Sunday, October 31, 2010

Finger food

More weirdness on my part, but this is what I enjoyed eating today while watching football. During the packer game at noon, I had kohlrabi & carrot sticks, and sugar snap peas. I coated them in some lime juice and cilantro, but I think they are as good or better without the extra flavors--depends on my mood.

Later on, I had some spinach and more kolhrabi. I love kohlrabi.

Of course, I ate other stuff today too: smoothie, beans, and fruit. But these were my football snacks. I made guacamole and bean dip for housemate to dip her tostada chips in.


I know I'm weird but I'm not the least bit attracted to Halloween candy. Here's what I was eating when the first kids dropped by my house (at left):

I was at the store today and they had fresh ripe mangos! We often have mangos at the store but never ripe, and they don't ripen well at home. So what I'm saying is, I hardly ever get a good fresh mango. But today I did, with strawberries and banana added in. It was so yummy. I doled out the candy (at right) to the kids, and did my part contributing to their poor health. I felt a little guilty. My fruit salad was followed by a delicious pomegranate:

Boy was that ever good--perfect ripeness.

this week's beans

This is a variation on my usual recipe. Today I harvest a brussels sprouts plant so used the leaves for my greens, and added the brussels sprouts. I also added a butternut squash and some parsnips. My eggplants are done for the season so that's gone from the recipe. Darn, I forgot to add the last 2 tomatoes from the garden. And I was going to add sage and forgot that. Oh well, they taste good.

2 lbs beans (1 lb Cannellini and 1 lb Lima from my Rancho Gordo selections)
>1 lb brussels sprouts greens
~2 lb mushrooms (oyster, shitake, crimini)
>1 lb onions
3/4 lb parsnips
3/4 lb brussels sprouts
>1 lb butternut squash, peeled
38 oz carrot juice (about a 5 lb bag juiced)several cups water

Soak the beans overnight, then cook them in water for a few hours. Juice the carrots, add to a 12-quart pot, start the heat going. Now I chop everything in a food processor, starting with the longest-cooking things and adding into the pot. Add water as necessary. The order is greens, onions, parsnips, squash and then mushrooms. By the time that's done, the first ingredients have been cooking for a while. Add the beans, and cook another 30-60 minutes depending on how tender you like it. Let cool. Pour into a gazzillion plastic bowls for freezing. This batch made 34 cups, which I doled out into 16 1.5-cup bowls and 10 1-cup bowls:

Here's a picture of them in the freezer, along with this week's smoothies:

That may be enough for 2 weeks. yeah!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

this week's beans

Same as last week, only I used these beanss:

That's pinquitos and scarlet runner. Here they are before soaking:

Preparation is described in this post. I think I liked last week's more. But these are good with frozen sweet corn added to them.

sweet pea guacamole

Today I made sweet pea-avocado guacamole for housemate, and updated the recipe a bit. It was yummy!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Daily salad

I've been making great salads for my weekday meals. As I've posted before, on weekdays, I live on my bean soup from the freezer (made on the weekend) and salads. When I get tired of it, I'll do something else but for now I'm loving this. I make a big ole' salad every night and split it into three meals for the next day. Here's a post that describes this. The picture above shows one of the salads from last week. Here are typical ingredients used throughout the week this time of year (depends on what's fresh--right now, it's apples, pears, cruciferous veggies, greens, and pomegranates).

1 head romaine lettuce
3-6 oz cauliflower
3-6 oz broccoli
red bell pepper (optional)
1 cup frozen sweet corn (optional; note: organic snow pac is the sweetest I've found)
1 pint cherry tomatoes (if they are local and fresh and ripe)
a few oz kale and/or purple cabbage
1 small-medium apple
1 small-medium pear (our local pears are very small but delicious)
1 kiwi
seeds from a whole pomegranate (about 100 g, or 3.5 oz)
once a week, a grapefruit peeled and cutup instead of the some of the other fruit
juice from an orange
juice from a lime

I chop the cruciferous veggies first (kale, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage) and mix with the juice and seed mixture, to marinate a bit. Then chop up the lettuce and fruit, mix it all up together, and put it in my bowls for tomorrow's meals. For the lunch meal, I usually add 1/2 cup edamame. I eat the salads with sliced carrots and kohlrabi.

