Friday, February 11, 2011


It never fails that I get going on a diet or healthy eating lifestyle just in time to get sick.
It's hard to eat healthy, I think when you get sick, because many people don't feel like cooking food  or thinking about food at all. If you are like me, it's easier to grab a prepared meal  or something you can get delivered to you because you just don't feel like going through the hassle of getting up and expending the energy needed to chop and cut, and measure and cook. This is how I've always been.
No more.  It's too important to my health to grab food for convenience.  So, this morning, I made oatmeal. For lunch even though it's laden with salt and not actually homemade,  I had some Lipton Noodle Soup. Not because it's super healthy (although I could have made many worse choices), but because it is a comfort food and the warmth feels good on my sore throat. For dinner, I'll probably have scrambled eggs. They say that protein is good when you are sick because proteins help fortify and rebuild cells.
Most people probably just do what they have to do to get by when they are sick...survival mode, I guess. I am guilty as charged. And while I will never say never, I'm going to try not to fall into that pattern. That doesn't mean meals can't be easy. Noodle soup is easy to make and takes very little time. It is not hard at all to grab some peanut butter on whole wheat crackers or bread and some fresh fruit. Smoothies are also nutritious and not at all time consuming.  Toast,  yogurt, hummus, unsweetened list is ever growing. I also have been trying to keep some homemade soups and chilies in the freezer for convenience, and those items could be eaten as well.I don't want to get off track just because I have been thrown a curve ball. It will not be easy, but I'm going to give it my best shot. 

Confession:  Mister Salty, the pretzel guy, turned up in my dreams last night. I must say there is no other snack food in the world that I have loved so much as those thin, crunchy, salty little sticks. Pretzels haven't been the same since, and yet I still love them. That's why it has been so hard giving them up. 
Drum roll please.....I haven't had a pretzel in a month!
Pretzels are a problem for me, even healthier ones made of whole wheat or spelt. I am avoiding them purposefully because they are one food  just can't seem to stop eating once I start. I think its the salt. I love it. I never thought I could go one day without a pretzel much less a month, but I have.  I still want them (hence, my dream), I'm just choosing not to indulge. This is quite a  coup for me. Mister Salty as a representative of the whole pretzel world will, unfortunately, have to remain alive only in my dreams...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Meat gooood?

I have added a little meat back into my diet, and I have to say, I'm not sure I'm wild about it. I've always loved meat, but I'm not craving it at all. And surprisingly to me, when I do eat meat now, I tend to crave more meat. That is bad because then I will overeat. I don't know. It still tastes good and I still am cooking it healthy,I'm just not sure I feel like I need it or want it. I'm surprised, really. We'll see if it lasts. I still plan to eat vegan or vegetarian  most of the time. I need to think of meat as a side dish now and not the main event. I will tell you that through this whole process, there's a whole lot of learnin' going on...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Eating Rabbit Food

~ The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. ~
Lao Tzu

So I've been eating vegetarian the past 10 days; my husband for 14. We have cut out all meat for the time being, sodium (hubby, almost completely except what naturally occurs in foods. Me, at least by 50 %),white flour, white sugar, all fast and fried foods, many condiments, and most oils.
Eating this way has been interesting. I can't say I haven't enjoyed it at least to some degree, because without all the added business of excessive sauces, chemicals, and additives, I can actually taste the foods more. And, I can say that while I haven't really missed the meat (I've had only brief, passing moments of wanting), I would not want to go without it indefinitely. We are carnivores by nature, and I have no problem with the ethics of eating animal protein, I just like to eat it occasionally. I have concluded that the word occasionally is what is necessary for me, not cutting the cow, chicken, or pig out completely. Also, to me, the occasional addition of an animal protein adds variety to the vegetarian diet. Now, vegetarians I know will disagree with that, and as I learn more about how to cook vegetarian, and as we try new things and experiment with even more unique foods and spices, I may feel differently, but the transition has difficult. I still plan to eat vegetarian about 75% of the time, I'm just not going to go without. If I want pork, I'll eat it, just less of it.

I have tried some new things since eating this way, and as a southern girl, I can honestly say that no bacon, hocks, or pork fat of any kind was involved. Emeril says that , "Pork fat rules." He is right, and I love it, but it doesn't necessarily do a body good. I have now eaten the following foods and liked them:

cooked greens (collard, mustard,etc)
black eyed peas
green smoothies
coriander (never really used it before)
split peas

So, this journey continues one step at a time, and I will continue to share any worthwhile recipes or wisdom that I gather along the way.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Menu 2/07- 2/13

This menu is a part of Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie .  Check out Laura's cool site for organizational tips and even more menu ideas.

Monday- (Kids) HB, tots, fruit, LO wings……(us) LO chili

Tuesday- (kids) spaghetti, chicken parmesan, bread , salad……(Hubby) big salad with egg, butter bean soup

Wednesday- Lo spaghetti, El Pollo Loco, broccoli, fruit/yogurt

Thursday- pork chop, LO broccoli, fruit/yogurt……Butter bean or pea soup, PB&J, fruit/yogurt

Friday- (kids) Pizza Friday……(us) tuna and soup

Saturday- tacos, black bean burritos, fruit/yogurt

Sunday- salmon or rotisserie chicken, roasted potatoes, asparagus, green beans, fruit/yogurt

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pumpkin Cake With Caramel Icing and My Deltora Quest Cake

Josh requested this pumpkin cake with caramel icing as his birthday cake this year. I doubled the icing, but otherwise followed the recipe to a tee. If you try this cake, you will not be sorry. I LOVE it, and I don't even like pumpkin. It just melts in your mouth. The icing makes the cake in my opinion.

Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Icing


4 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon
2 c. sugar
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 c. oil
1 tsp salt
2 c. flour
1 15 oz can pumpkin
2 tsp soda

Beat egg and sugar till blended (mixer). Add oil and blend (mixer). Stir in dry ingredients till well blended. Add pumpkin and stir again till well incorporated. Pour into a well greased tube pan. Bake 350 for 55 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, and then remove from pan. Cool. Ice when completely cooled.

Caramel Icing:

6 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. milk
½ c. brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1c. powdered sugar

Heat margarine till golden brown, stirring occasionally 3-5 minutes. Add brown sugar and milk and whisk over low heat till sugar dissolves (@ 2 minutes). Remove from heat and add vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar. Cool till slightly thickened. Pour over cake, letting it run down the sides.


Here is a picture of Sam's cake complete with the Belt of Deltora on it.
I didn't make this cake, just did the decorating.

Both kiddos were very happy with their cakes!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Recipe Review - Moosewood Black Bean & Sweet Potato Burrito

In our quest for better health, we are trying a lot of new recipes.  Wednesday night we tried the Moosewood Lowfat cookbook's Black Bean & Sweet Potato Burrito.  I was very excited to try this recipe since I llloooovvveee Mexican food and because I have been hearing from friends and family how well black beans and sweet potatoes go together.
I was dubious during the cooking process since the recipe called for a lot of coriander and cumin. I like both spices, but I was afraid they would be overpowering. I was right. But, there were other issues as well.  I liked the flavor of the mixed beans and potatoes at first , but the after taste was horrid. And the recipe made a ton!  Even after I filled my burritos, I had enough filling left that I could have made the recipe all over again. If we had liked it, I would definitely have cut the filling in half for the next time I would make it. We ate it, because it was not inedible, jut not very good. It is not a keeper for us.
It has given me the desire though to come up with my own black bean burrito or other healthier Mexican recipe. I'll keep you posted as to what I come up with.