Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunday Shopper: January 29, 2012

Yes, it's Monday night, but here's what's in the stores until tomorrow from Safeway

2 lbs. of luau leaves 5.69 for a crockpot full of palusami
Huge pasta sauce (enough for Chef AJ's disappearing lasagna + extra) 4.99
Safeway fire roasted tomatoes 2/$3 for Butter "Chick'n"
3 lb bag of yellow onions $2
Safeway no-boil lasagna for Chef AJ again 2/5.00
Fuji apples for smoothies, snacks, lunch 99 cents per pound

This week's menu:
Sunday dinner: Disappearing lasagna

  • breakfast - fruit salad green smoothie
  • lunch - leftover vegan lasagna and a side salad from the cafeteria with our own Akira dressing
  • dinner - veggie burgers, mushroom and barley soup - I changed the flavor profile from lemon to vegan mushroom sauce for a more local, oriental broth soup

  • breakfast - oatmeal with apples
  • lunch - Hugh Jass salad with Akira dressing
  • dinner - Pumpkin sage pasta EHH p. 199

  • breakfast - smoothies
  • lunch - leftovers
  • dinner - slow cooker palusami



  • breakfast - Frittata
  • lunch - Costco run to prep for Super Bowl Sunday - noritos and hummus with homemade pita chips for eating in the car
  • dinner - dinner on the road or chana masala with spinach

Simplify or Suffer

I come from a family of addicts. Did I say that before? Hi, my name is Cathy and I am an addict. Addiction runs in my family - alcohol addiction, cigarette addiction, opium addiction, meth addiction, shopping addiction, hoarding addiction, food addiction.

"Eat to Live is NOT a diet, it's a lifestyle." Heard that before? Are you an addict? That mantra does not work for addicts. That mantra just means that you cheat all you want and not beat yourself up about it because it's not a diet with all its rules and restrictions. It's just a lifestyle change.

Addicts, listen up (I'm talking to myself) - Eat to Live is FULL OF RULES AND RESTRICTIONS. Anybody who says otherwise does not know how conniving addicts can be to themselves. Saying it's a lifestyle will doom you to suffer FOREVER because as an addict, I can rationalize anything - give me an inch, I'll take a mile.

Two things I learned on this journey that helps me survive one day at a time:

  • One day at a time is the surefire path to failure. BE the BS (Boy Scout, not Big Spazz or Bull S%*#) - be prepared - don't stare at the refrigerator at 5:30 and hope to make dinner at 6. Create a menu for the week. Use the clean up time in the kitchen for prep for the next day. Make as much ahead of time and stick it in the fridge for grab n go opportunities
  • KEEP IT SIMPLE. You have less chance of failure when you're not running around like a chicken without a head. 
    • Breakfast on the weekdays alternates between smoothies and oatmeal
      • Green smoothies - a couple cups of greens (kale, spinach), a couple frozen bananas, a few dates, fresh or frozen fruit, non-dairy milk, a little extra when you get bored (chai spice, peanut butter, unsweetened cocoa, flax seed)
      • Oatmeal - with fresh fruit on top, frozen fruit cooked in, spices, pumpkin, flax seed, etc.
    • Lunch on the weekeday - Hugh Jass salad with homemade no oil dressings (we go through about three recipes worth of dressing a week) or leftovers from dinner
    • Dinner - is the only real meal we need to prepare for, so BE the BS.
Here's a super easy breakfast oatmeal

Serves 3
1 cup of water
1 cup of non-dairy milk, boil in a medium pot
Meanwhile, core and cut an apple and a frozen banana (optional for extra sweetness) - leaving the skin on is ok
Once the liquid bowls, put 2/3 cup Coach's Oats oatmeal in pot with fruits.