Seed Mixture

About once a week, I grind and combine a bunch of different seeds/nuts and store it in the freezer.  This makes it easy to dole out my daily dose of healthy seeds/nuts.   I vary this weekly depending on my mood and what's on hand.  I'll list all the typical ones I use, and the amounts are what I happened to use this week.  I'll list it in grams, because that's how I measure on the food scale.  If you aren't familiar with grams, 28 grams = 1 oz., and 70 grams is about a half cup (that's approximate).

flax seeds, 130 g
chia seeds, 43
hemp seeds 63
sunflower seeds 59
sesame seeds, 23
pumpkin seeds
mediterranean pine nuts
brazil nuts

I grind about 1/2 cup at a time in my vita-mix "dry" container.   I don't grind the chia or hemp seeds; I might just chop lightly the nuts rather than grinding.

Here's the nutritional info on today's mixture.  A 1 Tbsp serving (9 grams) has 49 calories, 1.9 g protein (14%), 3.9 g fat (68%), 2.3 grams of carbs (18.5%).  The omega-6/omega-3 ratio is 0.766.

Here's the result from a batch that has some pine nuts in it (not ground) and chopped walnuts, along with the ground seeds:

These are good to add to everything--salads, soups, steamed veggies, smoothies. In the salads, combined with orange, lime juice, or flavored vinegar, it makes a nice nutty little dressing.

Note, you can use any combination of nuts and seeds you want or have on hand.   Here's a post I wrote about the nutritional content of nuts and seeds, and here are a couple of articles by Dr. Fuhrman on them:  here and here.

"Greek" chickpea salad

I made a salad for a party and it was really good. I was going to use a recipe from the Fuhrman forums recipe site, but it called for spicy pecan vinegar and I didn't have any. Plus I thought of more things I wanted to add and just ended up changing the recipe. So it's different enough I can post it. But it was inspired by the Greek chickpea salad recipe, for those who have access and want to see it.

Here are the ingredients for a big batch that I split into a bowl for the party and a bowl for home. Halve the recipe if you want a smaller batch. Also, please note that these are somewhat random things I had in the kitchen. You don't have to follow this exactly! The main ingredients are chickpeas, romaine lettuce, some fruit, cucumber, nuts, pine nuts smashed in fresh-squeezed orange&lime juice, a little raw onion, and a little cilantro. The fruit can be whatever you want! I prefer the romaine lettuce over others because it holds up better in a dressing. You could try adding kale too.

2 cans unsalted cooked chickpeas, or 1 lb cooked dry chickpeas (soak overnight before cooking).
1/4-1/2 lb cherry tomatoes (optional--I only add fresh tomatoes if they are from my garden or one nearby)
1 small apple, peeled, cored, chopped
1 small pear, peeled, cored, chopped
1 kiwi, peeled, chopped
1/2 lb grapes, cut in half
1 cucumber, peeled, chopped
1 avocado, peeled, chopped
1 large head romaine or 2 small
1/2 fresh, mild onion
2-5 oz purple cabbage (as desired)
juice of 1 orange
juice of 1 lime
1 oz pine nuts, crushed, smashed or ground
1/4 - 1/2 cup brazil nuts, chopped
few Tbsps chopped cilantro

Mix the smashed pine nuts in the juice, or blend in a blender ( just smash and mix). Combine everything except the lettuce in a big bowl. Stir. Add the lettuce. Stir again. It's yummy.

I forgot to snap a picture. The guests loved it, so I'll be making it again and will snap a picture then.

today's lunch

I love some of the fruit that goes into housemate's smoothies, so I make a separate fruit bowl for myself. Today's has frozen mango (yum!), cherries (yum!), and blueberries. I ate it slowly with relish.

I also had some brazil nuts and a really simple salad. The salad was made from fresh, local spinach and greens, a little chopped fresh local onion, and cilantro. That's all! The greens were so good.

Current Housemate smoothies

I usually make a week's worth of smoothies for housemate at once, in 3-4 batches. Each batch makes 2 smoothies. I then freeze them, like so:

Each night, take one out and put it in the fridge. Take it out in the morning, stir with a tall spoon, add a straw and serve! Leave the foil on if your client is scared of a slight green color that can develop as the top layer is exposed to the air.

Here are the ingredients for one batch (2 servings).

