Friday, February 21, 2014

Go, Ninja, Go

We don't go anywhere near this product anymore, preferring to make our own mac and cheese with whole grain pasta and nutritional yeast based cheese sauces but I LOVE this commercial!!

And we do still watch the TMNT 2 movie where Vanilla Ice sang this song. Yeah, we're weird, but if you saw the movie, that beginning sequence was filmed in and refers to my hometown. That explains a lot. LOL

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Making Rice Milk At Home

I love rice milk and use it almost exclusively for cooking and in tea. I know I really shouldn't be drinking the Rice Dreams brand because of the small amount of oil in it, but it's tastier than soy or nut based milks, and less gritty than oat milk.

Mary McDougall posted a few decades ago her recipe for making rice milk in your own kitchen using a cup of cooked rice (white was fine, she said) and 3 1/2 cups water, whirred together in a blender. The addition of a bit of sugar and/or vanilla is optional.

This person on the Protective Diet blog makes hers using a half cup of uncooked rice and 3 1/2 cups of water, then straining it through a nut/paint bag.

If my cars stay iced in much longer I'm going to have to start making my own milk, like it or not. If I have any rice already cooked (In my new Zojirushi Rice Cooker - another post), I'll use that, but if not, I'll try this method of using the rice uncooked. 

Just before the last 3 storms that dumped 2 feet of snow and ice on us and encased our cars in solid sleet, I picked up a jar of raw almond butter. My son prefers the almond milk when he makes his mac and not cheese for lunches and dinners, and Ann Esselstyn says almond milk is what she and Dr. Esselstyn uses. Although I still have 2 quarts left in the pantry, they won't last forever, especially with more snow predicted for next week. As luck would have it, I purchased a nut milk bag recently, before all this bad weather hit, but never stocked up on almonds. The only place that sells them is the HFS, and even though my husband has taken the bus down to the store a few times since we've been snowed in, they haven't gotten any nuts in. I'm so glad I thought to buy the nut butter!

I made this for him once before and poured it into a washed out almond milk box and he never noticed a difference. Isn't it sad that I still have to play these kinds of tricks with a 30 year old? I feel sorry for any future wife of his! LOL

When these containers we currently have are gone, I'll tell him what I did in the past and let him know this is how we're going to do it from now on. It'll save a heck of a lot of money, and one little jar of almond butter is easier to store than a few quarts of ready made milk. And I'll set a good example by making my own rice milk, too. At least I'll finally get to use that strainer bag.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Belated Valentine


Cabbage always has a heart, green beans string along.
You're such a Tomato, will you Peas to me belong?

You've been the Apple of my eye, you know how much I care;
So Lettuce get together, we'd make a perfect Pear.

Now, something's sure to Turnip, to prove you can't be Beet;
So, if you Carrot all for me, let's let our tulips meet.

Don't Squash my hopes and dreams now, bee my Honey, dear;
Or tears will fill Potato's eyes, while Sweet Corn lends an ear.