Lower heat and cook for 5 minutes
dry fry some nuts like walnuts

Done. I make enough for the week, put it in containers, grab and go. At work, pop it in the micro for 1:30, add non dairy  milk, good to go.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I Show You How: Mock Beef Broth

When I don't have to fly to Oahu for class, weekends are great for preparing for the week. It's a great day to make the salad dressings, slow cooker beans and staples like slow cooker bouillon and this mock beef broth that I used for TVP tacos and broth and garlic sautee'd chard.

From Happy Herbivore - get the book here.
2 T. reduced sodium soy sauce
2 T. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. granulated onion powder
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. pepper

Whisk all ingredients together in a saucepan with 2 cups of water until well combined.

Bring to a boil and simmer for a minute.

Use it right away or cool it and store it. I'm using it for my Happy Herbivore inspired taco salad.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Spice Oatmeal

I have a love affair with these Coach's Oats from Costco. It just fills me up and I'm not starving before lunch. Plus, I get to use my homemade pumpkin pie spice.

Ingredients: serves 3 or very hungry 2
1 cup non-dairy milk (soy, almond, rice - unsweetened, plain)
1 cup water
2/3 cup Coach's Oats
3-4 dates, pitted and chopped (gauge your sweet tooth)
1-2 frozen bananas, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup 100% pure pumpkin (1 regular sized can lasts for about 3 recipes)
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3 pecans, toasted (optional)

How to: 
In a small saucepan, bring the water and soy milk mixture to a boil. I add the dates at this time too if it's a little dry. Add the oats (and dates, bananas if using), reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, toast nuts. Remove oatmeal from heat and allow it to sit for a minute. Stir in the pumpkin and spice. Yum!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I Show You How: Pumpkin Pie Spice

I'm addicted to pumpkin pie oatmeal in the morning, but I never have pumpkin pie spice so I always have to end up making a spice mixture and keeping it a container to add to oatmeal or smoothies. I don't actually make pie but it may be ono with roasted sweet potatoes.

4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. allspice

Put it in a container and label it PIE :) 

Monday, January 23, 2012

De-Clutter Monday: One Kitchen Shelf

My food hoarding is connected to my clutter, which means that the more I de-clutter, the more weight I lose. In composition class, I call that false logic, but I'm sticking with it.

Last week's major accomplishment - organizing the cabinet above the microwave.
Emptied of its contents, my shelves over the microwave look like the junk drawer with weird odds and ends

Empty the shelves and start sorting

coffee singles in a bag from hotels

got rid of these coffee filters that belong to the coffee filter that we don't have anymore

via instant coffee packets

2 quart crystal light packets

hope it lasts for at least a month.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Challenge Week 1 Menu

Sunday is our major prep for the week day so how are you prepping for the week?

We are also starting another 6-week Dr. Fuhrman Eat to Live Challenge, here's what we've been doing:

  • Big Spazz picked up enough veggies to get us to Wednesday's farmer's market (romaine, assorted lettuce, assorted choy, red peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, spinach, kale, zucchini)
  • Made three dressings: creamy miso, orange hummus, Akira wasabi
  • Cooked morning oatmeal: pumpkin pie oatmeal and I'll toast the pecans in the morning
  • Planned menu with Big Spazz
  • Made no-chicken broth granules, pumpkin pie spice, no-beef broth
Week 1 Menu

alternate oatmeal and green smoothie

Hugh Jass salads with alternating dressings, beans, nuts, peppers, cukes, tomatoes and greens

Monday: Our busy night with boy scouts and baseball - Dr. Praeger veggie burgers grilled on the Foreman and oven baked sweet potato fries with salad

Tuesday: Eggplant and Tofu in Spicy Garlic Sauce with brown rice

Wednesday: Thai curry with sweet potato and choy, brown sticky rice from farmer's market

Thursday: TVP tacos

Friday: chili sans carne with my slow cooker beans I made last week and froze in 1 1/2 cup bags

Saturday: jambalaya with corn muffins

Friday, January 20, 2012

Facing the Truth

You never find yourself until you face the truth. - Pearl Bailey
Want the truth? Being a nutritarian is a LIFESTYLE change, and not a DIET. If it were a diet, Big Spazz and I would be total losers, not biggest losers.