500-600 grams (18-20 oz) fresh and/or frozen fruit (typically 2 bags frozen).  e.g., frozen sweet cherries, strawberries, raspberries, mangos; fresh or frozen ripe banana.  Grapes are good too when in season; fresh figs too.   Note:  I've found blueberries don't thaw well after freezing--the texture is...gloppy.
2-4 oz spinach and/or sweet cabbage
2 Tbsp nuts and/or seeds: e.g., cashews, pistachios, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, or seed mixture
0-2 medjool dates, pitted, or 0-2 Tbsp date syrup (optional, depends on how much sweet fruit you use and taste preferences of the customer)
10 oz grape and/or fresh squeezed orange juice
supplements (DHA, gentle care vitamins, and osteo-sun)

This can be assembled in a variety of ways. If making 3-4 batches, you can combine all the fruit into a big bowl, like so:

Next assemble your dates, nuts, water and juice. Sometimes if I am making several batches, I might blend the dates, nuts and water ahead of time into a yummy nut date cream. I might make extra and enjoy my own treat of the cream over some fruit.

Here's everything ready for assembly for one batch. In this version, the dates, nuts, juice are combined into a mug:

Add the date, nut, juice and water to the blender. I break open the supplements and pour the powder in, and put in the DHA. This is great because housemate won't swallow pills. I can't taste them in the smoothies. I put 2 portions since this will make 2 smoothies. Add the spinach on top and blend on high until smooth. Then add the fruit, and blend again until smooth. Pour into 2 glasses. Eat them now, or top with foil and put them in the freezer.  

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Food = Health

This was a post from Darryl (aka "Nutritarian") from the Fuhrman forums about how changing your diet from the Standard American Diet to Dr. Fuhrman's plan will affect your health:

Here is what one might hope to achieve by really following Dr. Fuhrman's instructions:

First few weeks -- turning the ship around: Initial detoxification, improving cholesterol numbers, lowering of diabetic glucose levels, lowering of high blood pressure, etc. Some health conditions may resolve fairly quickly. Bowels start to work the way they are made to. Ability to taste and enjoy healthy food gradually develops.

Next few months - nutrient saturation: It takes quite a while for the body to readjust its complex physiology, so the entire system continues to work better and better as the months go by. The "healthy glow" develops, as phytochemicals diffuse through the body's nutrient-starved tissues. Detoxification is completed, excess inflammation resolves, immune system becomes stronger and more well-regulated. Weight moves toward ideal. Some kinds of health conditions may gradually resolve during this period.

Longer-term -- transformation: Ideal weight becomes just a normal part of life. As artery damage is gradually repaired, blood pressure works its way lower and lower until reaching extremely healthy levels. Nutritarian food just keeps tasting better and better. Skill for buying and preparing it develops to higher and higher levels. Tastes diversify, as one discovers more and more different wonderful-tasting vegetables, fruits, and legumes. Digestion and elimination become optimal, working exactly the way they are supposed to. Colds become mild and very infrequent. At the cellular level, the body's detoxification and anticancer mechanisms start functioning at maximal levels, gradually lowering (although unfortunately not eliminating) the probability of a cancer outbreak. Cellular damage that can lead to dementia and other premature degeneration later in life stops and perhaps is even reversed.

tomorrow's meals

Well, I'm back from vacation, and back to preparing meals for the week. First I went grocery shopping. Then I made smoothies for housemate. I haven't updated that post in a while. I make 8 smoothies at once, in 4 batches. Right now I'm using a lot of fresh seasonal fruit but soon will be back to frozen berries as the fresh fruit selections diminish. I put about 4 lbs of fruit in a big bowl. And I use fresh squeezed orange juice and water for liquid. Then I freeze them all as shown at the bottom of this post.

Next I made a giant pot of beans.
And then tomorrow's salads:

This has kale, broccoli, cauliflower, romaine, lime & lemon juice, sunflower, hemp, and chia seeds, apple, pear, pomegranate seeds, and kiwi.
Divide that into 3 bowls, add kohlrabi (yum) and carrot sticks. For the big lunch salad, I added edamame:

Breakfast is beans & salad; lunch is salad; dinner is beans & salad.

Maybe that sounds repetitive. I'll see. In the summer I had fresh corn on the cob at dinner, so I may have to come up with something else now that the season has changed. Or maybe I'll like this. I love the beans I made this week.

this week's beans

These are yummy!

