Last night was yummy BBQ Tofu Lettuce Wraps. I make a few variations on this because it is K’s favorite dinner. I wish I had a picture to share with you but I have been bad about getting the camera out when I finish making dinner. Lately I’ve either been starving by the time dinner is ready that I want to dig right in, or we are in a hurry to get to practice or a meeting so I don’t have time. So… here are a couple of pictures of some Buckwheat Corncakes that we had last week & some veggies before I cut them up for my snack bag.
Don’t forget to check out the challenge below! It’s just a compilation of everything we have done so far this month. You can do it, just take it one day & one step at a time. Tonight while you are making dinner, you can prep your baggie of veggies to snack on during the week. If you just don’t have the time or desire to do that, you can buy veggies already cut up for you at the grocery store, it couldn’t be easier. For soup this week, I am making a white beans & rice soup with dumplings. I am only adding the dumplings the night we eat the soup as our main meal. Don’t forget to avoid trans fats! Try something new this week like sweet potatoes instead of regular, or maybe some quinoa or couscous instead of rice.
Wow, this is the last week of October. I am actually looking forward to some cool weather, soups & stews, sweaters & some hot tea before bed each night. I’m sure I will be over it & looking forward to summer weather by the end of November, but right now, I’m ready for the cold.
Here’s this week’s challenge: Monday, October 28 – Thursday, October 31, 2007: Avoid all trans fats, make a big batch of vegetable soup, try a new ‘health’ food, & cut up assorted raw veggies & bring a big zip-top baggie of them with you for the day.
Make a big pot of soup at the beginning of this week & use it as an appetizer to dinner every night. You could even make 2 smaller batches for variety. You can add some shredded spinach or Swiss chard to your soup as a new health food, or even add some chickpeas (garbanzo beans) for a new healthy food. Add some ground flax seeds to your cereal or oatmeal in the morning, just 1 tablespoon is good, or add some to your pancake batter. Keep avoiding trans fats & at the beginning of the week, fill up a bunch of baggies with carrot & celery sticks, grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced bell peppers, some jicama, or even some radishes if you are feeling a bit spicy. Here’s to your health!!!
I did good with my veggies yesterday & so far today. It helps that I got up late, so not as many hours in the day to eat. Pretty busy so far today, so that helped too. Going out to eat for dinner tonight, so its a good thing I’ve been having healthy snacks. You can’t really control how much oil your food is good in at a restaurant. You can ask them to cook your food with no oil or butter (or tell them to cook it dry), or ask that they use as little oil as possible. This usually works pretty good, I’ve found. My food has been a lot less greasy this way, especially when I order a side of vegetables. I will post next week’s challenge tomorrow.
I was good today by eating my veggies as snacks, until I got home from work. I had my veggies, but then I was still hungry & instead of eating a few more veggies, I ate a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. That was a lot more fat than I wanted, but I will do better tomorrow. I really love veggies, but sometimes those temptations of fats & sweets take control, its a daily battle, but the more you choose your veggies, the more you will crave them. Whenever you get off the veggie wagon, its important to get back on, not only for your waistline, but for your health in general. When you find a veggie you like, use that as your “base” veggie & start adding others to it.
Hearty Split Pea soup with salad & pita chips tonight for dinner, a nice winter meal. I will get back to taking pictures soon.
Tips on sneaking veggies into your families foods are coming up in the coming weeks.
Tonight I made a Pumpkin & Soyrizo Pot Pie with a biscuit topping. It tasted good, I really liked it, but I need to tweak the spices just a little. I will have to make it again & take some pictures. K even liked it & he is not a fan of squash, unless it is pie.
Do you have your baggies of veggies cut up for the week? Carrots also work well for those times when your not hungry, but your teeth want to be chewing. It’s also better on your teeth & jaws than gum.
Monday, October 22 – Sunday, October 27, 2007:Cut up assorted raw veggies & bring a big zip-top baggie of them with you for the day! Eat them as your in-between meal snacks. You can dip them in salsa or a little bit of hummus or a white bean dip if you like. Try using a quart size baggie & cut up a variety of vegetables like grape tomatoes, carrots, celerys, bell peppers, mushrooms, etc. whatever you like. If you have an assortment, you will be more likely to eat it.
White Bean Dip
Serves: 6 appetizer portions
15 oz canned canellini or Great Northern beans, drained & rinsed
1 TBSP. roasted garlic
1 TBSP. white balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. Vegetable broth
1 TBSP. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
To roast the garlic: preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cut the top off of a whole head of garlic to expose the cloves. Place the head of garlic, cut side up, in an oven proof dish or pan. Drizzle 2 tsp. vegetable broth over the garlic head, cover pan with aluminum foil & bake for 45 minutes, or until the garlic is soft when pierced with a knife. Squeeze from the root end of the garlic to pop out the cloves.
Combine the beans, garlic & vinegar in a food processor & pulse until smooth. Season with the thyme, salt & pepper.
Serve with crudite platter, pita chips, pretzels, or toasted bread.
Have you tried out a new ‘health’ food yet? We had some quinoa and later this week we are having veggie burgers and spaghetti squash. Try putting some spinach in your morning smoothie for a nice health twist. Quinoa, bulgur, barley, & couscous all make nice, hearty additions to soups!
Monday, October 15 – Sunday, October 21, 2007: TRY A NEW ‘HEALTH’ FOOD
Examples: tofu, soy nuts, eggplant, tempeh, edamame, quinoa, bulgur, kale, etc. You could just replace ground beef with ground soy, use soysage, etc. Most people won’t even taste the difference. Don’t be afraid to try a new fruit or vegetable this week, maybe try a different grain instead of just rice. Have fun & play with your food.
Black Bean Quinoa
Preparation Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Serves: 4
¾ cup uncooked quinoa
1 tablespoon vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cups vegetable broth or water
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chopped green chiles
½ teaspoon chipotle powder (or more)
salt to taste
1 cup corn kernels
1 can black beans, rinsed
¼ fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
Rinse the quinoa a couple of times, drain, then set aside.
In a large pan, heat the vegetable broth over medium heat. Add the onions & garlic, saute for 3 to 5 minutes or until soft.
Stir in the quinoa & the vegetable broth, then add the tomatoes, cumin, green chiles, chipotle powder & salt. Bring to a boil & cook, covered for 20 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
Add the corn & beans & cook uncovered for 5 minutes longer. Take off the heat & stir in the cilantro.
Serve with warm tortillas on the side, or make it into a wrap.
I just realized that I was raving about how much I like this minestrone soup, but didn’t give you the recipe, so here it is.
Continue reading Minestrone Soup