The holidays kicked our ass. Why? Because we allowed it to happen. I have not stepped on a scale for a month, but my clothes are a little snug. See my mantra above: you never find yourself until you face the truth.

Here's my finding myself by facing MY truth:

  • We are joining the new challenge this Monday not because it's a diet that works, but because we want to make this lifestyle change (RIGHT Big Spazz???)
  • When I come across something that is unhealthy, I usually am good about saying no, but if I really want it, I eat it acknowledging that yes it is unhealthy, but I'm going to eat this one piece or 1/2 a piece and I will not lie to myself or anyone else about it
  • It's hard work, even now and there are only so many salads and fruits and smoothies that I can take on any given day, but we trudge on not for glory and praise and competition but for the individual conviction that life is worth living well

  • the 1/2 a taro malasada from Kamehameha Bakery was so unhealthy and full of sugar, but it was ono and soft and crunchy on the outside -- PAU

Monday, January 16, 2012

De-Clutter Monday: The Spice Rack

My goal this year is to slowly de-clutter and stave the hoarder gene for as long as possible. I think part of my desire to eat junks has to do with the psychological hoarding of food, so de-cluttering my world is this year's goal.

If you're interested in the de-clutter calendar, here's the link. Last week's success story: discard old spices and organize the spice drawer.

1. Check the expiration dates on spices
2. Use something like a tiered shelf rack so spices are not all at the same level (try google product search under tiered spice rack)
3. I do what I did in my classroom for my thousands of books - I can't be bothered alphabetizing each book, so I'd alphebetize shelves. The shelf on the left has spices from A - L; the right has everything else. I also store the red pepper flakes below the racks.

Next week: tackling the pantry.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Shopper: Marukai and Palama Market

We're lucky to live on the Big Island, but when we get to go to Honolulu as a family, we usually stop at the  Asian specialty stores to get items we can't get at our local KTA or Kilauea Market. Today's Sunday shopper is from Marukai and Palama Market.

Marukai is a members-only Japanese foods and goods store, but the fee is only about 10 or 20 dollars so if Japanese food is your thing, it's worth the membership.

We bought some dried ogo for the sweet potato poke, Japanese toothpicks (I don't know how to describe it, but it's thicker than the usual and we like it), Italian seasoning for the Italian veggie tofu scramble and some veggie tonkatsu sauce for our Dr. Praeger's burgers.

We also hit Palama Market for the first time. They specialize in Korean food items (near Don Quijote).

They have a large selection of kim chees in their "salad" bar (probably one of the reasons why it smells when you enter), but we specifically went for these potato noodles for my vegetarian jap chae and Big Spazz wanted to try these dried radish strips in homemade kimchee.

We would love to learn how to cook nutritarian Korean. Find recipes? Send them our way.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Beyond the Same Old Same Old

Even rabbits probably get tired of the same old shiitake mushrooms (or in their case, alfalfa and grass), so plant strong = GOOD.

SOS (same old salad) = JUNK!!

I saw a post on Peas and Thank You about salad in mason jars and it looked so festive, so I figured, maybe make the SOS, but make it different to fool ourselves into thinking it's a different lunch we're eating. I don't have mason jars and  recycled marinara sauce bottles would look so recycled. I ended up putting it in our SOBs (same old bowls), but the change in look just made it more palatable and Big Spazz was excited about lunch.

Put a layer of dressing on the bottom (we used our Akira Kurosawa special with the wasabi samurai punch at the end) and then layered some garbanzo beans. Put the things that can be soaked in the dressing on the bottom and end with the things that you want to keep more dry on the top.

Garbanzo beans were followed by tomatoes that also got to marinade in Akira sauce.

A handful of chopped kalamata olives (a little salty but oh so good)

Other crunchy veggies for texture like bell peppers and carrots that can act as a buffer for the more delicate greens that don't want their bodies wet and limp in dressing.