You don't really need a recipe. The main ingredients are beans, carrot juice, vegetables of your choice, onions, and mushrooms (note that onions and mushrooms are great cancer fighting veggies). Here are the ingredients I used today, because of what is growing in my garden:

2 lbs beans (I randomly picked 1 lb lima and 1 lb tapiara from my Rancho Gordo selections)
>1 lb collards
1.5 lb mushrooms
>1 lb onions & shallots
1/2 lb eggplant
40 oz carrot juice
several cups water

I soaked the beans overnight, then cooked them in water while I was gone this morning--enough water to cover plus 3-4 inches above the beans. When I got home, I cooked everything else in the carrot juice and water. I let that cook for 2 hours probably, then added the beans. The beans are so creamy. Yum! Here it is in a 12-quart stock pot!

Of course, you can half the recipe. But I'm cooking for the whole week. After it cooled, and we ate some for dinner, I poured the rest into about 15 tupperware bowls to freeze for separate meals this week.

Eating Out

I ate out a lot while on vacation, though not in restaurants. :)

Saranac Lake, NY

Thunder Hole, Acadia National Park

Jordan Pond, Acadia

It was a little chilly this day so we ate in the "Taurus cafe". But we had a "table with a view" of Bar Harbor, Maine:

Otter Point, Acadia

Watkin's Glen, NY

Allegany State Park, NY

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

tomorrow's meals

I’ve enjoyed all the fabulous local produce we got in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, but it was all gone by today (except the carrots, yea!), and I was hungry. So I admit I was looking forward to buying some California berries and pomegranates, Columbian bananas, and New Zealand kiwis at the Whole Foods in Portland, Maine—fortunately they also had a lot of local produce too, which I bought. My travel companion just got a small container of potato salad, and I asked her how she can resist buying and eating everything in sight. She said she prefers my salads to anything they prepare there. Now after preparing tomorrow’s feast, I think she’s right. These babies contain the following (from bottom of the bowl to top): kale, broccoli, cauliflower, purple cabbage, juice from a lime, bok choi, romaine lettuce, cucumber, kiwi, raspberries, strawberries, banana, chick peas, pumpkin seeds, sugar snap peas, celery, and carrots. Yum!

Total calories for the three meals will be: 1391, protein 66 g (19%!), total fat is 25g which comes out to 17% which might be a little low for me.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

hotel food prep

I'm on vacation and preparing my meals in hotel rooms. Yep, I'm such a fanatic, I haven't eaten in a restaurant yet. Well, I just don't think restaurant (healthy) food tastes as good as my own, thanks to the fabulous local produce I've been getting. Anyway, who has time to eat in restaurants when there is hiking, biking and kayaking to be done? Here's how I do it. Clean off a desk, or bathroom counter or kitchen counter, depending on what's available. Set out the bowls and utensils. I find most useful a chopping knife, smaller paring knife, can opener, and lime squeezer thingie (second picture below). The apple corer is not really needed.

I use an electric cooler to keep my produce cool (see this post). On this trip, I've been lucky to find outstanding locally grown produce in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire: all kinds of lovely varieties of apples, as well as kale, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cherry tomatoes, and carrots! As one store employee said, the carrots taste like candy! I've been calling them carrot candy. So of course, I've based my salads on these. I layer the bottom with the cruciferous veggies: kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage (whatever I happen to have on this day), and squeeze lime on that. That will marinate overnight at the bottom of the salad (I make the meals at night for the next day so we can get up early and go!):

Then I add the spinach and lettuce. Then fruit: apples, maybe an orange, cherry tomatoes, maybe a grapefruit. I scored 5 small pomegranates at a fantastic co-op in Vermont, so have been eating pom seeds in my salads for the last 5 days. They add great flavor! I just added the last one tonight. I haven't come across many fresh berries so haven't bothered with those. Then I add a can of beans and 1 oz of seeds or nuts:

Today and yesterday were heavy exercise days, so I also added a can of Dr. Fuhrman's soup. It added a nice flavor. Then I top with carrots. These I eat for dessert when I'm done with the meal, because they are like candy!

Then I clean up my mess and try to make it as spotless as possible, and tip the room cleaners, because I don't want hotels to start banning food. The main evidence of my food prep is the trash bin, a pretty dirty washcloth. and all the towels are used (but they aren't dirty).

Then I enjoy my meals in nature's restaurants, like this one: