there she had at least 20 visitors between the staff, priest, volunteers, and fellow residents. Also, being a good Catholic, I requested she receive the Sacrament of the Sick ASAP, just in case anything else happened to her. The priest from Saint Paul's Church who came was so happy I called, explaining that very few families think of doing that. So all is well, at least for now.

So that meant I could relax a bit when I finally did get home. First thing I did was pop on a loaf of tomato bread in my Zoji-mini ABM
I use the recipe printed on the side of the machine, using a spoon of Lighter Bake for the butter and soy milk powder for the dried milk. At the "add" beep I tossed in a half cup of the dry type of sun-dried tomatoes that I chopped up into tiny pieces with scissors, then coated with a bit of flour and a lot of garlic powder and Penzey Spices' Italian herb mix. And like any good McDougaller, I used white whole wheat flour for half the flour called for. If I used all whole wheat my husband won't eat it.

As it mixes, most of the tomatoes stay at the size I cut them, but some of the smaller pieces break up, making for a nice orangy-swirled dough with red and green flecks.

Here's the original recipe:

Makes a 1-pound loaf of bread

2/3 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoon dried milk powder
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon yeast

Now why did I say "Too much food?" Certainly not because of the bread! Remember that soup I mentioned in the other post? Well I finally got around to making it for Tuesday's dinner.

But the soup and bread weren't the only things I made. I figured we'd each have a small bowl of soup for dinner and I'd save the rest for lunches for me for the rest of the week. My husband wasn't too crazy about that idea and wished ALL I made was the soup and bread, because he loves this soup so much (Thanks, Isa & Terry, once again!).

To go along with the soup I made the Right Foods Casserole. It's based on the "McDougall Right Pie" that Star McDougaller Mike Teehan shared way back in this post. How I make my version is to take a bag of (oil free) frozen hash browns (diced, not shredded), a handful of garlic cloves, a bag of chopped broccoli,

and 2 or 3 cups of the McDougall Right Foods soup cups. Quick and easy and oh, so tasty!

So yeah, way too much food for one meal, but my leftovers stash had been depleted and I had been grabbing what I could between hospital visits. At least now, with the aunt back in her nursing home, my schedule is back to  - - - well, not really back to normal. The kid has had an ear infection/water in the ear for a month now and his primary care doc wants him to see a specialist, so his ENT appointment is scheduled for this afternoon, and the aunt's house has a buyer and we still have some clothes closets to empty out (And we ran out of room for her stuff - heck, even OUR stuff - in our 5-room apartment ages ago). So I still run back and forth there between everything else. Luckily that's all that's left - aside from stuff that's being picked up by Salvation Army as soon as the realtor gives us the go-ahead.

Tonight, I plan on making another Veganomicon recipe, Tofu Florentine (Google Books link, scroll to page 72 or search "florentine"), and the leftovers from yesterday I had to promise to save for another dinner instead of lunches, so that's for tomorrow. With any luck I'll actually get that dish made tonight and have pics to share in tomorrow's blog post.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

VeganMoFo 2011

Sorry, but things are crazy at home. The elderly relative I cared for before moving into a nursing home a few weeks ago has been in the hospital twice and had 2 surgeries in 2 days, then the day after surgery they returned her to the nursing home, and the next night they transferred her BACK to the hospital with what they thought was a post-op complication. The ER docs didn't know she had surgery (Nobody told them she was discharged about 30 hours earlier or her medical history) and they admitted her with a possible heart attack because some enzymes that show inflammation were elevated. She just had her guts ripped open - that's why those enzymes are elevated, you idiots!!

Anyway, as far as MoFoing goes, I haven't really been cooking so I have nothing to report. Yesterday I tossed on a pot of pasta with a jar of marinara sauce, and tonight I've got hash browns frying up with some spinach, onion, corn and garlic tossed in. I'm hoping to get a pot of soup on for tomorrow, Veganomicon's Tomato Rice Soup with Roasted Garlic and White Beans. I see I already used that recipe for last year's (Or was it the year before?) VeganMoFo so just click on the link to see the recipe and a photo.

Hopefully Tuesday I'll have good news and a new recipe and photo.

Friday, September 23, 2011

VeganMoFo is Coming!

VeganMoFo - Vegan Month of Food - is once again slated for the month of October.

This year I'm already way too busy and way behind on my internetting (I have a month of email waiting to catch up on) so I probably won't be an active participant this year, but I will be checking in as much as possible.