Used about 3 cups of greens including some seasonal mizuna that has a mild flavor but nice crunch in its stalks.

 Add some nuts and voila - an old lunch disguised as a new lunch.

Big Spazz had a hard time mixing the salad because I packed the container, but next time, I'll either pack less or give him an extra bowl.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Review: Salad for Dinner

Paperback: 208 pages

In short: With the new year comes a new focus on eating healthy and eating fresh. De Serio, a chef, food writer, cooking teacher and caterer (Olive Green Catering), provides pictures, recipes and preparation how-tos to create sumptuous salads that are hearty enough for the main meal.

My thoughts: This is not a nutritarian, vegetarian, or vegan cookbook. The salad for dinner philosophy seems to revolve around salads with meat, fish, eggs and/or cheese plus a hearty serving of olive oil for vinaigrette. However, this cookbook does not tout itself to be a fat-free, vegan book. 

The power of this book is not necessarily the recipes themselves (it was hard for me to find a recipe that I could use as is), but the "teacher" factor in both the text, the clean, reader-friendly layout  and the corresponding pictures.  De Serio is great at "I Show You How" from preparing and storing greens, to pickling your own beets and choosing the right tools for the job. 

For example, I learned that baking sheets are useful for spreading cooked vegetables, grains, and legumes out to cool quickly so they don't continue to cook too much. The ice bath is not the only way to go. 

I also like the how to cutting techniques that are spelled out for different fruits and vegetables. I now know how to dice versus slice a shallot and how to peel and segment a citrus to keep its shape. I don't know if my knife skills will improve, but at least I have a little more technique now. At about $13.50, this is a great resource for budding home chefs.

Source: This advanced reader's copy was provided by Net Galley (dot) com for an honest review

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Carrot Cupcakes

The recipe is here from the Happy Herbivore blog.

wet, goopy carrot batter

Toffutti cream cheese icing with walnut sprinkles

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

Big Spazz and I are still trying to lose weight. In fact, we need to lose some of the weight that we already lost (then promptly gained again during the holidays), but this is a long term life challenge and not a new year's resolution. Once our middle boy goes back to college, we are definitely whole tofu and hugh jass salads back on the nutritarian lifestyle, but for now, our new year's resolution is to walk more (we're trying for the 365 miles challenge again) and I'm on a miss to follow the daily declutter calendar.

Yesterday's task: create a donation station
donation and returns

file and send

Today's task: Declutter your cabinets and dust. I actually spent a day organizing cabinets, so the entryway closet was what was left.

Thanks Dad for the Target gift cards. I picked up these storage bins for $8 each and I took advantage of our donation station to get rid of some clutter. Anyone want cowboy hats?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Guacamole with Chili Garlic Paste

This is Big Spazz's last day of vacation relaxed look. Perhaps it's because we get free Starbucks coffee for the month of January, or that we have enjoyed our evening walks together, but more likely it's his capsaisin kick. He puts chili pepper water, wasabi paste, or sriracha on almost every meal.

The health benefits of eating spicy foods include (from SELF magazine) :

  • increased metabolism (the capsacin in chilies burn bonus calories for 20 minutes after eating)
  • reduce damaging effects of LDL (bad cholesterol)
  • cancer prevention
  • lower blood pressure
  • boost in feel good seratonin
In addition, spicy foods make his nose and cheeks sweat so it's like a sit-down workout with the benefit of clearing his sinuses.

We tried the Alan Wong Asian guacamole for a spicy alternative to the regular guacamole.

2 avocadoes, peeled, pitted and cubed
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped (Maui onion, red onion)
3 T lime juice
3 T rice wine vinegar
1 T green onion, thinly sliced
1 T finely chopped cilantro (or more)
1 T grated fresh ginger
1 t chili garlic paste (or sriracha

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mash gently to  mix, keeping avocados chunky. Serve with pita chips or tortillas. Want more spice? No scared em.