I'll Cauliflower shop and say, our dreams are Parsley mine.
I'll work and share my Celery, so be my VALENTINE.
~~~ anonymous

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tasty Kidney Bean/Meatloaf Bites

Oh, beans! How I missed you so!

Along with roasted veggies for last night's dinner I made up a batch of these bite-sized bits of bean burgers. I first made them in regular muffin tin size after I read a holiday dinner post on the Engine 2 site using Jeff Novick's burger recipe, and it's been mentioned a number of other times since on various blogs and forums. In fact, the very first time I read about such a thing it was made with a regular old ground beef meatloaf recipe decades ago, so making these tiny little "meat" patties isn't a novel idea. Making them in tins is much easier than making it in loaf shape - no worries about trying to cut into a non-solid mass of cooked mush.

For this time around, I used this recipe posted to the Forks over Knives blog:

Kidney Bean Bites
Makes 8
From Happy Herbivore Light & Lean

• 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 tablespoon onion powder
• 1 tablespoon garlic powder
• 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
• 1 tablespoon chili powder (add another 1 teaspoon if you like it spicy)
• 3 tablespoons ketchup
• 2 tablespoons mustard
• 1 tablespoon Vegan Worcestershire Sauce (recipe follows)
• 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
• 6 tablespoons instant oats

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or use nonstick. Mash beans in a bowl with fork or potato masher until well mashed. Add remaining ingredients, except oats, and stir to combine.

Stir in oats. Spoon into muffin tin and pack down. Bake for 20 minutes until crisp on the outside and fairly firm to the touch (firms a bit as it cools). Serve with ketchup or a topping of your choice.

The only ingredient done differently was the veggies - I had leftover peas and carrots and leftover corn, so just mixed those together. Next time I may just use the peas and carrots by themselves, as the corn gets a little too crunchy after being baked.

I used my mini-muffin pan for these to keep them bite-sided:

I used my little cookie scoop to move them from the mixing bowl into the pan, and it made 21 little bites. I just had to take that odd one out of its misery and eat it before dinner. It was yummy, as sneaked food usually is. :)

And here they are out of the oven, cooling on a sheet of parchment. I made them a few hours before dinner was to be served because I needed the oven to make the roasted veggies, so after cooking put them on the paper on a flat tray. Just before serving dinner I popped them back into the oven for 5 minutes and they were nicely warmed and a little bit crispy. 

Perfect finger food to go along with the other finger food for dinner - roasted Yukon Gold potatoes and baby carrots. Alright, we did need a fork for the mixed greens, so not all finger foods. I had to warn my husband not to hold them tightly, because unlike little bites made from a seitan recipe, being beans these are softer and do crumble.

As I mentioned above, if I do make this recipe again I'll use just the peas and carrots, but most likely I'll skip this one and go back to Jeff's burgers because they're firmer and just serve more veggies on the side.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Gout Diet? We Don' Need No Steenkin' Gout Diet!

With apologies to the writers of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. :)

After a long talk with the podiatrist, my husband decided to just go for it and add back all the foods he had been avoiding because of his gout and see what happens. As long as he has his colchicine to take, that is, and the podiatrist told him to just go ahead and take it daily.

So, slowly foods are back, starting with beans, then spinach, nutritional yeast, and tonight I'll roast some cauliflower when I toss the potatoes in the oven for a roasted veggies meal.

One of the beauties of him eating these foods again is that now I can make some new recipes as well as tried-and-true, and the first new recipe is Tunisian Sweet Potato Stew from the McDougall Starch Solution book. Hubby was never a fan of sweet potatoes, but what the heck - he's at my mercy when it comes to dinner, and I found these nice sweet potatoes at the only grocery store I can walk to (Cars remain snowed in). 

The recipe:


Preparation Time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:
Servings:  6-8 

1/3 cup water
1 onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2  14.5 ounce cans chopped tomatoes
2  14.5 ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup green beans, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
¼ cup natural peanut butter
¼ cup chopped cilantro

Place the water, onion, jalapenos, ginger and garlic in a large pot.  Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.  Add cumin, cinnamon, red pepper and coriander.  Cook and stir for 1 minute.  Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, green beans, vegetable broth and peanut butter.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.  Stir in cilantro and let rest for 2 minutes.  Serve over rice or other whole grains. 

The Starch Solution
John McDougall, MD and Mary McDougall

My lazy gal changes:
Frozen onion/green pepper mix, about half a bag, instead of fresh onion and pepper.
Half a can of chopped chilies instead of fresh.
Oops, I forgot to add the ginger. It was flavorful enough without it, though.
A box of Pomi chopped and a 28 oz can of garbanzos.
Frozen green beans
Broth made from Bryanna's broth powder mix.
I skipped the cilantro.

And a confession about the peanut butter. For the longest time I had no nut butters at all in the house. Then my son got on a "healthy food" kick after his dad's CABG surgery and was looking for something to make sandwiches of instead of his usual cheese. He tried and hated hummus, refused to even taste seitan, and out of exasperation one day told him to go buy himself some peanut butter, so he did. Instead of buying the natural organic brand I told him to get, he came home with a jar of Jif. I admit it's not the healthiest peanut butter in the world, but it's better than processed American cheese, so as each jar of Jif ran out I would grab another in the store. I never bought that natural organic one because 1) I knew he wouldn't even attempt to eat it and 2) I would, and would finish the jar in less than a week. So when it came to making last night's dinner, Jif was all we had in the house so Jif is what I used. When the cars get out on the road again (Maybe another month - we're getting another storm tomorrow that's dropping an additional 8 to 12 inches of snow followed by some sleet to seal them in nice and tight), one of the first stops I have to make is to the local HFS, where I'll pick up some Eden brand beans, another bottle of Solgar brand Vitamin B-12, and a jar of Maranatha No-Stir Organic Creamy peanut butter. Sure, I can buy this through Amazon, but for more than double the price, once shipping is figured in (Not eligible for free Prime shipping). Until then, Jif will do because that's what the grocery store within walking distance to our apartment sells.

Another delicious meal! I served it over plain old brown rice. I never saw my husband so happy eating sweet potatoes and beans, and he licked the bowl clean. I'm pretty sure after that reaction that this recipe is another keeper. LOL

Now to get ready for the storm. I better take inventory and see what I need in the pantry and freezer and take another walk over and grab what I can before it hits. The least I'll grab is another bag of potatoes and onions and a loaf of WW bread. Looks like hubby will be taking another one of his pool days and stay home from work on Thursday, too, so better pick up ingredients to make a nice soup for our lunches. 

I could strangle that groundhog!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The End of Dieting Book Official Page Now Up

My inbox showed a message from Dr. Fuhrman announcing that his new book, The End of Dieting, is now available for pre-ordering, and he has a whole page set up for it now. The official release date is March 25, 2014.

Hopefully this snow will be gone by then and I can actually get out to a good grocery store to buy all the fresh produce I'll need if I want to follow the program instead of living on canned & some frozen  veggies, freeze-dried fruit and tons of rice and boxed mashed potatoes that we're doing now, while our cars lay buried under layers of snow, slush and ice, thanks to the storms, a neighbor who aimed his snowblower anywhere he wanted, including on top of all the parked cars, and the deep freeze we've got going on outside again.

And more snow Sunday! I want to cry!!

Thank goodness for portable washing machines!

Without this little baby we wouldn't even have clean underwear, since our landlord bans full sized washers and dries in these apartments and there's no laundromat within walking distance.